6. Why the GND tries to solve everything
The new episode of the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast is a chat with Rhiana Gunn-Wright of New Consensus, a very young think tank that's influential in the GND movement.
Why it matters: The GND is dominating the conversation in climate policy and politics right now, and a number of top-tier Democratic White House hopefuls have signed on.
The intrigue: One interesting part of the podcast explores the connective tissue between an aggressive emissions-cutting plan and provisions like jobs guarantees and sweeping health care goals.
- One connection is the idea of creating more fluidity in the labor force to enable widespread participation in climate-friendly sectors. Gunn-Wright notes that people are often wedded to their jobs because of employer-sponsored health care.
- “We recognize that there has to be a supportive system in order for people to take these new jobs that are coming out to create, possibly, more flexibility in the labor market if we are going to need people to be moving from particular industries into other industries,” she said.
- She covers the same ground and more in this Twitter thread.
In terms of the politics of the climate plan, she argues that if it can be enacted, it would be less vulnerable to subsequent attacks because it's tethered to providing wider jobs and health care gains.
- “They understand that it is packaged together. We think that that could create a bit more durability too,” she said.
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There were two other weekend news bites on GND that caught my eye...
This long Twitter thread by tech expert and author Ramez Naam has a whole bunch of thought-provoking observations and criticisms.
- One criticism is that the GND isn't structured to help further push down tech costs in a way that spurs faster uptake in other countries.
- He also wants to see more emphasis on wringing emissions out of agriculture and industry.
- Naam floats an idea I hadn't heard before — to create an ag-focused agency modeled after the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (he calls it ARPA-A).
- He'd also like to see an ARPA-I (for industry) focused on steel, cement and other manufacturing.
This Bloomberg opinion piece by Noah Smith says the costs for the social programs in the plan (and in the online FAQs that ended up being taken down) could lead the GND to "spend the U.S. into oblivion."