Yesterday, I penned the article, “Teens File Lawsuit Claiming Government Violated Their Rights By Not Addressing Climate Change.” In the article, the relief these children were asking for included the approval of a liquefied natural gas export terminal in Oregon. Natural gas is considered a “fossil fuel” that when burned, contributes to additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Remember, the climate change advocates declared carbon dioxide a “greenhouse gas” that contributes to “climate change.” As we know, humans and some other living creatures expel carbon dioxide in the expiratory phase of the breath cycle, benefitting plants that need it for photosynthesis. In return, plants emit oxygen, a necessary element for humans in the inspiratory phase of the breath cycle.
The climate “church” of Al Gore disregarded the sun and solar activity/cycle as the largest contributor to Earth’s climate choosing to focus on carbon dioxide, a compound expelled by humans and most living creatures as the cause of global warming. It isn’t hard to see why Al Gore would choose carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning and other activities to become his focus. The solution these “climatists” adopted is reducing reliance on fossil fuels through clean energy sources and a “carbon tax” to address climate change. With the solution focusing on a carbon tax directed at much of the western world and reducing fossil fuel consumption, while ignoring China, the solution would effectively fleece money from the western world to cripple the economy while lining the pockets of Gore and his ilk.
The article cited is from 2012 and appeared in The Washington Times. However, it highlighted the math used to debunk the use of a carbon tax for the imaginary carbon dioxide cause of climate change.
Steve Milloy of the Climate Depot wrote:
If you can do simple math, you can figure out that a carbon tax would have no effect other than an inflationary one.
A carbon tax would operate as a new sales tax on goods and services that are produced through or otherwise involve the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas and petroleum products. You might pay the tax in your electric bill, at the gas pump or in the form of higher prices for other goods and services.
The purpose of a carbon tax would be to penalize the use of fossil fuels in hopes of reducing their use and lowering emissions of carbon dioxide, which has been hypothesized by alarmists to have caused global cooling in the 1970s, global warming in the 1980s and 1990s, climate change in the 2000s and extreme weather in the 2010s.
While higher prices for goods and services aren’t inherently evil, their merits must be judged by what consumers and even society get in return. So let’s consider what we might get, climatically speaking, from a carbon tax.
Notice that carbon dioxide was “hypothesized by alarmists to have caused global cooling in the 1970s, ….” So, alarmists pinned carbon dioxide for cooling as well as warming, never accounting for solar activity or the solar cycle, aka the sun’s effect on the Earth’s climate. But, Milloy outlined that a carbon tax led only to one thing – inflation. Remember, Milloy penned this in 2012 and used dates from that viewpoint; however, the math remains pertinent.
To give a carbon tax the maximum advantage in our analysis, we’ll assume it is extremely successful in reducing U.S. carbon emissions to the point where the United States no longer emits into the atmosphere any carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuels. Let’s also imagine that this public-policy wonder has this maximum and magical effect starting as soon as Jan. 1, 2013.
What would be the climatic effect of immediately shutting down the fossil-fuel-based U.S. economy?
Let’s say that U.S. fossil fuel use results in 6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere annually. Let’s further assume, conservatively, that of this 6 billion tons, about 40 percent (2.4 billion tons) stays and accumulates in the atmosphere annually.
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is commonly measured in parts per million, and the weight of carbon dioxide at a concentration of 1 part per million is approximately 7.81 billion metric tons. Simple division, then, shows that the U.S. fossil-fuel-based economy might be adding at most approximately 0.31 parts per million to the atmosphere every year.
If the carbon tax could magically stop U.S. emissions entirely as of 2013, by the year 2100, we would have avoided adding about 27 parts per million (0.31 times 87) of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
That may sound like a lot, but consider that the current level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is about 391 parts per million. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels in 2100 could range from 450 parts per million, with an absolute global clampdown on greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury, to 950-plus parts per million with no clampdown.
Either way, it’s easy to see that a savings of 27 parts per million over 87 years is trivial, particularly in comparison to the cost of shutting down the entire economy, and would make no meaningful difference even if atmospheric carbon dioxide were the driver of global climate that the alarmists claim it is.
For further perspective on the significance of a carbon-dioxide concentration of 27 parts per million, consider that the point at which the atmosphere contained 27 parts per million less than it does now was 1997. Since then, there has been no significant global warming, even according to the alarmists.
Keep in mind, this was an analysis for the united States only. In looking at the numbers, the emissions of all nations of carbon dioxide from 1997 to 2012 only increased the trace gas by 27 parts per million. This number is insignificant considering the normal levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was approximately 391 parts per million in 1997. In April of 2017, it was reported that carbon dioxide levels measured 410 parts per million recorded at the Mauna Loa observatory. Now, not all of this increase in due to man’s burning of fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide release in the atmosphere can be contributed to volcanoes, which have become more active in the last few years, and nuclear power plants.
According to Arnie Gundersen, writing for Fairewinds Energy Education in 2016, stated:
When the first large commercial nuke went on line, global emissions of CO2 were about 16 gigatons (GT) in 1970 and the concentration of CO2 in the air was about 320 ppm. James Hansen and 350.org claim that the world’s CO2 levels must stay below 350 ppm to avoid catastrophic climate change, a level that was exceeded late in the 1980’s. By 2015, well after more than 438 heavily subsidized atomic power plants were constructed worldwide, global emissions from burning fossil fuels have reached 36 GT. The CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has already exceeded 400 ppm and is increasing by about 2 ppm yearly. [emphasis mine. Since we surpassed the 350 ppm of CO2 in the late 1980s, which was supposed to cause catastrophic climate change, one can say the predictions were wrong.]
Nuclear power lobbyists and their marketing firms want us to believe that humankind’s current CO2 atmospheric releases would have been much worse were it not for those 438 nukes now operating. How much worse? The World Nuclear Association industry trade group estimates that an additional 1.1 GT of CO2 would have been created in 2015 if natural gas plants supplied the electricity instead of those 438 nukes.
Do the math! 1.1 additional GT out of 36 GT emitted is only a 3% difference. This 3% value is not a typographical error. Worldwide, all those nukes made only a 3% dent in yearly CO2 production. Put another way, each of the 438 individual nuclear plants contribute less than seven thousandths of one percent to CO2 reduction. That’s hardly enough to justify claims that keeping your old local nuke running is necessary to prevent the sea from rising.
Gundersen highlighted the Paris climate accord as suggesting the construction of additional nuclear power plants, increasing the number worldwide to 1000, as a way to combat the farce of climate change. These plants would need to be completed by the year 2050 to “offset 3.9 GT of CO2.” This means these additional plants would save 6.1%, doing the math (3.9 GT out of 64 GT) which is not significant. The cost of these additional nuclear power plants estimated to be $8.2 trillion dollars – a significant amount economically to save 6.1%. Remember, the US debt is over $21 trillion. And, what are we to do with all that nuclear waste, which is radioactive, damaging to humans and the environment alike? Moreover, these facilities if located in the wrong area are subject to “acts of God” like earthquakes and tsunamis, which could damage the reactors producing another Fukushima. This has not taken into account human error that contributed to the accidents at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.
As with the liquefied natural gas export terminal being a “remedy” identified by the children in their government lawsuit on climate change, these nuclear plants would need to be built using equipment operating on fossil fuels. Moreover, if liquefied natural gas is being exported, which is considered a fossil fuel, who is going to be burning that natural gas? How is that export terminal in Oregon going to alleviate “climate change?”
Remember we have been fantasizing wildly about the effect of a carbon tax. No carbon tax enacted into law — even by an Obama-fearing 113th Congress — would come anywhere close to significantly reducing, much less stopping, fossil-fuel use in the United States.
In reality, goods and services simply would be made to cost more, but the atmosphere — and hence, the climate — would not be affected in any significant way. Consumer dollars would have less purchasing power. This phenomenon is called inflation.
For those berating and criticizing President Trump for pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, the Paris Climate Accord, functioning under false IPCC computer models and data, would have resulted in an increase in inflation without altering the use of fossil fuels significantly or having any impact on “climate change.” Moreover, the expense to transform the electric grid to the nuclear alternative is outlandish. Solar only works when the sun shines filling batteries one hopes will last the night with millions of homes trying to utilize resources. Imagine how big those batteries would need to be and how many would be needed just for one home. Wind is only feasible when the wind blows and it has to be within a certain range – strong or light wind would not operate the turbines effectively to produce enough electricity. Hydroelectric power is limited to large enough body of waters to produce power effectively.
As it stands, the “climate change” initiative is all about money, redistributing of money and taking more from the individuals through increased cost of goods. This is in addition to the huge debt that would be incurred by building more nuclear plants to produce electricity, if the increase in nuclear power plants is adopted. Moreover, Milloy saw this carbon tax plan as a way to seize control of the economy by the former Obama administration. With the government seizing control of the health care insurance industry, seizing control of the economy would be icing on the cake.
It’s obvious these “teens” are responding inappropriately with unfounded emotions, lack of knowledge and a sense of entitlement.