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The Ultimate Absurdity: Green New Deal Would Not Provide Significant Climate Benefits

June 20, 2019

The Green New Deal (GND) has been costed at almost $100 trillion by very knowledgeable experts, or about half of total gross national product over the ten years involved.

The Green New Deal (GND) has been costed at almost $100 trillion by very knowledgeable experts, or about half of total gross national product over the ten years involved. Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Markey claim that it will save the world. There is a little problem, however. The best scientific evidence is that there would be no significant climate benefits from implementing GND or any other “decarbonization” policy. You read that right–no significant climate benefits at all.

How could this be? The short answer is that the GND authors relied on sources (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC) which also got it wrong, possibly on purpose. Yet much of the left-wing of the Democratic Party has bet their future on the GND. And most of the rest of the Party believes the misnamed “consensus” science on which it is based. Unusual but true. No US political party has gambled so much on what is basically a scientific scam. Other parties in other countries have done likewise, but a number appear to have lost elections as a result (Australia, for example).

The issue involved is whether changes in emissions of CO2 have a significant effect on temperatures. The IPCC and now much of the Democratic Party claim that they do. But if they does not, as shown by the best scientific evidence (for a slightly revised version of one study see also here.), the GND accomplishes nothing useful to anyone except those that profit from the added government spending involved. I will take the good science rather than the self-serving assumptions made by the climate scammers.

Bear in mind that even if the so-called “consensus” science should somehow be shown to be correct, perhaps as the result of new research, the results of implementing the GND would not be measurable. So either way GND is a waste of money. In one case the US loses every dollar it spends on decarbonization; in the other it loses most of it but not all, assuming that we do not want a slightly warmer climate, which I believe we do.

The underlying scientific issue is whether temperatures determine CO2 levels or CO2 levels determine temperatures. The scammers claim the latter; the best science says the former. What the scammers want the US to do is to gamble half of national product for ten years that the IPCC assumption on this issue is correct.

What would be far more useful is to carry out research to resolve the basic scientific issue to everyone’s satisfaction (although this may no longer be possible given the willingness of some members of the scientific establishment to put the desired “answer” ahead of the scientific evidence) before spending anything on trying to reduce CO2 (the miracle molecule that provides food for plants, which provide food for animals, including humans) emission levels. But current science says that changes in CO2 emissions have had no significant effects on temperatures during the years that we have useful data. Those that ignore the science and rush ahead with the wrong scientific assumption will lose everything they persuade others to spend–in this case half of all US expenditures during 10 years. In other words, on average half of what everyone does for the ten years covered by the GND will be a total loss rather than being an unmeasurable minor effect.

[Originally Published at Carlin Economics and Science]
Author
Art Carden is Associate Professor of Economics at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.
Art.carden@gmail.com @artcarden