Sleepy Joe is Delirious on Climate Change

by | Feb 9, 2021 |

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President Joe Biden got his January 27th press conference off to a great start, correctly identifying 1:37 PM as the afternoon. He also accurately named his “best buddy, John Kerry,” as a former Secretary of State and seemed to recognize that “Gina” [McCarthy] is the person who “run[s] everything” on the climate file. It is indeed fortunate for Joe that she does because the rest of the event demonstrated how completely out of touch with reality Biden is on the issue.

This is part 2 of a 3-part series. In part 1 of this article, “Biden’s Climate Plans Deserve To Be Mocked,” we discussed five areas in which the rookie president made mistakes so significant that they will make great entries in the next edition of “The Stupidest Things Ever Said by Politicians:”

  • his thought that, by killing the Keystone XL pipeline and forcing inefficient power sources on the nation, he was creating jobs
  • Biden’s belief that we can feel climate change “in our bones” – see this video
  • his lie about climate change rating high on the public’s list of priorities
  • his absurd acceptance of the risible idea that the beneficial one-degree Celsius average warming since 1880 constitutes an “existential threat.”
  • Joe’s fantastic belief that wildfires, floods, and droughts are increasing due to man-made climate change

Biden’s goofs were far more numerous than that, however. In this second part of our three-part series on Biden’s biggest blunders, we discuss another eight whoppers he made that day (see “Remarks by President Biden Before Signing Executive Actions on Tackling Climate Change, Creating Jobs, and Restoring Scientific Integrity” for the complete text of POTUS’s comments).

Biden: “Many climate and health calamities are colliding all at once. It’s not just the pandemic that keeps people inside; it’s poor air quality.”

Reality: America’s air is among the world’s healthiest and stands out as one of the major victories accomplished by our environmental protection efforts. Indeed, real air pollution has CONTINUED TO DECLINE over the past few decades in the United States. Even the Environmental Protection Agency admits:

“The graph below shows that between 1980 and 2019, gross domestic product increased 182 percent, vehicle miles traveled increased 114 percent, energy consumption increased 28 percent, and U.S. population grew by 44 percent. During the same time period, total emissions of the six principal air pollutants dropped by 71 percent. The graph also shows that between 1980 and 2018, CO2 emissions increased by 15 percent.”

Note: CO2 emissions estimate through 2018 (Source: US Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report)
Gross Domestic Product: 
Bureau of Economic Analysis
Vehicle Miles Traveled: 
Federal Highway Administration
Population: 
Census Bureau
Energy Consumption: 
Dept. of Energy, Energy Information Administration
Aggregate Emissions: 
EPA’s Air Pollutant Emissions Trends Data

Joe seems to not understand that using climate regulations to reduce pollution would obviously be an expensive mistake.

Biden: “We must lead global response because neither challenge can be met, as Secretary Kerry has pointed out many times, by the United States alone.”

Reality: Nothing we do on climate change can have a measurable effect on the Earth’s climate. And even for those who believe otherwise, it would only make sense for America to handicap itself attempting to “lead global response” if developing nations, now the source of most of humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions, were likely to follow. However, as explained by the junior author of this article in the America Out Loud piece, “Biden for China? “Beijing-picked, Beijing-endorsed candidate,’” China and other so-called developing nations have an out-clause under the Paris Agreement that clearly allows them to keep increasing emissions forever. The likelihood that they would follow any U.S. lead on significant emissions reduction is virtually nil.

In the meantime, developing nations who do make the mistake of focusing on carbon dioxide emissions reduction will impoverish themselves while urgent energy, water, and sanitation needs are left unaddressed. 

Biden: “When we think of renewable energy, we see American manufacturing, American workers racing to lead the global market. We see farmers making American agriculture first in the world to achieve net-zero emissions and gaining new sources of income in the process.”

Reality: Farming to achieve zero carbon dioxide emissions is impossible. 25% of farm input costs go into energy in the form of diesel fuel to run heavy equipment that can not be run on wind and solar power. When we think of renewable energy, we think only of the unreliable future of America’s electric grids.

Biden: “A key plank of our Build Back Better Recovery Plan is building a modern, resilient climate infrastructure and clean energy future that will create millions of good-paying union jobs.”

Reality: Obama promised this years ago and ended up investing billions of dollars in companies that went bankrupt.

Biden: “The Recovery Act of … the Democratic administration made record clean energy investments: $90 billion.”

Reality: Again, most of their investments ended up in bankruptcy court.

Biden: “We’re also going to create more than a quarter-million jobs to do things like plug the millions of abandoned oil and gas wells … They’re not going to lose jobs in these areas; they’re going to create jobs.”

Reality: There are no million abandoned oil wells waiting to be plugged by out of work oil field workers. Every state has rigorous laws already requiring the safe decommissioning of wells no longer in use. Perhaps McCarthy can educate Joe on this silly concept. 

Biden: “And when the previous administration reversed the Obama-Biden vehicle standard …, the Biden-Harris administration will not only bring those standards back, we’ll set new, ambitious ones… “

Reality: Bringing those standards back will once again bring us back to light-weight, less-safe automobiles. We have written about this in past America Out Loud articles, in particular, “Trump Administration Overturns Unsafe Obama Automobile Standards”:

“The Obama administration was effectively in partnership with overzealous environmental groups who never cared about public safety or economics. The long-term goal was simply to eliminate the use of fossil fuels at all costs.”

And Biden said he would go beyond the dangerous Obama-Biden standard.

Biden: “We see these workers … installing 500,000 new electric vehicle charging stations across the country as we modernize our highway systems … We see American consumers switching to electric vehicles through rebates and incentives …”

Reality: The nation’s electric grids can never support a significant increase in electric cars and indeed not if wind and solar are used to supply them. The most realistic increase of electric cars on our roads would amount to about 10% of all cars within a decade. As we explained in our America Out Loud piece “Biden’s Electric Car Delusion,” attempts to make a massive switch to electric vehicles carries with it the enormous problems of:

  • limited vehicle range
  • high cost
  • significant pollution production in battery manufacturing
  • unreliability in cold weather 
  • a greater chance of nationwide brownouts and blackouts with a lot of stranded motorists due to the lack of sufficient excess generating, distribution, or transmission capacity in the U.S.

Biden: “We’re going to harness the purchasing power of the federal government to buy clean, zero-emission vehicles that are made and sourced by union workers right here in America.”

Reality: Fine. But then even a broken clock gives the right time twice a day, so occasionally, Joe is sometimes right too.

Rather than making trillion-dollar public policy decisions based merely on political expedience or how his bones happen to be feeling today, Biden should pause long enough to actually learn something about the file.

… next week, the concluding episode of Biden’s climate and energy fantasies, mistakes that will cost the nation dearly in the years to come.

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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.

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