Essay by Eric Worrall
Fighting Climate Change is now profitable, according to The Atlantic. But that “cornucopia” of profits is coming straight from your utility bills and taxes.
Fighting Climate Change Was Costly. Now It’s Profitable.
Just how far can this climate momentum take us?
By Emma Marris
It is a good time to be in the decarbonization business in the United States. The Inflation Reduction Act—with its $374 billion cornucopia of green incentives, subsidies, and grants—was designed to entice private companies to invest in the transition away from fossil fuels. Initial reports already suggest that the IRA may be working. An analysis by American Clean Power, a lobbying group of renewable-energy companies, indicates that even just the anticipation of its bounty catalyzed $40 billion in investments and created nearly 7,000 jobs in the last few months of 2022.
Indeed, in the U.S. Joe Biden didn’t even try to pass a carbon tax and instead focused on incentives because they were more politically popular. “They went with carrots rather than sticks,” Hill said. “But sticks should eventually be part of the solution.” (Interestingly, there is one stick tucked in the IRA: a fee for emitting the powerful greenhouse gas methane, which applies only to large oil and gas facilities with significant emissions. According to the Congressional Research Service, “This charge is the first time the federal government has directly imposed a charge, fee, or tax on [greenhouse-gas] emissions.”)
But for some in the climate movement who are generally skeptical of capitalism, watching the global economy go all in on the energy transition feels deeply unsettling. These advocates are concerned that the mad scramble for decarbonization profits could create its own human-rights and environmental crises. For example, as documented in the new book Cobalt Red, by Siddharth Kara, a significant fraction of the cobalt in the world’s EVs is wrested from the earth by desperately poor miners in the Democratic Republic of Congo who breathe in toxic cobalt dust all day.
…Read more: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2023/02/inflation-reduction-act-eu-green-deal-industrial-plan/672985/
Back in the real world, even with the help of Biden’s “Inflation Reduction Act”, green profits are still lagging behind fossil fuel investments.
BP’s CEO Plays Down Renewables Push as Returns Lag
… Chief Executive Bernard Looney plans to dial back elements of the oil giant’s high-profile push into renewable energy, according to people familiar with recent discussions.
Mr. Looney has said he is disappointed in the returns from some of the oil giant’s renewable investments and plans to pursue a narrower green-energy strategy, the people said. He has told some people close to the company that BP needs to do more to convince shareholders of its strategy to maximize profits in areas where it has a competitive advantage, including its legacy oil-and-gas operations.
In some of the conversations, Mr. Looney has said he plans to place less emphasis on so-called ESG goals—a catchall term for environmental, social and governance—to help clarify that those aren’t distracting the company from its ability to deliver profits, the people said. …Read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/bps-ceo-plays-down-renewables-push-11675249471
Nevertheless, some companies are jumping for the bait.
Every company which takes advantage of Biden’s uncapped Inflation Reduction Act subsidies will add to the USA’s debt burden, pressure to increase taxes, and mortgage rates, as government debt subsidised spending threatens to overheat the economy still further.
What do Americans get in return for higher mortgage rates, more taxes, higher utility bills, and an even more unmanageable public debt burden?
At best, the USA gets the same electricity they already have, but more expensive and less reliable.
The USA might as well pile a trillion dollars into a heap and set fire to it, for all the “benefit” this green investment will deliver to ordinary people.
A few people will benefit. I’m guessing the billionaires who take advantage of this cheap government money will be happy. Even if their green businesses suck up all the cheap government money and, when the money dries up, default on their subsidised government loans, the personal finances of the billionaires who reap these government subsidies rarely seem to suffer. Being the CEO of a bankrupt business, misjudging the market, is not a crime.
Here’s looking at you, Solyndra.
A trillion dollars of government welfare for billionaires, funded from your taxes, your kid’s taxes and your grandkid’s taxes, for no benefit to anyone except the recipients. Doesn’t that just give you a warm, fuzzy feeling, deep down in your stomach?
“The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling.”
― Thomas Sowell
Sowell, my favorite economist after Milton Friedman died in 2006, must be the most quoted free market economist in history, certainly by me.
Same here. One of my very favorite Sowell quotes eviscerates activists and activism in one pithy sentence:
“Activism is a way for useless people to feel important, even if the consequences of their activism are counterproductive for those they claim to be helping and damaging to the fabric of society as a whole.”
No, just regurgitated bile.
Speaking of which…
“”Climate breakdown could cause British apples to die out, warn experts“”. – The Guardian
Not a problem, we can grow olives instead.
Black olives matter.
Mr Looney doesn’t seem to be that loony – unlike the vast majority of the virtue signalling classes….
“”If you cannot set a credible course for net-zero [emissions], with 2025 and 2030 targets covering all your operations, you should not be in business,” Guterres said. “”
De carbonisation is based on a lie. The miniscule quantity of carbon dioxide made by man (0.04%) burning fossil fuels has no effect on the climate which is controlled only by the activity of the sun. Carbon dioxide is a good gas essential to life. Net Zero ONLY creates poverty for those who can least afford it.
The miniscule quantity of carbon dioxide made by man (0.04%) burning fossil fuels has no effect on the climate which is controlled only by the activity of the sun.”
Two big mistakes in one sentence.
CO2 emissions inhibit Earth’s ability to itself by a small harmless amount.
And the sun itself could not have caused any of the global warming from 1975 to 2015 because there was no increase of Top of the Atmosphere solar energy, measured by NASA satellites.
You will harm the difficult effort to refute dangerous global warming predictions of doom if you claim CO2 has no effect and blame all climate changes on the sun.
The benefits of more CO2 in the atmosphere far exceed the costs because there are no costs.
@richard – I’m not sure that you can say “the sun itself could not have caused any of the global warming from 1975 to 2015 because there was no increase of Top of the Atmosphere solar energy, measured by NASA satellites” because it is not clear that solar irradiance alone accounts for all the sun’s impact on our planet. I say that b/c of the clear correlation between the sun’s magnetic field strength (sun spot numbers as proxy) and temperature in the historical record. Obviously, the causation can only be in one direction. There are different theories but the one that makes the most sense to me (I’m a physical chemist) is the ionization increase that comes from enhanced cosmic ray bombardment when the sun’s field strength is weak which leads to more clouds and hence cooling vs. when the field strength is high. The climate cabal claims that this theory has been proven false but I dug into that (actually located the academic paper) and it was BS: someone had used their own modeling to “show” that the enhanced ionization would not cause more water droplet nucleation but they did not empirically test the hypothesis. Likely the reason for the latter is the high cost that would entail: the two main cost drivers being (a) the experimental apparatus (chambers, pumps, detectors, etc.), and, more critically, (b) a source of high energy radiation to mimic cosmic rays. The climate cabal will never fork over the $$$ required to fund actual research along those lines.
I spent many years trying to demonstrate the link between sun spot cycles and climate. I believed it to be true, but the data did not agree with my beliefs. So I changed my beliefs. If there is an effect it is too tiny to measure.
Interesting, I’m curious: what were you measuring, water droplet nucleation?
No just trying to find a clear correlation. It is messy because you have to account for everything from volcanoes to PDO and AMO and many other factors. But no matter how I slided it up, no correlation to speak of. Willis Eschenbach has some articles on this site you may want to dig up.
My understanding is that it isn’t sunspots, but solar magnetic field strength.
Sunspot counts as an inaccurate solar energy proxy are irrelevant when there are satellite data with actual TOA measurements.
Changes in solar activity, sunspots and cosmic rays, and their effects on clouds:
(1) Cosmic rays (GCRs) are not rays. They are tiny atomic particles released by distant and ancient interstellar events, such as supernova explosions.
(2) GCRs are not very effective in seeding clouds. Over the past five decades, the number of GCRs reaching Earth has increased, and in recent years reached record high numbers. This means that if the GCR-warming hypothesis is correct, this increase in GCRs should actually be causing global cooling over the past five decades, and particularly cold temperatures in recent years.
“CO2 emissions inhibit Earth’s ability to itself by a small harmless amount.”
I think you left out the “cool” prior to itself. Doesn’t happen.
“CO2 emissions inhibit Earth’s ability to COOL itself by a small harmless amount.”
Got an F in typing in the 7th grade and have never improved. Asked the typing teacher for partial credit if I hit the letter on the keyboard that was next to the right letter when I was typing. My typing teacher had no sense of humor.
And of that .04% over 97% is naturally occurring which means that the CO2 from man’s industrial and transportation activities is so small that removing all of it would not change the composition of the atmosphere so it defies all common sense to believe that removing a minuscule amount of CO2 somehow solves all weather/climate issues
WH, a question then to you and others that hold to your “And of that .04% over 97% is naturally occurring” contention:
I thought that I had read here and other websites that the level of CO2 has increased a bit over the past several decades (or century?) hasn’t it, and if so, what caused the increase?
Just so you do not interpret the ‘tone’ or intent of my inquiry, I’m of the opinion that the warmistas and their uninformed supporters are either immoral, ignorant, stupid or some admixture thereof. Even so, I don’t know how to answer or explain some basic things such as my question.
CO2 is absolutely increasing. Temps not so much,
The fact that temperatures are not going up much is not evidence that man is or is not responsible for the increase in CO2.
I never said it was. Don’t put words in my mouth.
what caused theCO2 increase?
Manmade CO2 emissions caused the enture increase from 280 ppm CO2 in 1850 (estimated) to 420 ppm CO2 today (measured). Nature has been a net CO2 absorber in that period,
What causes the increase in CO2 is a combination of factors, such as CO2 emissions from the oceans (caused by water at increased temperatures not being able to hold as much gas) and limestone erosion.
Uhhmm, let’s straighten those numbers out. Co2 concentration has increased from 280 ppm to 410 ppm since about 1850.
This amount can be easily calculated as about 1/2 of mankind’s total CO2 emissions due to burning fuels and forests over the same time period. The other half is absorbed by oceans by solubility and algae growth, and increased green vegetation on land, and rock weathering.
On a yearly basis human CO2 production is only about 5% of mother nature’s cycle but it has added up since 1850. Oceans also added about 12 ppm per degree of ocean surface warming as deep currents rise to the surface and warm.
It can be reasonably expected that mankind’s CO2 production would eventually just become part of the CO2 cycle at some higher CO2 level than today’s. That level is actually unknown and what temperature the planetary average will be when this occurs is very speculative because even the IPCC’s resources don’t know if there is 1.5 or 6 degrees increase per doubling of CO2.
One can calculate as Vanwijngaarden and Happer, also Harde and others have from IR absorption data, that doubling of CO2 results in about 3 watts/sq.M. You can run Modtran on the UChicago site yourself and get 3.7 watts or less. This is small potatoes compared to 86 watts of evapo-transpiration, 77 watts of cloud and atmospheric sunlight reflection, (both of which likely increase by increased surface temperature) and 5 watts per degree of Planck temperature feedback alone (higher ground temp, more IR to outer space through the atmospheric window)
And at current rate of 2 ppm annual increase, it will take 200 years for CO2 to double, and by then oil and gas reserves would be exhausted anyway.
So let’s get on with real pollution and environmental problems, Putin, and ending false agendas…..
Hmmm, downvoters within minutes…show your calcs.
Explain here +200ppm to +300ppm of manmade CO2 emissions from 1850 to 2023 went if not in the atmosphere?
And then explain what else caused the +140ppm rise of CO2 from 1850 to 2023?
I’ll be waiting patiently while you tap dance around those two important questions that you will NEVER answer.
Enough tap dancing.
1) It dissolved into ocean, became wood, plants, and dead algae and coccoliths at the bottom of the sea.
2) Just told you that mankind’s emissions have been double the amount that is represented by atmospheric CO2 increase from 1850 to 2023. The other half went..well…see 1)
3) How do I collect my tap dancing trophy ?
So let’s get on with real pollution and environmental problems, Putin, and ending false agendas…..”
That makes sense but what does Putin have to do with climate change scaremongering? The Russian INM model is the least inaccurate, and least scary, computer model prediction.
You missed my point, which is that CO2 isn’t a big problem, let’s get on with real ones.
33% of 420ppm is from manmade CO2 emissions. I am shocked by how many conservatives falsely claim only 3%, 4% or 5% comes from manmade sources. Only two science frauds, Murray Salby and I forget the other guy, make that false claim, that I know of, based on 25 years of climate science reading.
I thought, mistakenly or not, that the 3% put forth by Mssr WH was an annual amount.
100% of the annual increase of CO2 is from manmade CO2 emissions, while nature ((oceans, land and plants) have been a net CO2 absorber.
Since 1850 is 172 annual increases of the CO2 level from manmade CO2 emissions.
3% is a false claim that only 3% of all 420ppm of CO2 is from manmade CO2.
The correct number is about 33%, not 3%
I will correct every fool who claims 3% no matter how many downvotes my comment gets.
It is about time for conservatives to get their acts together on basic climate science, or else there is no hope for refuting CAGW claptrap.
AGW is real and harmless
CAGW is a fantasy prediction of climate doom.
Or maybe….. 420now-280before= 140change
140/280 = 50%…. or….280 x 1.5 =420. is 50% increase….just to play with numbers.
…a fee for emitting the powerful greenhouse gas methane…
We are never told and no one ever asks, so policy makers never find out that methane is on track by 2100 to cause a small fraction of a degree of warming.
I think that guy lived in a van, down by the river.
He was really funny.
Methane is no joke. The people running the show haven’t a clue beyond the incomplete statement that methane is 86 times more powerful than CO2 at trapping heat. Yes, methane is 86 times more powerful than CO2 and it will…. do what? No one asks and no one says.
Natural gas primarily made up of methane keeps my hom warm in the winter.
Me too (-: Methane is mostly hated by the Green Mob because it emits CO2 when burned in your home furnace.
The mob also hates cows. They look down on red meat. They don’t like feed lots. They hate cowboys especially the the late John Wayne. They don’t like dairy, that why soy milk and other milk substitutes are on store shelves these days. Have you ever met a liberal who didn’t claim to be lactose intolerant? But they all eat ice cream.
Well anyway. liberals hate cows, and the fact that ungulates emit methane was the excuse to come up with the 86 times more powerful bullshit. Of course they ignore the fact that every living organism with an alimentary canal emits methane.
And recently they claim gas stoves cause asthma. It’s a never ending game of Whack-A-Mole.
I’m opening a restaurant where attendants will fill your car’s gas tank with gasoline, or charge your EV while you eat a meal inside. The name of my restaurant will be: “Eat and Get Gas”.
Yes and it is 86 times more effective than heating your home with CO2…./s
I’ve concluded that the 86 times number comes from the amount of energy that a molecule of methane can store vs CO2. What’s left out of that explanation is that the GHE is not dependant on amount of energy stored. If it was, both CO2 and CH4 would be a rounding error approaching zero. What matters is the RATE of energy they can INTERCEPT and either re-radiate or give up to other molecules through collision. That’s a number that is a fraction of CO2 which is a fraction of anything significant to temperature.
The alarmists lie in layers, each one being a half truth, the most insidious lie there is to debunk.
While CO2 is measured in parts per million, methane is measured in parts per billion. Its a factor of 3 difference in atmospheric concentrations meaning methane is roughly one-thousandths as as effective as CO2 in interrupting radiation when compared to dry atmospheric lab calculations of methane being only 86 times more effective than CO2 (multiply by 1,000 divide by 86). And ignored is the fact that methane’s affected wavelengths are almost fully saturated by atmospheric water vapor, the most abundant GHG.
Lies, damned lies and CliSciFi.
The Global Warming Potential, GWP, numbers are tied to the concentration of CO2 as a standard. As a result of that, each IPCC report claims a different GWP value for methane because CO2 concentration is increasing over the years between assessment reports.
If methane doubles in concentration, a 2 ppm to 4 ppm increase, it will cause some warming.
If CO2 increases by 2 ppm from 420 to 422 PPM it will cause almost zero warming,
Run the numbers on that, and you will find that some warming is about 86* times almost zero warming.
*Actually around 30 times as much. The bump up to 86 times as much is due to the fact that the GWP numbers are based on mass rather than volume, and CO2 is 2.75 times heavier than CH4. So 2ppm of methane equates to only 0.73 ppm of CO2 by mass.
In terms of lying with fuzzy logic, the GWP numbers are right up there with “I am my own grandpa” and the “Bell boy and the Missing Dollar”
I usually point to the following with a “How does this show 86 times the heating?” since molecular cross section is the big number when calculating absorption efficiency.
For speaking the truth about methane, you will be called a methane denier and visited by the Jumpin’ Joe Bidet
I’ve asked but nobody answered… How does one get that methane is 25 or 86 times the greenhouse warming potential of CO2 from these molecular cross sections ? And yes, I know the Molecular weight of methane is 16 and CO2 is 44….
Thomas Sowell is right about everything. I can never see how anyone can buy into the concept of having two parallel energy systems, one that works and one that is sporadic and ruins the local environment. It is way past time to have a repeat of the AC (Tesla) DC (Edison) wars. Produce at name-plate capacity, 24/7 or be fined, disconnected from the grid and sued into oblivion. A win-win as far as I can see.
One for the week, and one for Sunday best.
I used to watch a television program named “The Real McCoys”, a comedy about a poor family’s adventures, The father of the bunch had what he called his Sunday-go-to-meeting socks. He had a pair of socks with no holes in them that he wore only to church.
I’m currently fasting, so I don’t have a warm, fuzzy feeling in my stomach at the moment. I actually feel a hunger; a deep, visceral, even spiritual hunger for a reckoning!
These climate grifters have been foisting their lies and partial truths on a gullible public for far too long! It’s time for them to repay all the treasure they have stolen from the world economy for their self-gratification and -aggrandizement! One has to wonder, too, if US politicitians were stripped of ALL the wealth they’ve looted or stolen from taxpayers, would it pay down a large portion of the national debt? Just asking for a friend; my old buddy, Uncle Sam!
When the ruling elite of any nation becomes saturated with the criminally insane, the rulers turn to attacking their own citizens; like the cells of a body with AIDS attacking itself! It’s time to put the psychopaths back in the asylum; I don’t know who thought that they could be trusted with our money, rights and children, but the experiment has failed! It’s time to return to normal!
Yes, it’s time. How is the question?
Keep pushing back against the insanity of these clowns! Dare to question the emperor’s sartorial splendor! That and skewer them with humor and ridicule; the self righteous hate to be laughed at!
Yes, resistance is necessary. Unfortunately, even with only non-violent resistance, for many there will come the nighttime knock on the door, or in today’s term, the battering ram and the flash-bang grenades. The insanity has not yet reached its peak.
Got my Consumers Power (MI) gas bill yesterday.
$237.02 — I was not celebrating
Just natural gas for one small low efficiency furnace set at 68 degrees this year compared with 70 degrees for the prior 36 years in this small 1600 square foot ranch home.
January 2023 at 68 degrees F.
Used 19.7Mcf for $237.02.
or $12.03 per 1 Mcf
(up +33% per Mcf from last year)
January 2022 at 70 degrees F.
Used 24.5 Mcf for $221.20,
or $9.03 per 1 Mcf
I’ll pay the bill because i need gas, but I’ll address my check to
“Consumers Power can kiss my butt”
List of the 24 best climate science and energy articles I read today:
Honest Climate Science and Energy
Could be worse – you could be in Germany or UK where energy prices are 3x what Americans pay
Generalizing, most things are more expensive there, and one enjoys fewer freedoms. The left loves it.
Yet for some reason I hear some people (including my husband at times) gush about how much “better” certain things are in Europe vs the US. Makes me wonder why more don’t move there…. But at least my husband has the sense to know that he’d much rather live here in the US than in any European country. He used to want to move to Australia, but then I showed him how that country treated its people during the Covid outbreak. And then there’s the green crap that’s being pushed even worse than here in the US (being an electrical engineer my husband knows that stuff is garbage).
What kind of subsidies are there?
In Canada, you can add about 50% of your basic gas cost as Carbon tax….that little wealth transfer Turdeau put on mostly Western Canadians to support heat pump installations in Eastern Canada where his voter base is and where all the hydro-electric dams were paid by tax dollars to start with….
It wouldn’t be so bad if the economy actually was over heating. At least that would be providing jobs for everyone who wanted one.
The only thing that is getting over heated is inflation, the economy itself is lagging badly.
Government spending has never boosted the over all economy, and never will. All government spending does, is at best, to take money from one group of people in order to give it to another.
The claim that taxes merely take money that isn’t being used, is a lie, there is no such money.
Isn’t it about time we stop calling this an energy “transition “ since it is obviously nothing but a governmental cram down that does nothing but add costs and unreliability to our energy production
Yes, energy destruction or wrecking is more like it.
Nut Zero, the Marxist Energy Revolution
Either way, can anyone explain to me where the extra $1, $2 or $3 per gallon of fuel goes? If the world collectively burns (my low-ball guess, I don’t know) say hypercritically 100,000,000 gallons of fuel a day (and was doing the same before prices went up) where is that extra $100M a day going?
If a pipeline is closed down, or coal power plant closed or such, then there is less available fuel (or energy however you want to slice the cake), but that would not increase the cost of production for the other producers unaffected by the closure, at least not by a increase of 60% or even more.
Cynical me says this is a shell game of sorts that lines the pocket of ultra-rich and ultra powerful people and entities. Out of our pockets.
Anyone who follows the markets knows that oil and gas companies are posting record profits, buying back shares and increasing dividends. All the pressure to curtail drilling (as if that would magically create low/no CO2 energy solutions) has accomplished its goal of making oil and gas a curtailed resource. The alarmists have, through their political pressure, made the very people they despise most richer than ever, and the poor people they pretend to fight for even poorer.
It’s supply and demand. Green governments cut supply with obscene rules that are designed to prevent drilling and mining, or at least slow them for decades. The result of minimal supply is maximum prices.
These climate activists can talk “the science” all day long (which isn’t real science but rather propaganda) but yet they have no knowledge or understanding of history. If they did, they’d see ample examples of what high levels of poverty do to the environment. Most recently this has been seen in countries like Venezuela. It can also be seen in many parts of India, and lots of countries in Africa, especially West Africa. Poor people who need fuel for cooking and keeping warm don’t care if they denude a forest, and they will clear that forest to plant crops so they have something to eat. And hungry people don’t care whether they kill animals, fish and bird that are protected or out of season. People do what they have to in order to survive.
Contrast that with wealthier developed countries that are generally able to protect natural areas and manage wildlife. This is because the vast majority of the population have enough to eat and have adequate shelter. All courtesy of fossil fuels, which also doesn’t get mentioned….
Wanna destroy the environment? Then by all means embrace and push the radical environmental movement!
For the most part I am against government incentives, subsidies, tax breaks and grants. I’m sure there are many people who can benefit from them but in the end it is rarely the regular guy. Most often it is big business, corporations or governments that benefit.
We just got our first utility bill of the New Year. We are on a monthly budget plan based on previous usage. Our bill was 30% higher than our previous bill. This is in NYC. Thanks warmists.
Only idiotic eco-mentalists could believe that distributing taxpayers money to a small number of companies is going to make the whole country richer.
They’re not even trying to hide the scam.