I have always considered myself an environmentalist and conservationist. I worked on my doctorate with an atmospheric chemistry grant.
In the post war boom, we had problems with air pollution from factories, coal plants, cars, inefficient home heating systems and incinerators in apartments.
We had air quality issues with pollutants like soot, SO2, ozone, hydrocarbons, NOx, and lead. Smog events in Donora PA 1948 where 6,000 of the 14,000 population experienced damaged lungs, and the great London 1952 event which led to 6000 deaths helped drive global action. The problem was soot and sulfur dioxide which when there is a fog with a low level inversion preventing dispersion traps the particulates while the sulfur dioxide reacts with the water droplets to form sulfuric acid mist which causes lung damage as well as damage to property. Today in a similar industrial boom with heavy coal use in places like China, they are experiencing similar issues.
My colleagues who became part of the EPA or their advisory boards helped them set standards that had to be met by industry and automakers.
The EPA reports:
“Between 1970 and 2019, the combined emissions of the six common pollutants (PM2.5 and PM10, SO2, NOx, VOCs, CO and Pb) dropped by 77 percent. … For nearly 50 years, the Clean Air Act has brought Americans cleaner air and lower risks of adverse health effects. “
The EPA tracks the Air Quality Trends common pollutants nationally and reports that concentrations of air pollutants have dropped significantly since 1990:
- Carbon Monoxide (CO) 8-Hour, down 78%
- Lead (Pb) 3-Month Average, down 85% (from 2010)
- Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) Annual, down 59%
- Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) 1-Hour, down 51%
- Ozone (O3) 8-Hour, 25%
- Particulate Matter 10 microns (PM10) 24-Hour, down 46%
- Particulate Matter 2.5 microns (PM2.5) Annual, down 43% (from 2000)
- Particulate Matter 2.5 microns (PM2.5) 24-Hour, down 44% (from 2000)
- Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) 1-Hour, down 90%
We have the cleanest air in my lifetime and well below the standards set.
In fact, the global trend of PM2.5 from NASA and the WHO shows the U.S. with reliance on clean natural gas has the lowest small particulate count (along with Scandinavia and Australia) in the world.
The EPA notes “During this same period, the U.S. economy continued to grow, Americans drove more miles, and population and energy use increased.”
So CO2 is not a pollutant and we have shown here the other CO2 driven climate claims are either not shown to exist or can be explained by natural factors.
World prosperity and decreased poverty and death has resulted form the benefits of the use of fossil fuels to mankind.
Whatsmore CO2 is a plant fertilizer that has enabled us to feed a growing global population and the vegetation that feeds the people and produced the materials like wood that houses them.
Notice CO2 was not on the list of EPA pollutants. CO2 is a trace gas (.04% of our atmosphere). It is NOT a pollutant but a beneficial gas.
CO2 is essential for photosynthesis. CO2 enriched plants are more vigorous and have lower water needs, are more drought resistant. Ideal CO2 levels for crops would be 3 to 4 times higher. Many greenhouses worldwide pump CO2 to promote and speed growth.
Dr. Craig Idso of CO2 Science noted recently “Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant and it is most certainly not causing dangerous global warming. Rather, its increase in the atmosphere is invigorating the biosphere, producing a multitude of benefits for humanity and the natural world, notwithstanding the prognostications of the uninformed.” See his video here.
Dr. Will Happer, Princeton Physicist talks about the great benefits of CO2 to the biosphere and to all of humanity.says we are coming out of a CO2 drought and humanity would benefit from CO2 being 2 to 3 times higher. See an interview here.
Dr Patrick Moore, ecologist and co-founder of Greenpeace says we are coming out of a CO2 drought and humanity would benefit from CO2 being 2 to 3 times higher. See the interview here.
So CO2 has enormous benefits to mankind.
It’s not the first time we were told we faced an existential threat due to ‘climate change’. In 1970, Stanford’s Paul Ehrlich warned that because of population growth, climate stress (then cold) and dwindling energy that between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish in the “Great Die-Off” which was too late to stop. Even as each subsequent dire forecast failed (see how the alarmist/media record is perfect (100% wrong) in the 50 major claims made since 1950 here), the alarms continued, each pushing the date forward – 2000, 2020, and now 2030. Last summer, at Glacier National Park signs “Warning: glaciers will be gone by 2020” were quietly removed as ice and snow has increased.
The real costs are in the actions pushed on Americans and corporations by government and environmental caving to radical environmentalism.
That is because they are using failed assumptions and models tuned to manipulated (fraudulent) data. See detailed peer reviewed studies on this here.
In the U.S., through 2020, low cost energy, low taxes and elimination of stifling regulations, we had the lowest unemployment for the nation in decades or history and for the first time in a long time significant wage increases! The U.S. is energy independent, a long time thought unachievable goal. Our air and water is cleanest in our lifetimes well below the tough standards we put in place decades ago.
The real existential threat comes would come from radical environmentalism and their prescribed remedies. The climate scare is politically driven, all about big government and control over every aspect of our lives. AOC’s chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti in May 2020 admitted that the Green New Deal was not conceived as an effort to deal with climate change, but instead a “how-do-you-change-the-entire economy thing” – nothing more than a thinly veiled socialist takeover of the U.S. economy. He was echoing what the climate change head of the UN climate chief and the UN IPCC Lead Author said – that is was our best chance to change the economic system (to centralized control) and redistribute wealth (socialism).
The economy in every country that has moved down an extreme green path have seen skyrocketing energy costs – some 3 times U.S. levels.
Green carbon taxes or reduction cause electricity prices to rise.
See the RGGI northeast states join crazy green California.
Under green friendly Biden/Kerry it will get worse. Chamber of Commerce Global Energy Institute’s Energy Accountability Series 2020 projects:
Energy prices would skyrocket under a fracking ban and would be catastrophic for our economy. If such a ban were imposed in 2021, by 2025 it would eliminate 19 million jobs and reduce U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $7.1 trillion. Natural gas prices would leap by 324 percent, causing household energy bills to more than quadruple. By 2025, motorists would pay twice as much at the pump ($5/gallon).
This will lead to soaring energy prices and life-threatening blackouts.
The green countries worldwide have electricity prices three times our levels. We are at the very bottom of the list. But for how long?
If I were to apply the Chamber’s projections to my modest family home and lifestyle, we would pay much more for energy ($13,000 per year!).
Some believe the Obama/Chu goal of $8, gallon could be revived and may even be targeted at $10 which would increase household energy costs another $3000/year. That would not include the cost of forced abandonment of gas-powered vehicles for electric autos, fuel oil or natural gas heating and cooling for electric.
That would be about what many families bring home yearly ($20,000). Not to worry… big government would come to the rescue by subsidizing lower or no income families and adding more to the exploding tax burden for everyone else.
This will lead to soaring energy prices and life-threatening blackouts. Retirees and lower income families pay the highest % of income (over 40%) for energy in recent years when energy costs have been low. They would suffer the worst as other parts of the world learned.
Millions perhaps tens of millions of people working hard to keep you warm in winter and cool in summer will be out of a job (cancellation of Keystone was the first volley). These people helped make the US energy independent for the first time ever. The talk of green jobs is nonsense as Europe found out here. New York Post (4/9/21) reports: “Last week, the Biden administration announced ‘a bold set of actions’ that it said will ‘catalyze’’ the installation of 30,000 megawatts of new offshore wind capacity by 2030.”
“A White House fact sheet claimed the offshore push will create ‘good-paying union jobs’ and ‘strengthen the domestic supply chain.’ One problem: It didn’t contain a single mention of electricity prices or ratepayers. The reason for the omission is obvious: President Biden’s offshore-wind scheme will be terrible for consumers. If those 30,000 megawatts of capacity get built – which, given the history of scuttled projects like Cape Wind, is far from a sure thing – that offshore juice will cost ratepayers billions of dollars more per year than if that same power were produced from onshore natural-gas plants or advanced nuclear reactors…the cost issue is the one that deserves immediate attention because any spike in electricity prices will have an outsized impact on low- and middle-income consumers. Those price hikes will be particularly painful in New York and New England, where consumers already pay some of America’s highest electricity prices…Thus, the electricity from 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind could cost consumers roughly $7.6 billion more per year than if it came from advanced nuclear reactors and about $11.1 billion more than if it were produced from gas-fired generators.”
By the way, perversely, when families can’t afford to pay for the energy (heating oil, gas or electricity) to heat their homes in winter, they revert to burning wood. This introduces the particulate matter and other ‘pollutants’ we have worked so hard to remove at the source.
Whatsmore we have shown that when we factor in natural cycles in the oceans, on the sun and volcanism, we can explain all the variability the last century (see) meaning CO2 has no effect. We also see no non-natural changes in extremes of weather.
Renewables are unreliable as the wind doesn’t always blow nor the sun shine. And don’t believe the claims millions of green jobs would result. In Spain, every green job created cost Spain $774,000 in subsidies and resulted in a loss of 2.2 real jobs. Only 1 in 10 green jobs were permanent. Industry left and in Spain unemployment rose to 27.5%.
Many households in the countries that have gone green are said to be in “energy poverty” (25% UK, 15% Germany). The elderly are said in winter to be forced to “choose between heating and eating”. Extreme cold already kills 20 times more than heat according to a study of 74 million deaths in 13 countries.
Politicians in the northeast states are bragging that they stopped the natural gas pipeline, shut down nuclear and coal plants and blocked the Northern Pass, which would have delivered low cost hydropower from Canada. In Concord and surrounding states, they are now scurrying to try and explain why electricity prices are 50 to 60% higher than the national average here and are speculating they have not moved fast enough with wind and solar. Several states have even established zero carbon emissions. This will lead to soaring energy prices and life-threatening blackouts. And by the way, in Europe where this plan was enacted or planned, many will lose their jobs. They are being told what (if) they can drive and what they can eat. Prosperity always delivers a better life AND environment than poverty.
REALITY CHECKS LARGELY GETTING NO MEDIA ATTENTION
There are a few recent important reports that show what the impact of these plans are likely to be. The radical environmentalists and globalists believe that people are stupid and can be counted on to believe what government leaders, progressive think tanks and the well paid scientific cabal say. There are a few recent reports that show what the real impact of some of these plans now on the drawing board are likely to be and they are very scary.
U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE’S GLOBAL ENERGY INSTITUTE’S ENERGY ACCOUNTABILITY SERIES 2020
Candidates for elected office have pledged to ban the very technology that has enabled the boom (and the never thought possible energy independence) – fracking. This raises an important question: what would happen to American jobs and the economy if fracturing was banned? In this report, the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute has undertaken the modeling and analysis to answer that question.
Simply put, a ban on fracking in the United States would be catastrophic for our economy.
Our analysis shows that if such a ban were imposed in 2021, by 2025 it would eliminate 19 million jobs and reduce U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $7.1 trillion. Job losses in major energy producing states would be immediate and severe; in Texas alone, more than three million jobs would be lost. Tax revenue at the local, state, and federal levels would decline by nearly a combined $1.9 trillion, as the ban cuts off a critical source of funding for schools, first responders, infrastructure, and other critical public services.
Energy prices would also skyrocket under a fracking ban. Natural gas prices would leap by 324 percent, causing household energy bills to more than quadruple. By 2025, motorists would pay twice as much at the pump ($5/gallon). We are well on our way there.
THE NORTHEAST PETRI-DISH – MASSACHUSETTS CASE STUDY
Massachusetts lawmakers have been aggressive in enacting policies they believe to combat climate change. Policymakers passed the Global Warming Solutions Act and joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative intending to reduce the state’s GHG emissions. As a result you can see Massachusetts joined the neighbor RGGI states of Connecticut and Rhode Island as the most expensive of the other lower 48 states in the cost of electricity according to the EIA (176.6% of the average of the lower 48 states). Right up there are all the other northeast RGGI states and not surprisingly California. Connecticut is #1 now with 187.6%.
These numbers were before the recent actions that are driving up process everywhere.
For Massachusetts this is before the introduction of the Transportation Climate Initiative or TCI, the next big over the cliff proposed effort to kill fossil fuels
The Beacon Hill Institute for Public Policy Research produced a very detailed report Transportation Climate Initiative: Its Economic Impacts on Massachusetts
They write “The Transportation and Climate Initiative of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States (TCI) describes itself as “a regional collaboration of 12 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia that seeks to improve transportation, develop the clean energy economy and reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector.” Massachusetts is a participating state.
The founding document for the TCI is a “Declaration of Intent,” issued in 2010 and signed by transportation and environmental officials in 11 states. The declaration states that the purpose of the TCI is “to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, minimize our transportation system’s reliance on high-carbon fuels, promote sustainable growth, address the challenges of vehicle-miles traveled and help build the green energy economy.”
The Initiative is “facilitated” by the Georgetown Climate Center, which worked closely with the Obama administration to design and implement climate change (fossil fuel elimination) policies.
BHI examined three scenarios – plans for 20%, 22% and 25% reductions of CO2 emissions from gasoline and diesel vehicles.
The midpoint TCI analysis for the period 2022-2026 for a 22% reduction of gasoline and diesel emissions would lead to a total loss of 36,533 jobs with increased energy cost per household of $3,037 in Massachusetts.
The Green New Deal presented the ideal radical left desires to change life as we know it. It is more likely change will continue to be incremental. And these studies show, the actions are not supported by real data and honest science, and the pain will be significant.
You need to seriously reconsider your cost benefit analysis as it is clear there are ALL cost and NO benefit to a ‘zero carbon’ suicide.
“If you don’t know where you are going, you might end up somewhere else.” Yogi Berra