A new crescendo in histrionics was evident in the latest National Climate Assessment Report released on November 14. As energy prices rise and global efforts to dominate fossil fuels, food production, and international travel are embraced by the Biden administration, the credibility of the climate change narrative is wobbling, and for good reason. What is increasingly clear to many is that even if humanity is warming the globe, the renewable energy “solutions” on offer are ineffective, if not counterproductive.
Bogus Climate Report
The recent Fifth National Climate Assessment Report strains credibility in two particular spheres: making broad claims attributing meteorological events to climate change that may likely have different causes and peddling renewable energy technologies while avoiding their manufacturing contribution to pollution and warming. The report states that the US must achieve “net zero” carbon emissions in order to avert certain catastrophe and that inadequate progress has been achieved:
While US greenhouse gas emissions are falling, the current rate of decline is not sufficient to meet national and international climate commitments and goals. … US greenhouse gas emissions decreased by less than 1% per year on average between 2005 and 2019.
This analysis raises an important question: If the US decreases its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 1% per year and China’s increases by 2% or more, is there a “net zero” impact on the planetary climate? This issue is often raised as a “hands tied behind our back” rationalization for why the US must not unilaterally compromise its economy to save the planet when other economies are not. But it highlights a much more important inquiry: How much of China’s increase in GHG emissions is attributable to the renewable technology products or components (e.g., solar panels, EVs) manufactured there and shipped to the US?
The US government has issued what appears to be a massive Climate Propaganda Report. Completely ignoring the GHG emissions of products manufactured to reduce GHGs is a dangerous game. It is increasingly obvious that burning coal to manufacture solar panels and digging mines to excavate lithium for EVs generate enormous quantities of GHG emissions – much of it in China and other nations abroad – create further environmental damage. And yet energy consumption and toxic pollution are systematically excluded from consideration of the “net” impact on the environment of these technologies.
When these additional costs are factored in, it becomes immediately clear that 1) the net impact of solar panels and EVs on the environment is still destructive, perhaps more than current consumption practices, and; 2) there are not enough physical resources on the planet to replace existing energy technologies with renewable alternatives.
These facts are ignored by self-anointed “climate warriors” who appear more interested in fighting ideological battles than they are in waging war against pollution. There is astronomical money to be made in manufacturing government-subsidized, government-mandated products, whether those products are solar panels or EVs. This is a terrifying moral hazard: a collusion of government and corporate interests.
Targeting Profits Over Carbon
The federal government is not out to ban NASCAR racing – what is its environmental impact? How about lawn-mowing, golfing, or downhill skiing? If saving the world is at stake, why are these industries ignored while cows are targeted and solar panels are subsidized on the backs of the poor? Perhaps the answer has more to do with power and money than saving the planet.
This answer explains the other fatuous shortcoming of the report: It links everything to climate change. Canadian and Maui wildfires? Not human mismanagement of forests, but humans’ carbon dioxide. Diminishing groundwater supplies in the Midwest? Not human pumping of ever more groundwater to irrigate almond and wine plantations, but humans’ carbon dioxide. Vermont’s record flooding and cool temperatures while the nation was in a heat wave? Well, climate change of course: no actual evidence required.
An Ideological Scam
It may be that humans are warming the globe, but not as fast as those who are exploiting the situation claim. Cash-to-clunkers was a scam that retired functional vehicles early while boosting new car sales with government subsidies (as intended). Ethanol as fuel is a joke, both environmentally and as a source of energy security. People’s ears may be itching to hear false hopes, but the sad truth is that these are all demonstrable scams.
The report states: “Across all regions of the US, people are experiencing warming temperatures and longer-lasting heatwaves.” This is not entirely true: Mount Washington set a national record low in February, and Vermont saw several record low-temperature days as well as a very unseasonably cool summer. But since it is presumed a priori that all weather patterns prove the theory of GHG impacts, there is no hope for “real science.” If it gets warmer, it is human-caused; if it gets colder or wetter, it is human-caused. As with social justice ideology in general, all roads lead to the party line.
That party line is crumbling under the weight of human need and science – the science of measuring the full costs of manufacturing fancy EVs, both in regressive wealth transfers from the poor to the rich, and in assessing the externalized costs of manufacturing (and disposing of) EVs, solar panels, and windmills. The name “renewable” is a deliberate misnomer: The report seeks to disconnect US-generated carbon dioxide from Chinese emissions, yet US consumption of renewables is inseparable from Chinese pollution. There is no net-zero in our backyard when the costs of production of renewable energy gadgets – at home or abroad – are accurately calculated rather than externalized to China. They are instead deliberately avoided. Climate change orthodoxy is about power over other humans, not power to save the planet. Next thing you know, Biden, et al, will be chastising China for its GHG and pollution emissions – the ones it generates by making piles of cash selling polluting “renewable” technologies to Americans.