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View Diary: Fossil Fuel Uncompetitive in Germany; Plants to Shut Down (255 comments)

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  •  Bingo -- and that is a problem getting widespread (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nirbama, PatriciaVa

    support behind such approaches.

    DKers are fond of believing that voters always vote against their interests, but it just ain't so.

    It's harder to figure out how to make clean and green attractive and affordable, but it's more likely to win people over whose quality of life = ability to take care of their children and provide for their future.

    Saddest of all, I believe most people want to leave the country at least as nice as they found it -- for their kids and grandkids.  Let people take care of their children at the same time they take care of their planet, and I think you'll be surprised at how many step up to do it.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 06:41:17 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I think you could win more people over if... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...there wasn't such hypocrisy in the movement,.

      But when you have Green Energy champions (Musk, Branson) bankroll projects to take the UltraWealthy on Carbon-Emitting Joy Rides to Space,

      ...when you have pols telling working class Americans that they may need to pay higher energy prices to "save the Earth" while these same pols take cross country trips to their states/districts every weekend....

      ...well, it's hard to take them seriously.

      I believe that many of the Dems who claim to be concerned about the Earth are more concerned about deficits.

      But since these Dems don't want to tax Ellison's wealth, via a wealth tax, they see the working and middle-class as easy marks for a Regressive energy tax.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:51:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's tradition. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PatriciaVa, blueoasis

        Working and middle class don't show up at power lunches or the right cocktail parties.

        We get screwed and sold a bunch of BS about shared sacrifice, which tends to mean:

        Yeah, I know you have to give up your car and sorry about losing out on vacation and sending your kids to college, but, hey look -- we were going to the Alps this year and had to settle for Vail.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 09:07:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  while I agree that income inequality (6+ / 0-)

          is a huge problem in the United States I think it's incredibly short-sighted and disingenuous to discredit the entire renewable movement because a few rich guys are having some pet project. I'm sorry to say it, but it sounds a bit like the old "Al Gore has a big mansion so climate change is bullshit" canard.

          Let's just get back to the premise of this diary which says fossil fuels are becoming uncompetitive in Germany. What this means is that if you invest enough in renewables with a long term vision they will eventually be cheaper, and thus good for low income working class people. As many have pointed out above, fossil fuels are only going to get more expensive as they get more scarce, and the bubble is going to burst.

          In the meantime, while it is a bit more expensive, you help out those who can't afford it, a la the American Care Act or food stamps. Nobody should have their lights turned off because they can't afford a few more bucks on their (renewable) energy bill. And yes, we have to work on better income equality, nobody denies that. Part of why Germans can absorb this transition is because its social policies have created a much more egalitarian society, where hardly anyone is a paycheck away from homelessness or bankruptcy.

          But let's please not pit low income people and workers against renewable energy and climate action. Guess who is taking the hardest hits from climate chaos? Well yes, people who can't afford to buy a house on the hill or rebuild after another devastating fire. People in Bangladesh or Indonesia or the Maldives who can't just hop in their yachts when sea levels rise.

          So I don't have a problem going after Elon Musk or Richard Branson and taxing the shit out of them, but let's not use those guys as proxies to discredit renewable energy wholesale, okay? Ever heard of Van Jones and Rebuild the Dream? Well, renewable energy is where all the jobs are going to be, so if you care about workers, you really should understand that while there aren't any good long-term jobs with benefits in building pipe dreams like Keystone XL, there are tons of jobs in building a new grid that will accommodate all the wind and solar projects that are already happening and yet to come.

          In Germany, jobs in the renewable energy sector have more than doubled to around 380,000 jobs since 2004. That's some real bang for your working class buck right there. So go after Musk and Branson and all the other billionaires all you want (and I'll happily join you), but please don't conflate them with an entirely new economic sector (well, not so new in Germany anymore) that is our only chance not only at survival on planet Earth but actually not doing it at the expense of the poor around the world or the American worker.  

          Ecology is the new Economy => Kosonomy

          by citisven on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 09:56:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How about discrediting it because it tends to (0+ / 0-)

            be elitist in nature?

            How about discrediting it for complaining because ordinary citizens are unwilling to walk like lemmings over a cliff?

            More than a few American environmentalists are too willing to accept collateral damages in the form of destroyed lives and livelihoods in the name of saving the planet.

            Which, as George Carlin observed, is a lie.
            The planet will be fine with us or without us. The question is whether we will survive.

            Too many environmentalists are dong little more than trying to ensure they are the ones who come out all right.
            That's a problem in a nation where the people you want to stuff in a corner get to vote.

            And that, my friend, is also incredibly short-sighted.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:22:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  rather than feel slighted (4+ / 0-)

              by some generic "American environmentalists" why not join the ones who care about the environment AND social justice? Yes sure, there may be some people that fit your description but they're getting fewer and fewer. Environmentalists everywhere are realizing that you cannot separate issues of climate change and resource depletion from issues of poverty and social justice. Have you read any of the UN's platforms lately? Have you seen the alliances between groups like, Idle No More, and Labor Unions? There's a lot of great confluences happening everywhere, so why not join and help bring people together instead of feeling slighted by what some self-proclaimed "environmentalist" said somewhere. We're really all environmentalists, there's just one earth and we breathe the same air, and without it we can't do anything.  

              Ecology is the new Economy => Kosonomy

              by citisven on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:45:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You assume too much. (0+ / 0-)

                I don't join groups for much the same reason I don't join political parties, but I do keep up. When I had money, I used to donate it.

                As to feeling slighted, I don't.

                I think those people are self-defeating idiots for their refusal or inability to think beyond the choir.
                I think they make my life a lot harder when I try to talk about global warming to people and why we should stop using fossil fuels.

                But they are free to kvetch and make noise instead of progress.  Nature of the country.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:13:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  please don't speak for anyone (0+ / 0-)

        you aren't a spokeswoman for anyone.

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