California Governor Jerry Brown forever burnished his progressive credentials and likely has given his presidential ambitions a major boost a few weeks ago when he helped lead the hysterical reaction by Leftists to Trump’s announcement that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.
Using the typical doomsday rhetoric of Greenists, Brown announced:
My immediate reaction is this is a crazy decision. It is against the facts. It is against science. It is against reality itself.
We know we have to decarbonize our future. If we don’t, it is a horror. People will die. Habitat will be destroyed. Seas will rise. Insects will spread in areas they never have before.
This is not a game. It is not politics to talk to your base. It is humanity and whether it makes it through the 21st century. California will stay the course.
As difficult as it is to disagree with someone who is shouting “people will die” if the world does not follow the course he or she prescribes, one environmentalist has recently risen to the challenge by arguing that Brown’s decision may be doing more harm than good.
Bjorn Lomborg, author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist” and president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center think tank, points out in the LA Tiemes that any potential benefit of Brown’s action would be tiny.
He writes: Even if California succeeds in making the new cuts and sticks to them for the rest of the century, according to calculations using a standard model of the U.N. Climate Panel, they will amount to a difference of .008 degrees Fahrenheit (.0044 degrees Celsius) — a minuscule drop in the bucket of the cuts needed in order to limit total global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius, the number climate activists have identified as a dangerous tipping point.
This reduction, Lomborg points out, assumes that California’s carbon emitters will not simply move where they will be less regulated, as they are wont to do.
And what price will California pay to make this minute difference in global temperature over the next 100 years?
According to Lomborg, “California’s official estimates put the cost of its climate change policy at $13 billion to $22.5 billion a year — and such estimates often prove to be optimistic. The European Union, one of few entities that has attempted cuts of this magnitude, underestimated the cost of its emissions reduction policy by as much as 100 percent. (Mexico is likely to have underestimated its climate policy costs by even more.) If California can expect to lose a similar percentage of its GDP, the annual cost would come to about $50 billion. With the state’s promises to reduce emissions by 80 percent before 2050, these costs would go up even more — and have little to no effect on the environment.
Those who live in California, a state with one of the highest tax burdens as well as one of the highest costs of living in the nation, may be long used to having their tax dollars spent to support progressivism.
Yet the potential addition of another $50 billion dollars a year for the specious achievement of lowering global temperatures an average of 0.00008 a degree a year over the next century is unlikely to stem the outflow of businesses and individuals leaving the Golden State for greener pastures.
[Note: This article was written by dk]