90 Miles From Tyranny : Green New Deal Would Barely Change Earth’s Temperature. Here Are the Facts.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Green New Deal Would Barely Change Earth’s Temperature. Here Are the Facts.


Here’s the most important fact about the Green New Deal: It wouldn’t work.

Ultimately, fully implementing the Green New Deal would have no meaningful impact on global temperatures.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., released their much-anticipated blueprint for a Green New Deal Thursday.

And make no mistake: If implemented, the Green New Deal would bring huge changes to our country. According to an FAQput out by Ocasio-Cortez’s office, this new deal is “a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War 2 to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.”

The plan additionally asks Americans to “upgrade or replace every building in U.S. for state-of-the-art energy efficiency” and to “build out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.”

That’s not even all. Far from being just an energy and climate resolution, the Green New Deal resolution is a wish list for big government spending, expansive government control, and massive amounts of wealth distribution. As Ocasio-Cortez told NPR, “the heart of the Green New Deal is about social justice.”

Ultimately, this deal would fundamentally change how people produce and consume energy, harvest crops, raise livestock, build homes, drive cars, travel long distances, and manufacture goods. And it wouldn’t even work.

Green New Deal Wouldn’t Change Climate Significantly

But here’s the key thing: Even if Americans were on board with this radical change in behavior and lifestyle, it wouldn’t change our climate.

In fact, the U.S. could cut its carbon dioxide emissions 100 percent and it would not make a difference in abating global warming.

Using the same climate sensitivity (the warming effect of a doubling of carbon dioxide emissions) as the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assumes in its modeling, the world would be only 0.137 degree Celsius cooler by 2100. Even if we assumed every other industrialized country would be equally on board, this would merely avert warming by 0.278 degree Celsius by the turn of the century.

One of the biggest sources of carbon dioxide emissions is developing countries.

But while one of the priorities of the Green New Deal is to make the U.S. a lead exporter in green technologies, assuming developing countries will forgo cheap, abundant carbon dioxide-emitting energy for more expensive intermittent sources is pure fantasy.

Yes, developing countries will likely expand their use of renewable power sources over time, but not to the extent it will have any meaningful impact on global temperatures. While some countries are shuttering their coal-fired plants, others in both developed and developing countries are building new plants and expanding the life of existing generators.

After all, affordable, reliable, and widely available energy is essential to lifting people out of poverty and improving the life, health, and comfort of people trying to reach a better standard of living.

Americans Could Face Hundreds of Dollars in New Energy Costs Monthly

But not only would the Green New Deal be ineffective, it would also almost certainly impose steep costs on Americans, via increased energy bills.

The resolution calls for deriving 100 percent of America’s electricity from “clean, renewable, and zero-emission” energy sources—a steep increase from the 63 percent of electricity that came from carbon dioxide-emitting conventional fuels in 2017. Nuclear power was responsible for another 20 percent. But, according to the FAQ sheet, “The Green New Deal makes new fossil fuel infrastructure or nuclear plants unnecessary. This is a massive mobilization of all our resources into...

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