What do the Great Depression and climate change have in common? The former transformed individual lives and geopolitics for generations. Its effects are still felt today. The decade-long catastrophe was arguably the most consequential episode of the 20th Century. Our warming planet will have a similar, likely larger impact on us and on our descendants. It already has started transforming how we live. In 2099, Global Warming (let’s call a spade a spade) will be viewed as the single most significant occurrence of this century—if not of all time.
Gov. Dannel Malloy and the legislature in a bipartisan fashion created the Connecticut Green Bank as part of a stated policy to make energy in Connecticut less expensive, more reliable and sustainable. Let’s not squander the significant progress we have made in pursuit of all three of those goals. The Connecticut Green Bank should not be used as a cash machine to fund general government programs, but as an engine of our future economy.
The on-going state budget challenge is forcing the legislature to grapple with tough challenges. It’s in many ways a no-win situation, but let’s not make it worse by returning to old spending habits instead of investing in new ideas that provide much better returns. Continuing investments in energy efficiency pay off and funding for DEEP is fundamental to keeping Connecticut a clean, healthy, beautiful place to live. But as a member of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Green Bank (CGB), I can’t help but weigh in to remind the legislature that on the side of the spending ledger representing the future, the CGB is an idea that works.
How many economists does it take to change a light bulb? None. The market will take care of it. The Connecticut gubernatorial campaign is gearing up with candidates offering “big ideas.” Sadly, these seem more like the old cereal commercial, “taste Frosted Flakes again, for the very first time.” What is missing from the current political debates is an honest discussion of the values we want to shape our future world.
Our president is presently ensconced in his natural habitat, an exclusive golf course resort in New Jersey. This is truly sad, not merely Twitter-sad.
With this whole glorious country spread before him —from the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam— our leader has chosen to embrace a fake landscape that only the well-to-do can frequent. He won’t be bumping into many wild things, or coal miners, on this trip.
As the state’s budget battle continues, debate over cutting costs and raising revenue has not focused on a promising strategy – ramping up clean energy efforts to grow our way out of the budget problem. Deploying solar and increasing building energy efficiency cuts air pollution, reduces energy costs, creates jobs, and stimulates the state’s economy – all while putting more tax revenue in state coffers. We can help plug the budget gap by strengthening our clean energy economy. The two work together. What we absolutely should not do is raid clean energy funds.
What is there to say about a civilization that ignores the quickening pace of climate chaos? When the margin available for preventing vast damage across a hundred generations is already gone, what is there to say about a people who again and again embrace habits and systems and ideologies that deepen the damage?
As the Malloy administration and state legislators negotiate a new FY18-FY19 biennial budget, many residents will directly be affected by the cuts made to public programs they depend on. There is, however, one decision that can still be made that would not increase the deficit, and be greatly appreciated by Connecticut residents—enactment of the bipartisan Passport to Parks.
As we try to address our state budget crisis, one option proposed by the Senate Republicans should be off the table: sweeping $136 million over the next two fiscal years from the utility ratepayer-funded Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund to the state’s General Fund.
It is now clear that President Donald Trump and the Republican majority in Congress are intent on destroying all controls on greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions are primarily the carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels and producing cement; however, a significant amount of the emissions come from methane. The leakage of natural gas, which is 97 percent methane, is a major contributor to this.
Nuclear power was once considered “too cheap to meter.” The “peaceful atom” was a spurious claim spread by nuke proponents, with little public opposition, after the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Dominion Energy, owner of the Millstone nuclear plant, has failed to convince our Connecticut General Assembly that it needs a new deal to ensure long-term profits. The defeat signals another corporate myth that’s been debunked. Dominion and its welfare scheme is “a toxic brand now, literally radioactive,” said Rep. Lonnie Reed, co-chair of the Energy Committee last week. “Let’s let it go and figure out a new way.”
An important national debate is playing out in Hartford right now as the Connecticut General Assembly is currently considering a state Constitutional Amendment about the future of the Connecticut’s public lands. S.J. 39 would prevent the state from transferring, swapping, or selling state-owned lands without appropriate public input — and if it passes, it will further demonstrate Connecticut’s long history of valuing our parks, wildlife areas, waterbodies, and open spaces.