September 18, 2021

Joe Biden’s Climate Denialism

In anticipation of the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, a two-day global gathering of more than 40 world leaders, President Joe Biden declared that the United States had a “moral imperative” to adopt an “ambitious” goal of cutting greenhouse-gas emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2030 and 100% by 2050.

Such an effort, if we were serious about it, would entail massive destruction of wealth, a surrender of our international trade advantages, the creation of a hugely intrusive state-run bureaucracy at home, the inhibition of free markets that have helped make the world a cleaner place and a precipitous drop in the living standards of most citizens — especially the poor.

Of course, it should be said that those who oppose the expansion of fracking and nuclear energy — most elected Democrats, it seems — aren’t even remotely serious about “tackling” carbon emissions, anyway. Around 80% of American energy is generated by fossil fuels and nuclear right now. Around 20% is generated by “renewables” — predominantly wind and hydropower (which is unavailable in most places). Only around 2% of our portfolio consists of inefficient and unreliable solar power — this, even after decades of subsidies and mandates.

A recent Pew poll found that among adults whose jobs can be conveniently performed online, 54% would like to continue working from home after the pandemic is over. The discovery of the photovoltaic effect goes back to 1888. President Jimmy Carter declared a national “Sun Day” in 1978 and put 30 solar panels atop the White House. One of those panels is now on display at the Science and Technology Museum in China — not only the top producer of solar panels and carbon emissions but also the nation that would most benefit from the United States’ unilateral economic capitulation.

To reach Biden’s goal, the United States would need to envelop most of the nation in panels and windmills and then rely on enormous Gaian prayer circles — may she grant us sunshine and gale-force winds. We would be compelled to eliminate most air travel and cars — making new ones produces lots of carbon emissions — and retrofit every home, factory, warehouse and building in America to utilize this type of energy. We would need to dramatically cut back on our meat and dairy intake as well.

“The signs are unmistakable, the science undeniable,” Biden claimed. “Cost of inaction keeps mounting.” Now, I realize that people repeat these contentions with religious zeal, but the evidence is extraordinarily weak. For one thing, there is action. Market innovations keep creating efficiencies all the time. For another, we live in the healthiest, most equitable, most prosperous, most safe and most peaceful era in human existence. Affordable fossil fuels have done more to eliminate poverty than all the redistributionist programs ever concocted. By nearly every quantifiable measure, the environment is also in better shape now than it was 20, 30 or even 50 years ago. A lot of that is grounded by an economy that relies on affordable energy. Also, though every weather-related event is framed in a cataclysmic way, not that long ago, being killed by the climate was serious concern for most people. Today, it is incredibly rare.

Progressives, however, regularly maintain that we are facing an existential crisis. One might point out that science’s predictive abilities on climate have been atrocious. But really, these days, “science” is nothing but a cudgel to push leftist policy prescriptions with little consideration for tradeoffs, reality, or morality.

The Malthusian fanaticism that’s been normalized in our political rhetoric is also denialism. “Science,” as the media and political class now practice it, has become little more than a means of generating apprehension and fear about progress. It is the denial of the modern technology and competitive markets which continue to allow human beings to adapt to organic and anthropogenic changes in the environment. Even people who mimic doomsday rhetoric seem to understand this intuitively. The average American says they are willing to spend up to $177 a year to avoid climate change, not the approximately $177,000,000 per person it would cost to set arbitrary dates to get rid of a carbon-energy economy.

The choice we’re given now pits a thriving open economy against an economy weighed down by centralized (and unratified) worldwide climate-change treaties such as the Paris climate agreement that put little burden on growing economies such as China and India, and all of it on you.

What does that burden look like? After shutting down a large chunk of its economy in 2020, and spending trillions to keep those affected afloat and avert a depression, the United States emissions only fell by 13%. Imagine what 50% might entail. When confronted with these nagging specifics, we often hear how these are aspirational goals. Why would we aspire to make life worse for billions of people?

David Harsanyi is a senior writer at National Review and the author of the book “First Freedom: A Ride Through America’s Enduring History With the Gun.” To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2021 CREATORS.COM

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4 months ago

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4 months ago

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Rachel (@guest_1227638)
4 months ago

Where is the accountability of all those people working from home also there are millions of Americans that would like to get out in the world and work if small businesses had not been shut down during the Coronavirus is schools would open up there would be more jobs what about the poor Americans are getting poorer and poorer as the days go by. Lazy America should be the new motto

Stephen Russell (@guest_1227643)
4 months ago

None drive EVs or have homes “eco equipped” etc Yet just lecture US.
No deal.
& Then we cut back on emissions while China & Russia go full Bore

AltAlt (@guest_1227708)
4 months ago

In that case anyone under 40 will get to enjoy dying a slow death from the climate disaster. But the UnAmerican Digest sycophants lap up this thinking.

Rick (@guest_1227805)
4 months ago

Gotta Love it ! the left is going to cut off their noses despite their faces, I have wind and solar, screw em…. the electric meter is the next to Go, Then The well comes back online (cant drink the water from the city pipes anyway ), The Home will be 100 yards further back ( not moving the poles ), and the cows and sheep eat 10% seaweed ( It Cuts gas emissions anyway ), I’ll have steaks And Lamb-chops Y’all can have AOC , and Harris to eat, You Voted for them you got them You Zero’s !

Debbie (@guest_1227905)
4 months ago

This is ridiculous…China n india are the greatest contributors of emissions n other bad stuff to the world…do not go after America n it’s citizens… God will determine when the world will end not the climate

Debbie (@guest_1227911)
4 months ago

This is ridiculous…China n india are the greatest contributors of emissions n other bad stuff to the world…do not go after America n it’s citizens… God will determine when the world will end not the climate… I have not left a duplicate message…this is first time regarding climate

Janice (@guest_1227917)
4 months ago

These ‘so called Christians’ in Congress evidently have never read the Bible. They aren’t in control of the climate-emissions or no emissions. God is the one in control. If we were in control, the Bible would have mentioned what we need to do about it. It’s also not going to destroy the world because God is going to do that, too, when he is ready with a fervent heat. This is another ‘control’ tactic. When are people going to quit listening to all that garbage, or are the majority of people really that stupid?

Willie1955 (@guest_1233114)
Reply to  Janice
4 months ago

It’s not the majority, its the whiney younger generations who are taught this doomsday BS in the indoctrination centers which used to be known as institutes of higher learning. Since the dawn of mankind they have not damaged the environment as much as one volcanic eruption. True scientists know and claim the earth goes thru cycles of heating up and cooling off which they have also stated the earth hasn’t warmed up 1tenth of 1 degree in the last 60 years. So basically its the uninformed who believe the part that man is to blame for natural phenomenon.

Len Collings (@guest_1232838)
4 months ago

The fact is the United States only produces15% of the world’s total production of CO2 even if we reduced it to Zero it would make no difference in the climate of the world.

high speed internet (@guest_1233819)
4 months ago

I every time used to read paragraph in news papers but now as I am a user of internet thus from now I am using net for content, thanks to web.

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