Matt Gaetz’s ‘Green Real Deal’ Is Big-Government, Economy-Killing Climate Alarmism

By James Taylor

Congressman Matt Gore – er, I mean Matt Gaetz – unveiled a ‘Green Real Deal’ this month, showing he is in full agreement with Al Gore-style climate alarmism. Gaetz’s proposal also reveals he believes high taxes, expensive energy, and government intrusion at the expense of economic freedom are ‘conservative’ values. Unfortunately, there is nothing conservative about being just 10-percent less radical than socialist congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Parroting Al Gore’s claim that the science is settled, Gaetz fails to recognize that temperatures are rising at less than half the pace predicted by United Nations climate models. He also fails to recognize that our modest recent warming is spurring record global crop production, a dramatic greening of the Earth, a retreat of global deserts, a decline in cold temperatures that kill 20 times more people than warm or hot temperatures, and a decline in the frequency and severity of a wide array of extreme weather events. There is simply no scientific case for climate alarmism.

Even if humans were causing climate change harms, Gaetz’s Green Real Deal would do nothing to impact global temperatures. America is responsible for only 15 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, and our emissions are in long-term decline. By contrast, emissions from the rest of the world have risen 56 percent this century. Even if America immediately and completely eliminated all carbon dioxide emissions, EPA models show less than 0.2 degree Celsius impact on global temperatures this century – an amount almost too small to be measured. Moreover, ongoing emission increases from the rest of the world would render American reductions meaningless.

Gaetz proposes massive new government spending on renewable energy technologies and dramatic cost increases for American energy. According to the American Action Forum, even replacing conventional energy with a heavy dose of new nuclear power – a much more affordable alternative to wind and solar power – would still cost American consumers up to $5.4 trillion, or $39,000 per American household.

Raising American energy prices will simply chase businesses, jobs, and emissions overseas. Even Gaetz acknowledges, “if we merely export pollution [emphasis mine], in service of our own virtue signaling, then we will not have done anything real to protect our beautiful planet. Being the world’s fool or patsy, will not combat climate change. Unilaterally disarming the American economy, through crushing regulations, will empower Washington, but few others.” And yet Gaetz’s Green Real Deal would do exactly that.

Just as importantly, Gaetz’s Green Real Deal would devastate American public lands and American wildlife. Gaetz proposes a massive increase in renewable energy production on American public lands. However, it takes approximately 300 square miles of wind turbines to replace a single conventional power plant. Gaetz’s plan would sacrifice tens of thousands of square miles of pristine open lands, coastal shorelines, national parks, and forests to generate just a small amount of electricity. Moreover, a recent peer-reviewed study found that while wind turbines produced just 1 percent of American electricity, they killed 1.5 million birds and bats annually, including many protected and endangered species. Ramping up wind power to 50 percent of American electricity production, therefore, would kill an unsustainable 75 million birds and bats every year. On top of that, wind and solar equipment are dependent on rare earth minerals, and rare earth mining is perhaps the most environmentally destructive activity on the planet.

What is it that induces some liberal Republicans to believe the best way to counter radical leftist energy and climate proposals is to propose essentially the same thing, tinker a little with the edges, and then brand it ‘conservative’? Raising energy costs, raising taxes, devastating the environment, and growing government is not just economically ruinous, it is also Republican political suicide.


James Taylor is a senior fellow for environment and climate policy at The Heartland Institute.

Advertisements

54 thoughts on “Matt Gaetz’s ‘Green Real Deal’ Is Big-Government, Economy-Killing Climate Alarmism

  1. ‘Climate Alarmism’ is like the Hydra (or Lernaean hydra) of Greek mythology which was a serpent-like monster with many heads. If you cut off one hydra head, two more would grow back in its place. Cut off the Green New Deal and another deal, nearly as futile and expensive, grows in its place.

  2. The wind turbine avian mortality study cited above made very heavy use of data from Altamont Pass and similar 1980s Californian wind farms… these are completely different designs to those used today and were uniquely badly sited compared to current wind farms, without the intensive pre construction avian impact assessments of modern units.

    In short, the bird death figures are completely bogus. If you compare them to Audobon society population surveys, all US eagle populations are already extinct. More than once.

    anyway, there are several large world economies which have substantially already deployed the renewable and transport proposals of the green deal -and their economies are functioning pretty well.

    China for example managed to construct 2,500 miles of high speed rail last year, while the US is incapable of constructing any. The entirety of the UK long distance rail network has been running at speeds 50 mph faster than the max on US rail for decades…

    • Griff , what powers the high speed rail in China? Not solar panels and wind towers alone. But that would be the only choice available under either the Dem or Rep green deals. That is one of the points of dissension with the green deals being proposed : major transport initiatives , but no corresponding efficient power source once you totally ban oil , gas , coal and nuclear.
      China achieves amazing engineering feats, but it is totally unconstrainted wrt emissions and its choice of power sources and as a nation , is the world’s leading CO2 emitter- the 2 facts are not coincidental, IMO.

    • Griff

      The US uses it rail network for cargo, which is the sensible way to use it. Freight trains move slowly for obvious reason. By the way, have you ever seen a typical US freight train in real life? They often carry 5-10 times as much cargo as euopean ones. UK like all european countries misuses its rail network by trying to run both cargo and passengers on the same tracks. Result: low efficiency and high costs for both cargo and passenger traffic.
      In Sweden for example all main lines are perfectly capable of running trains at 200 km/h, and actually did so 20 years ago. Then the politicians crammed more and more suburban trains and freight trains onto the lines, so they are now overcrowded even at night making proper maintenance near impossible. Result: The fastest trains are now considerably slower than they were 20 years ago.

      Dedicated high-speed rail needs at least ten million people at each end of the line and not too far apart to be economical. That is not so easy to find outside China and Japan. It also requires a political system where very large scale expropriation of property can be carried out quickly and cheaply in densely populated urban and suburban areas. It proved impossible in California, hence the “railroad from nowhere to nowhere”.

      “these are completely different designs to those used today”

      In what way. Are the modern ones wingless?

      • “these are completely different designs to those used today”

        In what way. Are the modern ones wingless?

        The older designs were fast-spinning and low to the ground, 60 to 80 feet (18 to 24 meters), while also featuring cage-like lattice towers that were attractive places for birds to land and perch: a bad mix
        The newer designs are “monopole” towers, some as high as 500 feet (152 meters).

        However, according to Oklahoma State University ecologist Scott Loss

        The larger, more efficient structures appear to kill more birds per turbine than the windmills they’re replacing—between three and eight birds per turbine per year, according to Loss. “Despite assertions that these turbines would reduce mortality rates, cumulatively they could still be responsible for a lot of mortality,” … One of the problems, Loss found, is that taller turbines kill more birds, particularly high-flying raptors and migrating waterbirds. So the benefits of the monopole design, and of having fewer, more efficient turbines, may be offset by the fact that new turbines are taller and tend to have larger rotor spans

        https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2014/04/140427-altamont-pass-will-newer-wind-turbines-mean-fewer-bird-deaths/

        • John Endicott

          The newer designs are “monopole” towers, some as high as 500 feet (152 meters).

          However, according to Oklahoma State University ecologist Scott Loss

          The larger, more efficient structures appear to kill more birds per turbine than the windmills they’re replacing

          This occurs for several reasons: The number of larger turbines is indeed reduced from the dozens of lower, smaller-diameter windmills. However, the total area covered by the entire windfarm is much, much larger. The higher, larger diameter turbines must be spread out from each nearby turbine by more “diameters” of clear space. And the diameter of turbine is larger, so the “spreading” of disturbed wind behind each windmill is higher, longer range behind the tower, and goes much higher into the air.
          So, instead of a small region of small towers close to the ground of “fatal air”, now the birds can be hit very high in the air by “pockets” of greater turbulence and more lethal physical impact over a many times greater area. The larger diameter blades are faster, there is less warning.

          • Still averaging 1.2 birds and 2+ bats per year per every turbine.
            Not that EVERY TURBINE will kill a bird
            BUT
            That’s the average bird/bat kill per turbine
            The .2 is Raptor mortality rates.

      • High speed rail isn’t even sustainable between Dallas and Houston (two huge metroplexes)… not until gasoline is over $10/gallon… and with the latest generation of Turbofans, even air travel will have a lower passenger mile cost than HSR on this route (250 miles)… which is why China has ordered over 1,000 new airliners.

        Even greenies like Elon Musk knows the dream of HSR is dead… it just hasn’t sunk in with the watermelon’s, yet.

        • Their plan is to take away your personal transport (and Airliners) and leave you no option but high speed rail for distances and mass transit for local travel.
          Time to bring back the electric trolley

    • Griff, I actually walked about a half-mile underneath a line of wind turbines that were operating and generating electricity, have you? The wind turbines were located a few miles NE of Casper, Wyoming, and the time was late summer of 2007. In this half-mile walk I encountered one golden eagle, two vultures, about a dozen crows, some small falcon-like bird, several meadowlarks, and another misc. 20 birds, all dead and showing signs of blunt-force trauma. This was early on a Monday morning, and, as I was getting ready to leave, a pickup, with the company logo on it, arrived and two workers got out and started collecting dead birds. You talk the talk, Griff, now go take the walk. Anyone else with an interest in this topic, pro or con, should also take the walk. Some advice, make sure you are on Public Lands, wear a hard-hat and safety glasses, and be prepared to deal with some irate workers.

      • I spoke to a man that once worked in the wind farm industry. He told me about a tour guide that was taking some dignitaries about a wind farm & they asked if they ever killed any birds. He said, “no, never”. As he did, a bird flew into the blades and fell dead, right at his feet.

    • Questions for Griff:
      What is the “correct” bird and bat mortality caused by wind farms?
      Has the mortality rate decrease with time because the populations of birds and bats have been reduced? (For example, if 75% of a species is killed, the new mortality rate would be lower because there are fewer turbine targets)
      How many birds & bats are killed per ton of CO2 reduction due to renewables added to electrical grids?
      Do CO2 emissions decrease or increase due to the addition of renewables to the grid? (to include emissions from spinning backup)
      So many questions – I’ll stop at these

    • In short, the bird death figures are completely bogus

      So you keep saying but you are wrong (as usual).

      The wind turbine avian mortality study cited above made very heavy use of data from Altamont Pass and similar 1980s Californian wind farms… these are completely different designs to those used today and

      here’s a study (that you’ve been pointed to before, yet you keep repeating your same lies) that looks at the type of wind turbines in use today:
      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006320713003522
      and it estimates: between 140,000 and 328,000 bird deaths annually.

      Prior studies estimate between 10,000 and 573,000 fatal bird collisions with U.S. wind turbines annually; however, these studies do not differentiate between turbines with a monopole tower and those with a lattice tower, the former of which now comprise the vast majority of all U.S. wind turbines and the latter of which are largely being de-commissioned. We systematically derived an estimate of bird mortality for U.S. monopole turbines … we estimate that between 140,000 and 328,000 (mean = 234,000) birds are killed annually by collisions with monopole turbines in the contiguous U.S. We found support for an increase in mortality with increasing turbine hub height and support for differing mortality rates among regions, with per turbine mortality lowest in the Great Plains

    • The wind turbine avian mortality study cited above made very heavy use of data from Altamont Pass and similar 1980s Californian wind farms

      Altamont Pass has been replacing their “1980s” towers with the modern designed monopole ones (they were one of the pioneers in the modern design) so that the study used data from Altamont Pass does not automatically mean it was “heavy use of data” from the older designed towers.

    • There is no need for passenger rail in this country.
      What little we do have isn’t being used and is a huge money loser.

    • Grift’s information all comes from advocacy and industry sources and therefore are completely invalid.

      See, Grift – works both ways.

      Except for the fact that Green – almost anywhere you find it – really IS a con.

    • Griff

      We don’t need a green new deal to have high speed rail. The is already some “high speed” rail in the Northeast corridor. The reasons the U.S. does not have more high speed rail for both passenger and freight are many and complicated, but they have very little to do with being “green”. And they do not lend themselves to drive-by comments. It will happen when there is sufficient bi-partisan political support to cause it to happen

    • You might also consider 1) that the U.S. is somewhat wider than China, 2) their government doesn’t care about niceties like asking before they seize land for things like rail and dams, and 3) their pollution is some of the worst on the planet. My son was in South Korea recently and the smog blowing from China was horrible even that far away.

      • 1) that the U.S. is somewhat wider than China

        Yes, but you’d think that would actually make high speed rail more desirable as there are more distances to cover. However, all the complications of your point 2 still come into play, even more so (as that means more negotiations with more land owners).

    • China for example managed to construct 2,500 miles of high speed rail last year, while the US is incapable of constructing any

      Yes, totalitarian states are good at “getting things done” even (or especially) when it means stomping all over the citizenry to do it and regardless of whether it’s worth doing or not. In the US, you can’t just build 2,500 miles of anything without first going through democratic processes (planning hearings, zoning board meetings, ballot questions, etc) that allows the public to weigh in on the plans and that public could well say “hell no” (in China, there is no such process, the leaders decide it will happen and that’s it regardless of what the citizenry think on the matter).

      And if the proposed project requires land that is privately owned (as is likely given the vast distances involved in high speed rail projects) that requires first negotiating with the land owners on a mutually agreeable amount for purchasing said land. Even when land is seize through eminent domain, the owners are still entitled to “just compensation” (in China, the state just takes the land without worrying about compensating the “owners” because the “owners” aren’t owners, the state is the owner).

      Even if the democratic process allows it to go forth and even if they manage to work out deals (or use eminent domain) to purchase the land, such projects are subject to auditing and re-evaluation should they go over budget/fail to make progress resulting in the plug being pulled (as happened in California). In china, no such audit or re-evaluation is needed. If it’s not going to plan, the leaders can just demand more resources get thrown at it until it gets done, efficiency and cost-benefit ratios be damned.

  3. The government has been starving the people for years. It’s way past time for We the People to put the government on a diet. We must limit the actual number of people that are on the federal payroll.

  4. The “New Green Deal” has little to do with climate change, but is instead a road map to socialism.

    • Text of “Green New Deal” resolution here

      https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-resolution/288/text

      introduced by Gaetz on behalf of himself and Cong. Francis Rooney (R-Naples FL).

      Recall Rooney joined with left-wing super-greenies and co-sponsored a massive carbon tax bill (HR 763, laughably titled an “Energy Innovation Act”) which would cripple the US economy via tax on ALL carbon usage (not just fossil fuel emissions). This was the subject of a WUWT article here:

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/12/02/details-of-the-horrible-carbon-tax-bill/

      According to the Congressional Budget Office (as stated in Investor’s Business Daily), the tax would cost $1.1 trillion (or over $300 for each American) annually by its 2nd year. That’s 5% of our economy. It automatically increases, so by year 10, I calculate it would consume 30% of our national economy (cost $7.7 trillion out of a then-$26 trillion economy.)

      These two psuedo-conservatives have apparently made the political calculation that this stance would be viewed by climate know-nothings as a reasonable compromise and they could get kudos from both sides of the aisle.

      Heck, maybe it’s working. There has been a radio ad running multiple times daily on the conservative FOX talk show channel here in Rooney’s district. A huge buy. It’s gushingly supportive of a wise and oh-so-reasonable Francis Rooney. It was paid for by the Environmental Defense Fund (yes, THAT same tree-spiking EDF group). That should be reason enough for any rational person to be wary.

      • Oops sorry, article should read 2nd year cost would be over $3000 annually per each American, assuming 330 million Americans. Too many zeros (mathematically and politically).

      • secryn: I noticed fox website has had a regular flow of climate alarm since R. Murdock handed over control to the kids. The kids have likely been rubbing elbows with all the right folks in NY and DC for long time, and they can’t have the elites think badly of them. Likely the same disease for these idiot congressman. How can such people not remember that G.W. Bush and his pappy both genuflected before enviros, did it work for them?

  5. Gaetz sez: “I didn’t come to Congress to argue with a thermometer…”
    Oh. My. God. What a moron.

  6. From the article: “Even if America immediately and completely eliminated all carbon dioxide emissions, EPA models show less than 0.2 degree Celsius impact on global temperatures this century – an amount almost too small to be measured.”

    Isn’t this kind of buying into the CAGW meme, too, just like Rep. Gaetz? The 0.2C temperature figure quoted is pure speculation but is being presented as fact.

    We all need to be careful about how we characterize things.

    • I read that too but dismissed it simply because it was a modelled number outputted from a computer. Given we know the models are unreliable this EPA statement must also be unreliable with exception to “…- an amount almost too small to be measured.”

  7. From the article: “even replacing conventional energy with a heavy dose of new nuclear power – a much more affordable alternative to wind and solar power – would still cost American consumers up to $5.4 trillion”

    That’s cheaper than spending $100 TRILLION on the Green New Deal.

    I’m all for replacing worn-out conventional energy facilities with nuclear energy. Replacing old facilities is going to cost about the same amount of money as nuclear if we went with coal or natural gas instead, so what’s the problem with spending appoximately the same amount of money on nuclear electricity generation?

    We are going to spend $5.3 TRILLION on some form of power generation to replace ageing generators, so why not make it nuclear?

  8. It is maddening to hear these “Communism Lite” ideas floating around. Seems like the political class fears the New York Times more than they love their voters.

    Fortunately there is very little chance that any of these pipe dreams will gain any traction now. Later, when the pendulum swings back to the left again, these “courageous Republicans that dared to cross the aisle” and so on may have their chance. But more likely they will still get trashed by the media. The “R” after a name is more potent than any flavor of garlic.

    To be called a fool by Paul Krugman is a great honor, but these guys panic over it. Sad.

  9. What frustrates me is there is absolutely zero pushback from anyone in Congress. Surely someone can look at a chart of real temps vs. models, understand that the “12 years and we all die!!” forecast is a worst case estimate based on worst case forecast of CO2 emissions feeding worst case models and worst case effects. Someone should be able to explain all the evidence of higher past temperatures with lower CO2 concentration, how the ice ages somehow managed to end without a massive injection of CO2. Instead all the Congresscritters just fall in line like they are programmed. We are so screwed.

  10. From the article: “Ramping up wind power to 50 percent of American electricity production, therefore, would kill an unsustainable 75 million birds and bats every year.”

    I don’t see where Rep. Gaetz has called for ramping up wind power to 50 percent.

    Here’s the Green Real Deal (thanks to David Middleton)

    ‘Green Real Deal’ project ideas:

    1. Investing in carbon capture storage and carbon capture and use, and otherwise reducing emissions or achieving net-zero emissions from energy produced from fossil fuels
    2. Investing in next generation zero-emissions sources, including renewable energy and nuclear energy, especially small modular reactors
    3. Promoting the widespread use and deployment of next-generation recycling and waste management technology, such as plastics-to-fuel initiatives, and transforming post-consumer recycled plastic into new materials such as asphalt
    4. Modernizing the electric grid through strategic investments in transmission, distribution and storage
    5. Allowing fair and equal access to energy development on federal lands
    6. Modernizing the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act to drive investment in clean energy infrastructure, especially multi-state transmission, and offshore wind
    7. Eliminating regulations that hinder or slow the deployment of advanced energy, and creating a regulatory climate to encourage the use of clean, renewable and innovative energy and recycling technology,
    8. Modernizing regulations governing hydropower development
    9. Establishing a voluntary framework reporting and tracking carbon emissions, renewable energy procurement, and energy efficiency investment to increase investment in clean energy technology and improve transparency and accountability for the benefit of customers, investors and shareholders
    10. Establishing robust homeowner tax incentives for energy efficiency upgrades, including HVAC upgrades
    11. Expanding tax incentives for commercial building energy efficiency upgrades
    12. Establishing challenge grants for universities to develop actionable plans for increasing resiliency and building adaptive capacity in urban and rural areas, as well as in national parks and other federal lands
    13. Working with utility companies and developers to ensure the speedy yet realistic and consumer-friendly adoption of renewable energy including solar, wind and geothermal
    14. Protecting the intellectual property of American clean energy innovators

    Pensacola News Journal

    • If the Government goes wholesale promotion of Gen IV Nuclear, the rest of the list solves itself. If Nuclear electricity become cheap and plentiful, NH4 is so cheap it replaces Diesel and cars get electrified through the free market and not through $7,500 tax incentives.

    • Much of the Green Real Deal funnels tax dollars to rent seekers which will increase energy costs and taxes with No Real Benefit. I’m of the opinion that much of the Green Real Deal = No Real Benefit to those who are not rent seekers.

    • 9 of those 14 points involve increased subsidies, which will further distort markets, promote grid instability, and increase overall energy costs. The other 5 involve spending money too, but can’t tell if it would be subsidies. It’s a weasel-worded disaster.

      All this to fix a problem that doesn’t exist!

  11. “However, it takes approximately 300 square miles of wind turbines to replace a single conventional power plant.”

    This statement is quite wrong. The 300 square miles of wind turbines cannot replace a single conventional power plant. The conventional power plant must remain to fill in the gaps when the wind is not blowing. Electric power distribution is a system which must be designed and operated to provide electricity continuously, even on windless days.

    • “This statement is quite wrong. The 300 square miles of wind turbines cannot replace a single conventional power plant. The conventional power plant must remain to fill in the gaps when the wind is not blowing.”

      Excellent point!

      Wind mills and Industrial Solar all require conventional coal/gas/nuclear backups for when the wind doesn’t blow and the Sun doesn’t shine. This doubling of infrastructure necessarily increases the cost of electricity. It happens everywhere it’s tried. If you include “renewables” in the mix, the costs go higher.

  12. The abuse of the “science” label, without actual science being done, is among the most corrupting tactics of our day. Data does not matter, only what one can sell. And, the politicians are as dumb as doorknobs in this area.

  13. I think Mr. Gaetz is completely off-base on this Green Real Deal when he promotes “renewables”.

    Windmills and Industrial Solar are deadends. They are a huge waste of money. No conservative should support such stupidity.

    Does Gaetz have any Republican co-sponsors for this legislation?

    I think Gaetz and any co-sponsors need to hear from their constituents about this ridiculous boondoogle he is proposing.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Gaetz, he is a strong supporter of Trump, but this Green Real Deal is dead on arrival and he should change course and remove any references to “renewables” in his plan and just stick with promoting nuclear energy and research into advanced nuclear designs.

    By doing this he can satisfy conservatives who want a viable power generation system and he can satisfy his liberal buddies (If that is one of his aims) because nuclear energy does not produce CO2.

    Leave the windmill promotiong to Elizabeth Warren and the other Democrats.

  14. …”because nuclear energy does not produce CO2.”…
    While I am a proponent of building nuclear power plants, this statement is as incorrect as many of the Green New Deal statements about “renewable” power.

    It takes absolutely massive amounts of energy to build a nuclear power plant. Much of the energy/CO2 emissions is for the concrete and reinforced steel needed for the building of the containment structure.
    While nuclear, unlike wind and solar, will hit the energy breakeven point rather quickly (2 years?) there will be significant CO2 produced during construction.

    I am also not saying that CO2 emissions is necessarily a totally bad thing, we need to be careful with using
    incorrect rhetoric in discussing the ramifications of our power generation choices.

    • “…”because nuclear energy does not produce CO2.”…
      While I am a proponent of building nuclear power plants, this statement is as incorrect as many of the Green New Deal statements about “renewable” power.”

      No, it’s not incorrect. You interpretation of what I wrote is what is incorrect.

      I was referring to the generation of electricity by nuclear power plants when I said they “don’t produce CO2”. I was not referring to the building of the facility. All electrical generating facilites including windmills produce CO2 when being constructed.

      • CO2 emitted for wind farm construction comes in part from mining of copper etc. used to construct power transmission systems that are over designed by about a factor of 3 because average wind power generation is only a fraction of the nameplate capacity. Energy used for mining and smelting does not come from wind turbines and likely never will.

    • The idea of Gen IV Nuclear is to get away from the need for massive containment structures, reactors that can’t melt down and make them mass produced and can be transported by truck.

      The amount of CO2 that goes into building one should be tiny compared to the equivalent output wind or solar installation.

  15. James Taylor tells us: “Gaetz fails to recognize that temperatures are rising at less than half the pace predicted by United Nations climate models.”

    This is incorrect. The true situation can be inferred from the work of Lewis and Curry. They find that observed TCR is about 1.3 K/doubling while the average for IPCC models is 1.8 K. That means that observed warming AT THE SURFACE has been about 70% of projected warming based on warming rate.

    Why is the Heartland graph James linked so misleading? First it is based on UAH Version 5. The latest version shows about twice as much warming. And the latest version of RSS shows three times as much warming. Furthermore, that graph is of warming in the atmosphere as a whole, not the surface. Finally, that graph ends with the Pause and is missing the rise (an average of +0.2 degC) experienced since the Pause ended.

    The paper Taylor linked claims an 11% increase in vegetation in warm arid regions from fertilization by CO2 and assumes the authors have correctly adjusted for changes in precipitation.

    Taylor writes: “a decline in the frequency and severity of a wide array of extreme weather events”. It is difficult to statistically prove that the frequency and severity of extreme weather has changed because extreme events are rare. Statistically conclusive evidence of change exists for only extreme cold spells and tornados (in the US) and extreme warm spells and short periods of intense rainfall have increased (the kind of intense rain that causes local flash flooding, not regional flooding from stationary weather fronts). A few years ago, there was a lot of publicity about the lack of major hurricanes striking the continental US, but after Michael (upgraded to Cat 5) hit the Florida panhandle in 2018, and Irma (Cat 3-4) struck the South Florida in 2017 AND Harvey (Cat 3-4) drowned Houston in 2017, the “drought” in major hurricanes can be clearly seen as a matter of luck, not a trend. There were plenty of major Atlantic hurricanes during the drought; they just didn’t make landfall in the continental US. (In 2018, Hurricane Florence in South Carolina and Maria in Puerto Rice didn’t qualify, might be worthy of mention.

    Since it is so difficult to statistically prove that the number of extreme weather events is changing, the changes predicted by the IPCC models probably won’t be conclusively detected for decades even if those predictions are correct. So the absence of proof of change shouldn’t be taken for proof of the absence of change.

  16. The US is taking in about $3.5T in revenue and spending $4.5T. The trillion $ deficits are expected to continue even until the middle class tax cuts passed in 2017 expire in 2024 (assuming they expire) and will remain large even if GDP grows 3-4%. Neither party is interested in cutting spending, so the US needs a new source of revenue. As carbon tax is merely a consumption tax and might cause less damage than other ways of increasing revenue and perhaps have some minor benefits.

    In the linked article, Gaetz says: “The question for America is pretty simple: either we want a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington telling us what we can’t do, or we empower American innovators to unlock things that we can do,”

    Taylor writes: “Gaetz proposes massive new government spending on renewable energy technologies and dramatic cost increases for American energy. According to the American Action Forum, even replacing conventional energy with a heavy dose of new nuclear power – a much more affordable alternative to wind and solar power – would still cost American consumers up to $5.4 trillion, or $39,000 per American household.”

    Taylor lies – or can’t read. He is citing figures of the American Action Forum’s (Douglas Holtz-Eakin and friend) analysis of AOC’s green energy plan, not the plan proposed by Gaetz! AOC’s plan includes low-carbon electricity and transportation, guaranteed jobs, universal health care, guaranteed housing and “food security”. Here is what the American Action Forum actually said about low-carbon electricity:

    To put these costs [for 50% nuclear and 50% renewable electricity] in perspective, total retail revenue in the electric power sector was $390 billion in 2017.[3] Generation costs were 59 percent of that, and would go from $230 billion to $387 billion each year in the above scenario, about a $157 billion difference, though if $70.5 billion of annual fuel costs are avoided by 2029 the net annual difference falls to $86.5 billion.[4] That increase (accounting for avoided fuel costs) would drive up total electricity costs by 22 percent. With an average monthly electric bill in 2017 of $111, the average household could expect around $295 of increased annual expenditures on electricity. This scenario is likely optimistic,

    $295 per year! Taylor is off by a factor of more than 100! I think the cost of integrating 50% non-dispatchable power has been seriously underestimated, but that problem could be solved by retaining some fossil fuel plants and adding a little more nuclear.

    Taylor is correct, wind and solar require immense amount of land and pose threats to the environment, including birds. EVERY option has environmental costs and risks. What’s worse: strip mining or underground mining for coal and the air pollution that produces, the risk of loss of coolant in a nuclear plant, diced birds and neodymium mining from wind turbines, the large amount of water polluted water produced by fracking, the ecological cost of covering deserts with solar panels and the toxic metals used in semiconductors more sophisticated than silicon.

Comments are closed.