Democratic presidential hopeful Jay Inslee’s recently announced climate plan would come at a very steep price, putting the average U.S. household on the hook for $75,000 over the next 10 years. Even worse, despite the enormous cost, Inslee’s plan would have virtually no effect on global temperature.
Inslee’s Evergreen Economy Plan is similar to self-avowed democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) “Green New Deal,” as both call for eliminating conventional energy production. Inslee’s “plan catalyzes roughly $9 trillion in investment” over 10 years to accomplish that radical goal.
No doubt, Inslee is likely counting on the fact that most people’s eyes glaze over when billions and trillions of dollars are discussed. Moreover, most people have no idea what typical families would pay under these crazy plans.
However, $9 trillion divided by America’s 118 million households is approximately $75,000 per household. Is it really worth each household paying an additional $75,000 over the next 10 years, on top of all the other taxes people pay, to switch some or all of our power to wind and solar power from conventional power? Most Americans would likely answer with an emphatic, “No!”
Inslee attempts to justify the high cost of his plan by claiming that switching to wind and solar power will benefit the economy.
He writes, “The Evergreen Economy Plan is built on the model that has led Washington state to become the fastest-growing economy in America.” Inslee fails to mention, however, that wind and solar power sources generate just 7 percent of Washington state’s electricity.
Washington does have a growing economy, and affordable energy has much to do with that. But Washington state benefits from the third-lowest electricity prices in the country precisely because expensive and unreliable wind and solar power provide only a small percentage of Washington’s electricity, not as a result of these renewable energy sources.
Making matters worse, Inslee’s plan would have no significant impact on climate. The United States emits only 13 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, and is already leading the world in emissions reductions. Since 2000, the United States has reduced its emissions more than any other nation. America has reduced its emissions by 14 percent this century, even while the rest of the world has increased its emissions by 56 percent.
Further, even if the United States were to immediately eliminate all its emissions and even if the global climate is as sensitive to carbon dioxide emissions as claimed by U.N. models, the Environment Protection Agency’s climate sensitivity models show the immediate elimination of all U.S. carbon dioxide emissions would affect global temperature by merely 0.13 degrees Celsius by the year 2100. Such a small amount can barely be measured and will have virtually no effect on global climate.
If Inslee believes in a climate crisis, he should focus his attention on China. China emits more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the United States. Moreover, China’s emissions continue to rise. China alone accounts for 63 percent of the total rise in global emissions this century. Unless Inslee’s plan imposes carbon dioxide reductions on China—which it doesn’t—its effect on global emissions would be meaningless.
Fortunately, objective scientific evidence strongly contradicts the assertion that humans are creating a climate crisis. The modest warming of recent decades has brought with it record crop production, retreating deserts, rising plant concentrations, and a reduction in extreme weather events.
Also, objective data show cold temperatures kill far more people than moderate or higher temperatures. In the United States, the four months with the highest mortality rates are December, January, February, and March. The four months with the lowest mortality rates are June, July, August, and September.
Eight hundred more people die each day during December through March than die on an average day during the rest of the year. Globally, 4 million people die each year as a result of less than optimal temperatures, with nearly 20 times more people dying as a result of cold temperatures than of higher temperatures.
As hard it might be for some on the far left to believe, a rising global temperature would likely result in fewer temperature-related deaths.
Inslee’s climate plan may curry favor with the extreme left, but it would be an expensive, pointless train wreck for the U.S. economy.
James Taylor (JTaylor@heartland.org) is director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy at The Heartland Institute.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.