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Climate threat is even greater than 'really big'

Renewable energy may do more than first expected. In the Sahara, it could change the climate directly, according to a new study

Regarding the recent letter to the editor, “Cost of climate change to Maryland is big, really big” (July 3), the cost of climate change will be much bigger than the writer imagines. Just a half degree increase in global temperatures will cost the U.S. economy $13 trillion, and we’re already locked into at least a 1.5 Celsius increase and on a trajectory to a 4 to 5 degree increase, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. If we continue at our present rate of fossil fuel consumption, the damage to the U.S. economy will be over $160 trillion (as reported in Forbes magazine, April 2019).

We must cut greenhouse gas emissions over 50% by 2030 to prevent “catastrophic” climate change that would cause “global economic collapse” followed by“societal collapse” (IPCC). Fortunately, we have a new, detailed, 38-page version of the Green New Deal’s energy plan, the Evergreen Economy Plan, showing a swift nationwide transition to a clean energy by 2030 will more than pay for itself. The Evergreen plan will create over 8 million high-wage, local, permanent (40-year) green jobs. Private investment will pay two-thirds of the cost (as reported on vox.com). The rest of the cost will be more than offset by a $500 billion annual increase in U.S. gross domestic product (IPCC). That’s mainly because rapidly scaling up solar and wind will make them “essentially free” by 2030.

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Adding carbon dividends, as provided for by HR 763, currently in Congress, will make the fossil fuel corporations that knowingly caused the climate crisis (Scientific American) pay to fix it (citizensclimatelobby.org), so we can add another $350 billion annually to our GDP (Congressional Budget Office scoring).

Lynn Goldfarb, Lancaster, Pa.

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