"we're here to back her up in pushing for 100 percent renewable energy." [translation request]

Congressperson-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is quoted as saying:

“But this is about uplifting the voice and the message of the fact that we need a Green New Deal and we need to get to 100 percent renewables because our lives depend on it.”

Firstly, put this quote in your own words.

Meanwhile I will take her for her word.

Do our lives or even the lives of our descendants 1000 years off depend on getting to 100% renewable energy? If so, what is the time-table that Scientists are talking about, because I’m sure Scientists doing Science will tell us what Science says.

Are campfires off the table in this paradigm? Matches? By Science I hope not.

Over a 1000 year span, campfires and matches are renewable.

What is the debate here?

Young Congresswoman-elect uses hyperbole to push renewable energy agenda.



Even if we agree that our lives don’t literally depend this, is it a goal we should be aiming for? Seems like a very topical debate to me.

Let’s take her seriously, but not literally.

“Our lives depend on it” doesn’t necessarily mean that every single life depends on it. If for the sake of argument one grants that increased wildfires and hurricanes are a result of climate change, then lives have already been lost. Does anyone think that “But we wouldn’t all die” would be an adequate rejoinder to the quote?

This. Just a bit of hyperbole. Does the OP have any opinions on this small bit of exuberance?

Aren’t “renewables” in this sense sources of electric power generation by definition? So why the yammering about campfires and matches? How is that taking her for her word?

Breathing in air pollution is not good for your health, especially for the very young and old. A lot of pollution is caused by burning fossil fuels.

So yes, lives depend on it.

No-one is going to lose votes campaigning to make the air cleaner.

Predicting that far ahead is probably futile. Any number of things could wipe your descendants off of the earth before then. Right this second, I have two descendants and got myself snipped, so a lightning strike at the wrong time could do it. In the next thousand years, it seems unlikely that we won’t have at least one global pandemic and that can wipe out your descendants pretty quickly. A war can take them out if it’s at the wrong time and place. Plenty of Syrians alive 20 years ago have no descendants left. With the trend for smaller families, my guess is the biggest threat to your descendants though is just them not bothering to reproduce. Like I said, I have 2, current trends in first world countries put childlessness somewhere around 20 percent and likely to rise, so with 2 kids, it’s probably a 1 in 20 chance that my line ends with them. Due to their race, expected education level and expected income, the chance is likely much higher. Smaller family sizes and decreases in fertility make it so that having no descendants due to failure to procreate a reasonable outcome.

Of course, this isn’t really a question about why your particular genes will cease to be, but rather is the result of climate change going to be human extinction. The answer is… probably not. Humans are really awesome in our ability to adapt and survive. We pretty much can survive and even thrive in almost any ecosystem and that’s even before the introduction of more modern technology. I mean look at the Tuaregs. They survive in the freaking Sahara. Even if we completely have runaway global warming that turns most of the world to barren desert, it’s likely that people will find a way to survive.

That doesn’t mean that we can just smile and burn fossil fuels until there are none left. Most of us want to do more than simply survive. I’m a mountain boy and you could plop me down in the Alleghenies and I could probably make a pretty good run at survival, doesn’t mean I’d like it or I’d wish it upon future generations. I like having food security and fresh water and nice trees and not horrific diseases and deadly storms. Climate change is going to make things harder and that’s the real bottom line. People will die because of it and a fairly decent chance that it will be large amounts of people. Like I said earlier, the Tuareg can survive in the desert, but pre-modern era, it was not a fun existence, with mass starvations not uncommon and a requirement to war with people in better climates for resources. That’s not a life that most of us would want for our hypothetical descendants. So, will climate change make humanity extinct? Probably not. Will it make our lives harder? Definitely so. Will it make our lives significantly harder to the point where survival becomes more of a priority over what we’re doing now? For some people, that’s very, very likely and it’s not out of the realm of probability that that could be so for the majority of humanity.

Damn, I wish that was true.


“I am here to advocate for something.”

“Here’s my opinion.”

“The federal government needs to spend a whole lot of money and completely revamp the economy. Because this is just like the Great Depression.”

“No more fossil fuels.”

“If we don’t do this, we will all die horribly.”

This may not be a good idea.


In 1000 years we will have run out of oil. So we will have to switch to other forms of energy. That won’t take 1000 years. Maybe we will have practical fusion by then, or build a screen around the sun and capture that energy and beam it back to Earth, or maybe we will figure out how to convert matter to energy or maybe something else. If we survive, of course, but global warming isn’t going to kill us all. That’s just politician-speak. If we don’t survive, it won’t be global warming that kills us.

She is trying to kick up hysteria. That’s hardly new, from politicians on both sides of the aisle.



So we shouldn’t take the push for 100% seriously? Good.

No, but the odd thing is this 100% claim.

We shouldn’t take it seriously in my opinion, whether it is hyperbole or not. But I’m glad you guys aren’t taking it seriously and treating it as hyperbole.

I’m assuming she includes replacing combustion engines with electric motors. This was a bit of a joke, but will we be permitted by her ideal government to burn surface fuels for other purposes or will we have to find renewable alternatives?

What’s odd about it? Norway gets 98% of its electricity from renewable sources, and a number of places are at 90%+.

Nothing stated by a politician should be taken 100% seriously. Don’t you know that?

She needs “back up” because there are some very rich and very powerful interests that got that way because of fossil fuels, and who don’t take kindly to “100% renewable energy”. They can’t put a meter on the sun, and that really pisses them off.

I recall Ali G wondering if all of the solar panels in use were depleting the sun’s energy.

WillFarnaby, when GW Bush said he wanted no child left behind, did that mean that he would think we failed if there was we couldn’t teach long division to a brain damaged child who would never progress beyond the mental age of two? No, the goal was to try to increase the proportion of children with basic math and literacy skills.

This is obviously being put forth as an aspiration goal. It’s doubtful that we will reach it in the forseeable future but we should work in that direction. Even as an aspiration 100% was probably probably meant to refer primarily to power plants and factories, and possibly towards moving more ground transportation to electric. I don’t think that she is going to be outlawing kerosene lanterns, or shutting down the Durango/Silvertontrain.

Looking back on all the threads the OP has posted about Republican and/or Trumpian hyperbole, I find