Climate Memo Mondays #1
The Old Incrementalism and the Green NEW Deal.
Every Sunday the PBS program “Real Green” appreciates praiseworthy projects for the planet. Today 12-13-20 the Solar Living Institute at Hopland, CA received the spotlight. Its founder and director, John Schaefer, has built a wonderful energy oasis. Not only do the solar collectors on the buildings welcome the sun, but grapevines prohibit the sun where not welcome. The building walls are built from straw. There’s a windmill for all water needs, an edible landscape, and a large operation to recycle vegetable oil into biodiesel. And the Institute promotes its work by online education.
It is a veritable showcase of the energy innovations my generation was discussing during the 1970s and after.
Alas, during the years since then, global temperatures have continued to rise. The “Real Green” program doesn’t mention that.
Fortunately, what’s called the Green New Deal intends to bring these excellent oases into national programs following the model of the New Deal. Only a large vision like that can surmount the consequences of the catastrophe the rising temperatures are already producing. Think scale.
“Real Green” today also presented an onion farm where the skins and ends waste goes to cattle feed and to make electricity. Good for business profit; good for environment. But no mention of the temperature—and increasing hurricanes and droughts, nor of cattle-driven deforestation. Is “Real Green” brought to us by the Republican or the Libertarian Party?
Next week: What the New Deal Teaches Us About the Green New Deal