Ralph welcomes two energy experts who span the far ends of the age spectrum, first 29 year old, Rhiana Gunn-Wright, one of the chief architects of the Green New Deal, and then 93 year old David Freeman, former head of the Tennessee Valley Authority. They both talk about the Green New Deal and the bright future of renewable energy.
Rhiana Gunn-Wright is the policy director for New Consensus, a think tank based in Chicago. A Rhodes Scholar, Ms. Gunn-Wright has also worked as a policy analyst for a number of organizations, including the Detroit Health Department and as a policy intern for First Lady Michelle Obama. At New Consensus, she recently co-authored the research paper “The Green New Deal: Mobilizing for a Just, Prosperous, and Sustainable Economy,” which was published in January of this year.
“A lot of people think that the Green New Deal – particularly the second half where we talk about a jobs guarantee and universal health care, education and training – as just sort of this progressive boondoggle. But the truth is those things were chosen because we were trying to think about: what are the labor conditions now? How are families set up? How will that change if ideally you end up with full employment? What is necessary for people to thrive, and how do you structure that equitably? And how can you be thinking about the social safety net in terms of re-investing in communities that have been disinvested in? So, basically, policy has been used to disempower people. How do you use it to empower them?”
Rhiana Gunn-Wright, one of the architects of the Green New Deal
David Freeman is an engineer, an attorney, and an author, who has been called an “ecopioneer” for his environmentally conscious leadership of both the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. He is also a noted anti-nuclear activist and the author of a number of books on energy policy, including Winning Our Energy Independence and his latest All Electric America.
“I divide the world into two categories… There are the dumb deniers of climate and then there are the intelligent deniers. They’re the folks that can make a good speech about how horrible the climate crisis is and then propose absolutely nothing that Mother Nature will notice. All of these things that we’ve been doing in the past that seem so brave are just not enough now.”
S. David Freeman, author of All Electric America