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To Green or Not to Green? (Vol. 69)

Updated: Feb 7, 2023

analyticsbox | Sep 15, 2022


Paris Environomental Agreement

That is not the Question


Green is a step in the right direction, everyone wants a clean environment…Go for it!

Not so fast, it isn't that simple. According to John Kerry, the ‘czar of the environment’, “...not when almost 90 percent of all of the planet’s global emissions come from outside of US borders. We could go to zero tomorrow and the problem isn’t solved.”

There is legitimate debate among scientists about how much human activity is causing climate change. No one knows for sure, but for this discussion let’s say human activity is the problem, and it likely is to some extent.

Then what?

As Kerry acknowledges, fixing it in the U S does not solve the problem. We would have negligible impact if we go to zero - it is a worldwide problem. Furthermore, the Paris Agreement does nothing in the short term to fix it. Yes, it has promises of the major polluters to fix things in the next decade, but I’ll believe that when I see it. It’s called kicking the can down the road. Meanwhile, hundreds of coal fired power plants are being constructed EACH YEAR in China and India.

That doesn’t mean we should ignore the issue, we should be a leader in technology and practical solutions to move in the right direction. And we have been. Our emissions are down substantially over the past 20 years, and we continue to work on it.

Here’s the rub. We are now pursuing stupid policy which "sounds good, but feels bad". Here are a few examples:

  1. Closing Nuclear Plants. Did you know that nuclear power plants are the only "green" solution that can supply dependable power today? It is safe and disposal of the waste is not a problem. We should be developing more, not closing them.

  2. Electric Vehicles. I have explained why they do not help the environment (see No Spin #1), and they are not economical. And if we succeed in this obsession, and all vehicles in the U S are electric, we will need enormous additional electric generation to recharge them. How are we going to supply that? And it would require 40 - 50 million batteries per year for new and replacements. Think of what that will do to the cost of already expensive batteries (supply and demand for the raw materials), and the enormous environmental problem of disposal (California leads the way in insanity - right now they are asking folks not to recharge their EV batteries due to power inadequacy!).

  3. Oil and Gas Policy. We were independent, we need to get back to that with oil and gas until we have other means to be independent without them. Current policy causes significant increases in costs which ripple through the entire economy increasing inflation markedly.

  4. Wind and Solar. We have spent trillions of dollars on these for little gain. We subsidize and know they cannot be the total answer. So far, they provide less than 5% of our needs and require conventional energy plants as they are intermittent. Additionally, they use a lot of raw materials as well as a lot of land. Are they really cost effective?

Everything I just mentioned will change over time with technology. We are a smart, inventive group and will come up with better solutions over time. Let’s work on that for us and the entire world. And when we have practical solutions, use them.

BOTTOM LINE

We need to get practical, not ideological. What really works and has a good cost benefit value? We cannot fix a world problem by killing ourselves trying to be perfect when perfect is not even available yet and getting the U S to zero will have virtually no impact on world climate.

Let the market work, quit subsidizing stupidity, and foster policy that works for now. We are already doing better than the rest of the world and trying to be perfect with its enormous cost is not good policy.

LEARN ECONOMICS, THEN VOTE SMART

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