This is part six of seven parts; all prior parts are on our website: www.mllg.us. The global nature of climate is of supreme importance and is where we begin.
Global Scope of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Climate intrinsically is global. Unilateral actions by the USA, and even by the entire western world, are insignificant because the west already has taken stringent measures vis-a-vis the rest of the world. If the USA went totally carbonless, the effect would be 29 parts per million in emissions by 2100 and would result in no discernible difference in temperature. A billion people still are without electricity and population will grow 3.6 billion by 2100 – nearly all outside the west. This moots any climate actions that exclude China, India, Africa and the rest of the non-western world.
A closely related issue is carbon dioxide leakage. When western nations impose unilateral measures to reduce CO2, it usually “leaks” or shifts to less developed nations resulting in no net reduction. Emissions often increase because less developed nations are energy inefficient. When economic activity shifts from the USA to say Bangladesh, our emissions go down but global emissions increase. Earth would be much better off if manufacturing remained in the USA, even if our own emissions stayed higher.
The Green New Deal (“GND”)
The environmental movement took a sharp left turn after the fall of the USSR. Former commies, with nowhere to go, infiltrated the green movement becoming watermelon environmentalists, i.e. green on the outside and red on the inside. But their goals never changed; now they are trying to achieve them by hijacking climate change.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, said: “The interesting thing about GND is that it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all . . . we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” The GND is like a progressive wish list; it includes: (1) family sustaining wage; (2) medical leave; (3) family leave; (4) paid vacations; (5) retirement security; (6) health care; (7) affordable housing; (8) anti-discrimination measures; and (9) pro union provisions. The GND opposes every reliable, affordable and abundant form of energy and costs up to $100 trillion. The Green New Deal doesn’t protect America against an existential threat; it is one!
Why Green Energy (Renewals) is Not the Future
Green energy is not our future. No one says it out loud because they are too busy virtue signaling; but their actions speak. Across the world, nations (including Sweden, Germany and the USA) have concluded green energy can’t ever supply their needs and are busy adding massive amounts of fossil fuels to the grid. Warren Buffet just invested an additional $10 billion in oil and gas resources. Despite massive subsidies, green energy remains too expensive and nations cannot risk running out of electricity.
It all comes down to the physics of energy. Technical innovations cannot solve the fundamental problems of green energy; they are inherent in nature. We can make more and bigger solar panels and wind turbines, but we can’t make the sun shine or the wind blow more often. Also, wind and solar must be 100% backed by fossil fuel capacity.
The cost of wind and solar has deceased but there is little room for further savings. Battery technology has run up against immutable natural limits. Wind and solar are not energy dense, require lots of land and are not economically competitive even with huge subsidies. Fossil fuels are not an existential threat, they are an existential resource.
Adaptation is Preferable to Mitigation
Mitigation means lowering temperature via human action and is wrongheaded because: (1) Nobel Laureate William Nordhaus demonstrated the best policy is to do nothing; (2) there is a significant chance mankind is not causing warming and mitigation would be wasted; (3) the world will be much richer in many decades when potential warming problems may surface; (4) mankind always has been adapting to climate; (5) spending a dollar today costs much more (present value) than spending a dollar in the distant future; and (6) adaptation can much more precisely target spending to specific identifiable problems instead of indiscriminate spending on mitigation.
Adaptation is safer and more cost-effective. Mankind, as it has since time immemorial, will adapt to whatever curve balls climate may throw at us. Besides, market economies work incredibly well to solve any challenges facing humanity.
You won’t want to miss the final part of Climate of Confusion on November 10th.