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!