There’s financial ‘peril’ in climate fight, too

There’s financial ‘peril’ in climate fight, too

Kevin O’Neill in his guest opinion “A Time of Great Peril,” (May 9-15) made an impassioned plea in support of the goal to “eliminate 50 percent of pollutants from fossil fuels by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050.” He closes his piece by asking, “When our grandchildren ask, ‘What did you do to stop climate change?’ I want to say, ‘Everything I could.’” Nice touch, Kevin. Alas, the appeal to emotion over research and analysis when it comes to complex issues seems to be the flavor of the day.

However, Mr. O’Neill left several key constraints out of his piece:

One, what he is suggesting is logistically impossible. But don’t take my word for it. Here are a few articles you can read (free and available on the internet): “Roadmap to Nowhere” – Mike Conley and Tim Maloney (trigger warning: the authors are big supporters of nuclear energy, as am I); “The New Energy Economy: An Exercise in Magical Thinking” – Mark P Mills; “The 100 Percent Renewable Energy Myth” – Institute for Energy Research; and “Evaluation of a Proposal for Reliable Low-Cost Grid Power” – Christopher Clack (very technical – not for the fainthearted. You can just look at the conclusion). If you need more empirical evidence, just look at what’s happening in Germany and Australia, two countries that embraced renewables early on.

The other thing that Mr. O’Neill left out is the price of pursuing these goals. It would cost this country several trillion dollars. And this doesn’t include the trillions that the United Nations expects us to pay Third World countries. Presumably this would allow Asia to develop even more coal-fired plants than they already have in the works. I guess we could come up with the money if we eliminated, say, our welfare system, social security, medical research, all industry not specifically devoted to the manufacture of solar panels and wind turbines, etc. (P.S.: Here’s some more homework for you: look up the list of the top 10 manufacturers of solar panels and wind turbines.)

Further, assuming that Mr. O’Neill is not including nuclear in his mix, so-called green energy (solar, wind, EVs) is in many ways ecologically harmful and the decarbonization impact far more negligible than you might think. A far more sensible mix, and one that’s economically feasible, is nuclear, natural gas and hybrids.
Here’s the bottom line: after we’ve spent all that money we will find out that we had miniscule to no impact on the temperature. Again, don’t just take my word for this. Look at the Carbon Tax Temperature-Savings Calculator (Cato Institute) and plug in your own numbers.

So when our grandchildren ask why we devoted all those resources and drastically reduced our standard of living to fight climate change, and ultimately “lost,” what will we tell them, that we didn’t do our homework? No, that seems to be the special province of government. You owe it to yourselves and your children and grandchildren to become better informed. The stakes are bigger than you may realize.

Ed Monaco