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Green New Deal Would Barely Change Earth’s Temperature. Here Are the Facts.

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Unread 02.07.19, 01:50 PM
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Green New Deal Would Barely Change Earth’s Temperature. Here Are the Facts.

On 02.07.19 02:40 PM posted by Nicolas Loris

Here’s the most important fact about the Green NewDeal: it wouldn’t work.

Ultimately, fully implementing the Green New Dealwould have no meaningful impact on global temperatures.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. EdMarkey, D-Mass., released their much-anticipated blueprint for a Green New DealThursday.

And make no mistake: if implemented, the Green NewDeal would bring huge changes to our country. According to an FAQput out by Ocasio-Cortez’s office, this New Deal is “a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American societyat a scale not seen since World War 2 to achieve net-zero greenhouse gasemissions.”

The plan additionally asks Americansto “upgrade or replace every building in U.S. for state-of-the-art energyefficiency” and to “build out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stopsbecoming necessary.”

That’s not even all. Farfrom being just an energy and climate resolution, the Green New Deal resolutionis a wish list for big government spending, expansive government control andmassive amounts of wealth distribution. As Ocasio-Corteztold NPR, “the heart of the Green New Deal is about social justice.”

Ultimately, this deal would fundamentally change howpeople produce and consume energy, harvest crops, raise livestock, build homes,drive cars, travel long distances and manufacture goods. And it wouldn’t even work.

GreenNew Deal Wouldn’t Change Climate Significantly

But here’s the key thing: even if Americans were onboard with this radical change in behavior and lifestyle, it wouldn’t changeour climate.

Infact, the U.S. could cut its carbon dioxide emissions 100percent and it would not make a difference in abating global warming.

Usingthe same climate sensitivity (the warming effect of a doubling of carbondioxide emissions) as the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assumesin its modeling, the world would onlybe 0.137 degree C cooler by 2100. Even if we assumedevery other industrialized country would be equally on board, this would merelyavert warming by 0.278 degree C by the turn of thecentury.

Oneof the biggest sources of carbon dioxide emissions is developing countries.

Butwhile one of the priorities of the Green New Deal is to make the U.S. a leadexporter in green technologies, assuming developing countries will forgo cheapabundant carbon-dioxide-emitting energy for more expensive intermittent sourcesis pure fantasy.

Yes,developing countries will likely expand their use of renewable power sourcesover time, but not to the extent it will have any meaningful impact on globaltemperatures. While some countries are shuttering their coal-fired plants,others in both developed and developing countries are building new plants andnew plants and expanding the life of existing generators.

Afterall, affordable, reliable, and widely available energy is essential to liftingpeople out of poverty and improving the life, health and comfort of peopletrying to reach a better standard of living.

AmericansCould Face Hundreds of Dollars in New Energy Costs Monthly

But not only would the Green New Deal be ineffective,it would also almost certainly impose steep costs on Americans, via increasedenergy bills.

The resolution calls for deriving 100percent of America’s electricity from “clean, renewable, and zero-emission”energy sources—a steep increase from the 63 percent of electricity that came from carbondioxide-emitting conventional fuels in 2017. Nuclear power, was responsible foranother 20 percent. But, according tothe FAQ sheet, “The Green New Deal makes new fossil fuelinfrastructure or nuclear plants unnecessary. This is a massive mobilization ofall our resources into renewable energies.”

The proposal also calls for eliminating greenhouse gasemissions from transportation and other infrastructure as much astechnologically feasible. Yet, as recently as 2017, petroleum accounted for 92percent of America’s transportation fuel..

To achievethese targets, the resolution proposes a massive government spending program in addition to carbon dioxide taxes,subsidies, and regulation. How areAmericans going to pay for it?

Don’t worry,theFAQ answers that one: “We will finance the investments for the GreenNew Deal the same way we paid for the original New Deal, World War II, the bankbailouts, tax cuts for the rich, and decades of war – with public moneyappropriated by Congress. Further, government can take an equity stake in GreenNew Deal projects so the public gets a return on its investment.”

Credibly estimating the cost of the Green New Deal forAmerican taxpayers, households and businesses is exceedingly difficult. Even projecting the cost of switching to 100percent renewable power for electricity relies on a set of largely unknowableassumptions. How companies would makelargescale investments to meet the mandate and how intermittent power sourceswould receive backup power is mostly a guessing game. Technological challengesaside, theupfront capital costs would reach trillions of dollars. Trillions ofdollars of energy existing assets (coal, nuclear, natural gas plants, etc.)would be stranded and lost.

In effect, the result would be households potentiallypaying hundredsof dollars more per month in their electricity bill.

GreenNew Deal Could Lead to Millions of Lost Jobs

Even more concerning, the direct impact from higherenergy costs is just a small part of the story. Energy is a necessary inputfor nearly all of the goods and services consumers buy. Consequently, Americanswill pay more for food, healthcare, education, clothes and every other good orservice that requires energy to make and transport.

Infact, Heritage Foundation economists used the Heritage Energy Model, aderivative of the Energy Information Administration’s National Energy ModelingSystem to model the economic impacts of a carbon tax, which Green New Dealadvocates admit would only be one tiny fraction of the entire plan. Each carbontax analysis found an average shortfall of hundreds of thousands of jobs withpeak year unemployment reaching over one million jobs lostand half the job losses coming in energy-intensive manufacturing industries.

Overa twenty-year period, the total income loss would be tens of thousands ofdollars and the aggregate gross domestic product loss would be over $2.5trillion dollars. If policymakers spent,taxed and regulated to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for America’stransportation, agricultural and industrial sectors, the costs would be severalorders of magnitude higher.

Importantly, Americans have little appetite to pay such costs.*In fact, a recent Associated Press poll found that 68 percent of Americans oppose paying an additional $10 per month to fight climate change. The protests in France are quite indicative of how people feel about costly climate policies.*

The Broad Scope ofthe Green New Deal

Furthermore, the Green New Deal would affect a lotmore than energy. Guaranteeinghigh quality health care, education and a job with a family-sustaining wage areall part of this new deal. And don’t forget the egregious amount of spending thatwould result in energy cronyism and corporate welfare on steroids—essentially,taxpayer dollars from hardworking families going to line the pockets of companieslike Tesla and Solyndra.

Don’t worry, though. These Green New Deal proponents do admit they can’t quite get everythingdone in 10 years. According to the FAQsheet “We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of fartingcows and airplanes that fast, but we think we can ramp up renewablemanufacturing and power production, retrofit every building in America, buildthe smart grid, overhaul transportation and agriculture, plant lots of treesand restore our ecosystem to get to net-zero.”

Moderation itself.

In the end, this massivegovernment-planned, taxpayer-funded plan is a raw deal for Americans– and atotally ineffective climate policy.

The post Green New Deal Would Barely Change Earth’s Temperature. Here Are the Facts. appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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