News


Guest opinion: We need the Green New Deal

 

By Arhaan Gupta-Rastogi

Our world will become a much more hazardous place unless we stop climate change. The United States contributes to climate change by producing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that heat up our atmosphere. The Green New Deal (GND) is a plan to stimulate the U.S. economy while transitioning the country to 100% renewable, zero-emission energy sources by 2045.

If the GND passes, it will make a significant positive impact on our country. There are three reasons for this: the effects of climate change are serious; the GND will lead to the creation of many new jobs; and the government investment that accompanies the plan will spark a new era of technological innovation.

First, the effects of climate change are serious and urgent. The recent polar vortex storm in the Midwest is evidence of this. At the time of the storm, President Trump tweeted, "In the beautiful Midwest, windchill temperatures are reaching minus 60 degrees, the coldest ever recorded. In coming days, expected to get even colder. People can't last outside even for minutes. What the hell is going on with Global Warming? Please come back fast, we need you!"

The president is confusing weather with climate. Though they are closely related, one is short-term and one is long-term weather predictions. In fact, large fluctuations in temperature are a symptom of climate change.

To address the extremes in temperature, we need to diminish our emission of greenhouse gases by a significant amount within the next five years. As Dr. Gavin Schmidt, NASA climatologist, has said, "We're no longer talking about a situation where global warming is something in the future."

The GND is an ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emission and head off the worst damage caused by climate change.

Second, the GND also promises to create new jobs for average Americans. Like the New Deal of the 1930s, it is a series of federal programs aimed at stimulating economic growth and creating jobs. There are currently very few manufacturing jobs left in the U.S. This has had a devastating effect on communities and families throughout the country. The GND will invest heavily in manufacturing solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, and others sorts of technologies. This will create new manufacturing jobs for many Americans and strengthen our economy.

And third, in the 1960s, the federal government invested heavily in space exploration. Without NASA and the engineers it employed, would we have reached the moon? Would we have all the new technologies that have emerged from our space program? The GND offers a similar opportunity for the U.S. to take the lead in scientific innovation. As a young person, I'm excited to think of what new technologies might appear through a plan to stop climate change. I'm even more excited to be a part of this innovation someday.

All in all, climate change is dangerous for our world and needs to be stopped. Stopping it does not have to mean eliminating growth and giving up jobs. The GND has not passed yet, but it is one of the most important initiatives of our time. It should pass.

As a young person whose future depends on the survival of the planet, I see the GND as a key to our survival and an important tool for the whole world to thrive.

Arhaan Gupta-Rastogi is a sixth-grader at Hillview Middle School in Menlo Park.

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Comments

41 people like this
Posted by Freeman Perry
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 5, 2019 at 8:10 pm

Nice essay, but no thank you.


38 people like this
Posted by GND is a Pipe Dream
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2019 at 12:33 pm

The GND is an unattainable patch to address the implications of the real issue, which is overpopulation. Curb child birth, which in turn curbs consumption and further curbs the long term impacts on the planet, the environment and much more. We need population growth control rather than population behavior control. As long as people cranking out large families and generations of consumers, these problems will continue to occur. GND is an unrealistic and unattainable band-aid covering up the wound on the planet and society as a whole.


41 people like this
Posted by No GND
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 6, 2019 at 1:38 pm

That was a very well-written essay by the Hillview 6th grader. Most likely an assignment for Earth Day, or Environment Consciousness day or some such thing. However, the pap that this kid has been fed is a load of BS. First, the world according to Ehrlich was going to end in the 80s due to overpopulation and food shortages. Then we had the coming ice age. Global warming, according to Gore, was going to see sea level rise by 10 or so feet by now. Now, the lunatics are saying we only have 11 or so years left for humanity as we know it. The US is doing more than any other developed country to control greenhouse gasses (in spite of California’s ridiculous lack of forest management practices which have contributed to immense greenhouse gas spewing conflagrations....but I digress).

Sorry, kid. Can’t afford it, don’t want it, and it ain’t gonna happen because it is completely impractical and too costly.


58 people like this
Posted by wut GND?
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 6, 2019 at 1:46 pm

> no thank you

To saving the planet, saving shoreline communities, creating manufacturing jobs, construction jobs, etc.. with a side benefit of reducing pollution and all the ills related to pollution? Must be nice to summarily dismiss even looking into the Green New Deal.

> the world according to Ehrlich

So sad, so low-energy, to rely on those old canards.


Don't listen to Ehrlich; instead, listen to these organizations who produced the 4th national climate assessment:


Department of the Interior

Department of Energy

U.S. Global Change Research Program

Department of Health and Human Services

U.S. Agency for International Development

Smithsonian Institution

Department of Commerce

Department of Defense

Department of Agriculture

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Department of Energy

Department of Transportation

Environmental Protection Agency

Department of the Interior

Department of State

National Science Foundation

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

U.S. Geological Survey

Add in:

Texas Tech University
University of Washington
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
University of Illinois
Rutgers University
North Carolina State University
Texas A&M University
Columbia University
University of California, Irvine
University of Massachusetts
California Department of Water Resources
... and many, many more.

Google: "FOURTH NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT" for links and much, much, more. (alas, the posters above are too afraid to read it)


41 people like this
Posted by no GND
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 6, 2019 at 2:01 pm

----and yet it is amazing that not one computer simulation they have of the future has panned out as "predicted". Maybe one of the reasons that I don't trust my government.


74 people like this
Posted by wut GND?
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 6, 2019 at 2:42 pm

Oh please. Just read the National Climate Assessment. What are you afraid of?

Does it pain you so much to see actual facts and peer reviewed science, or you'd rather repeat discredited 'research' backed by Exxon?



> it is amazing that not one computer simulation they have of the future has panned out as "predicted"

Off the top of my head, I'd submit James Hansen's 1988 studies ( please read: Web Link ) with three predicted outcomes.

- Scenario A assumed greenhouse gas emissions would continue to accelerate
- Scenario B assumed a slowing and eventually constant rate of growth
- Scenario C assumed a rapid decline in greenhouse gas emissions around the year 2000

Reality shows his numbers for Scenario B were/are spot on. Here's a chart with all three plus observed temperatures: Web Link


Why is it deniers never link to their Exxon funded baloney?


3 people like this
Posted by Menlo Boomer
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on May 6, 2019 at 7:24 pm

Why should my generation have to make any sort of changes to address a existential problem, just because we helped cause it? #NoOnSB50


47 people like this
Posted by Pnu Walker
a resident of Woodside High School
on May 6, 2019 at 8:40 pm

When the Department of Defense tells deniers they're wrong, one would think they would listen.


22 people like this
Posted by Koch Oil
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on May 7, 2019 at 11:45 am

I don't understand what kind of mindset that has deniers believing Exxon. Did they believe Philip Morris "scientists" 20 years ago?


52 people like this
Posted by Green Yes Government No
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 7, 2019 at 2:30 pm

I think the real denying here is those who think that by giving the government a whole lot more of your disposable income they will solve the problem of over pollution for you. The GND is a huge tax grab and expansion of government in return for socialistic type promises. It will never work. Until mass amounts of people really change the way they live (driving a telsa is not solving the problem), expect pollution to keep contributing to a changing climate.

How about this - our government can only borrow money if it can prove that such money would be paid back using taxes levied from green (i.e. non polluting) income sources.

Sound good?


35 people like this
Posted by wut GND?
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 7, 2019 at 3:19 pm

> in return for socialistic type promises

Saving the climate is now "socialism"? Nice frame. Funny how extreme the far fringe has become.


> How about this - our government can only borrow money if it can prove...

Never happen with the FIGOP - it was Dick Cheney who said: "You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Cheney taught George W Bush it was okay to take Clinton's SURPLUS and run it up to Bush's billion dollar deficit.

The GOP is too irresponsible to balance a budget - climate or no. Donald ("I forgot how bankruptcies I've had") Trump is proven less fiscally responsible than the rest of the FIGOP - Fiscally Irresponsible GOP.

FIGOP: "it's just too expensive to invest in jobs, infrastructure, climate and working Americans, but it's okay to increase the deficit to give billionaires tax cuts!

Socialism for Billionaires: privatize the profit, socialize the losses. Climate be damned.

Sad!


35 people like this
Posted by wut GND?
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 7, 2019 at 5:04 pm

Donald ("I forgot how bankruptcies I've had") Trump

breaking - NYT: Decade in the Red: Trump Tax Figures - Show Over $1 Billion in Business Losses

Web Link


38 people like this
Posted by no GND
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 7, 2019 at 6:29 pm

Not sure what any of this has to do with Trump, but I guess some people have to deal with their Trump Derangement Syndrome by linking him to everything. So, vent away...

In any case, Obama seemed to be the President who ran up more deficits than all prior Presidents combined. Just a fact. So, it appears he has the title of most prolific spender and deficit producer of them all. Current occupant of the WH included.

So, to the question of socialism. It is a socialist tendency to try to solve every problem through government action, control and spending. If I'm not mistaken, AOC's proposal was for the government to basically take over (either actually or through mandate) the energy sector of the economy with massive spending and massive taxes. You can call it a lot of different things, but government control of sectors of the economy is certainly socialistic. Not sure what "wut GND" has against socialism, as he/she/they/xe (make sure I get the pronoun correct) seems to be advocating it with the GND. And speaking of fringes, I'm not so sure how something close to status quo has been relegated to "fringe" when taking over the energy sector (and let's throw in health care, if I may be so bold) is what? Mainstream liberalism? No, you lost me there. The left has gone radical left with this proposal. Depending on studies you might read, it could also mean the destruction of millions of jobs, loss of various industries, and, in spite of AOC's limited grasp of geography, you still can't take a train to Hawaii or Europe.

Cheers!


43 people like this
Posted by wut GND?
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 8, 2019 at 8:45 am

> Obama seemed to be the President who ran up more deficits than all prior Presidents combined

Like all the false claims by our fact-challenged poster, this is factually misleading as well. Fringe posters like him are easy to spot - no facts, no links to facts, no reality check at all. Pretty lame in this day and age of google, etc..

Obama took Bush's TRILLION dollar deficit and cut it by well over half.

---

From Forbes, the heart of conservative capitalism:

"The first thing you notice when looking at the federal deficits from fiscal 2007 (the U.S. government fiscal year ends in September) is that it increased by almost $1 trillion from fiscal 2008 (two months before Obama was elected and four months before he was sworn in) to fiscal 2009. It remained over $1 trillion per year for four years and got below Bush’s.... It continued to decrease until Obama’s last year and has increased in Trump’s first year in office."

Fiscal 2007: $161 billion (next to last year of Bush’s second term)
Fiscal 2008: $459 billion (beginning impact from the Great Recession)
Fiscal 2009: $1.4 trillion (Obama inherits Bush's Great Recession trillions)
Fiscal 2010: $1.3 trillion
Fiscal 2011: $1.3 trillion
Fiscal 2012: $1.1 trillion
Fiscal 2013: $680 billion
Fiscal 2014: $485 billion
Fiscal 2015: $438 billion
Fiscal 2016: $587 billion
Fiscal 2017: $666 billion (Trump’s first year of his Presidency)

2018 - over $700B
2019 will be back over a trillion (see Bush disaster)

Web Link


19 people like this
Posted by no GND
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Hills
on May 8, 2019 at 10:30 am

To our little fact-challenged socialist friends: Take a look at the following website: Web Link

What you will see is that Obama took the country into debt more in his eight years than "almost" all the Presidents before him combined. But the worst thing is that his deficits went up from 15 points to more than 30 percentage points more in terms of GDP than his immediate predecessor. Trump has held the deficits roughly the same as when he came into office, in terms of deficit as percentage of GDP.

Still doesn't get away from the fact that the GND is a socialist scheme, [portion removed] and we can't afford financially or socially what the GND would do to the country. It's insanity.

Cheers, comrade!


39 people like this
Posted by wut GND?
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 8, 2019 at 11:37 am

In the space of two posts, you just went from:

> seemed to ... more DEFICITS

to

> the country into DEBT more


I'm sorry you don't understand the difference between DEBT, SURPLUS and DEFICIT. For example:

- Clinton reduced the growth of DEBT when he ran a budget SURPLUS
- Bush took the budget SURPLUS from Clinton and squandered it. (see your link)
- Bush's Trillion dollar DEFICITS caused an explosion in DEBT
- Obama's reduction in DEFICITS slowed the growth of DEBT


quick quiz: Name the republican president who has run a budget SURPLUS.


recap:
Fiscal 2007: $161 billion
Fiscal 2008: $459 billion (Bush Great Recession)
Fiscal 2009: $1.4 trillion (Obama inherits Bush's Great Recession trillion deficit)
Fiscal 2010: $1.3 trillion
Fiscal 2011: $1.3 trillion
Fiscal 2012: $1.1 trillion
Fiscal 2013: $680 billion
Fiscal 2014: $485 billion
Fiscal 2015: $438 billion
Fiscal 2016: $587 billion
Fiscal 2017: $666 billion


38 people like this
Posted by Nancy Reyering
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 8, 2019 at 2:50 pm

First, bravo Arhaan. I appreciate your position, the fine way you expressed your perspective, and your courage in committing your thoughts to publication.
Second, I am extremely disappointed to see the Almanac continue its tradition of allowing anonymous comments. How low does an adult have to stoop to write critical and sarcastic comments under a 6th grader’s opinion piece. Shame on the Almanac for continuing to allow this practice, and shame on the “adults” in the room.


20 people like this
Posted by Victoria
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 8, 2019 at 4:50 pm

This is an insightful essay and the comments here only go to show how a bunch of dinosaur trolls sit around on their computers and do nothing to help better the world. I'm really sad to see these uneducated adults bashing a kid who's obviously done his homework. Kudos to you, Arhaan, and thank you. You and your smart, kind and forward-thinking friends will be here long after the haters and cleaning up their self-centered mess.


14 people like this
Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 8, 2019 at 4:57 pm

I'm disturbed by the number of disparaging, dismissive, and vociferous comments made to a 6th grader in our community. It says something about us that instead of encouraging and protecting our developing young people, some of us choose to hide behind snarky anonymous names and take out frustrations on a kid.


15 people like this
Posted by OneBDay
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2019 at 6:32 pm

Good grief, guys! Give it a rest.

You may not support the New Green Deal or his position on it, but you should support the well written opinion of our next generation. Something tells me you can have a more age appropriate conversation with a 6th grader. Take a step back and remember when you were in the 6th grade.

Now apologize to the young lad for hijacking his post for your own pleasure.


17 people like this
Posted by David Roise
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on May 8, 2019 at 7:36 pm

David Roise is a registered user.

This thread has highlighted to me as well as any how toxic it can be to allow anonymous posting in the Town Square forum. It is supremely pathetic that anonymous trolls (and anonymous anti-trolls for that matter) are allowed to trash a 6th grader without any consequences.

I just canceled my subscription to the Almanac. Please let me know when you have changed your policies regarding anonymous posting, and I will consider resubscribing.

Many thanks to Arhaan for his original post!


45 people like this
Posted by it takes a village, yah?
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 8, 2019 at 10:20 pm

Trump trolls always default to the fox aoc derangement syndrome. Lies, insults etc.

Clean it up almanac. Use discus or some other system.

Great essay, young lad.


11 people like this
Posted by Sarah Dorahy
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on May 9, 2019 at 1:36 pm

I fully concur with Nancy.

If a poster is so proud of his/her post, then he/she should sign his/her name.

No name. No post. Almanac, it’s time.

Thank you, Arhaan. You are setting the correct example for all. Bravo.


4 people like this
Posted by Publius
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on May 9, 2019 at 3:30 pm

I wonder how many here realize that they are poster children for why anonymous comment remains important in public discourse.

We can say anything we want as long as you agree with it...


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 9, 2019 at 5:34 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"We can say anything we want as long as you agree with it.."

Exactly


8 people like this
Posted by Claudette Bergman
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on May 10, 2019 at 10:22 am

Let’s 3ncourage our young people to speak up. They’re our future.
Great letter!
Anonymous responses are immature and reckless. Don’t print them.


22 people like this
Posted by tote that barge
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 11, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Y'all need to read the "FOURTH NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT" referenced above:

OBSERVED CHANGES IN GLOBAL CLIMATE
Global climate is changing rapidly compared to the pace of natural variations in climate that have occurred throughout Earth’s history. Global average temperature has increased by about 1.8°F from 1901 to 2016, and observational evidence does not support any credible natural explanations for this amount of warming; instead, the evidence consistently points to human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse or heat-trapping gases, as the dominant cause.

Web Link


I'm okay with anonymous posters - it's the lyin' trolls I have a problem with... easiest way to spot them is broad claims without substantiation (ie.. lies.)

My boss is a Fox viewer - I wouldn't post under my name. It's a problem (yes, also that a decision maker has essentially zero ability to think critically on issues of current events.) Yet I must 'lift that bale'...


6 people like this
Posted by Whattayagonnado?
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on May 11, 2019 at 5:56 pm

I think sixth graders are old enough to understand that they may get some comments they don't like, or comments from mean people, people that don't agree with them, or just plain trolls.

We don't have to shield kids from everything, tell them that they are always right and always wonderful. We shouldn't program all their waking minutes, driving them to this and that practice, and scheduling every activity.

I get these kids in the workforce right out of school and they are either unable to act and make decisions on their own, or they are convinced that they are king of the universe and know better than everyone else.

Either way they need a lot of hand holding to become productive. We're not doing them a service by treating them as if they were too delicate to see opposing viewpoints, even sarcastic ones.

As for anonymous posting, there are lots of reasons why people might want to post anonymously. There are downsides, but you have a mind and you can ignore what you don't want to read. If you don't like anonymous posts, don't read them


12 people like this
Posted by tote that barge
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 12, 2019 at 9:44 am

Whattayagonnado?

We are going to do what we have to do - did you even bother to take a minute to read the essay?

We must "reduce greenhouse gas emission and head off the worst damage caused by climate change" or face a hellscape, with massive disruption locally, regionally and globally. For an outline of local and national urgency, see: Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Whattayagonnado?
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on May 12, 2019 at 8:30 pm

@tote that barge

Of course I read the essay. I'm for everything we can do to limit greenhouse gas emissions and limit climate change. My comment was aimed at some of the earlier comments that were incensed that people posted negative or sarcastic comments on a sixth grader's essay. I think a sixth grader is old enough to start learning that there may be opposing viewpoints, or people that are just plain imbeciles in the world.


Like this comment
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 13, 2019 at 1:15 pm

pogo is a registered user.

Congratulations and thank you to Arhaan for a VERY well written essay! Well done and I appreciate the work you put into this.

While I don't agree with all of your points, I respect your position and the evidence you provided to support them. With increased pressure from consumers and regulators, I suspect we will do even more.

Such an intelligent young man hardly needs my advice but there is a very good lesson in this post and the comments that followed. Arhaan - you will make your arguments and people will agree or disagree - some nicely and intelligently, some not. Some people will twist your words or try to make your post into something else - like attacks on political figures or beliefs. It can be frustrating but I assure you that other people see those twists and deflections and we understand when someone is unable to counter your arguments with data or reason.

My only advice is to try not to take disagreement personally and to stick to your principles. Again, well done, sir.


Like this comment
Posted by Sick of it all
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on May 13, 2019 at 5:06 pm

Wut GND is certainly a true believer [portion removed; keep it civil].


10 people like this
Posted by wut GND?
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 13, 2019 at 5:18 pm

@Sickofitall

Wut?

Yes, I'm a true believer, much like the Pentagon, NASA, Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, the USGS and 95% of the scientific community.

Facts hurt too much? Sorry 'bout that - too late to keep your head buried ion the Exxon (tar) sands. Arm your self with knowledge and fight those dark thoughts you carry inside. Here's some more: the most recent IPPC, which patiently explains to emotion-driven deniers why 1.5 degrees is critical:
Web Link

"SPECIAL REPORT
Global Warming of 1.5 ºC
An IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty."

Once we blow by 1.5 degrees, there will be no safe spaces in which to hide. It will be a disaster worldwide, whether you choose to educate yourself about it or not.


Like this comment
Posted by Sick of it all
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on May 14, 2019 at 12:18 pm

Wut GND is 2019 secular preacher. How's your sermon going over in China, the largest CO2 creator (30%)? [Portion removed; stick to the topic]


6 people like this
Posted by Loni R.
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on May 14, 2019 at 12:34 pm

Bill Nye ‘the science guy’ explains this crisis perfectly in 30 seconds! Video below. (Cover the kiddie’s ears and give them the G-rated version later)

Bottom line: corporations will always skew data in their favor - they don’t make money by telling the truth.

The ‘Green New Deal’ is a 14-page proposal - it’s a starting point... and we need to start turning this mess around NOW (sorry evangelicals... you can’t pray this one away, and as was said - ‘the Lord helps those who help themselves’).

So let’s get busy! There’s only one Earth!

Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by Richard
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 14, 2019 at 12:44 pm

"Wut GND is 2019 secular preacher." (sic)

Scientific fact is now "preaching"?

Someone's feathers have been ruffled! Or he owns a lot of Exxon stock and is feeling really defensive, really bhurt. Lots of feelings.

Butt afraid of reality.


Like this comment
Posted by Sick of it all
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on May 20, 2019 at 11:27 am

Richard - Clearly, you're VC buddies with Al Gore.


2 people like this
Posted by Pnu Walker
a resident of Woodside High School
on May 21, 2019 at 10:14 am

@sick

Did Richard hurt your feelings?

VC buddy with Gore! And the state department! And the Pentagon! The defense department!

They're all buddies!!!


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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