How Much Will Americans Pay to Battle Climate Change? Not Much

Guest Post by David Middleton

This is a question that is rarely asked by pollsters, but is is probably far more important of a question than “Are you now, or have you ever been a climate denier?”…

How Much Will Americans Pay to Battle Climate Change? Not Much

Sam Ori is the executive director of the Energy Policy Institute at University of Chicago.

A wide range of public opinion polls point to a clear and growing trend: Americans of all political stripes are increasingly worried about climate change. This is undoubtedly good news for those advocating for robust policies to reduce carbon emissions, the main contributor to climate change.

But here’s a less asked and probably more important question: What are Americans actually willing to pay to do something about it?


This is what researchers from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) and the Associated Press—NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago set out to better understand. Their nationally representative pollfound that 43% of Americans were unwilling to pay an additional $1 per month in their electricity bill to combat climate change—and a large majority were unwilling to pay $10 per month. That’s despite the fact that a whopping 77% said they think climate change is happening and 65% think it is a problem the government should do something about. Support plummets as the amount of the fee increases.

This is an upside-down result. The best available science tells us that Americans should be willing to pay considerably more, because the damages from climate change are so great—including to them personally. If we use the federal government’s estimate of the combined social cost of carbon pollution and apply it to the typical U.S. household’s electricity consumption on today’s national grid mix, the average household faces damages of almost $20 per month. Yet just 29% of respondents said they would be willing to pay at least that much.


Wall Street Journal

You can count me in the 43%.  I wouldn’t pay $1 per decade more for electricity to combat something that is 95% mythical and 5% benign.

This bit is priceless and worth repeating:

The best available science tells us that Americans should be willing to pay considerably more, because the damages from climate change are so great—including to them personally. If we use the federal government’s estimate of the combined social cost of carbon pollution and apply it to the typical U.S. household’s electricity consumption on today’s national grid mix, the average household faces damages of almost $20 per month. Yet just 29% of respondents said they would be willing to pay at least that much.

The first part strikes me the same way that this Roy Spencer quip did:

95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong

“The best available science tells us that” the observations are wrong.  So, if that same “best available science tells us that” global warming will inflict $20/month of damages on the typical household, we should happily shell out $20/month to prevent it… Any sane person would say… “No thank you.”

Furthermore, the “social cost of carbon” isn’t “the best available science.”  It isn’t even science.  It’s more like fraud…

The EPA Uses New Math to Justify Costly Global Warming Regulation

When calculating the future impacts of government action, the federal government has very specific rules about how the calculation should be done. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearly states that when calculating the cost of future impacts a standard “discount rate” of 7% should be used (a discount rate is used to take account of the fact that $10 today is worth more than $20 10 years from now). But when it comes to global warming regulation, that 7% rate is a problem for bureaucrats. With a 7% discount rate, the present cost of future global warming is virtually zero, even using the federal government’s excessively alarmist models. What’s a radical federal bureaucrat to do when math says that global warming will have virtually no negative economic effect? Well, they take a page from Common Core and change how they do the math.

In 2010, global warming alarmists in the Obama administration set out to find a way to justify the huge costs of the global warming regulations they wanted to pursue. This effort focused on creating a “social cost of carbon,” which purports to put a dollar figure on the alleged future economic harms of global warming. The bureaucrats could then take this theoretical “cost” and use it to claim that their regulations were actually saving the economy from future damage.

To estimate future costs, the government selected three integrated assessment models which try to project the economic future. Not surprisingly, all three tend to estimate substantial harms from global warming, even though there is still a great deal of debate over both how much warming might happen in the future and whether any such warming will be harmful (but for the purposes of this discussion that can be left aside). When the federal government’s standard 7% discount rate was applied to these theorized future harms, the present value of those costs dwindled to insignificance. Indeed, applied to one of the models, the present “cost” is actually negative, implying that taking no action to reduce carbon dioxide could actually be economically beneficial. In other words, more economic growth today will be more beneficial to future Americans than restrictive regulation, even if we assume significant future harm from global warming.

Of course this result could not be allowed to stand. The whole point of a social cost of carbon is to artificially inflate the benefits of global warming regulation. So the bureaucrats do what they do best: change the rules to get the outcome they wanted. In this case, the Obama administration used different, much smaller discount rates. The administration publicized a calculated social cost of carbon for discount rates of 5%, 3% and 2.5%, completely disregarding the required 7%. Then they chose the “mid-range” of their new three lower rates, and announced a social cost of carbon of $36 per ton of carbon dioxide (in contrast to close to $0 per ton at a 7% rate).



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September 15, 2016 12:29 pm

Why would I want to pay to stop something that is good for mankind?

Winnipeg boy
Reply to  MarkW
September 16, 2016 10:22 am

Two world wars, genocides, great depression and famine happened with the CO2 at their ideal 320 ppm. It was paradise.

Latimer Alder
Reply to  Winnipeg boy
September 16, 2016 11:33 am

Love it. I’ll pinch that for twitter if I may.

Reply to  MarkW
September 16, 2016 10:26 am

the average household faces damages of almost $20 per month.
You could pay the government $100 a month to fix this, and the damages might be reduced to $19.95, or more likely the government will find a way to take your $100 and INCREASE the damages to $40 a month.
So in the end, rather than being out of pocket $20 a month if the government does nothing, you will end up out of pocket $140 a month if the government tries to solve the problem. No doubt by declaring War on CO2; and like the government’s past record on the war on poverty, drugs, and ISIS, the whole thing will fail spectacularly at monumental expense.

Joel Snider
September 15, 2016 12:35 pm

Well, we’ve paid an awful lot for it already.
As far as billing for the future, near as I can tell, no one plans on asking us.

george e. smith
Reply to  Joel Snider
September 15, 2016 12:47 pm

Well my local climate has been changing radically lately and I am ready to do something about it.
Just last week I was looking at the local weekly min and max temperatures for our area, and it was astounding, with several days when the local climate Temperature went through an excursion of 22 deg. f from coldest to hottest, and that happened on several days of the week.
just for reference, the greatest range of Temperature for planet earth over the last 600 million years went from 12 deg. C to 22 deg. C and that is only an 18 deg. F total range for 600 million years.
But now I am getting close to 12 degrees C range, in just a matter of days.
I’m getting desperate to see something done about it.

Reply to  george e. smith
September 15, 2016 2:55 pm

What are you talking about?

Reply to  george e. smith
September 15, 2016 3:17 pm

B.J. ~ He’s talking about the weather around his home. It is called ‘tongue in cheek.’

george e. smith
Reply to  george e. smith
September 15, 2016 3:37 pm

It’s also called the temperature has remained in a narrow range for 600 million years. But overall, we have Temperatures covering an extreme range of as much as 150 deg. C from hottest to coldest all on the very same day at the very same time.
But we wail about some average; not of a global Temperature, but of a global Temperature anomaly change of perhaps one deg. F in 150 years as if that were something worth mentioning.
And bigger changes than that can be caused by simply how and where and when those calculations were done.
They aren’t done in any way in accordance with inviolable sampled data theory rules, so they aren’t even valid data measurements.
The network of supposed global climate data recording stations isn’t even the same as it was during the IGY of 1957/58, so how can we even believe that data anyway.
Christy et al showed that oceanic data was corrupt prior to about 1980, similar to the satellite record, so it’s all a storm in a teacup.

Joel Snider
Reply to  george e. smith
September 15, 2016 4:13 pm

Heh. Yeah – day and night will bring those temperature swings. Sometimes two or three degrees an hour… let alone a century.
God forbid the seasons decide to change.
Makes me wonder how we lived this long. Also makes me glad I have a heater and AC.

Reply to  george e. smith
September 16, 2016 10:34 am

What are you talking about?
the meaning is simple:
every day we get a bigger temperature change than the worst case climate models predict for the next 500 years if we burned every scrap of coal, oil and gas on the planet.
so if a huge change every day, as well as season to season, doesn’t exterminate life on the planet, how come a much smaller change, applied much more gradually, will overwhelm the ability of life to adapt?
Climate change aka global warming is only a threat under the naive assumption that species cannot adapt to change. But the evidence of our eyes tells us that this assumption is pure nonsense.

Tom Halla
September 15, 2016 12:36 pm

What the polling never really asks is how much attention the subject has paid to the issue, and what sources the subject is relying on. What Rush Limbaugh refers to as “low information voters” are at least a plurality on most issues, people who don’t follow the news, period, and get whatever opinions they have from entertainment media. So far, trying to whip up hysteria on climate change is mostly a failure, according to this survey.

Reply to  Tom Halla
September 16, 2016 5:59 am

Following the “news” is just as bad as the entertainment industry. Worse.

Bruce Cobb
September 15, 2016 12:39 pm

I gave at the office.

Jeff L
September 15, 2016 1:20 pm

Any one in business could tell you all investment decisions are made with an assumed discount rate. It is essential for proper capital allocation. And they all would tell you the Net Present Value (NPV) of anything in 100 years is essentially nil. And I would say 7% is pretty generous. Oil & gas investment decisions commonly require to pass a 12% hurdle or higher.
And of course we are talking unrisked discount rates. If you like a 7% unrisked discount & you think the risk of occurrence , is say 10% (for sake of argument – pick your favorite number & do the math) then the risked discount rate is 7//0.1 or 70% – so add risk into the equation & I don’t car how certain you are of AGW, the NPV of doing anything now is nil, using any sort of sensible economic analysis.

Jeff L
September 15, 2016 1:22 pm

“he average household faces damages of almost $20 per month. Yet just 29% of respondents said they would be willing to pay at least that much.”
Priceless Quote!
I think this says most people are actually skeptics – very few really believe it is a looming menace – if they did, they would support it much more strongly. This statement says we are winning the battle and by a landslide.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  Jeff L
September 15, 2016 6:39 pm

Except various governments are spending much more than that already without even asking. They even borrow money to spend on “green” stupidity that actually has negative economic effect by increasing power cost!

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  John Harmsworth
September 16, 2016 7:22 am

Indeed. My government in Ontario is already charging me an extra 8 cents per kilowatt-hour for this green nonsense. That adds up fast. I can easily use a megawatt-hour in a month, which costs $80 in green taxes! Argh!
The government says “Don’t worry that this makes us uncompetitive… everyone else will have to charge this much too, soon enough. There, there. Just be good little citizens and pay up.”

Joel Snider
Reply to  John Harmsworth
September 16, 2016 11:24 am

‘Don’t worry that this makes us uncompetitive… everyone else will have to charge this much too, soon enough.’
That’s another salient point – we can handicap ourselves by outlawing cheap energy, but all that means is that those countries that don’t give a @#$%@ will simply take over those resources and dominate the economy – and the world.
I sometimes think that greenies either simply don’t get that our prosperity is not a God-given attribute, and that it CAN go away. Either that, or that’s what they want.
Sadly, I think – fueled by a lot of arrogant self-righteousness – too many of them prefer the latter.

September 15, 2016 1:30 pm

I’m contributing my part by picking up a snarling 6.2L, V8 engine SS-V Commodore this morning and then just tear it around at my local race track tomorrow, burning hydro-carbons till the cows come home. IT.WILL.BE.AWESOME!

Reply to  craig
September 15, 2016 2:05 pm

Isn’t that just a Cavalier with a bigger engine? Why not get a real performance car? 🙂

Reply to  SMC
September 15, 2016 2:35 pm

But if it is brand new [uncertain from Craig’s post) – think of the CO2 in the manufacture.
And, anyway, it certainly is better than a folding bike!!!

Reply to  SMC
September 15, 2016 8:18 pm

Alas, money stops me from spewing more of that evil carbon SMC, however, I’m doing my best to fertilise our burgeoning crops with my filthy habit 😄

Reply to  craig
September 17, 2016 6:52 pm

Craig, what’d you pay for that thing? You know you can buy a 1986 Porsche 928 5L with an outstanding suspension in cherry condition for about $12,000? Or a fully tricked Porsche 968 3L with a power to weight ratio that will pull your eyes back in the socket for about $20,000?
And the upside is you can work on those cars yourself without voiding the “warranty”. Buying a new car for the track these days doesn’t make lots of sense.

September 15, 2016 1:40 pm

The single biggest cost to humanity from CO2 emissions is obsessing over its imagined harm.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
September 16, 2016 10:42 am

+ a gazillion

David S
September 15, 2016 1:42 pm

What is the $ amount that citizens are prepared to have taken from them by way of higher rates ,taxes and charges before they turf out those responsible? I think that point has passed for most people.

September 15, 2016 1:46 pm

With such a noble cause, all candidates running for local office should clearly identify themselves as promoters of the carbon tax with specifics on the hundreds of dollars expected from each household.
That’s not asking much or risking anything with the overwhelming public support for the cause…..right?
Also, all states should have comprehensive carbon tax proposals on the ballot pronto. Let’s get this overwhelming support rolling with direct inclusion of the people. It’s that simple. Come on.

September 15, 2016 1:54 pm

It was the America First movement centered in and around Chicago that almost destroyed the world as it worked ignorantly to let the super weapon development proceed in the fatherland. One extra year of wrong way advocacy in that case and the world would not be here today. It would be ashes. Go look it up.

David Thompson
Reply to  Resourceguy
September 18, 2016 6:37 pm

General Goves put a stop to that when he put most of their butts behind fences in NM and TN. Besides the heavy water plant went down the fiord and the brain trust was already in the USA.

Joe Civis
September 15, 2016 2:06 pm

WOW…. like stated in the article why the heck would any sane person shell out $20 bucks a months to “save” $20 bucks a month?? Much better use of it, would be to invest $20 a month and let some interest compound against the day that maybe you will be hit with that $20 a month expense at which time you will have accumulated way more than the $20 in “damages”. UUUHHHGGGGG the “green stupidity” it burns!!!

Reply to  Joe Civis
September 16, 2016 2:53 am

Well, the Greens in Canberra are building a tram with such a low return on investment, that they had to add the increase in property values to make a profit. Even then, at 1.2 times, no investor would touch it. We truly are ruled by imbeciles.

Ian W
September 15, 2016 2:12 pm

Is there anyone who really thinks that the EPA actions are intended to combat ‘climate change’ (whatever the definition of that is)? EPA is acting successfully to enforce regulation on industry and agriculture to achieve the government aims.

Reply to  Ian W
September 17, 2016 6:59 pm

And, today’s winner of the most intelligent analysis in an unsolicited comment is:
Ian W!!! 🙂

September 15, 2016 2:18 pm

Two lessons here. First: it is important to be quantitative. Second: the public, collectively, is often much smarter than our leaders.

NW sage
Reply to  David Middleton
September 15, 2016 6:32 pm

Maybe… but I am a skeptic for a reason! Common sense is one of those PC terms which has been outlawed.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 16, 2016 5:33 am

Despite media and government publications.
The funny thing is if you ask 100 Americans if they have absolute faith and trust in ALL government publications OR ALL media….I’ll bet the only person in the room that answers yes is the media or government official and everyone will know they are lying.

Reply to  Andy May
September 16, 2016 3:47 pm

“Second: the public, collectively, is often much smarter than our leaders.”
I doubt that, Andy . . I suspect our leaders are mostly smart A-holes ; )

September 15, 2016 2:59 pm

I am already paying well more than $20 a month in California to save the planet based upon my electric and gasoline bills than neighboring states. Thanks to Democrats and their eccentric policies. Hurts the poor the most. And yet they still vote Democrat.

Reply to  ltregulate
September 16, 2016 10:51 am

I’m in Florida (no state income tax) and I just want to say thank you for covering my part.
Also, there will be another small increase for Californians to cover for us very soon I’m sure.

September 15, 2016 3:08 pm

Economics is my thing.
In my opinion, to discard fossil fuels, when there is no equivalent alternative in real cost and utility, the economic cost will not be measured in $Trillions, because such a policy will simply crash every economy which takes this on and other innocent economies as well.
A world wide situation as in China of 1959- 1963 would not be suprising.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  rogerthesurf
September 15, 2016 6:50 pm

I think you are correct, Roger. Additionally, falling birth rates, aging populations, declining productivity and fantastic debt levels mean we are headed for a debt collapse and massive worldwide depression. All this green nonsense will be swept away once people can’t pay their power bills or afford groceries. It’s coming long before people notice any warming!

Reply to  rogerthesurf
September 15, 2016 8:16 pm

Greetings to a voice of reason from “Down Under”.
To get a rational energy policy we must replace the elites who have been managing first world countries for their own advantage. The voters have risen up in Austria and in the UK (BREXIT) and there is a good chance that statism will be rejected in the USA if Donald Trump wins on November 8.
If Hillary Clinton wins she will run the USA from Washington. The federal government will mandate every detail in our schools (the curriculum, rest room access etc.), health care will be be an even bigger nightmare than today, energy policy will be based on insane wind/solar projects. Statism is already strong here and Hillary will make it stronger.
Sucking power into Washington dis-empowers state and local governments. While this is contrary to the US constitution (10th amendment), Obama has been trampling all over the constitution with impunity and who can doubt that Hillary will do the same?
Centralizing power in the USA will make this country like the Eurozone ruled by unaccountable bureaucrats and you can bet that will weaken our economy and trigger secession movements in states that would be better off without federal mandates. How long before TEXIT is on the ballot in Texas?

Reply to  gallopingcamel
September 16, 2016 4:02 am

When the Constitution was written, with all it’s concern about limited and distributed political power, the population of the U.S. was about 4 million. Now with nearly 100 times that big a population we are centralizing and expanding political power. Modern transportation and communications make it possible. But what makes it desirable?
Good luck to all of us.

Reply to  gallopingcamel
September 16, 2016 4:14 pm

While I think I get and agree with your point about there not being any automatic desirability to “modernization” of evert sort, I feel the use of the term “we” in relation to the “centralizing and expanding political power” aspect. It’s a relatively tiny “they” doing that, I feel, as gallopingcamel suggests. And the “we” are losing power as “they” consolidate their power.
We have been indoctrinated to speak of whatever is done as something “we” did, it seems to me . . for what to me are obvious reasons ; )

September 15, 2016 3:27 pm

“Where mainstream climate science goes wrong has more to do with what they consider the ‘no-feedback’ starting point than perhaps anything else.”
Yes, this has been bungled big time. What they consider the no feedback sensitivity of 0.3C per W/m^2 is actually the post feedback sensitivity for the next W/m^2 of solar input. They adjust lambda0 up from the sensitivity of an ideal BB at 255K to the current sensitivity of a surface at 287 K being heated by only 239 W/m^2 without really understanding what they did and then claim the ‘feedback’ that is already accounted by the lambda0 adjustment further ‘amplifies’ the sensitivity. They don’t understand that the gain, or what they call the sensitivity of the model they specified amplifies the forcing input to produce an output temperature and instead, they craft a nonsense model around it that considers feedback to be amplifying the sensitivity.
The mapping from Bode to the climate is so broken, it’s astounding that it has survived as long as it has, but then again, confirmation bias provides a powerful mechanism to fabricate apparent truth out of obvious lies.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
September 15, 2016 3:29 pm

sorry, went to wrong thread

Michael C. Roberts
September 15, 2016 3:36 pm

Anthony/Moderators – Copied from over at Tips & Notes, fits much better in this post (includes much needed editing!).
David Middleton –
Well, the carbon has finally hit the fan here in the Once Great State of Washington – Our dutiful Department of Ecology has finalized and issued new rules for ‘large carbon pollution (sic) emitters’ in the State, as per the Governors’ directive:
Governor Jay (‘I have finally passed a hidden carbon tax on my watch’) Inslee has succeeded in reaching his self-proclaimed pinnacle for his tenure. The Holy Grail of alarmism, the ‘Carbon Pollution (sic) Tax’ and/or Cap & Trade. Here is the official WADOE Press Release:
Cap and Trade via local government edict. Fellow Washingtonians: The next time your energy bills show an increase, you will know where to place some of the blame – at the feet of Inslee and his minions over at WADOE. This is the same Inslee that raked Lord Monckton over the coals during a congressional hearing:

Just an indicator of the type of guy old Jay really is!! Isn’t he a nice guy? Wouldn’t you love to have him as your Governor, or even invite him over to a dinner party at your house to impress your friends (sarcasm, anyone?).
So, we here in Washington State won’t have the luxury of asking ‘how much are we willing to pay’ – it will be ‘you will be paying’ just by purchasing energy based upon fuels such as natural gas, petroleum, and/or goods and services that rely upon them for transportation and/or manufacturing. Have I left out any modern activity of our current society? I am sick to my stomach with this latest overreach of government. If you really dig into the DOE documents, you’ll see they used the ‘Social Cost of Carbon’ and the IPCC along with the EPA Endangerment Finding as the basis of this punitive action. Models, all the way down – until it hits us in the pocketbook. Then model no longer – it is the reality of a regressive taxation imposed via fiat edict.
Michael C. Roberts

Reply to  David Middleton
September 15, 2016 8:28 pm

The trouble with hydro is that it is hard to scale up. It is also the most lethal method of generating electric power:

Reply to  David Middleton
September 17, 2016 7:31 pm

I’ll take a bow on behalf of my Grandfather, who’s company was the prime contractor responsible for the Grand Coulee Dam in NW Washington. I was born on the Colville Reservation during it’s construction. My Father also worked on the dam under my Grandfather’s direction.
I’d like to amplify GallopingCamel’s citation with an anecdote passed on to me by my Grandfather when I was very young; he estimated his company alone poured 6 men into the Grand Coulee. They lost approximately one man for every million dollars of contract value. Very large hydro-projects have poor safety records both before and after construction. The failure of the Jackson Lake dam in Wyoming is another good example. Nuclear power is much safer, by orders of magnitude, than hydro.

Reply to  Michael C. Roberts
September 15, 2016 8:31 pm

Michael C Roberts says, “Our dutiful Department of Ecology has finalized and issued new rules for ‘large carbon pollution (sic) emitters’ in the State, as per the Governors’ directive:
Thank you for taking the time to post this.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  Michael C. Roberts
September 16, 2016 7:40 am

What a nasty, totalitarian POS. He gets to slander Lord Monckton, and then shouts him down when he tries to answer. He cares not one whit about Lord Monckton’s argument, his intellect, his command of the advanced mathematics necessary to climate modeling, his incredible capacity for autodidactic learning. This kind of brainwashed totalitarianism is another of the many reasons why I’ll never again vote for a Democrat.

Reply to  Mickey Reno
September 16, 2016 4:39 pm

You make a fine point, I feel, Mickey, and I would like to propose that what we are witnessing in regard to the totalitarian POS’a attitude, involves what I will call vicarious intelligence . . or “I’m with the smart guys” syndrome. Unfortunately it seems to me, there’s a whole lot of that going around, even around here.
I don’t believe ANYTHING (if I can help it ; ) simply because other people seem to. And I don’t care in the slightest that many scientists believe this or that, I don’t believe this or that unless I feel that I myself understand the matter, period.
I say as the song says;
When you believe in things
That you don’t understand
That’s superstition.

September 15, 2016 4:42 pm

These results very much match a NY Times poll from two years ago. 65% of respondents more or less swallowed the CO2 catastrophic warming narrative… but the numbers flipped when the same sample group were asked whether they’d accept higher prices for energy to discourage consumption 35 -65%

Barbara Skolaut
September 15, 2016 4:44 pm

How much would I pay to “combat” this mythical crap?
Not one friggin’ dime.
Next question?

September 15, 2016 5:24 pm

David, a Middleton post without graphs is like a day without sunshine! (if you get my drift)…
In theory the higher costs of green energy don’t have to cost ANYTHING. By robbing the folks of their personal buying power (through a tax) demand inflation will be kept low. Because inflation would be kept low, the federal reserve could keep interest rates lower than usual allowing the economy to grow. Person wealth could thus grow enough to compensate for the losses from the tax…
In practice, it’s another matter… The bone heads that run the fed view all inflation the same; demand inflation as opposed to say energy price inflation. (demand inflation happens as a result of the growth of personal wealth so that people always come out ahead while energy inflation is just like throwing money away) The higher cost of doing business due to the higher cost of energy would be inflationary thus the fed would raise rates to counter the resultant “stagflation” as they did in the seventies…

September 15, 2016 5:54 pm

I won’t pay a dime voluntarily to “fight” something that doesn’t exist!

Reply to  Lone Gunman (@Lone_Gunman45)
September 15, 2016 8:25 pm

You are paying big time because this country is being mismanaged by elites who are working for their benefit rather than yours.

September 15, 2016 8:50 pm

The reality is that the climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans over which Mankind has no control. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate. Many people do not like throwing their money away.

September 16, 2016 12:43 am

In the UK we didn’t get asked – we have to pay an involuntary Renewables Obligation contribution getting close to $1 a day on a typical bill – so $1 a month is much more attractive and worth paying if it saves the world ……
On the flipside, if I pretend to be a climate scientist for a minute, then I can see that these contributions are really making a difference because the world has not ended since I started paying them. This solution is almost as good as the elephant repellent I bought from the internet – since I started using it I haven’t seen an elephant within a 20 mile radius of my North of England home. You just have to believe !!!

Reply to  Shytot
September 16, 2016 3:00 am

Since you started to force other people to pay them, I think you meant?

Larry D
September 16, 2016 2:27 am

When has the climate ever not been changing? Climatic reconstructions going back 600 million years say: Never. The normal, or at least most common climatic mode for the Earth is hothouse, with no glaciation, not even ice caps at the poles. Climate zones are two; tropical and temperate. Carbon dioxide high, vegetation luxurious. This is as warm as Earth gets. Not what we’re used to, but not bad. Probably pretty good, in fact.
The second most common mode is glacial; Ice down to New York City’s location, or even lower. During the height of the last glaciation, we came scarily close to an Extinction Event, due to carbon dioxide nearly dropping below the minimum needed to sustain photosynthesis.
What we’re in now is an inter-glacial epoch, a relatively warm period separating glacial periods. With Antarctica still sitting on the South Pole, and the North Pole almost land locked, we aren’t getting back to hothouse conditions for millennia.
And humanity can’t do a blamed thing about it, except adapt.

September 16, 2016 2:58 am

The German population, it is often pointed out in these pages, is paying one of the worlds highest rates per unit of electricity consumed.
but when you examine it, the German population is willing – indeed happy – to pay that rate, because it overwhelming supports the idea of renewable energy, protecting the environment and fighting climate change.
The energienwende is popular and all German political parties support it (I say all – haven’t checked the AFD viewpoint).
(I note also German electricity bills aren’t that much higher: they have very efficient electrical devices and are more likely to have their own solar panels or efficient insulation or part ownership of an energy collective).
Why are US citizens less concerned about green issues?

Reply to  Griff
September 16, 2016 3:59 am

Really? So all Germans are happy with this? Second most expensive electricity in the world (50% of it taxes) and at least 30-40% more than most other countries except for Denmark.
What’s not to like ?

Reply to  Shytot
September 16, 2016 5:00 am
“The German public remains strongly in support of the transition to a low-carbon and nuclear-free economy. This factsheet provides a summary of recent polls measuring citizens’ acceptance of the project. ”
They are hardly in widespread revolt, are they?

Reply to  Shytot
September 17, 2016 8:18 pm

Griff, they’re German. The weren’t in wide scale revolt under the NSDAP either.

Bubba Cow
Reply to  john
September 16, 2016 11:20 am


Joe Bastardi
September 16, 2016 5:48 am

ALREADY paying.. regulations killing economy

Reply to  Joe Bastardi
September 16, 2016 6:44 am

But, Joe, if regulations don’t kill the economy then the fed will…

September 16, 2016 6:46 am

“The best available science tells us that Americans should be willing to pay considerably more,” is an indictment of the humanities that attempt to pass themselves off as ‘sciences’ – social science political science, psychology, and all their spinoffs. Science concerns itself with things that can be objectively measured because such things can be evaluated independently by various investigators and checked for Repeatability – one of the 6 pillars of evidential reasoning.
Unfortunately, anything that addresses the human consciousness cannot meet this standard because, by its very nature, human consciousness cannot be objectively measured.
Without objective measurability you cannot establish any consistency in the consequences of any hypothesis.
Other requirements for evidential reasoning are also absent in dealing with human consciousness, notably Logic (humans are rarely logical) and Comprehensiveness (humans are so variable and diverse that almost no generalizations can be shown to apply to all).
Briefly, if the subject is human, the discipline is not science.

September 16, 2016 11:19 am

Paying more to battle Climate Change is much like paying more for a better public education … “it’s for the children.”
Well, until I see children walking out of schools with paychecks in their hands, I just don’t believe it.
Likewise, the money for Climate Change just goes into the pockets of the “Consulting Class”.

Bill Powers
September 16, 2016 12:21 pm

The Public should be prepared to bend over and kiss their arse goodbye should the Government declare war on CAGW. History demonstrates that when the government declares war on social issues two things immediately happen.
First they establish a transfer payment system to move money from the middle class to the weathholders, politicians and bureaucrats. Second, they proceed to lose the war slowly, for without a war the payment transfer cannot by justified.
Does it sound familiar when public officials announce that we need to hire more policemen, teachers, etc (read collectively bargaining public servants) to turn the tide in the war on drugs, illiteracy blah, blah, blah.
Save the planet hire a scientist.

September 16, 2016 12:34 pm

Look there are about 500 billionaires in the USA. Have them take care of the phantom oh so scary global warming if they think they might be inconvenienced by moving their beach furniture . Leave everyone else out of it who are not flying around boinking bimbo’s on private jets and living on beach front properties .
Alternatively fix some real problems like poverty , lack of access to clean water and electricity . You
know actual real shit .

September 16, 2016 2:29 pm

We’ve already paid about trillions during Obama’s terms alone, in lost growth to over regulation and misallocated funds. We pay every day, and for what? Unproven phenomena that offer unproven threats. No one really knows what fraction of impact humans have, let alone whether any changes are good or bad. If history is any indication, we do better when it’s warmer.

September 16, 2016 10:04 pm

If greenhouse gases are to blame, the primary culprit has got to be H2O because H2O is the primary greenhouse gas. In an effort to end the drought, the State of California should ban all forms of H2O from the state. for now and for all time. Since people are mostly H2O they should be banned from the state as well for now and for all time.

Joel Bellenson
September 18, 2016 4:04 am

The exponential expansion of the silicon and nanotech revolutions mean that by around 2020 – when solar and EV drivetrains reach market price parity, ie. without subsidies – both sides in the argument – Green Panic Addicts and the Complacent Energy Cynics – will have to find something more useful to occupy their politicized hearts and minds.
Perhaps nuclear war….

September 20, 2016 6:04 pm

Does anyone consider the possibility that carbon is not a pollutant? What actual proof do we have that it is?

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