Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cap & Trade: A Non-Solution to a Non-Problem

By Alan Caruba

A desperate push is underway to enact the Climate Security Act sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CN) and Sen. John Warner (R-VA). It would impose cap-and-trade mandates on anything that generates carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and that pretty much includes everything involving energy use, including backyard barbequing.

Just what “climate security” is remains a mystery. It suggests that humans actually have something to do with the climate and only idiots believe that. If that were true, there would be no tornadoes tearing up the mid-west or hurricanes threatening the east coast. There would be no droughts, no blizzards, and other weather phenomena.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the most virulent environmental organizations, famed for finding ways to impede any kind of development nationwide, whether it’s housing for a growing population, ranching and farming to feed it, or anything industrial that might provide jobs, is sponsoring a May 29 briefing for “America’s editorial board members and op-ed page editors, via a conference via phone.

You can expect newspapers to publish a raft of editorials and op-eds praising legislation based on the notion that CO2 must be reduced to stop global warming.

The problem for the environmentalists is that the Earth is now a decade into a cooling cycle that even U.S. government agencies such as NOAA acknowledge. The other problem is that CO2 represents about 0.038 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere which is comprised mostly of water vapor. So there is no global warming and the role of CO2 is negligible. Earlier this month there was news of some 31,000 scientists from around the world who have signed a petition debunking the global warming hoax. More than 9,000 of them were PhDs.

Among those participating in the NRDC conference call will be Sen, John Kerry of Massachusetts whose resume makes no reference to any knowledge of meteorology or climatology.

The Senate would be better off to pay some attention to the estimates of the costs involved in establishing a program to reduce “greenhouse gases.” A study by the Heritage Foundation predicts the following:

# The impact on the economy would be horrendous. Heritage estimates that cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) losses of at least $1.7 trillion that could reach $4.8 trillion by 2030 (in inflation-adjusted 2006 dollars).

# Single-year GDP losses of at least $155 billion that could exceed $500 billion (in inflation-adjusted 2006 dollars).

# Annual job losses that would exceed 500,000 before 2030 and could exceed a million.

# The annual cost of emission permits to energy users to cost at least $100 billion by 2020.

# The average household will pay $467 more each year for its natural gas and electricity (in inflation-adjusted 2006 dollars). That means that the average household will spend an additional $8,870 to purchase energy over the period 2012 to 2030.

It’s worth noting that a similar bill in 2005 was defeated by a vote of 60-38, an even larger margin that an earlier 2003 vote.

Cap-and-trade legislation is a non-solution to a non-problem and this vote will take place at a time when most of the public has wisely concluded that global warming, except for Al Gore’s fulminations about the coming end of the world, is just so much hot air. Such carbon credits, however, would likely make him and his fellow conspirators very wealthy through the creation of exchanges for their sale and trade.

What makes this legislation so utterly wicked, inane and insane is that it would wreck what is left of our already injured economy, trying to pull itself together after the mortgage loan debacle of our financial institutions, and facing the rising costs of oil whose full effects have yet to be felt as they ripple through the economy.

The fact that environmental organizations would try to get such legislation imposed tells you everything you need to know about their true agenda regarding America.

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