2016 Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton made headlines all over the US (even here at TATA) with her Sunday announcement of her Presidential clean energy plans, which include beefing up the United States solar power industry and clean energy sources in general. However, despite widespread praise from many, some climate experts are claiming that her plans, while noble, are not enough to prevent dramatic and dangerous climate change.
Acclaimed NASA climate scientist James Hansen (who was just in the headlines himself with dire predictions of a flooded future) called Clinton’s plan “just plain silly”, saying “you cannot solve the problem without a fundamental change, and that means you have to make the price of fossil fuels honest. Subsidizing solar panels is not going to solve the problem.” He went on to critique American politicians’ response to the climate crisis: “We have two political parties, neither one of which is willing to face reality, Conservatives pretend it’s all a hoax, and liberals propose solutions that are non-solutions.”
According to Hansen, the best solution would be to remove subsidies from fossil fuels, rather than bolster a specific type of clean energy. Hansen believes that giving preference to solar “is going to make energy more expensive. You need to let energy efficiency and renewables and nuclear power and anything else that comes up compete.” Once fossil fuels are unsubsidized, he claims, the true savings of all alternative energy sources will become apparent.
Hansen isn’t alone in calling for an overhaul of the clean energy plan. Bill McKibben, author of the first mainstream book about global warming, “The End of Nature” back in 1988, has also criticized Clinton’s plan much like we recently criticized President Obama’s climate change commitment, saying that she does a lot of talking, but doesn’t act as if the environment is a high priority. “Ducking questions about the Canadian tar sands or drilling in the Arctic makes everyone worry we’re going to see eight more years of an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy, which is what we do not need to hear in the hottest year ever measured on our planet.” To McKibben, and to many environmentalists, actions speak louder than words.
More on this story here.