Issues & Insights

There’s Nothing The U.S. Can Do To Affect Global Temperature

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Despite zero evidence that human greenhouse gas emissions are harming Earth, the Democrats, cheered by the media, continue to enact energy policies they say are necessary for saving our world. But all they’re doing is increasing energy scarcity, which forces prices higher, and ignoring facts that don’t fit their narrative.

America’s worst energy policy offender is California, where the ever-eager-to-mandate-and-forbid ruling class is outlawing automobiles that burn fossil fuels, halting electricity generation from conventional sources, and executing a war on gas stations.

It’s all so entirely pointless. California’s humanity produces only about 1% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. If the state fell into the ocean tomorrow, as some have predicted it will (it won’t), the world thermometer wouldn’t be moved one bit.

The story is the same for the entire country.

“Here’s the most important fact about the Green New Deal: It wouldn’t work,” says the Heritage Foundation’s Nicolas Loris. “Ultimately, fully implementing the Green New Deal would have no meaningful impact on global temperatures.”

Yet if enacted, the law would nevertheless “bring huge changes to our country,” Loris continues, as it “is a wish list for big government spending, expansive government control, and massive amounts of wealth distribution.” It would also allow progressives to implement their twisted definition of “social justice.”

“This deal would fundamentally change how people produce and consume energy, harvest crops, raise livestock, build homes, drive cars, travel long distances, and manufacture goods,” says Loris. But “even if Americans were on board with this radical change in behavior and lifestyle, it wouldn’t change our climate.” 

How can he make such a statement? Because his colleague Kevin Dayaratna ran the numbers – and put them before Congress during a 2017 House committee hearing.

“We simulated the environmental impact of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from the United States completely,” Dayaratna said in testimony.

“Simulation results indicate that if all carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide emissions were to be eliminated from the United States completely, the result in terms of temperature reductions would be less than 0.2 degrees Celsius, 0.03 degrees Celsius, and 0.02 degrees Celsius, respectively. These temperature reductions would also be accompanied by minuscule changes in sea level rise (less than 2-centimeter reduction).”

This isn’t hard to understand when it’s put next to the fact that more than half of the world’s human greenhouse gas emissions are produced by 25 cities, all but two of them in China, none of them in the U.S.

It’s truly asinine to believe that Washington and our state lawmakers can do anything about greenhouse gas emissions when China and India have been busy building hundreds of coal plants and that, as of last year, 350 coal-fired power plants were under construction worldwide. China – which, we must point out, produces most of the solar panels installed in the West in factories powered by that country’s “mountain” of coal – is not going to yield to John Kerry’s embarrassing begging that it cut emissions. Beijing will do only what it wishes.

But then so will America’s climate alarmist policymakers. The difference between them and China’s leaders is that the Chinese want to move their economy ahead by using cheap and reliable energy sources, while our “leaders” are determined to reverse the advances that fossil fuel energy has brought this country, the West, and the world, no matter how much it hurts.

And for no reason at all, since nothing they can do will have an impact on the climate. It does, however, allow them to stroke their egos, something few of them can live without.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.

6 comments

  • There is nothing anyone can do to alter the evolution of the Earths Climate! It has changed many times in several billion years. Whatever the changes it is up to us to ADAPT!

  • Who in their right mind wants to rely on breezes and sunshine for a continuous uninterruptible supply of electricity? Intermittent electricity from breezes and sunshine, has not, and will not, run the economies of the world, as electricity alone is unable to support the prolific growth rates of the medical industry, military, airlines, cruise ships, supertankers, container shipping, and trucking infrastructures to meet the demands of the exploding world population.

    Only healthy and wealthy countries like the USA, Germany, Australia, and the UK can subsidize electricity from breezes and sunshine, and intermittent electricity at best. The 80 percent of the 8 billion on earth living on less than 10 dollars a day cannot subsidize themselves out of a paper bag. Those poorer countries must rely on affordable and abundant coal for reliable electricity, while residents in the healthy and wealthier countries pay dearly for those subsidies with some of the highest cost for electricity in the world.

    • You are correct. Intermittent is the key word. The real costs of RE is not the panels and turbines. The real cost involves intermittency. Supporters of RE only talk about the direct cost of panels and turbines. The real costs are massive networks of lossy transmission, almost 100% backup power generation capacity and/or energy storage capacity, negative energy pricing involving payment of other utilities to consume excess energy produced when production exceeds demand, complex control systems to balance energy production/demand, costly maintenance (very labor intensive) to maintain far flung turbines and solar panels, large excess wind/solar plants to cover for periods of very low production, and unsightly and environmentally harmful usage of land by turbines and solar panels. As the grid becomes more saturated with RE, these costs increase beyond linear levels. Who would design an energy system in which the system hardly produces when most desperately needed (look at wind energy production on hot summer afternoons in Texas for this madness)? No one has any idea about cost and feasibility of 100% RE grid.

  • Get off of American’s backs and go talk to China and India if you climate people are really concerned. That’s where the pollution is coming from. Maybe it will make you feel better. It won’t change anything of course. One of those forest fires in California put more smoke into the atmosphere than any business does. Climate is weather! We will always have WEATHER!! Some cold cycles and some hot cycles. It’s call nature! We need heat and power to survive and we need dependable sources. You greenies want to live with wind and solar only, fine go do it, but leave the rest of us alone.

  • In other words, do what maximizes GDP now and to heck with the billions of people who will suffer for subsequent centuries?
    As for no effective action how about slap a 50% tariff on China until it stops building coal plants?

  • Gore, DiCaprio, Redford, David(Laurie),Travolta Etc need to go live on a Island without any of their little convences

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