by H. Sterling Burnett
The world is facing a stark choice. Should governments restrict energy use by dramatically raising the price of fossil fuels to fight purported human-caused climate change? Or should they permit the continued use of comparatively cheap, entirely reliable fossil fuels by rejecting carbon cap-and-trade schemes, carbon taxes, and mandates restricting the use of fossil fuels?
Put simply: People need to ask themselves whether they want to pay more for the energy they already get.
Advance reports of a new U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) study indicate those who believe humans are causing allegedly dangerous climate change are in for some bad news, as The Hill recently reported: “[g]overnments across the globe are ‘nowhere near on track’ to meet their goal of preventing global warming of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius higher than the pre-industrial period.”
According to the IPCC report, only a massive, worldwide transformation of electric power, transportation, and agricultural systems can prevent the global temperature from rising the 2 degrees Celsius or less nations committed to as part of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Commenting on the report, Ola Elvestuen, Norway’s environment minister, said,“We are moving way too slowly. We have to do more of everything, faster. To reach the goals of the Paris agreement we need large structural changes.”
Canada’s Financial Post reports Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s $50-per-ton carbon tax would cost households in Nova Scotia $1,120 per year. In Alberta, the tax would cost $1,111 annually. Even in Manitoba and Quebec, the two provinces where energy prices are projected to increase the least as a result of the tax, households will still pay an additional $683 and $662, respectively, for their electric power each year.
There’s more bad news for Canadians: Many climate alarmists say to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions to the degree necessary to avert catastrophe, carbon prices must increase to $100 per ton or more. Under such a scenario, “households in Alberta will pony up $2,223, in Saskatchewan they’ll pay $2,065 and in Nova Scotia, $2,240. In fact, at $100 a ton, the average price for households in all provinces is well north of $1,000 per year,” says theFinancial Post.
In response to rising energy prices, the premiers of four of Canada’s provinces have decided to scrap provincial taxes, programs, and fees imposed to implement Trudeau’s carbon tax.
The Rhodium Group estimates to reach “80 percent (or more appropriately, 100 percent) reductions, carbon prices would likely need to exceed $100/ton by mid-century.”Politicians, faced with the punishment of losing support from voters unwilling to pay more for less-reliable energy, are proving increasingly unwilling to impose the high price on carbon they themselves state is necessary to avert climate catastrophe. As evidence, leaders in Australia, Brazil, and Canada are publicly eschewing their commitments to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, although they remain unwilling to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement as the United States has done.
Elsewhere, in China, Europe, and Japan, for instance, leaders publicly proclaim their fealty to the Paris agreement while missing mid-term emissions-reduction goals, quietly approving new coal and natural gas power plants, and selling more fossil-fuel-powered vehicles.I have good news. Since the best evidence suggests humans aren’t causing a climate apocalypse, Paris’s failure is nothing to be concerned about. In fact, its failure means it’s more likely there will be abundant energy for all.