Former President Barack Obama: "We've seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic. We can't afford any more consequences of climate denial. All of us, especially young people, have to demand better of our government at every level and vote this fall."
Several Senate Democrats want airlines to reduce their carbon emissions in exchange for federal aid that could hit $50 billion or more.
House Democrats, meanwhile, are looking at clean-tech tax credits. Those include incentives for electric vehicles, battery storage, offshore wind and solar energy that were left out of a December tax extenders package.
Christopher Ketcham in LA Times: 'The coronavirus may finally cause us to see air travel for what it is, a fuse burning in the climate' bomb.
"As it happens, a lot less flying is required if we are to stabilize a non-nightmarish planetary climate for our children, our grandchildren and their children.
The spread of the novel coronavirus comes in the wake of an unvarnished report on how to ameliorate climate change that was commissioned by the United Kingdom and published in November. Called “Absolute Zero,” the report, drafted by a group of scientists from the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Nottingham, Bath and the Imperial College London, advised how Britain could reach its stated target of zero emissions by 2050.
Among their conclusions: Because at present and for the foreseeable future there is no carbon-neutral alternative for the powering of planes, all air travel in the U.K. will have to decline precipitously by 2030 — 10 years from now — and cease altogether by 2050. “For some period,” the report says, “we’ll all stop using aeroplanes.”
What’s true for Britain, of course, has to be true globally — an end to air travel as we know it if the planet is to keep within the putatively safe carbon budget that holds warming to 1.5 degrees Centigrade. And one can read that conclusion another way: Present-day rates of carbon-intensive travel and tourism are among the many time bombs that industrial society has set to destroy future generations...
We have to start thinking now — right now, today, as you read this — about a livable, equitable future for our children, and for that future to be realized we must embrace a world that the coronavirus, perversely, is laying out for us. It is a world of less travel, less consumption, one not pathogen-determined but instead created by our own collective self-restraint, humility and altruism.
If we learn from the coronavirus, generations to come will thank us.