Time Magazine Promotes Climate Broken Window Fallacy

Fridge or freezer left in a ditch.

Fridge or freezer left in a ditch. Malcolm Campbell [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to Time Magazine, forcing everyone to switch from CFC refrigerants to more climate friendly refrigerants is a job creation opportunity.

Here’s the One Climate Change Deal the Trump Administration Might Back

By JUSTIN WORLAND
February 6, 2018

The Trump Administration has hesitated to throw out a key deal reached in 2016 to phase out a pollutant found in air conditioners that is a factor in climate change, in part because American companies think it could be a huge business opportunity for them.

An Administration official declined to say Monday whether Trump would send the Kigali amendment to the Senate for ratification.

“The president wants to make sure that any international environment agreement does not harm U.S. workers,” said George David Banks, White House international energy and environment advisor, at an event at the Hudson Institute on Monday. “If the president does decide to support Kigali … it will largely be because he wants to create U.S. jobs.”

“We want to be the global leaders like we alway have been in this industry,” says Stephen Yurek, CEO of the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute. “Will they pick our products and technology or will they pick those developed by the other countries that have ratified the amendment?”

Banks says the Trump Administration still has questions.

“We understand that there is broad industry support,” said Banks. “But first we need to know the economic impact.”

Read more: http://time.com/5134208/kigali-amendment-donald-trump-climate-change/

I’m frequently shocked at the total ignorance of economics displayed by today’s journalists.

If Kigali amendment compliant air conditioners are such a big international export opportunity, why does US manufacture of Kigali compliant air conditioners for export have to be subsidised by forcing everyone in the USA switch to the new standard? Why can’t air conditioner manufacturers fund this “opportunity” using their own capital?

The silliest part of the Time article is the claim that this forced switch is a job creation opportunity. Long ago, famous economist Frédéric Bastiat invented the parable of the broken window to explain what is wrong with the belief that imposing costs stimulates economic activity.

Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son has happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation – “It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?”

Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions.

Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier’s trade – that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs – I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, “Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”

It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window

A forced switch from a perfectly adequate existing standard to a new standard which at best delivers the same facility is not a job opportunity, it is a pointless government imposed cost – the kind of pointless bureaucratic cost President Trump pledged to eliminate.

Every job created in the air conditioner industry by imposing the Kigali Amendment would be matched by jobs lost in other industries, businesses which would be forced to reduce other expenditures to comply with this useless new standard.

Worse, countries which don’t bother to enforce the new standards or whose implementation of the new standard is delayed (USA of course agreed to be an early adopter of this expensive new standard) will obtain an economic advantage over US companies forced to pay for a product upgrade they neither need or want.

Lets hope President Trump does the sensible thing and tosses out this useless climate standard. US manufacturers who want to produce air conditioning units which comply with the Kigali amendment for export should be free to do so – but it is utterly unreasonable to expect everyone else in America to pay for their export venture, through forced purchases of an upgrade which delivers no value to the purchaser, the cost of which would ultimately be passed on to ordinary Americans.

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93 thoughts on “Time Magazine Promotes Climate Broken Window Fallacy

    • so the obvious move is legalise criminal damage and we should all be encouraged to go around smashing each other’s windows and trashing any car we that are parked in the street.

      That would instantly relaunch to economy and everyone one would be much better off, right?

      This is exactly what the enviros want to see enacted by legislation. All our super clean, catalytically converted and particle filtered cars suddenly become “dirty” and get trashed by legislating them off the road.

      We can then all buy bright new electronically driven, electrically powered cars which cost half the price of a new house and put our families in hock for an added generation.

      Yeah, that’ll work.

      • Of course that is a banker’s wet dream but they have convinced these naive greenies to do to promotional work for them because if it was the banking and insurance industries which said it we spot the real motivation.

      • Could still work if phased in
        Mandated for all new construction
        Mandated for all replacement units as the existing unit breaks down and warrants replacing over repair
        Not mandated to replace perfectly good functioning units
        Not mandated to replace existing units when repair is an economical option.

        Unless they cost that much more than traditional refrigeration units

      • Fascinating how for some people, bankers are behind every evil in the world.
        It’s so obvious they don’t even need to come up with proof or any kind of connection between bankers and the act in question

      • Absolutely,
        Cliff Clavin “It is a little known fact that Bankers were responsible for the Cholera Pandemic of 1816, it seems they wouldn’t loan the money to India to combat the disease. They were also directly responsible for the Titanic Sinking in 1912, they refused to grant additional loans to the White Star Line for construction and the ship was forced to skimp on the size of the rudder. Yep Yep Yep, Bankers caused all the ills of society”

      • “so the obvious move is legalise criminal damage and we should all be encouraged to go around smashing each other’s windows and trashing any car we that are parked in the street. ”

        BLM subscribes to that very practice.

    • Trump doesn’t care about any of this. If his buddies in industry like it because it means they make more money and his base doesn’t understand and isn’t paying attention, he’ll be for it. If it doesn’t feed his ego directly he doesn’t give a **** about anything and will always default to pleasing the people with the most money.

      • That does not make any sense.

        Especially, given Trump’s aggressive anti-regulatory burdens approach.
        As proposed above, The Kigali amendment is just another regulatory burden.

    • Sommer

      David Suzuki does whatever it takes to make a buck.

      Thirty years ago he fought against Quebec’s James Bay hydro project because it flooded huge areas of land and released mercury into the environment. Today he doesn’t care about flooding and mercury, and he is a big promoter of hydro power.

      Around the same time he fought against the salmon fishing industry and wanted it replaced by fish farming. Today he wants all fish farming stopped.

      Back in the eighties he fought against insecticides because he said they caused insect infestations. Today he says insect infestations are caused by the release of the devil CO2.

      Fortunately today most Canadians look at him as an old crank and a kook. Even the CBC has pretty much abandoned him.

      • Suzuki was a crank and a kook even when he wasn’t old. He has complained that Canada is “Full’ (too many people), but never speaks out against the ten of thousands of “refugees” pouring across our border from the U.S, He has insisted that Canadians should have fewer children, although he has five himself. I could go on, but Suzuki is in fact just another caviar socialist.

      • 3¢worth,
        Your alliteration is not correct. they should be referred to as:limousine liberals, latte liberals, chardonnay socialists, etc. I think you meant caviar communist. :)

  1. Technology and manufacturing improvements have eliminated the need for non flammable refrigerants. When was the last time you had a refrigerator or air conditioner leak refrigerant? Yes, if nephew Klutz is throwing darts at the compressor but that is outside and ignition sources are limited.

    Small refrigerators already use isobutane propane mix. Under three ounces, about the mass of five disposable lighters. Which brings on the issue of efficiency gains and reduced refrigerant volume. Hydrocarbons are far more efficient as their enthalpy of vaporization is greater on molar and mass specific values. Halogens are heavy, hydrogen is light.

    Non flammable refrigerants are anachronisms of poor engineering safety measures. Refrigerators and air conditioners leaked and developed leaks. Primarily in the compression side where temperatures are also high. Decades of engineering and life cycle experience have eliminated these failures.

    Yes, corrosion happens on evaporator side but leaks are slow as pressure is low. Leaks in HVAC systems are diluted below the lower flammability limit. Refrigerators only need ignition proof electrical systems.

      • Grenfell Tower inferno in London was caused by an exploding fridge/freezer and propagated by extra thermal cladding tacked on the to the outside of the tower block.

        Something like a hundred men , women and children BURNT ALIVE on the alter of global warming “mitigation” .

    • Using hydrocarbon refrigerants in refrigerators is a significant improve in energy efficiency. We typically saw a 15-20% improvement vs. R134a on prototypes in the lab. It is also significantly cheaper than R134a per ounce and you use much less of it (<50g in household and <150g in commercial). The reason that manufacturers did not switch to it was liability. Even though propane (commercial) or isobutane (household) do not explode and only burn in specific conditions, no one wanted to be the first into the market. We were told that the company (first GE then Whirlpool) did not want to have their name splashed in headlines where they were being sued because a family died in a fire being blamed on the refrigerator. No matter that natural gas lines run through a significant percentage of homes or you have 20lb tanks sitting on porches or in garages. Unfortunately with the government mandating the switch away from R134a, it's just a matter of time till the first lawsuit comes.

      • Interesting, Brian. I can have/use a propane stove in my house w/o any problem, or have natural-gas heat, but I can’t have a frig using a small amount of it. Like paqyfelyc above says, flammable must be a trigger word.

    • Keith J wrote, “When was the last time you had a refrigerator or air conditioner leak refrigerant?”

      Are you kidding me? Today’s high-efficiency refrigeration systems leak more than older systems, not less. (I don’t know whether it’s because the newer refrigerants are more corrosive, or because of design trade-offs to achieve required for higher efficiencies, or simply a general decline in quality and pride of workmanship.)

      Many a refrigerator from the 1970s or 1980s is still in use, often with only its original refrigerant, and never having been repaired. But modern high-SEER heat pumps and air conditioners don’t last anywhere near that long. You’re lucky to get 15 years out of one. When they fail, it’s refrigerant leakage which is usually the first sign.

      They make nifty leak detectors to find those leaks; depending on where the leak is, it might be repairable:

      https://www.google.com/search?q=%28refrigerant+OR+halogen+OR+freon%29+%22leak+detector%22

      • I endured a couple of fridge failures (the first replacement I got was used) before getting a low-end GE model new. The repairmen I dealt with said that quality had declined and that it was not economic to repaired fridges whose refrigerant had leaked out.

        Is the new flammable refrigerant less leak-liable? That would be a good thing, if true.

  2. I despise the Kigali agreement with a passion: more expensive refrigeration is no trouble to the people who signed this agreement but it is death to people in remote areas who can no longer afford to refrigerate their rabies vaccine. And it is self-defeating: energy consumption is higher with the alternative refrigerants, so if the aim is to reduce supposedly climate-unfriendly emissions, it won’t work anyway.

    I hope your Mr Trump kicks it into touch

  3. Much like Al Gore’s ‘low-flush’ toilets. Americans were crossing into Canada to buy the ‘regular flush’ type. And those with ‘low flush’ ended up having to flush more than once.

    • “El Duchy February 6, 2018 at 11:55 pm”

      We “sufferers” of the low flush “thunder box” seem to manage to flush even with the half a flush option.

      • load up that low flusher and then flush three times and use the plunger at least once. efficient, not now, not ever.

    • old white guy wrote “ flush three times and use the plunger

      Keep a quart size container handy. Start pouring in the quart of water, flush, continue pouring. This works 99.99% of the time.
      Less hassle is good.

    • I have seen signs placed on these devices in public bathrooms:
      “LOW FLUSH TOILET. PLEASE FLUSH TWICE”

      Of course the greenies who want to save ( is it energy needed to purify potable water, or just the water the story keeps flipping) haven’t thought things through very far. The reduction in water flows is clogging the drains and sewers due to them not being flushed out.

    • Toto makes low-flush toilets that work well, especially its higher-end models. It’s a shame that low-priced, ineffective low-flush toilets are featured at big box stores—their buyers are victimized.

    • What are you guys talking about? I live north of Seattle in the US. I’ve bought and installed two toilets in the last 6 years. They’re dual flush; quick flush for just liquids, hold for about a second for solids. Never had to double flush, much less triple. They’re wide, glazed throat, never had them clog (not for lack of trying). Who exactly is “forced” to by a substandard toilet??

  4. One thing watermelons can never appreciate is the notion of the tradeoff with everything we do. That’s something they’ve blithely ignored with the phasing out of HCFC refrigerants (commonly R22) and prior to that CFCs. If you’ve been around for a long time you couldn’t help but notice how the shift from optimal refrigerants like these hasn’t come without a dramatic fall in the reliability and longevity of refrigeration/HVAC in general. That means an awful lot of resources going into making the units being scrapped much earlier and concomitantly a rise in dreaded CO2 inherent in manufacturing such products.

    I’m not saying the benefits of switching refrigerants don’t outweigh the costs but the very noticeable tradeoff here is never acknowledged and perish the thought anyone would even attempt to measure such costs. There are some questions you never ask in such matters like, what’s the additional costs in terms of voltage and frequency controls to the power grid, along with the added requisite for connecting up so many disperse and disparate small scale generators with the mandated rise of unreliables?

    They do Lord Nelson and his telescope proud in that respect.

  5. The simple but counter-intuitive fact is that we are better off eliminating jobs, not creating them – at least in terms of what we currently produce. Labour is a cost, nit a benefit in economics.

    That spare labour can then be used to produce more stuff.

    Green jobs is a stupid anspd wasteful idea.

    • “Phoenix44 February 7, 2018 at 1:13 am

      That spare labour can then be used to produce more stuff.”

      What “more stuff” given we generate vast quantities of waste? I can’t see anywhere in the “making of stuff” where we need to make more of it.

      • In fact, extra labour availability reduces labour costs. This reduces the cost of goods and services. The left over problem is what to do with those who are no longer working.Automation and the next generations of robotics will magnify this problem greatly. We don’t appear to have an answer for this. Guaranteed income and subsidized volunteerism might be about the only answer. Also, the population is aging which will mean more people needing assistance.
        If we reduce working hours we are left with the fact that highly skilled people are still needed but lower skilled people are not. AI and the net are even starting to reduce the need for lawyers. Shed a tear if you can.

      • Automation makes stuff cheaper, as a result you don’t have to work as many hours in order to earn enough to feed the family.

  6. “a pollutant found in air conditioners that is a factor in climate change”

    I just don’t see this happening under Trump, particularly not for this excuse. If these companies want to be “world leaders” in they can just do that themselves, and people can choose to buy these planet-saving devices or not. Too bad they didn’t plan for rapid obsolescence like the high tech industry.

    But didn’t St. Gore say air conditioners are really bad for the climate period?

  7. In regards to the window analogy i used to work for a family run car dealership in the late 90s. in 2000 they sold up to a corporation. They implemented policies where each department had to then start charging every other department for any work they did for them. Payroll charged each department for doing their payrolls etc. At the end of each month the managers had a meeting saying how much money they brought into the company but not where the money came from. All they were doing was shuffling money from one department to another. It wasn’t new money coming in from outside the business . Wasn’t long before the business was offloaded to another corporation.

    • I think departments in IBM started to do that before they lost US$4bil in 1994. Worked like a charm. /sarc off

      • I remember that year and IBM’s revenue or lack thereof.
        We had a small software company and the joke was that we had made more money than IBM that year.
        They were actually a good customer of ours…

  8. Much of what passes for economic stimulus from the ill-liberal side of the political spectrum is wholly based on the economics of the broken window. Remember “Cash-for Clunkers” – turn in your “old” car which had to be destroyed and you can have a tax credit for a new car? The ‘glaziers’ in the auto industry (labor unions) were ecstatic and the price of used cars went out of sight for those on the lower end of the political spectrum, so they had to work that much harder to keep their current (even older!) “clunkers” on the road.

    Then there was the similar program for appeasing appliance makers…

    “Glass-breaking” is a lot of what they do. Remember “Krystallnacht”? 1938…

    The Law of Unintended Consequences will never be repealed..

  9. The broken window fallacy is popular among adherents to the climate action religion.
    Along with their second favourite fallacy, the job creation via inefficiency fallacy. Or perhaps it could be know as the “spoons for shovels fallacy”.
    This common presentation is of uncertain heritage:
    — The make-work bias is best illustrated by a story, perhaps apocryphal, of an economist who visits China under Mao Zedong. He sees hundreds of workers building a dam with shovels. He asks: “Why don’t they use a mechanical digger?” “That would put people out of work,” replies the foreman. “Oh,” says the economist, “I thought you were making a dam. If it’s jobs you want, take away their shovels and give them spoons.” —
    https://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/10/10/spoons-shovels/

  10. well Aus copped this idiocy waaay back when..
    and all it did was create sh*tloads more landfill as the fridges aircons etc were unable to be swapped over to the new gas.cost the average mug a whole lot more for newer flimsy crap items.
    banned the yellow BFC fire extinguishers that worked well. left us with lesser effective options.
    if Trumps on the ball he will tell em to shove it.

    • ozspeaksup – you are correct!

      Years ago, my refrigerator stopped working effectively, and I had a tradesman drop by and top up the coolant. Problem solved!

      Many years later, it needed another top-up, BUT I was informed that the imbeciles in Ottawa had passed a law making this practice illegal, because they alleged that this would somehow “harm the environment”. So I had to send a huge deluxe fridge to the landfill and buy another one. How does a adding few ounces of refrigerant cause more environmental harm than landfilling a refrigerator that weighs several hundred pounds?

      All these imbeciles did was encourage the waste of over a thousand dollars of scarce global resources, and increase the amount of waste sent to the landfill by a few hundred pounds.

      • Yup! Amazing how they employ tunnel vision about this stuff. Of course, they’re just being willfully blind, because there is generally money at stake. Patents expiring for R134a maybe? Last time it was Freon patents expiring.

  11. The opportunities for remaking things are much greater than they say. The eco friendly refrigerants are flammable liquids like butane. These explode periodically and set fires, creating the opportunity to replace the entire house. (The can be further enhanced with use of high R value but highly flammable insulation.) this is exactly what happened in the UK a few months ago. But hey, think of the carbon footprint reduction when tens or hundreds of people die.

    • I immediately thought of flammable refrigerants with the fridge fire and Grenfell Tower disaster too but not down to the refrigerants as a bit of legwork on my part showed. A news article mentioned the specific fridge make and model and given its age of manufacture and UK refrigerant laws you had to conclude it couldn’t possibly have been down to propane/butane flammable refrigerant.

      With such an unusual fridge fire and tragic outcome the mind boggles at deliberately putting these flammable refrigerants in every home however.

  12. These sorts of “deals” aren’t deals at all: they are extortion. The deception is a deliberate one, and I hope Trump is smart enough to see through it.

  13. The Parable of the Broken Windows applies, or does not apply, depending on circumstances. link

    If the economy has plenty of unemployment and under utilization, and there are big piles of money lying around doing nothing, then anything that gets that money into circulation is a good thing. WW2 was probably a good thing for America (obviously not so for other countries).

    On the other hand, if the economy is performing as it should, a disaster is just a disaster and has no economic advantage.

    Economists are almost always wrong because no rules can be found that apply in most circumstances. link

    The IPCC admits:

    In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.

    The economy is also a coupled non-linear chaotic system. The same thing that makes economists wrong also makes climate scientists wrong. Folks, even left leaning politicians, widely agree that economists are usually wrong. The trick is to get them realize that climate scientists are in the same boat.

    • The issue that there is never a big pile of money sitting around doing nothing.
      What happens is that politicians decide they know better how to spend other people’s money so they pass laws to force people to invest how the politicians want them to invest.

      What got us out of the depression was not WWII, it was the eliminating all the make work regulations that government had put on companies trying to force them to hire more workers.

      • It didn’t hurt the US economy that during WW2 some of our main economic competitors were reduced to rubble.

        The broken window fallacy writ large.

      • Not some, pretty much all.
        Other than the US, the only major economic power that wasn’t bombed to rubble was Canada.
        This was long before any the Asian tigers got started.

      • MarkW February 7, 2018 at 9:59 am

        Not some, pretty much all. …

        Economics is often perverse and not at all intuitively obvious.

        Germany’s industry was bombed to dust. Britain had many factories that weren’t. The result was that Germany had to build all new up to date factories while Britain was left with a lot of antiques. FWIW YMMV

    • Is it because the models used by climate scientists (GCMs, et al) are basically the same as the models used by econometricians?

  14. I’m frequently shocked at the total ignorance of economics displayed by today’s journalists.
    Wouldn’t be so bad if it were just economics. Journalists are immensely ignorant of most things, or at the very least, unable to communicate what they do know and understand.

    • “I’m frequently shocked at the total ignorance of economics displayed by today’s journalists.”

      Why?

      The MSM is struggling for revenue. Ad revenue is dead. Subscriptions? Sure, there is always some good news, but its mostly bad.

      So the MSM (i.e., legacy, i.e., newspapers, non-satellite radio and over-the-air TV) lays off all the old, expensive, experienced writers, researchers and editors.

      They hire recent college grads of a Certain Generation who have no real world experience and have been taught everything but how to think for themselves for the last 15+ years of their lives. They pay them crumbs but lavish them with titles. That’s why you see “Senior” writers with 2 years writing experience and “Senior” editors who haven’t seen the age of 30 yet. Or, they don’t even pay them, call them interns, or worse, they ask their readers to write for free.

      Now even the “new” media is taking a hit. Cracked, Mashable, Buzzfeed, Vice.

      Its simple: you get what you pay for (mostly) and nobody wants to pay.

  15. For those who may have forgotten, Obama’s EPA imposed a ban on HFCs (the Kigali target) but was stopped by the DC Courts of Appeals in August 2017.

    The EPA enacted the rule in question in 2015, responding to research showing hydroflourocarbons, or HFCs, contribute to climate change.

    The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2-1 decision said EPA does not have the authority to enact a 2015 rule-making ending the use of hydrofluorocarbons commonly found in spray cans, automobile air conditioners and refrigerators. The three-judge panel said that because HFCs are not ozone-depleting substances, the EPA could not use a section of the Clean Air Act targeting those chemicals to ban HFCs.

    “Indeed, before 2015, EPA itself maintained that Section 612 did not grant authority to require replacement of non ozone-depleting substances such as HFCs,” the court wrote.

    “EPA’s novel reading of Section 612 is inconsistent with the statute as written. Section 612 does not require (or give EPA authority to require) manufacturers to replace non ozone-depleting substances such as HFCs,” said the opinion, written by Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

    https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/dc-appeals-court-denies-epa-climate-rules/

  16. So are the new refrigerants being discussed more efficient with heat transfer? Do they actually save energy versus the prior? I guess the real question would be if there is any non-climate opinion math to justify the change?

  17. Have the proponents of this crazy idea determined how many refrigerators, CA’s and Heat pumps will end up in the dump leaking their CFC’s through improper disposal.
    Just like the laws on disposal of electronic equipment have created the problem that I can not even throw out a non working radio, let alone a TV or PC without paying a disposal fee, devices with CFC’s will be thrown in the dump.

  18. ‘Parties to the Montreal Protocol struck a landmark legally binding deal to reduce the emissions of powerful greenhouse gases in a move that could prevent up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by the end of this century’

    Amusing that they use a decimal point.

  19. The parable of the broken window also illustrates why you must always consider the alternate investment income when calculating the ROI of any capital expenditure.

  20. Shouldn’t the opening line refer to HFC’s rather than the CFC’s which they replaced many years ago.

  21. Switching to renewable energy is also job creation – 28 wind farm jobs to create the same amount of electricity as one person job in a coal fired plant

  22. Reminds of the time brilliant Harvard grad Barack Hussein Obama destroyed billions of dollars worth of used cars, the kind the working poor buy.

  23. Just think of all of the job opportunities that would result if antifa were subsidized to run around breaking windows and torching cars/buildings.

  24. With apologies to Eric, the ideas put forward by Eric Worral are themselves fallacies.
    The switch from current refrigerants to less-environmentally harmful refrigerants is a win-win switch. There is no government expense, there is no “subsidis[ing] by forcing everyone in the USA switch to the new standard”, other than manufacturers no one will be forced to switch to anything, no business will be forced “to reduce other expenditures to comply”.
    None of the ill effects of shifting refrigerants took place during the last couple of refrigerant shifts — one can still buy a small window air conditioners for a hundred bucks — the change in refrigerants takes place at the manufacturing step — and the costs of re-tooling are made up in additional sales as the public upgrades to the newer, more efficient, less harmful units. Of course, not everyone upgrades at once, people wait til their older unit wears out, breaks down, or they decide to buy a split system a/c unit to replace that clunky window unit.
    Since there is concern about what happens to the old refrigerants in older systems, as they are replaced in the normal cycle of wearing out — there is the already existing small cost of capturing the refrigerant gases in disposed units — this requirement already exists for CFCs/HFCs already in use.
    As has been discussed here at WUWT before, the new replacement refrigerants are cheaper — less expensive — then the ones being replaced. For the newer household refrigerators, the cost of the refrigerant (basically propane or butane) approaches zero per unit. The amount of propane refrigerant used in a modern frig, in total, is about the amount wasted every time the propane man fills my 20-lb bbq tank and releases the few ounces of propane left over in the nozzle into the air.
    Of course, the idea that this shift will have much, if any, effect on the climate is dubious at best — but there are other good and valid reasons not to be unnecessarily releasing CFCs and HFCs into the atmosphere.

    • So the cost of replacing an otherwise working unit because the refrigerant it uses is no longer legal doesn’t exist?
      The cost of re-tooling your plant to make refrigerators, AC’s etc, that use a different coolant doesn’t exist?

      • The laws and regulations for refrigerants do not require that older units be immediately replaced. They require NEW units to have the new replacement refrigerants.
        Similarly, manufacturing of the new refrigerant units are on a stipulated phase-out-phase-in schedule. The re-tooling costs from the last round of changes — which usually involved minor changes such as altered pressure regulators, different lubricants — are no more than those involved in developing new models of existing units and often are re-captured in the buying rush by consumers and the building industry to have the latest models.
        So, yeah, little additional cost to anyone.
        The HVAC/Refrigeration industry has been working with changing refrigerants for some time now, and these changes are an expected part of the business cycle. It doesn’t much matter if the changes are from the Kagali Agreement or mandated by the EPA — the industry knows they are coming and have planned for it already.

  25. We need to have an immediate ban on the dangerous pollutant, di-hydrogen monoxide vapor, millions of tons of which are spewed into the atmosphere each year, much of it by agriculture. We need to take a stand against this deadly, planet-destroying chemical immediately. The Montreal Protocol’s success is proof that it can be done.

  26. There has been a report in the UK that the ozone layer has thinned in the tropics. It totally failed to explain why the ban on CFC’s was only good for the poles and not globally.

  27. Job creation is right– to the extent this lobbying scam dug deep into my household budget to pay for unproven equipment standards and now a de facto requirement to have ongoing HVAC warranty policies on the less reliable, higher-pressured HVAC equipment. The advocacy-lobbyist line was that this would only cost pennies to switch over but like all things over-promised by greeens the actual cost is 2x more and possibly 3x more. Technicians in the industry say the design and manufacturing was not there to do the change over and that the higher pressure systems break more often and require ongoing warranty coverage to maintain them. Thanks for nothing scumbags.

  28. “I’m frequently shocked at the total ignorance of economics displayed by today’s journalists.”

    Don’t be. Even Obama’s advisor Ben Rhodes knew:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2016/05/05/white-house-official-on-some-reporters-overseas-expertise-they-literally-know-nothing/?utm_term=.6b8d0f1826b8

    “All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus. Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

  29. Hurricane Harvey created job opportunities in Houston as well. So I guess by the logic of the article, we should wish for hurricanes. Beware Bastiat’s broken window.

    • Good point.
      Today’s Rockport Pilot front page headline was Citgo giving Habitat for Humanity 1.4 million for 22 houses. Because the interest free mortgages for this group are relatively small the impact of high property taxes is more important to them and therefore help is needed. Hurricane damage to the tax base should be large because of the reliance on tourism. Also there is government money coming in, even before one of these for resiliency. http://missionaransas.org/resilient-texas-planning-sea-level-rise.

      And then there is always war.

  30. When R12 was replaced with R134 Dow’s patent on R12 had run out and it was selling for as low as .99 cents per can. The R134 initially came on sale at $12 to $14 per can. If I heard that today’s HFCs had to be replaced with something new I would ask if the patent had run out.

    • Wasn’t it an expiring DuPont’s patent? How very fortunate for them that exactly at the moment anybody was free to manufacture Freon, it got banned worldwide. Long live the United Nations.

  31. There seems to be a lot of confusion in this debate. The United States banned the use of CFC (chloro-fluorocarbons) refrigerants decades ago, because escaped refrigerant eventually rose into the stratosphere, and chlorine catalyzed the breakdown of ozone to ordinary oxygen, which would allow more damaging ultraviolet rays to reach the earth’s surface, which could cause skin cancer or genetic mutations.

    In the USA, CFC refrigerants were replaced by HFC (hydro-fluorocarbons) refrigerants, which do not contain chlorine, so they would have less effect on the ozone layer. Neither family of refrigerants has much “greenhouse gas” effects, as their concentrations in the atmosphere are far too low to absorb much IR radiation.

    It would be a mistake to try to ban HFC refrigerants in favor of flammable refrigerants such as propane or isobutane. Such refrigerants are commonly used in the oil and gas industry (they are present in natural gas), but due to their flammability, large industrial compressors and refrigeration systems are subject to regular maintenance and leak-checks for purposes of worker safety. But such flammable refrigerants would be too dangerous for use in home refrigerators, when most homeowners don’t check their refrigerators for leaks unless the refrigerator doesn’t keep the food cold, and a propane leak and a spark could cause a fire long before the homeowner detected a leak.

    Another alternative refrigerant used in industry is anhydrous ammonia. Leaks from outdoor compressors can be easily detected by the odor of ammonia, but an ammonia leak from a home refrigerator in a poorly ventilated kitchen could cause concentrations to reach a toxic hazard. For example, in a typical kitchen 10 ft x 12 ft with an 8-ft ceiling (about 27 cubic meters), a leak of only 4 grams of ammonia could reach the toxic threshold of 200 ppm in air.

    “Global warming” is a very minor issue when dealing with refrigerants. The debate should be centered on the effects on the ozone layer and the danger of using flammable refrigerants.

    • “Global Warming” is a non-issue period, since it is natural forces that cause it and it has nothing to do with what we use for fuel, refrigerants, or anything else. Human beings just have a grossly over-inflated sense of self importance.

  32. A Senator/Representative new groundbreaking economic plan revealed!,

    Break a million windows and slash a million tires a day will create a million new jobs to replace the losses with new windows and tires.

    How come they never make such a proposal?

    Snicker…..

  33. All these green ‘job creation’ schemes seem to miss one important point. The money to pay for these jobs has to come from somewhere. Like renewables, yeah great, loadsa jobs! That’s because it’s so inefficient, and why it costs so much more!

    Logic much?

  34. I live in Arizona I have replace two AC/heating units each time I was told how much more efficient the new units would be each time the new units cost more money to operate, more efficient? No at all, they both were less efficient, of course when you use a inferior product as a refrigeration cycle it is going to cost more money.

  35. It is worth mentioning that this method of market manipulation by the government often becomes a repeat offender. An easy example would be the “environmentally” friendly gas can spouts here in CA. The government mandates a new version every few years it seems because the previously mandated ones are never good enough. The result is that the consumer not only has to pay for a new gas can and spout that is can specific each time a spout breaks but the functionality of the spout is often terrible because ease of use is not considered important by law makers as compared to “saving the environment”. The fact that this lack of functionality often causes worse spills is never even considered. Somehow liberal “socialism” doesn’t include making product parts universal so that where possible the consumer can benefit from products that are easier to fix and get parts for.

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