WSJ: The Inflation Reduction Act Does Little to Reduce Climate Change

Essay by Eric Worrall

h/t M; Bjorn Lomborg dismantling the hype surrounding President Biden’s Green New Deal Inflation Reduction Act, in the increasingly climate skeptic Wall Street Journal.

The Inflation Reduction Act Does Little to Reduce Climate Change

Democrats are cheering, but by 2100 it’ll likely cut the temperature by only 0.0009 degree Fahrenheit.

By Bjorn Lomborg
Aug. 23, 2022 6:11 pm ET

While the administration talks up its emission reductions, it never seems to tout the law’s impact on temperature and sea level—for good reason. If you plug the predicted emissions decline into the climate model used for all major United Nations climate reports, it turns out the global temperature will be cut by only 0.0009 degree Fahrenheit by the end of the century. This is assuming the law’s emission reductions end when its funding does after 2030. But even if you charitably assume they’ll somehow be sustained through 2100 without any interruption, the impact on global temperature will still be almost unnoticeable, at 0.028 degree Fahrenheit.

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Of course we don’t have to take Lomborg’s word for it. The US Government estimates the Inflation Reduction Act will reduce emissions by 1000 MMT CO2 Equiv by 2030 (a reduction in greenhouse gasses equivalent to a billion metric tons of CO2), or 125 MMT per year (1000 ÷ 8 = 125).

But according to the International Energy Agency, of which the U.S. is a member, every year the world emits 31500 MMT CO2 equiv.

Calculate the percentage reduction: 125MMT per year ÷ 31500MMT per year global emissions = an 0.3% reduction in global CO2 emissions.

So Biden’s $369 billion climate expenditure (source Democrat Senate Website) has purchased a 0.3% reduction in CO2 over the next 10 years, assuming everything goes to plan.

Interestingly Biden’s emissions reduction prediction gives us a mathematical method of estimating the total cost of 100% global net zero:

Total cost of global Net Zero (using Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act Numbers):
100% ÷ 0.3% x $369 billion = $123 trillion US dollars.

This Biden number based $123 trillion estimate is of similar magnitude to other estimates I’ve seen, like the $125 trillion estimate from the United Nations, though there are much higher estimates like the $275 trillion estimate from McKinsey Global Institute.

Think about what spending $123 trillion on Net Zero means.

At best spending all that cash on Net Zero achieves zero in terms of improved quality of life – all we could hope to have by the end of the $123 trillion expenditure is a power grid which does exactly the same as our existing power grid.

And of course, by wasting all that money on Net Zero we would miss out on the the goodies that $123 trillion could have purchased – more money for pensioners, clean water and food for everyone, better schools and hospitals, and massively upgraded roads and transport systems.

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Tom Halla
August 25, 2022 6:13 pm

More money down a green rathole?

Mickey Reno
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 26, 2022 11:36 am

It’s more like more money going into the pockets of green ratholes.

August 25, 2022 6:36 pm

What a joke. Net zero is a joke.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Bob
August 25, 2022 8:56 pm

But who is the but of this joke? Lomborg is an economist. I think it’s time for him to make an effort to calculate the estimates of the horrific damage to humanity directly arising from this madman project, not figuring to a millionth of a degree what the impact on the weather will be. That’s the elephant in the room! That they won’t meet their climate target hasn’t been news for about two decades.

That the Clime Syndicate has been fiddling the data and moving the goalposts (think evidence tampering) to support a failed theory, is prima facie evidence that they know they are wrong. That governments have been shepherding this whole process to effect a New World Order of horror for non elites is evidence that they know, too. The WEF makes no pretence about it.

Sri Lanka was a pilot study. The 1000 Year Reich had a World War as a feasibility study. There are lots of numbers to work with.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 26, 2022 1:46 am

Not a failed theory, a failed hypothesis.

Reply to  Bob
August 26, 2022 5:37 am

I keep waiting for someone to tell me the punchline.

August 25, 2022 6:59 pm

Nice piece, Eric.

But be fair.

The object of this has zero to do with temperature or even bad weather.

It is all about how much of those hundreds of trillions will end up in the pockets of our Beloved Leaders.

And perhaps even more, how many of the little people this will plunge deeper into extreme poverty. They will hopefully get rid of millions altogether as they tried out with their virus, their vaccines and their lockdowns.

Listen carefully. I’m sure you will hear Biden and Xi Jinping and Klaus Schwab and Bill Gates and Fauci and the all the rest laughing, right now..

August 25, 2022 7:09 pm

It’s the Inflation Reduction Act
Not the Stop Global Warming Act

It will reduce inflation by spending more money and raising taxes.
Many question how that will work
But they are all old fogies who do not understand NEW ECONOMICS
I wrote an economics and finance newsletter for 43 years, and I don’t understand either. I guess I am an old fogey too.

Gary Pearse
August 25, 2022 8:18 pm

Because the actions of the good folk, makers of “Policy-Caused” mass misery, are responsible for the coming global economic and human disaster, it won’t be called crimes against humanity. Let’s hope they don’t break the record toll of the 20th century’s bad guys. At least we were able to take up arms against them.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 25, 2022 10:31 pm

Politicians and churnalists have a get-out-of=jail-free card

“We were just following orders The Science!”

August 25, 2022 8:38 pm

The cost of reducing emissions is not linear, it gets a lot harder and more expensive as the percentage of unreliables increases. Initially they don’t need storage to replace fossil fuels, but once you actually need to rely on them they need massive energy storage.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 25, 2022 10:58 pm

Eric, that is correct. Every 1% reduction in co2 emissions is more difficult and expensive than the previous 1%. The low hanging fruit is always picked first.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Bill Toland
August 26, 2022 2:04 pm

Bill, I think you overestimate government’s desire and ability to identify and deploy the low-hanging fruit. Bigger and more expensive boondoggles –> bigger bureaucracies –> more crony capitalist cash –> larger kickbacks (donations, family employment, insider investment “advice” & etc.) –> more power to the politicians and elites –> rinse and repeat.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 26, 2022 12:06 am

Didn’t Americans already reduce CO2 emissions by 24% since 1990? I think they did. The results were nothing happened. NADA. But the next 24% will be different. Trust us.

Steve Oregon
August 25, 2022 9:00 pm

“but by 2100 it’ll likely cut the temperature by only 0.0009 degree Fahrenheit.”

I don’t know why he used this infinitesimal number and give them the tidbit of doing something. They can easily extrapolate with fallacious notions that if the rest of the world got on board real impact would save the planet.

In truth 0.0009 is so small as to be zero. Meaning all of the costly legislation, taxation and rash action that Revelle warned about will do nothing to, (as Democrats like to say) “fight” or “address” climate change.

This is a political war that must be won. The enemy is the political left everywhere.

August 25, 2022 9:02 pm

So instead of the temperature in Fairbanks going up from -14 to -12, it will go down to
That’s worth it. Isn’t it?

August 25, 2022 9:28 pm

Think about what spending $123 trillion on Net Zero means.

Most of the stuff humans buy today is directly tied to its energy content. There is some label value on some stuff but the price of most stuff is tied to energy to get the raw materials, manufacture the stuff, transport the stuff and then sell the stuff.

Coal is currently $370/t. So the $123tr is equivalent to 332 billion tonnes of coal. All of it ends up in the atmosphere before the NetZero nirvana is achieved. That is 80 years of China’s current coal production.

The Inflation Reduction Act is really the Inflation Export Act. US is the country able to export its inflation. Prices of energy will be driven up globally as US debt spirals up and is transferred in return for all the real stuff that underpins the Inflation Export Act.

China already has an aversion to US debt so how will US pay for all the stuff needed for NetZero if China refuses US debt? US simply does not have the capacity to make much of the stuff needed for their NetZero nirvana. Making stuff cannot avoid the realities of physics like the climate models have achieved.

Dave Fair
Reply to  RickWill
August 26, 2022 2:14 pm

No problemo! The Feds simply offer higher interest rates to the purchasers of U.S. debt instruments. Of course, that leads to further inflation which leads to ……… Zowie! Soon we are Zimbabwe, all without having to move to Africa.

August 25, 2022 10:18 pm

Of course this is all based upon models … that we know aren’t right. Maybe there’s even less warming to be concerned about than what they claim to be.

August 25, 2022 11:03 pm

Of course the Inflation Reduction Act/Green New Deal won’t do anything but make political hacks and green loony investors richer. It was always about money and power.

It’s nice that the calculations showing how ridiculously little the money spent on this boondoggle will make on the the climate but it was obvious that we are just on a ride with whatever the weather is going to throw at us.

Now inflation is going to continue to rise and millions of people will be cold and hungry in the winter.
FJB, his cronies, the WEF, and the green blob.

August 25, 2022 11:58 pm

123 Trillion dollars would go a long way funding medical research. Just think of a world diabetes and cancer free. Tough luck democrats want to spend the money controlling the weather instead. It’s all about priorities.

Reply to  Doonman
August 26, 2022 12:18 pm

“Just think of a world diabetes and cancer free.”

That would be horrible. Politicians couldn’t promise to cut insulin prices and cure cancer – whatever would they do?

Reply to  Doonman
August 26, 2022 1:27 pm

If the money all went to medical research, cancer, diabetes, and many other conditions would still increase. The companies doing the research will only pursue and release that which keeps people paying them big time for as long as they remain alive. There is no intention to cure anything.

August 26, 2022 12:09 am

The wind turbines are doing wonders for inflation in Europe. The electricity price in France today is EUR707/MWh. Nobody can really afford this so people have to stop buying everything else causing the economy to go into hibernation and that should result in some price reductions in those things that are not highly energy dependent.

August 26, 2022 1:31 am

Yes, you put your finger, as does the WSJ, on the central paradox about contemporary green activism. The policies they advocate in the name of emission reduction do not in fact materially affect the total of emissions.

August 26, 2022 5:39 am

Apparently, they slipped in language to allow the EPA to regulate CO2, after the SCOTUS took it away.
Who knew that CO2 was inflationary ?

Willem post
Reply to  Neo
August 26, 2022 6:03 am

The EPA claimed it had the legal right, but SCOTUS ruled no.
The Dem/Progs, by means of the Biden Inflation Act, gave the EPA that legal right
I am sure Mancin never knew that was snuck into the bill.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Willem post
August 26, 2022 2:32 pm

The IRA did not give the EPA the authority they asserted, which SCOTUS subsequently struck down. They still can’t regulate shifting between generation sources to compel ruinables run-time. [Its much more complex, but that is about the effect.]

Bruce Cobb
August 26, 2022 6:06 am

Yes, but it does line the pockets of lying, greedy Big Wind and Big Solar, so that’s good, right?

Gerry, England
August 26, 2022 7:00 am

‘And of course, by wasting all that money on Net Zero we would miss out on the the goodies that $123 trillion could have purchased – more money for pensioners, clean water and food for everyone, better schools and hospitals, and massively upgraded roads and transport systems.’

I couldn’t agree more – what a waste of human ingenuity as we retard to using windmills and worshipping the sun.

August 26, 2022 7:27 am

The only thing the “Act” will reduce is money in the pockets of the everyday folks. While the lords and masters continue to enrich themselves. All brought to us by the communist ideology.
There is no valid “scientific” evidence that “climate change” is anything but a scam to bilk the people out of trillions of dollars via the gross taxation for nothing in the real world.
The cult of climate change ideologists will continue to push their crap until the people of the world have had enough. That should be this coming winter when no reliable source of energy to keep folks warm is in very short supply. Then the folks will keep warm by exercising in the streets looking for the perps in this boondoggle. That’ll be interesting to watch. I’m too old to participate. Oh well.

Dave Fair
Reply to  RevJay4
August 26, 2022 2:34 pm

Mr. Colt turns you into a young man!

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
August 26, 2022 11:27 am

The Inflation Reduction Act Does Little to Reduce Climate Change

Well at least this is consistent: the act does little to reduce inflation either.

The fact they titled this monstrosity as they did reveals the total contempt congressional leaders have for the populace: they will lie directly to your face and don’t care that you know it.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
August 26, 2022 1:29 pm

There isn’t one iota of difference between this bill’s labels and that of most legislation. They always lie.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
August 26, 2022 2:48 pm

While you are looking directly at them pissing on your leg they are telling you the reason your leg is getting wet is that it is raining. And the intelligentsia is blaming right wing agitators for peoples’ distrust of our institutions.

While I would normally agree with ex-Attorney General Barr that the FBI had probable cause, there are many other ways to obtain documents from an ex-President. The documents were secured and there is no reason to believe President Trump would release them other than official TDS. A dawn raid by armed agents was a political move.

August 27, 2022 2:17 pm

An “Inflation Reduction Act” that can only worsen inflation.
An “Affordable Care Act” that jacked up everybody’s insurance premiums.
And the “Infrastructure Bill” that funds just about everything except infrastructure.
More like the English Language Perversion Act. Orwell was prescient.

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