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Getting to a Carbon-Free Economy [Jeffrey Sachs / American Prospect]

December 11, 2019


On a more positive note, here is a hefty 6000 word article, from the prominent reformist voice of Jeffrey Sachs. It details out a somewhat specific timeline for de-carbonizing the US economy and also an order-of-magnitude cost estimate, as reckoned by some of his colleaguesWorth Reading.

I especially like that in many cases, he is in favor of direct legal elimination rather than carbon-pricing methods. I think his analysis of the timeline, especially for vehicles and electric generation is legit. That is, it is possible. 2050 and a 30 years plan means starting next year. The cost estimate of 1% of GDP over that time seems optimistic. We’re talking full-court press, unified effort by government and industry, the first decade spent in a crash program to develop the required technologies (esp. hydrogen-cell energy storage). I don’t see either a Trump administration or a Biden administration as willing to even consider this.

But it is good to see the subject taken seriously yet with some realism. It is also good to see the discussion in long form. That is the only way to really do it.


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