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What exactly is the Green New Deal and what will the effects of climate change look like?

December 17, 2019

The Green New Deal entered the vocabulary of solutions to the climate change conundrum earlier this year. The response to a non-binding proposal introduced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez  and Senator Edward Markey.  There is considerable debate as to the costs and the benefits. These include efficiencies in the electrical grid and updating buildings. Buildings need to retain more heating, cooling, and infrastructure jobs to work toward a goal of carbon neutrality.

Many Americans are not familiar with the projected impacts of climate change and population growth in the United States through 2100. The McHarg Center research at the University of Pennsylvania has introduced their “Atlas for the Green New Deal” inspired by FDR’s New Deal.  The authors of this project remind us that the New Deal was a series of improvisations. It was also experiment in social democracy. The New Deal was also a grand scale project to help lift the US economy out of the Great Depression. 

The US population is expected to grow during this time by at least 100 million people.  There will be 6.7 million people displaced. This is hard to comprehend until you read that is equal to 17 New Orleans. The study explores how cities will have to be developed to accommodate this demand. “If the next 100 million choose to live in a low-density suburban configuration such as Phoenix, which had a population of 1,445,632 in 2010, then 68 new cities would be required, approximately one new Phoenix every 7 months. “  For more illustrations designed to provide data to city planners read more here.

 If you want to see even more take a look at the time lapse graphs. These show the anticipated creep of flood waters expected to inundate London over the next three hundred years if no action is taken. The giant Thames flood barrier defense system completed in 1982 is expected to last only until 2070. It will require the construction of another system further downstream.

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