‘Joe Biden’s Climate Denialism’ – ‘Why would we aspire to make life worse for billions of people?’
Joe Biden’s Climate Denialism
By DAVID HARSANYI
In anticipation of Thursday’s virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, a two-day global gathering of more than 40 world leaders, President Joe Biden declared that the United States had a “moral imperative” to adopt an “ambitious” goal of cutting greenhouse-gas emissions by 50 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050.
Such an effort, if we were serious about it, would entail massive destruction of wealth, a surrender of our international trade advantages, the creation of a hugely intrusive state-run bureaucracy at home, the inhibition of free markets that have helped make the world a cleaner place, and a precipitous drop in the living standards of most citizens — especially the poor.
Of course, it should be said that those who oppose the expansion of fracking and nuclear energy — most elected Democrats, it seems — aren’t even remotely serious about “tackling” carbon emissions, anyway. Around 80 percent of American energy is generated by fossil fuels and nuclear right now. Around 20 percent is generated by “renewables” — predominantly wind and hydropower (which is unavailable in most places). Only around 2 percent of our portfolio consists of inefficient and unreliable solar power — this, even after decades of subsidies and mandates.
It’s always funny to hear people speak about solar panels as if they were some sort of cutting-edge technology. The discovery of the photovoltaic effect goes back to 1888. President Jimmy Carter declared a national “Sun Day” in 1978 and put 30 solar panels atop the White House. One of those panels is now on display at the Science and Technology Museum in China — not only the top producer of solar panels and carbon emissions, but also the nation that would most benefit from the United States’ unilateral economic capitulation.
To reach Biden’s goal, the United States would need to envelop most of the nation in panels and windmills, and then rely on enormous Gaian prayer circles — may she grant us sunshine and gale-force winds. We would be compelled to eliminate most air travel and cars — making new ones produces lots of carbon emissions — and retrofit every home, factory, warehouse, and building in America to utilize this type of energy. We would need to dramatically cut back on our meat and dairy intake as well.
After shutting down a large chunk of its economy in 2020, and spending trillions to keep those affected afloat and avert a depression, the United States emissions only fell by 13 percent. Imagine what 50 percent might entail. When confronted with these nagging specifics, we often hear how these are aspirational goals. Why would we aspire to make life worse for billions of people?