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Climate Alarmism Is Now a Real Economic Threat to the US

July 12, 2019

Climate alarmism is probably the most insidious, largest, and most dangerous scam ever perpetrated on the American public and most of the developed world.

Climate alarmism is probably the most insidious, largest, and most dangerous scam ever perpetrated on the American public and most of the developed world. Unless brought down by reality, it is now reaching such dimensions that it could even end the position of the current developed countries as the primary engine for economic and technological progress. Instead, the dictates of climate alarmism may eventually consume as much as half of the resources available and yield nothing but climate virtue signalling. Western Europe has been badly impacted by the climate scam, and is no longer providing the technical and economic leadership that it long has. The United States has been adversely affected by all the money it wastes on economically inferior renewables but the current fiscal stimulus is great enough to obscure it except in very blue states such as California. Here energy prices have increased substantially and some workers are moving elsewhere on a net basis.

In terms of countries, if the scam continues and expands, the “old” developed countries will be the primary losers because they will spend much more for energy of much lower quality. One proposal, the Green New Deal (GND), advocates spending about half of US national product on this virtue signalling over the next ten years That means real output will fall by half since virtue signalling is the only alleged useful product of this half. If the US decides to implement the GND as the Democratic Party wants, it will suffer the consequences. But at least two large countries will gain, China and India, since they are rapidly expanding their already large numbers of coal-fired power plants and are doing so based on their underdeveloped county status (how China made it into this group is unclear to me). I believe that every country in the world should be able to build the lowest cost, most useful power plants, but the case of India is particularly compelling. China, India, and other less developed countries will have much lower energy costs and thereby be able to attract more customers for their products by their lower energy prices.

It is thus rather clear that climate alarmism will help China and India gain economically from radical decarbonization proposed by the developed world. It is not clear whether the US will remain outside the Paris Treaty if Trump loses in 2020. This could lead to a calamitous reduction in US economic strength relative to China particularly. US energy independence has been accomplished during the Trump Administration, but could be rapidly eroded by a Democratic President or Congress if they decided to try to end fracking or oil production on public lands or waters.

The most advantageous energy policies for the US are those advocated by the Trump Administration. These stimulus policies have contributed to US energy independence. Those currently advocated by some of the Democratic Party Presidential candidates could well prove disastrous economically to the US by making the US economically uncompetitive because of energy prices driven up by decarbonization and poor energy reliability of many renewables. With the announcement of the GND, such a prospect is now a real possibility if the Democrats should win in 2020.

[Originally Published at Carlin Economics and Science]

Author
Dr. Carlin, now retired, was a 37-year career environmental economist and scientist at EPA when, in June 2009, the Competitive Enterprise Institute broke the story of his negative 100-page report reviewing the agency’s draft Endangerment Finding.
media@heartland.org

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