Why the Democrats Will Lose on Climate Change

Guest climate debating by David Middleton

4 inconvenient truths about climate change

Noah Millman

September 7, 2019

At this week’s climate symposium on CNN, Elizabeth Warren answered a question about whether the government should be regulating lightbulbs in an interesting way. She said, basically, that we’re focusing on the wrong thing. There’s nothing wrong with more efficient lightbulbs, but it’s small beer. That’s what the fossil fuel companies want us to be arguing about, because most of the carbon is thrown up by three industries — construction, electric power, and oil — and arguing about lightbulbs takes attention away from those sectors.

The obvious inconvenient truth that Warren is pointing out here is that we aren’t going to be able to fight climate change with a series of small-change consumer choices. It’s going to require massive changes in large industries, which is a heavier political lift. Below the radar, there’s another inconvenient truth being implied: that people are really irritated by losing even small conveniences, and so focusing energy on these small-beer fights has a real cost in terms of being able to fight the bigger fights.

She’s right about both. But those aren’t the most inconvenient truths about the fight against climate change. Here are four that we need to start acknowledging more widely if we’re going to make the kind of progress we so urgently need.

[…]

1. Demand for energy is relatively inelastic.

[…]

2. People are selfish in their loss-aversion.

[…]

3. America is only a small part of the climate problem.

[…]

4. It’s already too late to prevent climate change.

[…]

Environmentalists don’t like to suggest that adaptation is possible, because it might reduce the urgency of prevention. And it’s true that resources are limited, so every dollar and minute spent on adaptation is not being spent on some other endeavor. But, inconveniently, we have no choice.

[…]

The most inconvenient truth of all is that a global civilization of seven and a half billion people (and rising) is inevitably going to be engaged in geo-engineering. There is no mode of living that allows us simply to exist within an environment in a natural fashion, no spiritual road back to a prelapsarian state. From now on, we will perpetually be adapting to a world that we have shaped decisively. We’d better learn how to do it well.

The Week

I love it when I get to learn new words!

Figure 1. Prelapsarian

The Fall of Man refers to Genesis 3:1–24. You can’t get there from here.

While I disagree with the notion that we have to acknowledge these inconvenient truths “to make the kind of progress we so urgently need,” because there is no urgency. These four inconvenient truths will doom whatever passenger in the 2020 Democrat Candidate Clown Car wins the nomination, if they adhere to the nonsense they all spouted in the CNN climate change town hall marathon.

1. Demand for energy is relatively inelastic.

Yes it is and it is perpetually growing.

Figure 2. There is mo way back to before Genesis 3:1–24. (“There Has Never Been An Energy Transition”)
Figure 3. It’s a fossil fueled world. (2018 BP Statistical Review of World Energy)

It is simply impossible for solar and wind to significantly displace fossil fuels. It is possible for natural gas and nuclear power to economically displace coal, and this would reduce carbon emissions much faster than anything other than “freezing in the dark.”

Figure 4. Gas kicks @$$, wind breaks even. (Brookings via Real Clear Energy)

Mr. Millman points out that a carbon tax would be the least economically destructive way of nudging people towards an energy transition; but that the cost might be so high that it would wreck the economy. He suggests a moderate carbon tax to fund methods of reducing the carbon intensity of our energy mix…

A further implication is that a massive research and development effort — on carbon-neutral construction, more advanced batteries, thorium reactors, carbon capture, geo-engineering, etc. — needs to be a huge portion of any climate policy, at a much higher scale than we have contemplated. Spending money on innovation can be attacked as wasteful, but we need to be willing to waste a lot of money to make multiple breakthroughs — and it’s surely more popular than personal sacrifice.

The Week

The fastest way to bipartisan legislation is tho authorize the government to “waste a lot of money”. “Carbon-neutral construction, more advanced batteries, thorium reactors, carbon capture, geo-engineering, etc.” generally all have broad bipartisan support… even if some of those ideas are really dumb, if not more dangerous than Gorebal Warming… Blocking the Sun will work… Don’t even think about trying it!

The fact that every passenger in the 2020 Democrat Candidate Clown Car, with a realistic chance of being the nominee, wants to get rid of natural gas and nuclear power is prima facie evidence that the manufactured “climate crisis” is nothing but a Trojan Horse for Communism.

2. People are selfish in their loss-aversion.

Mr. Millman points out that the passengers in the 2020 Democrat Candidate Clown Car mostly address this by coupling the sacrifices with lots of free schist…

This is an extremely inconvenient truth. The main way climate advocates have attempted to address it is to take the focus off individual losses. Progressive Democrats’ Green New Deal, for example, embeds climate change in a larger economic and social agenda — free health care, guaranteed employment — in the hopes that the agenda as a whole will prove popular enough to carry decarbonization along with it.

The Week

He then notes that most of the passengers in the 2020 Democrat Candidate Clown Car seek to place all of the sacrifices on the fossil fuel industries; somehow thinking that the costs of those sacrifices won’t be passed on to energy consumers.

3. America is only a small part of the climate problem.

I, naturally, look at this a bit differently. America is the solution.

Figure 5. “The United States is now the largest global crude oil producer.” (EIA)
Figure 6. “The U.S. leads global petroleum and natural gas production with record growth in 2018.” (EIA)
Figure 7. “The U.S. leads global petroleum and natural gas production with record growth in 2018.” (EIA)

The US actually leads the entire world in total energy production.

  • #1 in total energy production
  • #1 in oil production
  • #1 in natural gas production
  • #1 in nuclear power
  • #1 in geothermal power
  • #1 in biofuels
  • #2 in wind power
  • #2 in solar power
  • #2 in coal production
  • #4 in hydropower

Source: Robert Rapier, Yes, The U.S. Is The World’s Top Energy Producer

The degree to which human activities are affecting the climate is really irrelevant so long as we retain the economic robustness to deal with whatever the weather is like in the future. And these tangentially United States are better positioned to deal with the future than any other nation on Earth… Because abundant, affordable energy helps to secure liberty and prosperity.

4. It’s already too late to prevent climate change.

Figure 8. No schist, Sherlock.

It’s always been “too late to prevent climate change.”

Figure 9. Fire and Ice
Figure 10. Fire and Ice

This was reality in the mid to late 1970’s…

The ice age is coming, the sun’s zooming in
Engines stop running, the wheat is growing thin
A nuclear era, but I have no fear
’Cause London is drowning, and I live by the river

— The Clash “London Calling,” released in 1979

Figure 11. Science News March 1, 1975

Thank God for climate change… Or maybe we should thank man for climate change… According to the sacred climate models, if not for The Climate Wrecking Industry, the planet would be colder than “The Ice Age Cometh”

Figure 12. Modified after IPCC AR4

This proud member of the Climate Wrecking Industry says, “You’re welcome.”

Who’s up for The Clash?

Conclusion

If the survivor of the 2020 Democrat Candidate Clown Car Crash attempts to make climate change a central issue and runs on the basic tenets of the Green New Deal Cultural Revolution, he or she will lose because of Mr. Millman’s “4 inconvenient truths about climate change.”

via Watts Up With That?

https://ift.tt/2I2IhFc

September 11, 2019 at 08:47PM

One Comment on “Why the Democrats Will Lose on Climate Change

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: