Guardian Climate Crisis: Coal Use is Not Falling Fast Enough

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to The Guardian, coal use will have to collapse in the 2020s if we are to combat the climate crisis.

Carbon emissions fall as electricity producers move away from coal

Global emissions down by 2% amid mild winter and reduced use of coal-fired power plants

Jillian Ambrose and Simon Goodley
Mon 9 Mar 2020 17.01 AEDT

Carbon emissions from the global electricity system fell by 2% last year, the biggest drop in almost 30 years, as countries began to turn their backs on coal-fired power plants.

The report from climate thinktank Ember, formerly Sandbag, warned that the dent in the world’s coal-fired electricity generation relied on many one-off factors, including milder winters across many countries.

“Progress is being made on reducing coal generation, but nothing like with the urgency needed to limit climate change,” the report said.

Dave Jones, the lead author of the report, said governments must dramatically accelerate the electricity transition so that global coal generation collapses throughout the 2020s.

“To switch from coal into gas is just swapping one fossil fuel for another. The cheapest and quickest way to end coal generation is through a rapid rollout of wind and solar,” he said.

“But without concerted policymaker efforts to boost wind and solar, we will fail to meet climate targets. China’s growth in coal, and to some extent gas, is alarming but the answers are all there.”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/09/carbon-emissions-fall-as-electricity-producers-move-away-from-coal

The report is available here.

Interesting that cheap solar and wind still seems to need so much government help.

68 thoughts on “Guardian Climate Crisis: Coal Use is Not Falling Fast Enough

  1. So the answer to reducing greenhouse emissions from fossil fuels is global warming to create milder winters …

    • The CAGW logic circle goes round and round, round and round, round and round…

      Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

    • Roll out wind and solar? Would that be like rolling out Hornsea One at a subsidy of 4 billion pounds over 15 years, NOT including the cost of the electricity itself? This is the largest offshore windfarm on the planet. Let’s do the math. 174 turbines with a power rating of 7 mw each. Multiply by 24 hours times 365 days times an efficiency of 35% and you get 4 Twh. Britain’s annual electrical consumption is 309 Twh. Hornsea One therefore produces a piddling 1.3% of British electricity needs and covers 400 square Kilometers in the process. Looks like they will have to roll out another 98.7% and cover another 396,000 square kilometers. Keep it up and we’ll soon run out of planet.

  2. “Cheap’ Wind-Turbines and Solar Power would not survive commercially if they were not on a vast government-sponsored life-support system. The one non-CO2 system that exists and works commercially is ruled out a priori by government. It is nuclear power which produces heat without combustion and emits no air pollution.

  3. Wind and solar would already be in widespread use if they made any sense!
    But alas, 14 is the new 15 and this madness carries on sadly.

  4. It’s time to cut off the funding for solar and wind. Lets see if these technologies can stand on their own after all this time.
    Lets see if these technologies can actually deliver the amount of electricity that they were projected to deliver. If not why?
    When these wind and solar farms need replacing can they cover the dismantling and recycling expenses on their own? Then can they cover the replacement expense?
    Monitor the CO2 amounts for the above. How long once operating does it take for these solar and wind farms to become solar neutral?
    Fair is only fair.

  5. For the anti coal movement, it may be more productive to have a chat with their anti fracking – anti natural gas -anti pipeline buddies, than to whine on the Guardian.

    • Its not the same guy but they are certainly both brain dead so they might as well be.

    • Dave Jones, the lead author of the report, said governments must dramatically accelerate the electricity transition so that global coal generation collapses throughout the 2020s.

      Obviously, Dave Jones et el have escalated into “panic mode” because they realize that the public is wising up to their flim-flam extortion schemes.

  6. “The report from climate thinktank Ember, formerly Sandbag…”

    I have just been sandbagged. 😉

  7. Who the hell are anyone to tell someone else how to produce their energy when they themselves are taking advantage of that same energy source they want to displace? Are they stupid, fanatical, hypocritical, or more descriptive all three?

    • Yes.
      You got to love the line “To switch from coal into gas is just swapping one fossil fuel for another”. Nothing is good enough for them.

      When we get completely safe nuclear they will be whining about “peak thorium” LMAO.

  8. “The carbon-intensity of global electricity is now 15% lower than in 2010” (Ember report).

    Despite the enormous cost, according to the Mauna Loa Observatory data, there has been no effect on the atmospheric concentration trend.
    https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo.pdf
    How long will it take before realization penetrates that the economically crippling emission reduction project is utterly futile⸮

    • It is not futile. It’s just that its aim is not one they declare it be.

      The aim is to destroy western economy where social and labour conditions are half decent and replace it with 3rd world labout and living standards where costs are cheap.

      Sadly the “woke” have not woken up to this fact yet and imagine they are campaigning to “save the planet” rather than campaigning for their own demise and destruction.

      They have not stopped to ask where their welfare checks and hospital care is going to come from in this new, “clean” world. However, the answer if readily available by looking at Africa and India.

  9. I do not think coal use is falling at all! China and India are ramping it up substantially.

    Job interview, 1981, Detroit Edison, Taylor plant: They showed me the coal yard, the pulverizers, and the alternate energy supply, Nat Gas, a simple pipe. I am sure they have converted, although I did not take the job.

  10. One of the more questionable claims made about coal is that burning it to generate electrical power in Canada exacerbates rates of lung disease. Now there is an easy proposition to test. Different jurisdictions have different dependencies on coal, and records are kept on admissions to hospitals for lung disease. Once you control for smoking in the victims of lung disease, you can calculate the correlation between lung disease and living in jurisdicitons relying on coal for its electrical generation. Curiously, no such studies are ever cited. That coal-fired electrical generation raises levels of lung disease is just taken as fact.

    • They claim several billion in health costs a year in ALberta without ever backing it up with facts

      • I keep hearing a radio commercial from “The Government of Canada” (aka the Liberal Party). Every statement is clearly false.

        Pollution has a cost. It costs us the health of our children and it costs us financially. We are putting a price on carbon pollution…

        Then they go on to say how they are going to give us all a climate action incentive rebate. So while taxing everything, making our cost of living jump, they are going to bribe us with our own money to try to make us not notice.
        First off, we have approximately no pollution in Canada. We have the cleanest air in the entire world. Pollution is not costing us the health of our children (as there is so little pollution). Children here are NOT experiencing pollution related illnesses. Not to mention that “think of the children” is the “argumentum ad passiones” logical fallacy.
        Pollution is not costing us financially because we have almost no pollution. In fact, our super clean air is one of the reasons tourists come to Canada.
        Finally, when he (let’s face it, this is Trudeau’s advertisement) uses the term carbon, he is referring to CO2. As we all know, CO2 is NOT a pollutant. It is in fact plant fertilizer. It may or may not have a significant impact on global temperature (a different discussion for a different day), but it is definitely NOT a pollutant.
        This is clearly just another tax grab.

    • Linear No (Lower) Threshhold – LNT – projection of health problems is one of the largest scams of the last century. It is universally used and defended by government agencies, NGOs and virtually all major health 501C3s.

    • “Once you control for smoking in the victims of lung disease…”

      It’s always bemused me that the very clever scientists could distil out the smokers from this global lot-
      https://www.un.org/press/en/2019/sgsm19607.doc.htm
      Not that I’m arguing imbibing nicotine via burnt vegetable matter is a good idea and it seems rather quaint now that we ever thought it was. THC smokers take note.

      One thing I’ve noticed with a lot of climate changers is they seem to combobulate CO2 and air pollution together and why we all have to get rid of coal but not their petrol cars naturally. It’s all those other ignorant people out there that drive those dirty diesels (even though the emissions standards are the same now). They seem to have a soft spot for natural gas though as it’s just a temporary transition for their pet unreliables.

  11. Coal, natural gas, and oil have been and are the greatest energy agents for eliminating poverty on our planet. Nothing else comes close for reliability, efficiency and cost effectiveness. The quickest way to increase poverty on planet Earth is to reject coal, natural gas, and oil and force increases in expensive, intermittent, and unreliable solar and wind energy sources.

    Poverty is truly ‘renewable’ and, with sufficient socialist green forcing, ‘sustainable’. Progressively inhumane, but renewable and sustainable.

    • Poor, starving people votes for redistribution, the vote left.
      Left is good.
      Therefore, poverty and starvation is good.

  12. Warming MAXED at 4 C regardless of CO2 !
    Or should that be a ?
    This recently published paper appears to indicate in their figure 2, as one goes through 1, 2, 3 and 4 doublings of CO2 (3200 ppm) would result in a levelling off of temperature to a MAXIMUM of 4 C “global warming”. They also show a variable temperature range, which is a result of the assumed thickness of ocean “slab” being heated by sunlight and cooled by cloud formation. Further work needs to be done with this methodology, such as allowing for Coriolis effect and differing ocean slab thickness effects.

      • You paper citation probably deserves its own WUWT Blog entry so that it is not lost in the comments.

      • But…
        before the 19th century’s industrial revolution, the CO2 concentration was at about 280 ppm
        therefore 4 doublings = 4,480 ppm

        • Nice save, savenergy. Pun intended.

          The often cited number is 3 C per doubling…..4 doublings would be 12 C, or pick some other ECR number….that’s a lot different than the 4 C in this paper….now WattsUppers have to figure out who is right…..

    • DMacKenzie, Mega thanks for the citation and summary.

      I am not current on the current modeling literature and will likely never learn enough to follow all of the details of this paper. Nevertheless, I made a detailed first scan based on your short bumper sticker of Max warming 4C regardless of CO2.

      Beyond your succinct summary, the next largest takeaways from this “oversimplified model” paper that I see are as follows.

      1- Thwe model complexity. It is grossly oversimplified compared to the actual earth. We still know almost nothing. But we do know things. Bravo that the modelers actually take a stab at dynamically allowing cloud formation to affect irradiance and heat transfer. Cloud formation is not dynamic in the big GCM model runs.
      2- Negative feedbacks like cloud formation and precipitation in this more dynamic model arise at higher forcing from Co2 and tamp what would otherwise be specter to be a logarithmic rate of increase without them. DO they do so in the real climate? who knows? Probably? But it is certainly plausible (probable?) that net climate sensitivity to C02 forcing may actually be below 1 based on results from these model runs. Certainly worth investigating…
      3-Runs were done to “stability” and even in this grossly oversimplified model took millennia to “settle”. If the model runs are at least a good first order approximation of expected warming from CO2 forcing, then we will have centuries to adjust to the few degrees of additional warming we my see.

      Thanks again for the reference.

      V/R. –pwm

  13. Nice article, I can say that I’m a big fan of whatsApp plus and I really enjoy using it on my mobile. For the reason, that it does not eat a lot of space in my device, unlike other applications. The good thing about this whatsApp is even you are outside the country, you no longer need to pay a lot of phone bills. It allows you to be connected to your friends just by simply having Wifi or Data connection to your device.

  14. What the Guardian REALLY means: Our ploy to starve the atmosohere of carbon dioxide and make the earth cooler isn’t working fast enough to drastically curtail foodstuff production and shrink earth’s population through disease and famine!

    There, fixed it for them!

  15. Not only do wind and solar need lots of government help..
    They also need coal/gas for baseload generation.

    I’ll be surprised to see the day when renewables actually displace coal/gas consumption.
    At the moment renewables seem to just add to electricity generation, whether it’s utilised or not.

    • Internet is full of charts that show energy sources don’t go away, new ones are added on top
      Ie the world still burns as much wood as it did 300years ago
      Oil and gas won’t go away, there is no way to produce enough wind and solar to replace it even if we decided to try

  16. “Interesting that cheap solar and wind still seems to need so much government help.”

    I hate to bore people again, but Guvments have NO money, they generate absolutely NONE whatsoever! It is ALL taxpayers money, raised in various ways both directly & indirectly!!!! As has been said here, when are these “renewables” going to finally stand on their own merit, economically?

    • NEVER. “Renewables” are worse than useless, requiring virtually 100% conventional power backup. Unless, of course, you’re willing to suffer blackouts and brownouts with utter regularity, and discard all the food you have in refrigeration multiple times each month (if you can find any in the stores).

      So, a life of freezing to death in the dark eating (if you’re lucky) SPAM or something else that doesn’t require refrigeration. Volunteers?!

  17. The U.K. government is on track to end coal fired generation in a few years.

    This makes no sense whatsoever given the only other fuel we have left will be gas to keep up with demand.
    Given that gas supplies can be limited in cold winters due to industry and heating loads all our electrical fuel eggs are in one basket, and that the amount of CO2 emitted by coal generation is very small in the overall picture.

    “The cheapest and quickest way to end coal generation is through a rapid rollout of wind and solar,”

    I believe that far to many people, including M.P.s etcetera believe this to be viable and sensible and this mindset is why we are on a downward trend as far as grid security and stability is concerned.

    • UK coal use was, if I recall correctly, down to 2.5% of generation last year. No problems. We ran for days without any at all.

      We only have 5 coal power plants running – and in fact they mostly don’t run at all. 4 by the end of the month, 3 by end March next year, all closing by end 2024. We won’t miss them.

      • Hi Griff! I’m stockpiling coal and will happily buy it on the black market.
        Charney sensitivity is .85 tops, please FOAD.

      • “We won’t miss them.”

        when you say ‘we’, who are you referring to?

        when the gas supplies are interrupted, when the drax supplies are limited, when it’s very cold and grid can’t handle the demand you will be out there on the street corners telling the people how much better off they truly are … You’ll of course go to the blue collar neighborhoods where they are burning their furniture for warmth and tell them that you lobbied for this, argued for this, and they are too dumb to understand that they don’t miss the coal generated energy.

        • He is referring to the “royal” we as that is where he thinks he belongs, above everyone else.

      • So? CO2 emissions will continue to rise…so the UK, with that policy, is demonstrating what an exercise in futility is.

    • This makes no sense whatsoever given the only other fuel we have left will be gas to keep up with demand.

      Not true. You’ve also got US forests to burn (see Drax)

  18. A climate ‘thinktank’ called Ember? How appropriate. The dying embers of a bonfire of vanities.

  19. “To switch from coal into gas is just swapping one fossil fuel for another.”

    They sad, coal is a fossil fuel, so thy claim, live do need CO2 and is destroying it, and threefore destroying itself.

    Live is clearly mindles, unregulated enterprise that will end in desaster.

    Can our wise beurocrats do something about it? We must do act now!

  20. Coal Use is Not Falling Fast Enough

    And why would that be? And whose use is not falling fast enough?

    Its China, India etc, its their use. They are installing coal plants as fast as they can. In China’s case not just in their own country but all over the world. And this is why its not falling fast enough. In fact, its not falling at all.

    And so what does the Guardian want to do?

    Close down the use of coal in the UK, whose use is tiny by comparison, and which will have no significant effect on the global tonnage of coal used.

    Now ask the basic question.

    If the Guardian cannot reasonably want to stop coal use in the UK in order to have any effect on global coal use, global CO2 emissions, or the global climate…. why do they want to do it?

    Always ask: whose coal use is not falling fast enough? Who is it that has to stop or reduce in order to make an impact on global use?

    And then ask yourself why the Guardian does not advocate their doing that, that is a taboo subject, but instead thinks it very important and planet saving for some tiny amount of coal use or CO2 emission to be stopped in the UK.

    One thing is for sure, it has nothing to do with the global climate.

    • The following article demonstrates that a carbon dioxide tax would cost us a lot of money and have no effect on the climate. Using the authors data an additional view is as follows; Manmade emissions of greenhouse gases in 2019 were 55.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent; From Sciencing.com there are approximately 3 trillion tons of dioxide in the atmosphere; that means that 55.3 billion tons divided by 3000 billion tons times 100% is man’s contribution. The answer is approximately 1.84%. This is another reason man’s reduction of carbon dioxide would result in no measurable change in climate.
      Regards, John Lentini.

      Many of America’s corporate and academic elites have united to advocate for a carbon tax.

      With all the money and brains behind the self-anointed “Climate Leadership Council” (CLC) you would think it would be able to figure out  the math is simple  that a carbon tax will have no effect on climate. There are reasons they haven’t.

      The CLC is undertaking a media and lobbying blitz to push for a $40-per-ton national carbon tax, escalating by 5% per year. The CLC calls this “the most cost-effective, environmentally ambitious and politically viable climate solution.”

      A $40 carbon tax would immediately raise the price of oil by $17, or to about 133% of today’s prices. We’re told not to fret the price increase because the government will remit the tax back to taxpayers as a “carbon dividend.” Most consumers will get back more money via the dividend than they paid in the tax, says the CLC.

      Let’s breakdown this hucksterism.

      First, a carbon tax is no sort of ‘climate solution.’ Manmade emissions of greenhouse gases in 2019 were 55.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide-equivalents and increasing with no end in sight, according to the United Nations. The U.S. share was 7.2 billion tons  13% and shrinking as the rest of the world increases emissions.

      Imagine the U.S. magically went dark and emitted no more carbon dioxide (CO2) or other greenhouse gases evermore. The rest of the world, which shows no signs of emitting less, would still emit at least 48 BILLION tons annually, which is 13 billion tons greater than the Kyoto Protocol’s goal of stabilizing emissions at 35 billion tons.

      Even if the U.S. never emitted again, the difference in atmospheric CO2 concentration would be about two percent (2%) by the year 2100. No matter your view of climate science, that slight difference in CO2 would make no discernible difference to global temperature.

      So simple math shows a CO2 tax would accomplish nothing. Even if a CO2 tax only cost you a nickel, you’d still be ripped off.

      Next, although taxes tend to reduce use of the thing being taxed, this isn’t meaningfully true with oil. During the mid-2000s when oil rose to $140 per barrel, US oil consumption dipped a mere five percent (i.e., 20 million vs. 19 million barrels per day). Under the CLC’s plan, it would take 35 years to get the current price of oil up to that $140 level  which barely reduced oil consumption in the first place. Absent sensible alternatives, Americans would likely cling to gasoline even as they were ripped off by the carbon tax.

      Now for the really cynical part of the CLC’s carbon tax  the ‘dividend.’

      The CLC’s plan calls for a family of four to receive a $2,000 annual dividend check from the government in the first year, an amount that would grow as the tax increases. But is anyone paying attention to the math?
      In 2019, US energy-related emissions were 5.1 billion tons. At $40 per ton, those emissions would raise $204 billion in taxes. Divide that $204 billion by 330 million Americans and you get a carbon tax costing each American $618  or $2,472 per family of four. But the carbon dividend is only worth $2,000 for a family of four, leaving them to pointlessly pay $472 more in energy costs every year.

      The CLC’s device around this is to limit the dividend so that 70 percent of households would receive more in dividends than paid in carbon tax. So the CLC’s tax just amounts to a vote-buying, Marxist income redistribution scheme via climate.

      Who exactly is the CLC anyway? It’s comprised of multinational corporate rentseekers and greenwashers, ivory tower economists, has-been politicians and left-wing environment groups.

      The carbon tax is not about the climate so much as it is about CLC members’ various economic, political and personal agendas. Here are some of them.

      Big Oil members (ExxonMobil, Shell, and BP) want to regain control over the price of oil lost due to the fracking revolution. Nuclear utility Exelon and First Solar hope to advance their interests by making fossil fuels more expensive. Goldman Sachs has investments in all sorts of green technologies. Two members are former Energy secretaries from the Obama ‘war on coal’ years. Former UN climate chief Christina Figueres is a leftist looking to end capitalism, as are the green groups like the World Wildlife Fund and the World Resources Institute.

      The last time a such a diverse cabal of powerbrokers united on climate was to push cap-and-trade  a different kind of carbon tax  during the late 2000s. Cap-and-tax failed. Now the CLC has resurrected it. Meet the new fraud. Same as the old fraud.

      Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com, served on the Trump EPA transition team and is the author of “Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA” (Bench Press, 2016).

  21. The following article demonstrates that a carbon dioxide tax would cost us a lot of money and have no effect on the climate. Using the authors data an additional view is as follows; Manmade emissions of greenhouse gases in 2019 were 55.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent; From Sciencing.com there are approximately 3 trillion tons of dioxide in the atmosphere; that means that 55.3 billion tons divided by 3000 billion tons times 100% is man’s contribution. The answer is approximately 1.84%. This is another reason man’s reduction of carbon dioxide would result in no measurable change in climate.

    Many of America’s corporate and academic elites have united to advocate for a carbon tax.

    With all the money and brains behind the self-anointed “Climate Leadership Council” (CLC) you would think it would be able to figure out  the math is simple  that a carbon tax will have no effect on climate. There are reasons they haven’t.

    The CLC is undertaking a media and lobbying blitz to push for a $40-per-ton national carbon tax, escalating by 5% per year. The CLC calls this “the most cost-effective, environmentally ambitious and politically viable climate solution.”

    A $40 carbon tax would immediately raise the price of oil by $17, or to about 133% of today’s prices. We’re told not to fret the price increase because the government will remit the tax back to taxpayers as a “carbon dividend.” Most consumers will get back more money via the dividend than they paid in the tax, says the CLC.

    Let’s breakdown this hucksterism.

    First, a carbon tax is no sort of ‘climate solution.’ Manmade emissions of greenhouse gases in 2019 were 55.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide-equivalents and increasing with no end in sight, according to the United Nations. The U.S. share was 7.2 billion tons  13% and shrinking as the rest of the world increases emissions.

    Imagine the U.S. magically went dark and emitted no more carbon dioxide (CO2) or other greenhouse gases evermore. The rest of the world, which shows no signs of emitting less, would still emit at least 48 BILLION tons annually, which is 13 billion tons greater than the Kyoto Protocol’s goal of stabilizing emissions at 35 billion tons.

    Even if the U.S. never emitted again, the difference in atmospheric CO2 concentration would be about two percent (2%) by the year 2100. No matter your view of climate science, that slight difference in CO2 would make no discernible difference to global temperature.

    So simple math shows a CO2 tax would accomplish nothing. Even if a CO2 tax only cost you a nickel, you’d still be ripped off.

    Next, although taxes tend to reduce use of the thing being taxed, this isn’t meaningfully true with oil. During the mid-2000s when oil rose to $140 per barrel, US oil consumption dipped a mere five percent (i.e., 20 million vs. 19 million barrels per day). Under the CLC’s plan, it would take 35 years to get the current price of oil up to that $140 level  which barely reduced oil consumption in the first place. Absent sensible alternatives, Americans would likely cling to gasoline even as they were ripped off by the carbon tax.

    Now for the really cynical part of the CLC’s carbon tax  the ‘dividend.’

    The CLC’s plan calls for a family of four to receive a $2,000 annual dividend check from the government in the first year, an amount that would grow as the tax increases. But is anyone paying attention to the math?
    In 2019, US energy-related emissions were 5.1 billion tons. At $40 per ton, those emissions would raise $204 billion in taxes. Divide that $204 billion by 330 million Americans and you get a carbon tax costing each American $618  or $2,472 per family of four. But the carbon dividend is only worth $2,000 for a family of four, leaving them to pointlessly pay $472 more in energy costs every year.

    The CLC’s device around this is to limit the dividend so that 70 percent of households would receive more in dividends than paid in carbon tax. So the CLC’s tax just amounts to a vote-buying, Marxist income redistribution scheme via climate.

    Who exactly is the CLC anyway? It’s comprised of multinational corporate rentseekers and greenwashers, ivory tower economists, has-been politicians and left-wing environment groups.

    The carbon tax is not about the climate so much as it is about CLC members’ various economic, political and personal agendas. Here are some of them.

    Big Oil members (ExxonMobil, Shell, and BP) want to regain control over the price of oil lost due to the fracking revolution. Nuclear utility Exelon and First Solar hope to advance their interests by making fossil fuels more expensive. Goldman Sachs has investments in all sorts of green technologies. Two members are former Energy secretaries from the Obama ‘war on coal’ years. Former UN climate chief Christina Figueres is a leftist looking to end capitalism, as are the green groups like the World Wildlife Fund and the World Resources Institute.

    The last time a such a diverse cabal of powerbrokers united on climate was to push cap-and-trade  a different kind of carbon tax  during the late 2000s. Cap-and-tax failed. Now the CLC has resurrected it. Meet the new fraud. Same as the old fraud.

    Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com, served on the Trump EPA transition team and is the author of “Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA” (Bench Press, 2016).

  22. Hello, the following article demonstrates that a carbon dioxide tax would cost us a lot of money and have no effect on the climate. Using the authors data an additional view is as follows; Manmade emissions of greenhouse gases in 2019 were 55.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent; From Sciencing.com there are approximately 3 trillion tons of dioxide in the atmosphere; that means that 55.3 billion tons divided by 3000 billion tons times 100% is man’s contribution. The answer is approximately 1.84%. This is another reason man’s reduction of carbon dioxide would result in no measurable change in climate.
    Regards, John Lentini.

    Many of America’s corporate and academic elites have united to advocate for a carbon tax.

    With all the money and brains behind the self-anointed “Climate Leadership Council” (CLC) you would think it would be able to figure out  the math is simple  that a carbon tax will have no effect on climate. There are reasons they haven’t.

    The CLC is undertaking a media and lobbying blitz to push for a $40-per-ton national carbon tax, escalating by 5% per year. The CLC calls this “the most cost-effective, environmentally ambitious and politically viable climate solution.”

    A $40 carbon tax would immediately raise the price of oil by $17, or to about 133% of today’s prices. We’re told not to fret the price increase because the government will remit the tax back to taxpayers as a “carbon dividend.” Most consumers will get back more money via the dividend than they paid in the tax, says the CLC.

    Let’s breakdown this hucksterism.

    First, a carbon tax is no sort of ‘climate solution.’ Manmade emissions of greenhouse gases in 2019 were 55.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide-equivalents and increasing with no end in sight, according to the United Nations. The U.S. share was 7.2 billion tons  13% and shrinking as the rest of the world increases emissions.

    Imagine the U.S. magically went dark and emitted no more carbon dioxide (CO2) or other greenhouse gases evermore. The rest of the world, which shows no signs of emitting less, would still emit at least 48 BILLION tons annually, which is 13 billion tons greater than the Kyoto Protocol’s goal of stabilizing emissions at 35 billion tons.

    Even if the U.S. never emitted again, the difference in atmospheric CO2 concentration would be about two percent (2%) by the year 2100. No matter your view of climate science, that slight difference in CO2 would make no discernible difference to global temperature.

    So simple math shows a CO2 tax would accomplish nothing. Even if a CO2 tax only cost you a nickel, you’d still be ripped off.

    Next, although taxes tend to reduce use of the thing being taxed, this isn’t meaningfully true with oil. During the mid-2000s when oil rose to $140 per barrel, US oil consumption dipped a mere five percent (i.e., 20 million vs. 19 million barrels per day). Under the CLC’s plan, it would take 35 years to get the current price of oil up to that $140 level  which barely reduced oil consumption in the first place. Absent sensible alternatives, Americans would likely cling to gasoline even as they were ripped off by the carbon tax.

    Now for the really cynical part of the CLC’s carbon tax  the ‘dividend.’

    The CLC’s plan calls for a family of four to receive a $2,000 annual dividend check from the government in the first year, an amount that would grow as the tax increases. But is anyone paying attention to the math?
    In 2019, US energy-related emissions were 5.1 billion tons. At $40 per ton, those emissions would raise $204 billion in taxes. Divide that $204 billion by 330 million Americans and you get a carbon tax costing each American $618  or $2,472 per family of four. But the carbon dividend is only worth $2,000 for a family of four, leaving them to pointlessly pay $472 more in energy costs every year.

    The CLC’s device around this is to limit the dividend so that 70 percent of households would receive more in dividends than paid in carbon tax. So the CLC’s tax just amounts to a vote-buying, Marxist income redistribution scheme via climate.

    Who exactly is the CLC anyway? It’s comprised of multinational corporate rentseekers and greenwashers, ivory tower economists, has-been politicians and left-wing environment groups.

    The carbon tax is not about the climate so much as it is about CLC members’ various economic, political and personal agendas. Here are some of them.

    Big Oil members (ExxonMobil, Shell, and BP) want to regain control over the price of oil lost due to the fracking revolution. Nuclear utility Exelon and First Solar hope to advance their interests by making fossil fuels more expensive. Goldman Sachs has investments in all sorts of green technologies. Two members are former Energy secretaries from the Obama ‘war on coal’ years. Former UN climate chief Christina Figueres is a leftist looking to end capitalism, as are the green groups like the World Wildlife Fund and the World Resources Institute.

    The last time a such a diverse cabal of powerbrokers united on climate was to push cap-and-trade  a different kind of carbon tax  during the late 2000s. Cap-and-tax failed. Now the CLC has resurrected it. Meet the new fraud. Same as the old fraud.

    Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com, served on the Trump EPA transition team and is the author of “Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA” (Bench Press, 2016).

  23. Wednesday last week coal was producing twice as much electricity as wind. No good saying Oh that’s exceptional da da da. It has to be planned for and covered by real generators.’ Or perhaps in the future we will perforce tolerate frequent blackouts. Don’t be in hospital.

  24. The Guardian correspondent must be mistaken. China and India are building over 600 new coal fired power stations. Of course they are! What’s happening to the Myrna Loy (whatever) figure? Maybe humankind isn’t making a difference?

    • Well they do say right at the end-
      “China’s growth in coal, and to some extent gas, is alarming but the answers are all there.”

      Sometimes they need to pause and listen to themselves and what it means as in a very expensive exercise in futility stoopids.

    • “What’s happening to the Myrna Loy (whatever) figure?”

      Presumably you’re referring to Mauna Loa and they didn’t muck around with committees and endless meetings bloody meetings in the good old days-
      https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/hawaiian-man-finds-remains-of-bombs-which-were-dropped-on-erupting-mauna-loa-volcano-in-1935/ar-BB110BLr
      What can we do quick to fix this thing and don’t worry about the odd unexploded ordinance getting carried down by the lava. LOL.

    • PV Magazine reports that A large number of 10 year old roof top solar system inverters are failing. Here’s the comment I provided….not yet posted (long live coal])

      Nice little upgrade to something that only doubles the price of electricity and worsens the duck curve for an installed cost of….$5000 or more? Or maybe “free” just add the cost to the ratepayers? End this stupidity now!

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