Fried­man

The Philippine Star - - NEWS -

with child­hood asthma and an­other gen­er­a­tion of coal work­ers wouldn’t have to make a liv­ing breath­ing coal dust.

Bloomberg put $50 mil­lion into the ef­fort, and the rest is — help­ing to make coal — history, thanks to the Sierra Club mo­bi­liz­ing com­mu­ni­ties and tech­nol­ogy mak­ing nat­u­ral gas (when the meth­ane leak­age is con­trolled) a much cleaner, cheaper base-load power source for util­i­ties, and wind and so­lar en­ergy so much more cost-ef­fec­tive.

When the Sierra Club and Bloomberg started in 2011, there were 514 coal-fired power plants in Amer­ica; since then, 254 have an­nounced they will shut down. They ex­pect that fully two-thirds will be phased out by 2022 — no mat­ter what Trump says or does.

“Cli­mate of Hope” is about how to build on this, by re­fram­ing the in­ter­re­lated chal­lenges of cli­mate change, clean air, clean wa­ter and pop­u­la­tion “from ques­tions of who is go­ing to sac­ri­fice to who is go­ing to grab the profits,” Bloomberg ex­plained in an in­ter­view. Each of th­ese chal­lenges, he said, can be met in ways that en­able cities and coun­tries to make them­selves more pros­per­ous, in­no­va­tive, healthy and se­cure — if we just get the in­cen­tives right.

Imag­ine, added Pope, that ev­ery US com­pany joined An­heuser-Busch in com­mit­ting to get­ting all of its elec­tric­ity from re­new­able sources. Imag­ine that in­stead of sub­si­diz­ing sur­plus cot­ton, de­stroy­ing the liveli­hoods of small farm­ers in Africa, the US govern­ment sub­si­dized our farm­ers to grow crops that re- store car­bon and store wa­ter in their soils, thus drought-proof­ing Texas and Cal­i­for­nia.

Imag­ine ev­ery US city join­ing those al­ready buy­ing elec­tric self-driv­ing ve­hi­cles, thereby scal­ing a new auto-on-de­mand in­dus­try — while re­duc­ing the need for per­sonal cars and the park­ing places and garages for them — thereby un­lock­ing so much real es­tate for growth and eas­ing ur­ban hous­ing prices. Imag­ine that in­stead of vow­ing to bring back coal min­ing jobs, our pres­i­dent of­fered to link West Vir­ginia and the na­tion’s most pros­per­ous metropoli­tan econ­omy, Washington, D.C., with high-speed rail ser­vice.

Imag­ine … we could ac­tu­ally make Amer­ica great again, not just pro­long a dy­ing coal in­dus­try! Now that would be pres­i­den­tial.

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