Pope Francis said at the White House last week, “I would like all men and women of good will in this great nation to support the efforts of the international community to protect the vulnerable in our world and to stimulate integral and inclusive models of development, so that our brothers and sisters everywhere may know the blessings of peace and prosperity which God wills for all his children.”
But what the poor and vulnerable need are good jobs and rising wages, not global warming hype and hysteria. Moms can’t serve the kids half-baked EPA regs with hot rhetoric on top for dinner.
Candidate Obama campaigning in 2008 told supporters, “under my plan [to reduce human carbon dioxide emissions] electricity costs will necessarily skyrocket.” We know that from the experience of Germany and Denmark, where the global warming fever swamps have run even deeper, and the same plan has already been tried.
Total electricity costs are 10 times higher there than in U.S. states that rely on modern coal fired power plants. America has the world’s largest supply of low cost coal, enough to last 500 years. So naturally Obama wants to shut coal down.
German industrial giant Siemens is firing thousands of workers to keep costs internationally competitive. Economic growth in the overall German economy, formerly among the world’s leaders, has stagnated at barely above zero. Electricity is becoming a luxury good in Germany, where nearly a million families are unable to pay their energy bills, now increasingly called “the second rent.”
In England and Wales, under the same policies, nearly 15,000, mostly seniors, died in one winter. This winter it is feared that 200 a day may die. Electricity bills are expected to exceed mortgage payments within 5 years. In Ireland, a third of seniors must choose between heat and food. Book stores report seniors buying books to burn to keep warm.
The effects of such policies threaten to be even harsher in the Third World, especially among the poorest billion on the planet. These people are so poor because they lack any electricity at all. What they need to move into the modern world is simply power plants, running on the lowest cost fuel. That would be precisely coal in most cases, possibly natural gas, definitely not “renewable,” high cost, unreliable, wind, solar, or biofuel.
Barring that, their lives will continue to be “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short,” in the words of Hobbes. When self-appointed saints from the First World stand in the way of development of such Third World power, they are doing the work of Satan, not Jesus.
Denmark has now dropped its plans to phase out coal fired power plants and other fossil fuels entirely by 2050. Britain has begun terminating its wind energy subsidies and implementing instead the successful American practice of fracking for increased production of natural gas (which Obama wants to ban).
But in America we have learned by hard experience that Barack Obama does not learn from experience. The National Black Chamber of Commerce estimates that his EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan will add over $1 trillion to family and business energy bills, more than doubling costs for natural gas and electricity.
That will cost the U.S. economy $2.3 trillion in lost GDP over the next two decades alone, with the loss of 7 million jobs for blacks and 12 million for Hispanics. The poverty rate will consequently skyrocket by more than 23 percent for blacks and 26 percent for Hispanics.
This is not the way “to protect the vulnerable in our world” and to ensure that “brothers and sisters everywhere may know the blessings of peace and prosperity which God wills for all his children,” which the Pope proclaimed as fundamental principles at the White House.
Even the EPA admits that in return for all these costs, its energy regulations will have no measurable effect on temperatures and the climate, with projected effects at best of reducing global temperature increases by a negligible 0.03 degrees Fahrenheit and sea level increases by 0.01 inches, by the year 2100!
But what else could be expected, when global temperatures have not increased at all for nearly 20 years, as determined by authoritative, incorruptible, U.S. government satellites. Yet during those years, humans have produced one-fourth of their carbon dioxide emissions in all human history. Which means that the effect of human carbon dioxide emissions in causing global warming is weak, if not negligible. (753 words).
Peter Ferrara is a Senior Fellow at the Heartland Institute, and Senior Policy Advisor for the Budget and Entitlement Reform at the National Tax Limitation Foundation. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, and as Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States under President George H.W. Bush. He is the author most recently of Power to the People: The New Road to Freedom and Prosperity for the Poor, Seniors and Those Most In Need of the World’s Best Health Care.