How Climate Change Panic Costs us Trillions

From The Heartland Daily Podcast

72 thoughts on “How Climate Change Panic Costs us Trillions

  1. Charles,
    The Climate panic funding is expensive beyond belief.
    A number of authors at WUWT have drawn attention to the fact that SR 15 (October 2018) from the IPCC stipulates a sum of $122 trillion to the end of this century to “combat climate change”.
    In their words, the goal of net zero emissions by 2030 or 2050 and beyond would require “ unprecedented changes in our lifestyle energy and transport systems”, in effect a global economic and social revolution.
    The trillions keep mounting up-
    US $93 trillion estimated for the Green New Deal,
    Former VP Biden promising to spend US $2 trillion in his 4 year term if elected.
    Put simply there will never be an effective World Carbon Treaty à la Paris or Kyoto because no one will pay for it especially after the pandemic has flattened the world economy.

    • Herbert,
      In 2019 the global GDP was estimated to be over 140 Trillion. Spending 122 trillion over about 100 years amounts to less than 1% of global GDP. To put this into perspective the US currently spends almost 1 trillion a year on its military. So it is as expensive as the US military is but the cost is spread over the whole world rather than just a single country.

      • The US military is essential for our national security, and the security of the free world. “Renewable” or “green” energy is not essential. Simple enough?

      • 100 years Izaak?
        Everyone knows we have less than 10 years left to save the planet. AOC said that well over a year ago. Biden said we only have 9 years left just a few days ago. Are you saying they are wrong?

        • What people forget @davidmhoffer is when the predictions of doom started (more than 10 years ago) and what scientists were saying in the early 70s about global cooling, including Brown University writing to President Nixon in 1972.

      • Izaak Walton, the cost is NOT spread all over the whole world, the cost is mainly from the USA, and somewhat from Europe, and free to the “emerging economies”. CAGW is, at its heart, a wealth redistribution scheme.

      • You ignore the fact that GDP is based on supply and demand between buyer and seller. There isn’t excess currency generated by these transaction that can be “spent” by government for whatever their hearts desires. “Spending” by government either comes out of supply or demand. The only result is inflation which hurts everyone except the government which gets even more revenue as a result.

      • Izaak, you’re a fake-number spreader, which is a favored method the marxists currently use for their heinous goals. First, a “carbon-free economy” is implausible. Second, any serious attempt at that foolishness would waste/cost FAR more than 140 trillion. You and your marxist comrades might earn “a smidgen” (using Obama’s description in one of his famous lies) of creed if you publicly championed nuclear energy.

      • Re: “In 2019 the global GDP was estimated to be over 140 Trillion.”

        Izaak – $140 trillion is based on Purchase Parity Dollars. PPP dollars factor in relative currency values plus the local cost of living and wage scales.

        For this discussion, the most relevant GDP value should be expressed in Nominal Dollars, which is $85-$87 trillion global GDP. After the global CV-19 lockdown, we will be lucky if global GDP hits $70 trillion in 2020.

        Also, please keep in mind that total global debt – government, corporate, and individual – is in the range of $250 trillion! Some of that is highly productive debt. Most of it is not.

      • We live in an energy driven economy and the $124 trillion in global GDP has it’s origin in fossil fuels. Take those Joules away and the 124 trillion goes away too. Not only do you need to come up with 100’s of trillions to address the fake crisis, you need to replace the global GDP and this requires far too many reliable Joules of energy then renewables could ever supply. If the climate crisis was anything more than an lame excuse from the UN to redistribute wealth, the only, and I repeat only solution is nuclear, yet the idiots who are afraid of fossil fuels fear nuclear power even more.

        One thing the green nut jobs forget about is that if the devloped world stopped using oil, the price would crash and those who were not stupid enough to buy into the green fantasy will take over the worlds economy driven by cheap energy for them and ultra expensive energy for the ignorant virtue signalers. Anyone who thinks the Saudis will stop selling oil is not thinking clearly. Anyone who thinks the Chinese and Russians will not not seize the high economic ground of cheap energy in our energy dominated economy must think the Russians and Chinese are idiots.

    • I don’t care who you are, that’s a lot of dough for a non-problem.

      If Dementia Joe’s managment skills for the COVID pandemic as possible US President next year has any historical precedent, it is in President Woodrow Wilson. From October 1919 onwards during the 1918-1919 Spanish Flu pandemic, President Wilson was in coma or nearly so after his stroke in that month, and only 20 million people in the US died.
      Dementia Joe’s cognitive state next year won’t be much better than Wilson’s in 1920.

    • Yes indeed Herbert. Particularly as we all know that estimates like these invariably wind up to be more than double in practice. If we allow it to go that far.

    • No price is small enough to justify trying to alter Earth’s vast, ever-changing, and unfathomly complex climate.

  2. Seems very reasonable. Yet it’s more climate alarmism. Lomborg accepts IPCC climate models are a true picture of the state of earth’s climate. In fact the models are basically propaganda for Malthusian ideas. The basic idea animating ‘climate change’, the greenhouse gas effect has no scientific credibility. It is fake science. Strictly speaking: Lomborg knows nothing about a greenhouse gas effect. He doesn’t care. He just wants solutions. ‘Solutions’ to a problem which isn’t there are bad solutions because while we will put our efforts into solving none-problems – real problems will be ignored or under-resourced.

    • Lomborg seems to say climate change is real… but we shouldn’t do anything about it (or at least not yet, not with these solutions).

      a puzzling point of view.

      • Real and insignificant from any normal perspective. Not puzzling at all. What’s puzzling is that so many people perceive normal warming – and it’s resulting changes to our environment – as alarming. THAT is puzzling.

      • Close but no .. he says it’s real but emission control is the stupidest way to tackle the problem and won’t work.

        There is nothing puzzling about it, he is stating the obvious you idiots are flogging a dead horse.

        Gven that he thinks the problem is real … You Griff are the problem but you are too thick to understand that.

        • “There is nothing puzzling about it, he [Lomborg] is stating the obvious”


          Any rational analysis of windmills and surface-based, industrial solar makes it obvious they cannot provide the electricity humanity needs now and in the future.

          Did you see Michael Moore’s new video, Griff?

          • I did not. There’s something about the way he grins at camera I find disturbing.

            but then I can see renewable energy making a sizeable and increasing contribution to electricity generation, day after day, no problems in many countries in Europe…

            I don’t see that it is impossible to provide the required electricity.

          • I’m still waiting for a good explanation of how Europe’s electric rates got so high and stayed there.

          • Right there is why Lomborg has an issue with you because you are achieving nothing you are just moving emissions from Europe to China and Russia. He is a pragmatist he doesn’t care what is done so long as it actually gets emissions down. With all that renewable emissions you speak of why are emissions still going up?

            What is amusing is the church of climatastrophy(tm) places Lomborg with many on this site, but his views are much much closer to your views. His crimes that exile him is he doesn’t believe in emission controls and is happy to have nuclear power to bring emissions down. What we see is is the church of climatastrophy(tm) is not about emission control at all it’s a whole other agenda.

      • Climate change is just as real as my disorganized sock drawer. But both are non-problems and not worth much effort to resolve. And certainly not worth frettting and worrying about incessantly.

        • And if the current quiet sun causes climate to change in some other direction and we are caught flat-footed while trying desperately to prize the fingers of the current scientivists off their now out-dated paradigm, what then?

      • Obviously not everyone has the capacity to understand concepts that others might view as simple.

      • The “griff”, a product of the coal generation (He said so himself). And continues to be. Has a house, I guess? Has a family, I guess? Has at least one form of fossil fuel powered transport, I guess?

        Seems to me, my “carbon” foot print is smaller than his, and yet I pay more! Hummmm…

      • Climate has never stopped changing. How can anyone expect it to stop now?
        The distinction between the terms “weather” and “climate” has been erased for political reasons. Except for “weather forecast” climate has replaced it. How long before we hear “tomorrow climate forecast” on the radio?

  3. Seems very reasonable. Yet it’s more climate alarmism. Lomborg accepts IPCC climate models are a true picture of the state of earth’s climate. In fact the models are basically propaganda for Malthusian ideas. The basic idea animating ‘climate change’, the greenhouse gas effect has no scientific credibility. It is fake science. Strictly speaking: Lomborg knows nothing about a greenhouse gas effect. He doesn’t care. He just wants solutions. ‘Solutions’ to a problem which isn’t there are bad solutions because while we will put our efforts into solving none problems – real problems will be ignored or under-resourced.

    • We could throw every we had at climate change today that the Left is demanding we do. And tomorrow we’d wake up to new calls for more from the Left. Whatever we do, it wouldn’t be enough for the Leftists. That’s because it really isn’t about the climate. It’s about “change” that puts evermore power over us into the hands of a few.

  4. Eric the Red and his fellow Norsemen and Norsewomen failed to adapt to Climate Change. Their remote settlements and +600 farms on the southern end of Greenland that had prospered from 985AD were rendered unsustainable by Climate Change cooling onset about 1400AD. Archaeologists are still excavating though permafrost today, as they document the ruins there.

    Their settlements died out because natural Climate Change made it too damn cold for farming in Greenland! Norseman ‘pollution’ didn’t cause this natural cooling. Neither did Norseman SUVs. It was natural global cooling then just as it is a bit of natural global warming now.

    Since the Holocene Climate Optimum of 10,000 years ago, the planetary temperatures have ratcheted down and up in uneven fits, with the overall trend being slow cooling. Will the cooling trend continue over the next 1000 years and take us back into another really bad period of bitter cold global glaciation? Or is the trend shifting to a bit of beneficial natural warming over the next 1000 years? Only time will tell, naturally. And it is nothing to panic about.

    Survive. Adapt. Thrive. It’s what smart hominids have always done…

    • We live in a 3.2 million years (and counting) long Ice Age. The few thousand years we have left of this warm interglacial we’d better get it right and be prepared with nuclear power or with whatever comes next for high density energy supplies. That is, before the great Ice Sheets start growing again.

      • I whole heartedly agree with you, Joel. Low cost, clean, reliable, 24/7/365 dispatchable, high density power generation is essential to sustain humanity on a cooling Earth…. and expand into our solar sytem!

      • before the great Ice Sheets start growing again.

        Now wait, Joel. We now could build 100 MT+ fusion “devices” that are powerful enough to break up those glaciers. 😉 😉

  5. Lomborg has made it his speciality to debunk the renewable energy technologies favoured by the climate change movement. By saying he believes in climate change he maintains a level of credibility with much of the MSN and has no trouble finding outlets to express his views. If he “came out” and declared that climate change is total crap he would be limited to blogs such as this to express his views. I don’t mean to disparage this blog in any way.

    • Lomborg’s work is predicated on the IPCC assessments providing the best available information regarding likely climate changes. It also assumes that no radical new breakthroughs in energy production, transmission or storage will occur in the near term, and that changes take time.
      Using that as a base, he has analysed alternative allocations of scarce resources, which is entirely within his field of expertise.

      He seems a quite reasonable, intelligent professional with a great deal of competence within his field. Unlike many, he also seems to have the wisdom to understand how much he doesn’t know in other fields, and is willing to accept inputs from practitioners who are well versed in those fields without making the grave mistake of issuing profound pronouncements outside of his area. Such a humble approach is to be admired.

        • Rather, a rigorous analyst who is careful not to extrapolate beyond what he perceives to be the bounds of his own knowledge and experience.

          There does seem to be a certain commonality to the approach.

  6. This is the one thing climate change and COVID do have in common, alarmist scientists, their models, and economic destruction.

  7. I cant believe half the worlds population actually believes GW is going to make mankind extinct! Surely they arent that stupid!

    • It’s even a problem if one tenth of the population believes it, when this one tenth controls the media, have politics and very rich people behind them.

    • Maybe you weren’t there when the local Sierra Club leader told lies at the local school to the kids. They got a special pass to come in and give the talk and there was no fact checking later. It was the pictures of polar bear cubs that won them over for long after that day. (It also works that way in courtrooms and Congressional hearings….. with help from tampering with the room thermostat.)

      That’s also how evangelism works. Converting a reasonable percentage of the group one event at a time is the goal and it leads to the percentage that you marvel at today.

    • <blockquoteUne chose qui m’humilie profondément est de voir que le génie humain a des limites, quand la bêtise humaine n’en a pas.
      ~Alexandre Dumus.

      (One thing that humbles me deeply is to see that human genius has its limits while human stupidity does not.)

  8. What I find difficult to believe is that Michael Shellenberger and Bjorn Lomburg – both obviously intelligent and thoughtful – have come to the same conclusion that so-called renewables are useless and horrendously expensive yet still believe that “global warming”and\ or ” Climate change ” is a serious problem.
    Granted,they are not physical scientists.But it does not take a scientist to look at the earth’s history with respect to temperature and CO2 or to examine NASA’s “adjusted” graphs to realise that a real “scam” is being perpetrated.Are they still being fooled by IPCC nonsense or consensus nonsense? It’s not difficult to find a good book ( or 20!) on the subject! Can someone from the Heartland Institute not gently take them by the hand and direct them?

    • “have come to the same conclusion that so-called renewables are useless and horrendously expensive yet still believe that “global warming”and\ or ” Climate change ” is a serious problem”

      There is nothing incompatible between the two views.

      Believing that a particular solution to a problem won’t work, is not evidence that there is no problem.

      Of course, there is no problem, but that’s a subject for another post.

  9. “Its a real problem, its untenable to say that it isnt happening”

    Again he makes the alarmist statement that if it is happening, it MUST be a problem. There is a lot of scope in IPCC ECS values to allow for global warming to be real and not a problem. In fact so not a problem it is beneficial.

    For all I admire about his criticism of alarmism, he is an alarmist himself in that he only sees the negative.

    • For the most part, he’s shooting at the same targets we are.
      In addition his preferred solution IE, Adapt to the problems as they arise, is one that I can live with.

      He thinks that problems will arise in the future, I don’t. In either case there is no need to act now.

  10. Okay, okay, okay! Climate “change” is as real as the toast on your plate, with or without the butter and jam.

    The problem that the Greenbeaners have is that they think it’s going to get warmer, when in fact, Mother Nature and all those long, long periods of cold ice and snow (during which Hoomans somehow became ‘superior’) tell the observant the precise opposite. Wild weather tells us that, especially when it happens repeatedly. An ocean to chilly to produce the usual seasonal hurricane numbers (or typhoon numbers, depending on where you are) is telling us that. Lake levels rising year after year – yes, going by the Great Lakes again – well, that’s telling us the same thing AGAIN! Autumn-like temperatures this early in August are telling us the same thing.

    It’s NOT going to get warmer and the Earth isn’t going to dry up into a dust bowl. I do not understand this nearly psychotic fear of a ONE degree Celsius rise in average temperature, but when you can’t even feel it, and the weather is COLD in August in the northern hemisphere, that is telling you something. Back in the early 2000s, there were swarms of hurricanes in the Atlantic that went north, crossed to the east and slammed into UK/Europe. Caused a lot of damage, too. That wasn’t global warming, either, but it was a hint that something was changing. And in the last 20 years how many swarms of storms like that have occurred?

    Rant over, but this argument that the planet is going to burn up if we don’t “do something” (chuck a lot of cash their way) is just a money-grubbing scam and a power grab, and nothing else.

  11. Climate has never stopped changing. How can anyone expect it to stop now?
    The distinction between the terms “weather” and “climate” has been erased for political reasons. Except for “weather forecast” climate has replaced it. How long before we hear “tomorrow climate forecast” on the radio?

  12. He sounds very reasonable. The trouble is, he gets a couple of things right about energy policy, mostly his criticism of “green energy”, and that it isn’t ready for prime time yet (but could be), but mostly, he gets things wrong. The reason is that he is totally wrong about “the science” of climate change, including that he still Believes it’s manmade. If you are wrong on the science, then you can’t help but be wrong on policy. He believes in “carbon” taxes, for example, to the tune of $100/ton. Wrong. He thinks algae could replace oil. Laughably wrong. He doesn’t seem to have a clue about energy density.
    Lomborg is no friend to Skeptics/Climate Realists, even though he may be a thorn in the side of the Alarmists.

  13. When Dr. Lomborg says he believes IPCC to say that global warming due to emissions is a problem, we need to examine which scenario and which model projections he believes. That is, where in the calculated range of climate sensitivities does he believe that we fall? That is the crux of the matter of understanding all that he says. Using some of the lower range sensitivities (1.5 or even lower) estimated by some studies, might he even be led to say that warming is not a problem at all, but a net benefit? The issue of warming due to emissions is a matter of rate and magnitude. If the magnitude is low and the rate is tolerable, then there would no real problem and probably a benefit from some mild warming that would warrant anything other than adaptation, technology and wealth-building. So let’s just move on, nothing to see here. As for public policy, that scenario would demand that we dramatically reverse the ill-advised subsidies and portfolio standards for so-called renewables, back off on governmental mandates in transport, reverse the vegan and locavore movements, etc.

    I have challenged university “sustainability” staff to consider what their message would be if their assumptions proved to be wrong or overly inflated. They simply ignored me, not able to conceive of the idea. Thus, they have shown their “devotion to the notion.” Their ideological world would come crashing down, along with their other left-wing, fanatical ideals.

  14. My reading is that Lomborg is telling us that EVEN IF the model predictions are correct, our current solutions are ineffective and a horrendous waste of resources.

    He advocates for R&D to develop cost effective solutions that would be adapted by all automatically because they would be cheaper than CO2 emitting alternatives.

    He also says, correctly, that until this happens “renewables” will not make a significant dent.

    The corollary here is that basics physics makes it impossible for solar and wind to do the job.

    • “My reading is that Lomborg is telling us that EVEN IF the model predictions are correct, our current solutions are ineffective and a horrendous waste of resources.”

      That’s my reading, too.

    • Okay, but answer one question: this planet’s “climate’ is a system run by Chaos, not computers.

      Chaos is our system, it is non-linear, and is prone to change in sudden, unpredictable ways. Now, how can someone who has spent so much time trying to account for this chaos in which we live not accept that we have no control over it? Is that really so hard for these people to accept?

      Geezo Pete, people, we don’t even know how many undiscovered species there are in the sea, or why the sun is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings!

  15. Our generation may be remembered for more than one colossal scientific failure. Apart from the climate non-problem, there is the cholesterol fiasco. 50 years medical dogma and a trillion dollars of statin drug sales are based on low density lipid cholesterol being a danger for cardiovascular disease. Now a meta-analysis of all studies on the subject find that this idea is completely wrong. Lowering LDL cholesterol has not helped cardiovascular health at all.

  16. Lomborg is not the silliest one.

    But his idea of putting taxes on CO2 and let Big Coal and Big Oil pay and do nothing more than that for climate, is the basic idea of vice precident emeritus Al Gore in his elementary shows and propaganda.

    • A Carbon Dioxide tax is just a scam the politicians try to sell to get themselves more tax money to spend.

  17. Dammit, now I’m forced to think of Lomborg in the same way I think of Michael Moore. I’m not saying Dr. Lomborg is the worst of climate thinkers, but I’m sorry, his notion that CO2 is bad for the environment is simply stupid, wrong, and puts the lie to his entire thesis that “we” can calculate how to balance risks and threats to humanity.

    Simply put, there IS NO PROBLEM from the fact that the world has warmed a little bit since the 1600s. There is no problem having a little bit more CO2 in the atmosphere. Both things are proving almost all to the good. The 1930s were extra hot, and we have cooled since then. The American Dust Bowl was bad, but that was because we didn’t understand how to farm on arid grasslands, and blithely presumed the successful techniques from wetter areas would work everywhere. Bjorn, more people die from cold than from heat. Car crashes are a problem, I will concede. But industrialization, agriculture, irrigation, mechanized transport, world trade are all net positives for most people. I’m not a strict Utilitarian when it comes to ethics in politics. But look at the graph of deaths due to natural disasters. Numbers have plummeted. Look at the sheer carrying capacity of the world’s food production systems.

    Furthermore, thinking human beings altering one minor component of the atmosphere through economic policy proscriptions (itself probably a practical impossibility) is capable of controlling the global climate is an unproven speculation, and to me, a total folly. Geoengineering is even more ridiculous. There IS NO PROBLEM TO SOLVE! CO2 is good! That we gain some marginal CO2 due to using the best, most efficient method of energy production (fossil fuels) is doubly good for human beings.

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