Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act Is Old Time ‘Global Warming’ Religion – RealClearMarkets

The misleadingly named Inflation Reduction Act authorizes destructively wasting about $400 billion as a sacrifice commanded by the Biden administration’s quasi-religion of climate change.

This spending will do essentially nothing to change global warming. Some in the public debate have noted environmental statistician Bjorn Lomborg’s work showing that the United Nations climate model predicts that the IRA’s programs will reduce the global temperature increase by 2100 by only 0.0005 to 0.0155 degrees Celsius (or 0.0009 to 0.028 degrees Fahrenheit).

The public debate regarding the IRA, however, has generally ignored a more fundamental point: the scientific evidence shows that efforts to reduce global warming are wrongheaded because rather than an “existential threat,” global warming has been and will continue on balance to be beneficial.

Start with a critical point highlighted and detailed by Obama Department of Energy Under Secretary for Science Steven Koonin in Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters: the climate models – the supposed oracles that the Biden administration uses to predict future global temperatures and related disasters, and upon which it bases its policies – are so speculative and unreliable that they have been unable even to reproduce the temperature changes of the 20th century.

A 2017 statement by Richard Lindzen of MIT, William Happer of Princeton, and over 300 other scientists in 2017 – based on facts rather speculation – provides far better guidance: “Observations [over the last] 25 years … show that warming from increased atmospheric CO2 will be benign.”

The scientific data, indeed, show that rather being an existential threat, global warming in recent decades has saved millions of lives. In May 2015July 2021, and August 2021, the Lancet published studies that analyzed millions of deaths in numerous countries over recent decades and found that cooler temperatures kill several times more people than warmer temperatures.

In addition to life-saving warmer temperatures, increased carbon dioxide emissions themselves are beneficial. As Lindzen and the other scientists wrote in 2017, “carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. To the contrary, there is clear evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful to food crops and other plants that nourish all life. It is plant food, not poison.”

The scientific evidence also shows that the Biden administration’s apocalyptic Chicken Little natural disaster claims about global warming are unfounded.

Natural disaster deaths – Since 1920, as the earth’s NASA-calculated average temperature has risen by 1.11 degrees Celsius, the number of people killed each year by natural disasters has declined by over 90 percent – even as world population has quadrupled (per data from EM-DAT – The International Disaster Database presented by Oxford’s Our World in Data).

Hurricanes – “The total number of hurricanes (particularly after being adjusted for improvements in observation methods) and the number reaching the United States do not indicate a clear overall trend since 1878.” That’s from a 2021 U.S. EPA report.

Ocean sea levels – In July 2021, the EPA also reported: “When averaged over all of the world’s oceans, absolute sea level has risen at an average rate of 0.06 inches per year from 1880 to 2013,” including the slightly faster rate since 1993 of “0.12 to 0.14 inches per year.”

Fires – The percentage of global land burned per year in 1905 through 2020 and most of 2021 has been declining (per data from the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Remote Sensing of Environment, and Earth’s Future presented by Bjorn Lomborg).

Any economic harm that global warming may eventually cause similarly is likely to be negligible. An August 2019 National Bureau of Economic Research working paper (published in December 2021) estimated that world GDP in 2100 will be 1.07 percent lower in 2100 than it would otherwise be if the earth’s temperature rises by 0.01 degrees per year through 2100, or 7.22 percent lower if the planet’s temperature instead rises by 0.04 degrees per year (almost four times the actual rate of increase since 1920).

A little context shows the insignificance of these predicted consequences.

Since 1960, as the earth has warmed by 0.87 degrees, world income per person (adjusted for inflation) has skyrocketed from $459 in 1960 to $12,263 in 2021 (per World Bank data presented by Macrotrends). This increase reflects an average growth rate of about 5.53 percent per year.

Even if the post-2021 growth rate dramatically slows to just 2 percent per year, in 2100 world per person income will reach $58,615 (adjusted for inflation). If global warming spikes and causes the NBER working paper’s extreme case 7.22 percent reduction, world per person income would still be $54,383 – over four times today’s level.

The data eviscerating the purported scientific basis for the IRA and other Biden climate change policies expose these policies as the quasi-religious dogma that they are.

The extent and severity of the economic distortions that the Biden administration sacrifices on this dogma’s altar will cause through the massive new government programs authorized by the IRA is yet to determined, but at a minimum taxpayers will eventually have pay, one way or another, for the $400 billion of new government spending.

This new economic damage, moreover, will compound the already highly destructive results of the longer-term climate campaign. The hysteria that it has fomented against natural gas use, for example, has driven utility decisions that have cut power-generating capacity and otherwise made power grids less reliable and resulted in rolling blackouts in California and severe outages in Texas, with similar consequences poised to spread to much of the rest of the nation.

In 2017, Lindzen and the other scientists stated concerning the Obama administration predecessor versions of Biden’s policies: “Since 2009, the US and other governments have undertaken actions with respect to global climate that are not scientifically justified and that already have, and will continue to cause serious social and economic harm – with no environmental benefits.”

The IRA and other Biden administration policies have been making and will make these harms much worse.

At the first possible moment, the IRA must be repealed. Stop the sacrifices on the altar of climate change.


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