Kudos to the Wall Street Journal for Getting it Right on New Climate Bill

On August 8th , just a day after the passage of the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act,” containing  a suite of climate-related spending and tax credits, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) editorial board published a scathing editorial titled “Tilting at Climate Windmills – Schumer-Manchin will have little effect on the world’s temperature,” showing how the provisions of the bill will have virtually no effect on climate at all. WSJ uses analysis with the help of the IPCC climate models and Dr. Bjorn Lomborg to come up with a number, and the number is vanishingly small. They write:

Nearly all of Washington—Democrats, the press, lobbyists—is taking a victory lap with Senate passage of the Schumer-Manchin tax, climate and drug price control bill. The climate lobby is especially thrilled, claiming a historic victory that will reduce temperatures, hold back the rising sea, and save the planet.

Or, maybe not. Our contributor Bjorn Lomborg looked at the Rhodium Group estimate for CO2 emissions reductions from Schumer-Manchin policies. He then plugged them into the United Nations climate model to measure the impact on global temperature by 2100. He finds the bill will reduce the estimated global temperature rise at the end of this century by all of 0.028 degrees Fahrenheit in the optimistic case. In the pessimistic case, the temperature difference will be 0.0009 degrees Fahrenheit.

So, as seen in the figure below provided by Lomborg, we get somewhere between 0.028 and 0.0009°F reduction in temperature by 2100 for about 400 billion dollars in climate spending contained in the bill.

At that rate, simple math suggests the amount of money required to achieve the much desired 1.5°C (2.7°F) reduction in temperature (back to pre-industrial levels) using the best case reduction of 0.028°F would be $38,571,428,571,428 or approximately 39 Trillion dollars. The worst-case temperature reduction of 0.0009°F would cost a staggering 1,200,000,000,000,000 dollars or ONE QUADRILLION TWO HUNDRED TRILLION DOLLARS.

To put that number in perspective, according to the World Bank, the 2020 world economy in U.S. dollars was approximately $84.7 trillion. Assuming it would actually work, to have a meaningful effect on climate, the world would have to spend about half the global annual economy. If you think inflation is bad now, just wait for those sorts of numbers.

The worst-case scenario is out of reach of world wealth.

President Biden had this to say:

Now, let me be clear: This bill would be the most significant legislation in history to tackle the climate crisis and improve our energy security right away.  And it’ll give us a tool to meet the climate goals that are set — that we’ve agreed to — by cutting emissions and accelerating clean energy.

Meanwhile, New York Times economist Paul Krugman suggested Democrats “saved civilization” with climate provisions in the spending bill. There are just no words to describe this sort of disconnect between believing you’re a climate superhero and climate reality, especially when you’re a Nobel winning economist. Kudos to WSJ for pointing out the climate folly of the “Inflation Reduction Act.”  

Anthony Watts
Anthony Watts
Anthony Watts is a senior fellow for environment and climate at The Heartland Institute. Watts has been in the weather business both in front of, and behind the camera as an on-air television meteorologist since 1978, and currently does daily radio forecasts. He has created weather graphics presentation systems for television, specialized weather instrumentation, as well as co-authored peer-reviewed papers on climate issues. He operates the most viewed website in the world on climate, the award-winning website wattsupwiththat.com.

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  1. The “climate crisis” perceived or imagined by the Biden Administration and the governments of Canada, the UK, the EU and Australia is apparently not “global”, as it does not seem to exist in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.

    Civilization could not be “saved” from “climageddon” without the participation of all of civilization, assuming that was possible and necessary.

  2. No one has any idea how the law will affect the global average temperature in 2100.
    No one knows if the temperature in 2100 will be warmer or cooler.
    So the estimates are meaningless wild guesses.

    The article should have summarized what the spending is for, how much taxes will rise, and suggested some alternative uses or the labor and money (opportunity cost)
    Perhaps building new nuclear power plants.
    Of course the various claims by leftists are ridiculous
    That’s what leftists do.

    • “The article should have summarized what the spending is for, how much taxes will rise, and suggested some alternative uses or the labor and money (opportunity cost)”

      Note the title of the website is CLIMATE Realism. We don’t analyse taxes or laws here.

  3. Yes. “No one has any idea how the law will affect the global average temperature in 2100.
    No one knows if the temperature in 2100 will be warmer or cooler.
    So the estimates are meaningless wild guesses.” Richard Greene
    “The claim that human emissions of greenhouse gases are dangerously warming the earth was first made by the Swedish chemist Arrhenius, 1865. The claim was criticised at the time, and as global temperatures fell for the subsequent 15 years, followed by the First World War and an economic crisis, the claim lost urgency. It was, however, revived in 1938 by Callendar who selected atmospheric carbon dioxide results to suit his theory from the many available. He suffered a similar fate to Arrhenius, since global temperatures fell for the following 38 years.” John Christy
    “despite a dramatic rise in greenhouse gas emissions, global temperatures actually decreased from 1940 to 1970. What’s more, the models we use to predict the future aren’t able to accurately describe the climate of the past,” BOOKS
    ‘Unsettled’ Review: The ‘Consensus’ On Climate, STEPHEN KOONIN,
    WSJ – “A top Obama scientist looks at the evidence on warming and CO2 emissions and rebuts much of the dominant political narrative.”
    The best evidence today is there has been no warming for the past 44 years. Time to dump the unfounded greenhouse warming theory AS WE CONTEMPLATE A RETURN TO GLACIATION IN THE MIDDLE OF OUR QUATERNARY ICE AGE.

  4. Jul 22, 2022 Biden Unveils Insane Climate Plan, Remembering Dr. Patrick Michaels

    Democrats failed to pass sweeping legislation remaking America under the guise of a climate emergency. Thus, they turned to Joe Biden to enact a swath of executive orders to force their desires on all Americans. Biden did not declare a climate emergency, but did vow to do everything he can using executive orders and the power of the executive branch to advance his alarmist agenda.



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