CO2 Rules: The Anti-Stimulus
The EPA has prepared a finding for review that global warming is a public health threat, the first step toward regulating the American economy down to your lawn mower.
We are often told how the pursuit of alternative energy will help save the earth from climate change and create lots of green jobs. Advocates rarely use the phrase “global warming” any more because the earth is in fact no longer warming, and hasn’t for a decade due to a decline in solar activity and other natural factors.
They prefer the phrase “climate change” because it can cover a multitude of things such as snow in Malibu or blizzards during global warming conferences and protests. They want to hide the fact that the Earth is not warming. They also want to hide the fact the futile regulation of greenhouse gases will produce an unintended consequence — green unemployment.
Environmentalists celebrated a victory on Monday when the White House acknowledged that the Environmental Protection Agency had transmitted its proposed finding that global warming is a public health threat. The U.S. Supreme Court directed the EPA two years ago to decide that question, ruling that if it found warming to be a threat, it must under the law regulate CO2 and other greenhouse gases.
The EPA’s dire finding echoes last month’s testimony by Howard Franklin, who directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Environmental Health, before a Senate Committee. Franklin said the CDC “considers climate change a serious public health concern” that could accelerate illnesses and deaths from heat waves, air pollution, and food- and water-borne diseases.
But warming may actually save lives. Warmer weather means longer growing seasons for both food and the raw materials for biofuels. Ironically, the push to biofuels has caused hunger and food riots around the world as crops are diverted and food prices rise. The environment is harmed due to increased biofuel cultivation and agricultural runoff.
A recent BBC report noted that 20,000 deaths are linked to the cold each year in the U.K. and that those deaths fell 3% a year from 1971 through 2003. Thomas Gale Moore, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution who has studied and written extensively about global warming, believes as many as 40,000 American lives would be spared each year.
Bjorn Lomborg, author of the book “The Skeptical Environmentalist,” has said the cost of a Kyoto-like pact “just for the U.S. will be higher than the cost of providing the entire world with clean drinking water and sanitation. It’s estimated the latter would prevent 2 million deaths (from diseases like infant diarrhea) a year and prevent half a billion people from becoming seriously ill each year.”
The irony here is that wealthier societies are the healthier societies, and attempts to regulate emissions are attempts to restrain economic growth. Kyoto and its descendants are recipes for global poverty that hurt the very populations they purport to help.
According to a Heritage Foundation analysis, “using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases will be very costly, even given the most generous assumptions.” Clean Air Act regulation of greenhouse gases “could spur additional investment,” Heritage acknowledges, but “this investment was completely undermined by the higher energy prices.”
So much so, says Heritage, that “cumulative GDP losses for 2010 to 2029 approach $7 trillion with single-year losses of nearly $650 billion.” Annual job losses would exceed 800,000 for several years, with some industries experiencing job losses exceeding 50%. . . .