by Michael Bastasch
Democrats are increasingly lining up behind New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s call for a “Green New Deal,” but few, if any, have talked about its actual impact on global warming.
Even if all the Green New Deal’s goals were achieved, it would have a negligible, and likely immeasurable, impact on projected global warming, according to climate model simulation provided by a libertarian think tank.
“I seriously think the effect would — at best — be barely detectable in the climate record,” Patrick Michaels, a climatologist with the Cato Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Cato developed its own “Carbon Tax Temperature-Savings Calculator” to estimate the amount of warming that might be averted through reducing greenhouse gas emissions, like carbon dioxide.
The carbon calculator is based on the so-called “MAGICC” climate model simulator, developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research with funding from the Environmental Protection Agency.
So, how much warming would a “Green New Deal” avert by the end of the century? Slightly under 0.14 degrees Celsius, according to Cato’s temperature calculator.
“The year-to-year variation is very close to the total amount of warming that would be ‘saved’ by 2100, according to EPA’s own model,” Michaels said.
And that assumes a climate sensitivity estimate of 3 degrees Celsius. Climate sensitivity refers to the amount of warming that can be expected from a doubling of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.
The United Nations estimates climate sensitivity is anywhere between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees Celsius, though an April 2018 study suggested that climate sensitivity is likely on the low-endof the scale.
Indeed, if climate sensitivity is only 1.5 degrees Celsius, like the April study found, the Green New Deal would only avert about 0.08 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century, according to Cato’s calculator.
Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” calls for a House committee to draft legislation mandating the meeting of “100% of national power demand through renewable sources” within a 10-year window.