“Carbon pollution conjures up images prior to the 1960s when coal was burned without environmental controls in electric power generation; there was train transportation and city-operated district heating systems; there was home heating and cooking with vast amounts of soot strewn over snow in the winter; and when laundry was dried outside and cars parked outside too. In reality carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels is a positive benefit to society as explained by Princeton University Emeritus Professor William Happer in The Myth of Carbon Pollution.”
British journalist Tim Montgomerie recently wrote in The Times (UK), “Our energy policy is insane: this the inconvenient truth.” I could not have found a better title for the Obama-led, and too often Republican supported, energy policies at home.
Montgomerie described the plight of those in the United Kingdom saddled with energy policies that take money from poor pensioners and give it to wealthy landowners who profit from wind farms. The nation is left with an unreliable energy system that produces virtually no reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and leaves the country with a reliance on odious oil and coal exporting regimes.
He added: “There’s always been a lot of money to be made from exaggerating danger and selling fear.”
A portion of his article tellingly stated:
The real casualties of the West’s green policies aren’t the poor in this country but in the developing world. Aid money that could be going to tackle malaria or to build a health infrastructure capable of containing Ebola often goes to dubious green projects. Barack Obama has stopped US aid from helping build any new coal-fired power plants. This policy will literally kill people. The alternative to fossil fuels for many poor nations isn’t expensive renewable energy but no fuel at all. And no fuel at all means no refrigeration for medicines in health clinics and no warmth for very poor families on freezing nights.
Jude Clemente’s Take
A June 29, 2014, article in Forbes “Electrify Africa and Save Hundreds of Millions of Lives” by Jude Clemente quantifies the tragedies of life living in Sub-Sahara Africa because of electricity shortages.
One factor for shortages is the environmental movement’s demands that electricity generation be fossil-fuel free. Of particular interest is the table Africa’s Forgotten Calamity: Electricity Deprivation, which shows President Obama, Secretaries of State Clinton and Kerry, and former Vice President Gore making speeches in Africa referencing global warming and failing to mention problems of electricity shortages.
Seventy percent of the people in Sub-Saharan Africa are without electricity and thus denied access to clean water and sewage treatment, refrigeration, lighting, healthy cooking, enclosed homes with heat and air conditioning, etc., that follows from adequate electricity supply. The banning of DDT in Africa allows the spread of malaria throughout Africa with hundreds of millions sickened and annual deaths estimated at over 600,000.
Back to Climate Alarmism
Environmentalists within the Democrat Party like Al Gore and Tim Wirth subscribed to catastrophic anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (CAGW) in the late 1980s. CAGW is caused by increased atmospheric carbon dioxide coming from the burning of fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, and coal.
They gained further support after the United Nations formed the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UNIPCC), which produced a series of 5 Assessment Reports released since 1990 with the most recent in 2014.
These documents are accepted without question. CAGW proponents argue that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide has caused increased heat waves, record high temperatures, flooding, drought, wildfires, reduced snowfall, tornadoes, hurricanes, sea level rise, Arctic ice melting, etc.
A host of data shows all catastrophic events allegedly caused by CAGW occurred in the past when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were lower and constant. For many weather events, rates of occurrences recently declined.
The U. S. government provides data on various climate events that CAGW proponents claim have increased–heat waves, record high temperatures, flooding, drought, wildfires, reduced snowfall, tornadoes, hurricanes, sea level rise, and Arctic ice melting. Inspection of the data shows CAGW claims are false or exaggerated.
Omitted from the data released by climate alarmists is satellite global temperature data showing there has been no global warming since the super El Nino in the Spring1998. Some may protest global temperature data from NOAA and NASA GISS claim 2014 monthly temperatures were highest in recorded history. Their data has had adjustments producing higher temperatures that are false. Another factor omitted is that Antarctic sea ice in September 2014 is at the highest level since satellite measurements started in 1979.
The Green Greenhouse Gas
Due to the lack of global warming since 1998, those pushing this insanity have changed CAGW to catastrophic anthropogenic climate change (CACC). Along with this mislabeling, carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are now labeled by the EPA and President Obama as “carbon pollution.”
Carbon pollution conjures up images prior to the 1960s when coal was burned without environmental controls in electric power generation; there was train transportation and city-operated district heating systems; home heating and cooking with vast amounts of soot strewn over snow in the winter; and when laundry was dried outside and cars parked outside too.
In reality carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels is a positive benefit to society as explained by Princeton University Emeritus Professor William Happer in his October 15, 2014, lecture “The Myth of Carbon Pollution.” Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is an airborne fertilizer that causes increased plant growth, larger plant root systems that decrease plant water demands, and decreases in plant water expiration which also decreases plant water demands. The slight increase in global warming by increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is a positive benefit producing longer growing seasons.
A report on social benefits of carbon dioxide for agriculture alone is estimated at $3.2 trillion from 1961 to 2011. Benefits from 2012 to 2050 are estimated $9.8 trillion. These economic benefits from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide make any suggested economic benefits from carbon dioxide curtailment by the EPA, President Obama, or others irrelevant.
Carbon dioxide measurements show increasing amplitude of annual changes over the four seasons with increasing carbon dioxide levels. This indicates annual increasing global plant material. The ‘greening’ of the planet allows less land area required for human subsistence and more space returned to ‘Nature’. The 90 part per million increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide since 1950 may have enabled the planet to feed the huge population growth from 2.5 billion in 1950 to over 7 billion in 2013.
Since 1990, the cost to U. S. taxpayers from research attempting to prove CAGW, propaganda promoting CAGW, and carbon dioxide emissions reduction programs like renewable energy sources have to exceed one trillion dollars. Annual costs today must exceed $100 billion.
One example of spending is EPA’s grants to a variety of organizations such as governments, businesses, and non-profit organizations called non-government organizations (NGOs). Their database shows grants for the past ten years, including earlier grants that started before that time and still continuing, are 34,208 for a total cost of $58.724 billion.
Some information about state subsidies is found in the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy & Efficiency (DSIRE) established in 1995. One example is California’s Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) designed to fund innovations in clean energy. Since 2001 SGIP has dispersed $977 million.
A New Congress
Can temporary political majorities do the right thing inside the Beltway? Yesterday’s post at Master Resource by Daniel Mitchell, Inside the Belly of the Beast, described the challenge.
Those of us outside the Beltway have an educational opportunity that must confront and defeat climate alarmism and the bad energy policy premised on it.