Two Percent by 2050!
December 14, 2009 Environment

Remember that climate activists want us to reduce global CO2 emissions by 80% (from 1990 levels) by 2050. They argue that if we all just used a few squiggly light bulbs and carpooled a few times a week we could get there. I suppose it is possible.

However, the CBO just released its study of the impact on American GDP of the proposed “American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.” This act is going to get the US or the world nowhere near 80% by 2050. In fact, if it even got us to 5% by 2050 it would be a miracle. So for an act so futile, how much should we spend to see it happen?


The midrange of the CBO estimates are that it will cost us 2% of real GDP by then. Making an extremely conservative assumption that US GDP would double by that time to roughly $30 trillion, a cost of 2% represents a $600 billion per year expenditure. Now, you can argue that we will be rich then, so that is not a big deal. But those are still $600 billion in real resources. Consider that today’s National Park and Forest Service budget combined is less than $10 billion; consider the fact that today’s education budgets (combined) are less than half this amount; and so on. Given that there will inevitably other priorities that are important, would YOU decide to spend $600 billion on a symbolic and pork-ridden act that will not do a darn thing to help the climate?

Now that’s progressive!

"2" Comments
  1. Was_gonna_go_premed

    Do you think global warming is not a problem? Or do you just not like how the government is handling it?

  2. Was gonna go premed,

    I don’t think anyone knows that answer. And that’s a complex question, unanswerable by a yes or no.

    Whether or not it is a problem is beside the point. The question is what can be done about the weather. The IPCC has suggested the solution is to reduce carbon dioxide, in particular the product of the combustion that fuels the United States. They don’t really want us to ride bicycles, but rather to be taxed for the privelege of burning carbon fuels, regardless of how efficiently we do it. The object is to get our money to pay for their millenia of failure.

    Their science is unconvincing. Saying that is not the same thing as acknowledging that CO2, has some effect, but since it is .0375% of the atmosphere, one would say it has a negligible effect. When one comes up with a theory that it’s causing all the ice to melt away five summers from now, well, that sounds like a completely crackpot idea that requires convincing proof.

    At this juncture, the response has been to change the subject. Well, it’s not just CO2, but methane too that comes from flatulent cows, except cows are not flatulent, something a lawyer from the Environmental Defense Fund would not know, but then they shift to conceding it comes from cow flops, further evidence government has to take over the animal kingdom. Anything to get away from the loopy idea that reducing the product of combustion will keep the north pole frozen.

    To defend this idea, you not only have to quantify it, but also explain all sorts of things, including how the plant kingdom responds to the animal kingdom’s production of carbon dioxide. Since you were almost a pre-med, surely you took a few biology courses that would raise these questions.

    Instead, the IPCC folks say trust us, we looked at the data, and the ice cap is melting, so you have to send us your money. When they are asked for data, they say the dog ate their homework.

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