Obama and U.S. economic suicide
By Dennis T. Avery
President Obama is demanding, by Executive Order, what Congress will not give him by vote. With winter approaching and the "Obamacare" mess hanging over his shoulder, he is now ordering the U.S. economy to hitch itself to more and more of the costly and erratic "renewable" energy sources. These have already bankrupted Spain and are about to bankrupt Great Britain and Germany.
Spain, Britain, and Germany are already years further down the road to the "renewable" blackouts President Obama now demands for America. Spain is already broke, and Britain is heading for mass energy poverty for its people. German industries meanwhile threaten to flee their country in favor of markets where they can get electricity that competes with coal in China and India.
In Britain, the government's Energy Act demands the nation produce 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, up from the current government share of 12 percent. The target for 2050 is a whopping 80 percent! The high cost of building nuclear reactors has ruled out that option; the EU is demanding that coal be phased ou. Britain has big shale gas deposits, but the country has not approved fracking for the gas.
The only new power source the UK has left itself is thousands of huge, barge-mounted wind turbines in the turbulent North Sea! These sea-going windmills cost more to build and vastly more to maintain than land-based turbines—and could quadruple England's future electric bills. British chemical plants are already starting to shut down, even as London newspapers predict fuel poverty (spending more than 10 percent of income for heat) for nearly half the population.
Germany's Angela Merkel impulsively announced the end of German nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima tidal wave. Now Germany is burning more coal than ever, despite a national goal of getting 80 percent of its energy from renewable fuels, cutting greenhouse emissions by 80 percent and slashing electric usage by 25 percent.
Even without the hoped-for reduction in human CO2 emissions, the world has gotten no warmer since 1998, and today's temperatures are little different from those of a century ago. The President nevertheless still believes what Greenpeace told him back when he was a community organizer—CO2 is the all-time threat to the planet.
Meanwhile, China demands that rich nations kick in $100 billion per year for energy subsidies in the poor countries that are not warming. India blames the industrial countries for the global non-warming and demands they "solve" it.
Even the International Panel on Climate Change is now admitting that the Medieval Warming and the Little Ice Age were global climate shifts, not unlike the Modern Warming. More and more evidence points to a long, natural solar cycle that we are still struggling to understand. The Antarctic ice expanded between 1979 and 2012 on both land and sea, and never mind the warming predicted for both poles. Even the Arctic has cooled sharply in the past few years, after a 30-year warming. This supports the Russian claim of a 70-year Arctic warming/cooling cycle. Worldwide, sea levels are rising no faster and droughts have not increased.
Most interesting of all, the IPCC says in its new report that the reduced trend in the earth's warming has been due to "volcanic eruptions." It is true that volcanic eruptions can darken the sky and reduce the solar heat that reaches the earth. Moreover, at the same time they add to the CO2 concentration in the air.
You ask which major volcanoes erupted during the 1998–2012 period? The reality is none. Meanwhile, the modest eruption of an Icelandic volcano in 2010 released more CO2 than was prevented by all of the ultra-costly human efforts to limit CO2 emissions.
With no recent warming, what new evidence do we have about CO2 being the world's big problem? Again, the answer seems to be "none." President Obama is leading us like lemmings into the same suicidal behavior that is destroying Europe's prosperity—with no apparent impact on the CO2 in the earth's atmosphere. Why the economic suicide, Mr. President?
Dennis T. Avery, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., is an environmental economist. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years. Readers may write to him at PO Box 202 Churchville, VA 2442 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit our website at www.cgfi.org.