Meeting Biden’s Climate Goals Would Cripple America

by | Jun 30, 2021 |

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Dr. Jay Lehr and Tom Harris received the below letter from Robert Lyman, Economics/Policy Advisor and Director for the International Climate Science Coalition – Canada. Mr. Lyman is an Ottawa, Canada-based energy policy consultant and Principal at ENTRANS Policy Research Group, Inc. He spent 37 years in the Canadian public service as a diplomat, economist, policy advisor, and ten years as a consultant on energy, transportation, and environmental policy issues.

Mr. Lyman writes: 

“Canadian politicians have been setting ambitious targets for GHG emissions reduction since 1992. Not one target has ever been met, but after each miss, a more stringent target is set.” 

The below graph, prepared by Tom Harris for https://www.sensibleclimatepolicy.ca, illustrates this well. As of last year, Canada was on track to emit 112 megatonnes more than our Paris Agreement target (#5, below).

Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Graph

Robert Lyman will be Jay and Tom’s guest on The Other Side of the Story, to be broadcast on Saturday, July 3, and Sunday, July 4 at 11 am and 8 pm each day. Listen here!

LETTER TO A NEIGHBOUR – A CANADIAN COMMENTS ON US CLIMATE POLICY

Dear Neighbour,

The much-increased attention that politicians in your country are giving to climate policy is not really news to us on your northern border. Our governments have been having a field day, if one could call it that, with the subject for more than twenty years already, but especially since 2015 when the government led by Justin Trudeau was elected and the COP 21 conference was held in Paris. Over the years, we have learned much about what underlies the debates about what governments should and should not do to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. I thought that it might be helpful to share with you some of what we have learned, recognizing of course the differences between our countries.

It is not about whether climate change is “real”.

The statement that “climate change is real”, is often used as a kind of shorthand for the claim that human greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are causing increases in extreme weather events in the short term and potentially disastrous global climate changes in the long term. Of course, the climate is changing as it has for millions of years, but whether human emissions are having or will have seriously adverse effects is a highly contentious scientific issue that maybe one in ten thousand people fully understand. Contrary to what you may have heard, that debate has not been resolved and much of it depends upon the value of projections by complex computer models using hundreds of assumptions. The real “policy” issues concern what to do in the face of great uncertainty. 

The discussion about emissions is a distraction. It’s really about energy services.

The newspaper and government reports on climate science and policy spend thousands of pages discussing something called “tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent” that are emitted into the atmosphere. Who knows what that is? Have you ever seen one? First, carbon dioxide is an odorless, colourless gas that is essential for all life on earth. With every breath, you exhale almost 40,000 parts per million (ppm) of the stuff, and it is present in the atmosphere in trace amounts of about 415 ppm. More important, carbon dioxide is primarily produced from the use of oil, natural gas and coal to provide the energy services upon which life in modern societies depends – light, heat, air conditioning, motive power for all transport modes, and the thousands of uses of electricity. When people tell you that we must sharply reduce emissions, what they are really saying is that we must reduce our use of these energy services, or switch the production of energy services to new sources that are much more expensive and less reliable than the ones we have been using. 

When you realize that reducing emissions is really about reducing the availability and increasing the cost of energy services, you are well on your way to another insight. Consumers are the ones who determine which energy services will be used, and eighty per cent of the emissions occur at the point of final use (combustion). 

But wait, you might say, “Isn’t this all about ending oil, gas and coal production and penalizing the evil oil companies?” Actually, no, in the US all of the oil, gas and coal production combined produces less than seven percent of GHG emissions. Producers invest in new production because consumers demand it.

Pay attention to the distribution of advantages and disadvantage of climate policy measures.

Who gains and who loses from climate policy measures depends on differences of geographic location and income. In Canada, almost half of the emissions occur in two provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan, because their industries are highly emissions-intensive. The result is that harsh measures to penalize emissions have a disproportionate regional effect there. It is less well known that measures to penalize emissions production would also have disproportionate regional effects in the US. More than a third of all emissions occur in just five states: Texas, California, Florida, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania. The most emissions-intensive (emissions per unit of GDP) states are Wyoming, North Dakota, West Virginia, Louisiana and Alaska; people who live there are more vulnerable to the harm done by climate policy.

Measures that increase the cost of energy always have a disproportionate impact on poorer people, because they must spend a higher share of their income on necessities. Most climate policies are notoriously regressive in their effects, especially when they involve increased taxes. At the other end of the income spectrum, about 80 percent of the subsidies given for purchasers of electric cars go to people in the highest income brackets, who use them as second cars.

Politicians who set “net zero” or “decarbonization” targets are not being serious.

Canadian politicians have been setting ambitious targets for GHG emissions reduction since 1992. Not one target has ever been met, but after each miss, a more stringent target is set. Canadians may generally be a gullible, well-intentioned lot, but it has become clear to many of us that the objective is not to meet the target.  Rather, it is to give environmental groups the moral high ground so that they can continue to have more influence. 

President Biden in April 2021 set a new target for the United States – that it would reduce GHG emissions by 50 to 52% below 2005 levels by 2030 and attain “net zero” by 2050. Let us consider what that would mean. 

US emissions are now divided among six sectors: transportation (29%); electricity generation (25%); industry (23%); agriculture (10%); commercial (7%); and residential (6%). Let us say that in the next nine years you could, at great cost, cut coal use for power generation in half; that would result in a reduction of emissions by about 10%. Then, to please all the people who hate private transportation, one could eliminate every car, SUV and pickup truck in America; highly unpopular, I suspect, but that would reduce emissions by 15%. Then, to please all the people who hate oil companies, one could close down every oil and gas well, every pipeline, and every refinery, so that Americans would rely 100% on imported oil and gas; that would reduce emissions by 8%. By all these measures, one could reduce emissions by 33%. You would still have to find ways to cut 17 to 19% of emissions. Doing so means, at a minimum, sharp reductions in industrial activity and potentially cuts in food production. None of this takes account of the possibility that emissions might rise due to increases in population or economic activity. 

Ultimately, “climate policy” is not about the climate at all.

During the 30 years that countries have been setting GHG emission reduction targets, global emissions have risen by 60%. More recently, from 2009 to 2019, emissions rose from 29.7 billion tonnes to 34.2 billion tonnes, a 15% increase. During the more recent period, the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reduced their emissions. However, non-OECD emissions grew by almost 10 times the reduction in emissions achieved by the OECD countries. The non-OECD region now produces 65% of the world’s emissions. The United States, with less than 15% of global emissions, is at best a bystander, while China accounts for 30%.

According to the best analysis available from international governmental and private organizations, the global population and economy will rise steadily over the next three decades. The countries of Asia, where the fastest growth is occurring, will continue to emphasize investments that improve the incomes and living standards of their people, including those that increase the use of more affordable and secure fossil fuels. 

In these circumstances, climate policies that impair western countries’ economies will succeed only in accelerating their deindustrialization, as the affected firms move their investments and operations to more welcoming countries in Asia. Emissions growth may be slowed but they are very unlikely to decline. Activists may welcome this as enabling a redistribution of global income and wealth, promoting what they consider social justice. That has little to do with the climate.

To make this simpler, when someone insists that the US must incur enormous costs to “save the planet” ask them to show how many degrees of warming will be avoided by the US expenditures. The correct answer is “none, or almost none”.

I hope I have given you plenty to think about.

Best regards,

Your Canadian Friend,
Robert Lyman

Avatar

Dr. Jay Lehr is a Senior Policy Analyst with the International Climate Science Coalition and former Science Director of The Heartland Institute. He is an internationally renowned scientist, author, and speaker who has testified before Congress on dozens of occasions on environmental issues and consulted with nearly every agency of the national government and many foreign countries. After graduating from Princeton University at the age of 20 with a degree in Geological Engineering, he received the nation’s first Ph.D. in Groundwater Hydrology from the University of Arizona. He later became executive director of the National Association of Groundwater Scientists and Engineers.

Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition, and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute. He has 40 years experience as a mechanical engineer/project manager, science and technology communications professional, technical trainer, and S&T advisor to a former Opposition Senior Environment Critic in Canada’s Parliament.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is for educational, general information, and entertainment purposes only and is never intended to constitute medical or legal advice or to replace the personalized care of a primary care practitioner or legal expert.

While we endeavor to keep this information up to date and correct, the information provided by America Out Loud, its website(s), and any properties (including its radio shows and podcasts) makes no representations, or warranties of any kind, expressed, or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to its website(s) or the information, products, services or related graphics and images contained on the website(s) for any purpose.

The opinions expressed on the website(s), and the opinions expressed on the radio shows and podcasts, are the opinions of the show hosts and do not necessarily represent the opinions, beliefs, or policies of anyone or any entity we may endorse. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

At no time, nor in any event, will we be liable for any loss, or damage, including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss of data or profits arising out of, in an association of, or connection with the use of this website.

Through this website, users can link to other websites that may be listed. Those websites are not under the control of America Out Loud or its brands. We have no control over the nature, content, or availability of those sites. America Out Loud has no control over what the sites do with the information they collect. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation, nor does it endorse the views expressed with or by them.

Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly. However, America Out Loud takes no responsibility for, nor are we, and will not be liable for being temporarily unavailable due to technical difficulties beyond our control. America Out Loud does not sell, trade, nor market email addresses or other personal data.

Genesis HOC1
CofixRX
Use the code ‘OUTLOUD’ and receive your 20% discount on your first order.
My Free Doctor.com
A Disturbing Symptom of Social Disintegration; Mass Murder Incidents are an Ominous Sign

A Disturbing Symptom of Social Disintegration; Mass Murder Incidents are an Ominous Sign

The Social Justice approach to crime obviously contributes to the rising tide of violence. Although Leftists may consider the increasing crime rate a fair trade for the political capital they generate with their policies, what may be less obvious to many is that the degeneration of fundamental human morality poses an existential threat to the continuity of human society writ large…

Statesmanship is Overrated When You’re Fighting this Level of Corruption

Statesmanship is Overrated When You’re Fighting this Level of Corruption

Statesmanship is supposedly based on the once-long-standing rules of dignity, collegiality, and propriety, but the results are always the same. The Democrat’s rules of statesmanship are found in Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. The Left has been the only side fighting this war through the years. Republicans have been slammed to the mat so many times that they’ve gotten so used to it…

Stories of Corruption Cast a Dark Shadow Post-COVID and Q & A 46 on America Out Loud PULSE

Stories of Corruption Cast a Dark Shadow Post-COVID and Q & A 46 on America Out Loud PULSE

America Out Loud PULSE with Dr. Peter McCullough and Malcolm Out Loud – I distrust Pharma, period. That begs the question: To receive the flu shot this year or not? Should I still be concerned about potential heart scarring? Would the presence and persistence of spike in the body be a factor of whether myopericarditis resolves? Is there any present Danger from Covid-19 lab-made “Viruses”?

A Literary Thanksgiving of Gratitude: Twain, Rand, Cicero, Francovich, et al.

A Literary Thanksgiving of Gratitude: Twain, Rand, Cicero, Francovich, et al.

Ayn Rand’s take on this American holiday is truly insightful. Rand has the following to say about Thanksgiving Day: “The lavish meal is a symbol of the fact that abundant consumption is the reward of production.” Reflection about the many things that Americans should be grateful for is a healthy practice that breeds long-lasting goodwill while fending off…

Beyond Slogans – Keys to Winning in 2024

Beyond Slogans – Keys to Winning in 2024

The Democrats are not going to change anything even though continued political relevance demands that they change basically everything to sound more like JFK than Karl Marx, but here is the thing ⏤ by and large the American people just don’t care about election fraud in 2020 (or 2022). Running on that may win the primary, but it will lose the general election…

Your Guide to the Coming Riots

Your Guide to the Coming Riots

One of America’s great pastimes is “the protest.” A constitutionally protected right, it has somehow gotten confused with its violent and illegal cousin, “the riot.” It seems that today’s mainstream media has a rather difficult time discerning between the two. With a building burning intensely behind him, a reporter described an actual riot as a “mostly peaceful protest.”

On David Ralston (RIP) and Who Counts the Votes

On David Ralston (RIP) and Who Counts the Votes

Joseph Stalin once said he didn’t care who voted or how, but who counted the ballots. Like Stalin, the Democrats discovered that the voters weren’t important; the ballots were. Control of the ballot process, whether ballot harvesting, absentee, or mail-in ballots, so long as they have the ballot counting devices, they can win most elections…

The Security and Exchange Commission has No Business Making Climate Change Policy

The Security and Exchange Commission has No Business Making Climate Change Policy

The SEC approvingly cites several reports and numerous comments by prominent ESG advocates. However, the Commission seems unaware of the questionable premises on which much of that literature is based. For example: Favor climate risk assessments based on warm-biased models run with warm-biased emission scenarios. Societal factors such as increases in population and exposed wealth…

Stopping the Indoctrination of America’s Youth!

Stopping the Indoctrination of America’s Youth!

The Prism of America’s Education with Host Karen Schoen – The left calls the right misogynist racist, homophobic, etc. The right needs to call the left baby killers, drug pushers, rapists, and murderers. When they tell you to stop because it’s hurting their feelings, continue harder and more robust. Ask the tough who, what, where, when, and why questions…

The Biden Family Crime Syndicate

The Biden Family Crime Syndicate

While it was successfully covered up by the Democrat Party allies in the media, who declared that the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop was the result of “Russian disinformation,” it’s since been determined that the laptop in question was and is legitimate. Was Barack Obama worried in 2019 that Biden’s criminal activities would come to light during a presidential campaign and could result in President Trump’s reelection, which is why he tried to subtly discourage Biden from running?

Weak New Medical Study on COVID Reinfection

Weak New Medical Study on COVID Reinfection

Getting it a second time is almost like you’re trying your chance again with Russian roulette,” said Ziyad Al-Aly, one of the study authors. “You may have dodged a bullet the first time, but each time you get the infection, you are trying your luck again. Not all published medical studies merit your attention; and mainstream media stories that work hard to instill fear in…

Defending Our Freedom and the First Amendment

Defending Our Freedom and the First Amendment

As my own experience with medical boards and medical societies indicates, including as a medical expert on behalf of others, the best defense is, to be honest, outspoken, and brave. We avoid personal conflicts and personal confrontations in our reform efforts. At the same time, we use every ethical and legal means to defend each person’s First Amendment right to address vital issues about society, government, and public policy…

Biden Questions Musk’s Foreign Business Conflicts (Anyone, have a mirror?)

Biden Questions Musk’s Foreign Business Conflicts (Anyone, have a mirror?)

For those wondering why Joe Biden is soft on China, consider this never-before-reported revelation: The Biden family has done five deals in China totaling some $31 million arranged by individuals with direct ties to Chinese intelligence — some reaching the very top of China’s spy agency. Every known deal that the Biden family enjoyed with Beijing was reached courtesy of individuals with spy ties…

How many of the 91% Doomsayers Believe America will Exist in 2024?

How many of the 91% Doomsayers Believe America will Exist in 2024?

This is how the Covid Plandemic succeeded, the Taliban got $86 billion worth of weapons from us, and Ukraine $33 billion. This is why the FTX money laundering happened. It explains the confirmed 46 U.S. biological warfare labs in Ukraine. It shows us how Epstein’s island sacrificed children to the gods of government and financial elites. Evil is escalating everywhere…

Genesis HOC1
CofixRX
Use the code ‘OUTLOUD’ and receive your 20% discount on your first order.
My Free Doctor.com
America Out Loud 6 years

Your Source for Free Speech, Talk Radio, Podcasts, and News.

 

Here we take on the challenges of our generation so that we can preserve future generations.

iHeartRadio

The APPS are free; the mission is priceless!

Free APP

Podcast Networks

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Spotify
Pandora
Tunein
iHeart
Stitcher

Subscribe and Listen on Your Favorite APP

Our Columnists and Show Hosts

Bookstore

Apple Podcasts

Click for the full bookstore.

Truth For Health

Apple Podcasts

COVID Solution Summit

Apple Podcasts

Evacuating Americans & fully-vetted Afghan's at Risk - Help Us!

Apple Podcasts

Empowering and mentoring conservative trailblazers from Generation Z to win!

Apple Podcasts

Turning Point Action is Recruiting Precinct Chairs - Become a Grassroots Warrior Today!

Apple Podcasts

URGENT - KEEP NINE
Please join us to protect the Supreme Court:
Sign the Petition!

Apple Podcasts

The LATINO USA EXIT from the Democrat Party, click for details...

Apple Podcasts

Fighting corporate censorship and ensuring voter integrity...

Apple Podcasts

Support wounded and fallen police officers. The Wounded Blue.

Wounded Blue
Share via
Copy link