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Climate Change Parts 

  1. Climate is Changing
  2. CO2 is the Reason
  3. Politicians Have the Solution

It's Changing

Without a doubt climate is changing. 

There was a move a few years back to change the discussion from "global warming" to the more politically correct meme "climate change" just so no one could reasonably deny it was happening.

Depending on one's time frame, global warming is happening too. The questions are why and for how long?

Is CO2 the Reason?

An increase in CO2 is likely part of the answer but what part? And why the slowdown vs what the models predicted?

Nature.Com discusses Making Sense of the Early 2000s Warming Slowdown.

Warming Slowdown

Climate models did not (on average) reproduce the observed temperature trend over the early twenty-first century, in spite of the continued increase in anthropogenic forcing. This mismatch focused attention on a compelling science problem — a problem deserving of scientific scrutiny.

Nonetheless, let's assume the models are correct and that 1950-1970 and 2002-2014 did not happen.

Let's also assume there was no data manipulation anywhere. 

How Fast is the Sea Rising?

Please consider How Fast is the Sea Rising?

Between 1900 and 2016, the globally averaged sea level rose by 16–21 cm (6.3–8.3 in). More precise data gathered from satellite radar measurements reveal an accelerating rise of 7.5 cm (3.0 in) from 1993 to 2017, which is a trend of roughly 30 cm (12 in) per century.

Let's assume 100% of the ocean's rise is due not only to CO2 but manmade CO2 and as a result the oceans will rise by a foot in the next 100 years. 

Existential Threat of Our Time

On February 3, I noted Climate Change Moves to the Forefront of Biden's Legislation

It’s long past time for the Senate to take a leading role in combating the existential threat of our time: climate,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Allegedly, the existential threat to mankind is a 1 foot rise in the ocean over the next 100 years.

Cheaper to Deal With it Now

On January 28, I noted John Kerry's Straw Man Arguments for Wasting Money on Climate Change

Kerry blamed 4 hurricanes on climate change as if throwing any amount of money at the alleged problem would have stopped the hurricanes.

Some claim I took Kerry out of context. Play it yourself to see. 

Where is the CO2 Coming From?

Annual CO2 Emissions2

CO2 Stats

  • Please note that the US reduced its carbon footprint from 6.13 billion tons in 2007 to 5.28 billion tons in 2019.
  • Meanwhile, China increased its footprint from 6.86 billion tons in 2019 to 10.17 billion tons in 2019.
  • In the same timeframe, global output rose from 31.29 billion tons to 36.44 billion tons.
  • In 2007, the US accounted for 19.6% of the total global carbon footprint.
  • In 2019, the US accounted for only 14.5% of the total global footprint.

A Word About Cherry Picking Data

For pointing out that the US only accounted for 14.5% of the total global footprint, not only was I accused of cherry picking the data it led to charges of me being a racist.

This comment kicked it off: "Mish, please alter the graph. You can't show that China is a major polluter or in any way shape or form, a bad actor, because that is racist."

That I believe was sarcasm but many others jumped on the boat.

Take this comment for example.

What verges on racism is believing that the billions in China, Africa, South America don't have the right to pollute at the same rate as those of us in the developed world. And what verges on willful ignorance is discounting what climate scientists say are the consequences of introducing so much CO2 into the atmosphere.

AOC's New Green Deal

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Please recall AOC's Green New Deal Pricetag of $51 to $93 Trillion vs. Cost of Doing Nothing.

Here's another amusing reader comment 

You keep equating the estimated cost of the green new deal with the cost of getting to net zero emissions. That is incorrect, there are a ton of expensive proposals in the green new deal which have nothing to do with carbon emissions.

OK. What portion of AOC's plan does one want to assign to carbon?

67%? 50%? 33%? 

$90 Trillion Solutions

In 2015, Business Insider noted A Plan Is Floating Around Davos To Spend $90 Trillion Redesigning All The Cities So They Don't Need Cars

The $90 trillion proposal came from former US vice president Al Gore, former president of Mexico Felipe Calderon, and their colleagues on The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. 

A Word About Scientific Consensus

Politicians Have the Solution?!

Now we are getting to the heart of the matter. 

Let's review the key point: In 2019, the US accounted for only 14.5% of the total global footprint.

Key Questions

  1. How much money are we willing to spend to reduce our 14.5% and falling percentage of carbon emissions?
  2. What would it cost to cut that by half in 10 years? 
  3. Assuming we could cut that in half in 10 years, what would it do to total carbon output?
  4. By what force do we get China, India, and all the developing economies in the Mideast and Africa to reduce their carbon output?
  5. Assuming we achieve number 4 peacefully by some sort of economic buyout like cap-and-trade what is the cost to the US? 
  6. What about inflation?
  7. Sure, China is producing goods for the US and EU but do we want that to stop? When? Why? How? Cost?
  8. Does not China, India, Africa, etc., have the right to improve their standards of living?
  9. What do the above points imply about the US standard of living?
  10. How the hell do we pay for this?

Looking ahead over the next 100 years, the US is a minor part of the carbon problem. 

I have yet see AOC, John Kerry, any Mish reader, or anyone else address any of the above 10 questions in detail, and I am sure that set of questions is incomplete.

Final Questions to All Those Demanding Government Do Something

What the hell are you doing? 

The #1 thing someone can proactively do eliminate their carbon footprint is to stop breathing.

Since that seems a bit impractical, the #2 thing someone can do is not have kids. 

Anyone up in arms about carbon ought to not have kids, not eat meat, not drive a car, not have a TV, not listen to the radio, and in general not do much of anything.

Instead, most demand the government do something. What? 

Until someone can put a realistic price on this while addressing my 10 questions, forgive me for not agreeing that a total rise in the ocean of 3 inches in the last 20 years is the existential threat of our time.

GM to Phase Out Gas-Powered Vehicles by 2035, Carbon Neutral by 2040

One day after Kerry's ridiculous rant, I noted GM to Phase Out Gas-Powered Vehicles by 2035, Carbon Neutral by 2040.

Assuming one believes CO2 is a problem, this is the way problems are solved.

GM is not doing this to save the world, it is doing this because market forces mandate a change.

Similarly, solar power will come into play as storage technology improves.

The free market, not populist ideas will solve real world problems.

Bonus Geopolitical Q&A

Q: What happened when Merkel went along with the Greens and did away with nuclear?
A: Germany imports more coal-based energy from neighboring states and is more dependent on  Russia for natural gas.

Q: Is wind and solar ever going to make a serious dent in China's growing energy demands.
A: No

Q: What happened in France when Macron pushed through a gas tax to support the Green movement?
A: How quick we forget the Yellow-Vest Revolt that went on for months.

The Real Threat

The "existential threat" is politicians seeking $90 trillion solutions to hyped-up problems.