The Farce of CO2 Emission Control
- 31 May 2009 by Author 0 Comments
The Farce of CO2 Emission Control
By Richard Larsen
Published – Idaho State Journal, 05/31/2009
I remember several years ago standing on the banks of the Snake River watching helplessly as the heavy spring thaw threatened flooding near Blackfoot. At the time I remember how humorous it would be to see a bunch of us scooping water out with five-gallon cans to try to lower the water level and reduce the flood threat.
Our efforts to control the environment by reducing CO2 emissions are just as impotent. A new “cap and trade” bill is being sold to us as an environmental measure, and some aspects of the bill do make sense in promoting alternative energy development. But the heart of it is a sham.
HR 2454 cleared the House Energy and Commerce committee this week. Its primary purpose is to place a limit (cap) on companies that emit that horrible gas that we all exhale, CO2, and tax those companies that emit more than whatever arbitrary number they come up with. Those companies that fall under those new arbitrary limits will have the option to sell (trade) their credits to the others. The costs to buying companies will be levied as taxes in order to try to pay for everything congress is spending that they don’t have the cash for. While the avowed intention is to reduce carbon emissions in the name of saving the planet from global warming, the net result will be devastating to all of us.
If the bill passes congress in its current form, it would require that CO2 (what we exhale, and plants thrive on) emissions be reduced 20% from 2005 levels by 2020, and by 2050 they would have to be 83% lower.
Let’s put this in perspective. Of all the gases and elements composing our atmosphere, CO2 comprises .038%. Yes, you read that right. Less than one-half of one percent. Now get this. Of that .038% of CO2 in the atmosphere, man contributes less than 4%. Man’s carbon contributions amount to .00152% of the gases that comprise the atmosphere. Hence, my metaphoric reflection on the banks of the Snake River. Even if we were to revert to stone-age type subsistence, the effect on the environment would be negligible.
Amazingly, more and more people are starting to question global-warming alarmists like Al Gore (who not coincidently, earned a “D” in natural sciences in college) who would have us believe we’re facing Armageddon if we don’t monitor and check our “carbon footprints.” The pollsters at Rasmussen earlier this month released their latest findings, and the gullible Al Gore disciples believing in man-made global warming are at a record low 34%, a reverse “hockey stick” chart from just two years ago.
Pew Research released results in January of top issues of concern to Americans. Of the 18 issues that showed up in responses, man-made global warming came in dead last at number 18. I have to admit, it gives me hope that people really can think for themselves on such issues, since the mainstream media and anti-capitalists have been shoving the concept down our throats for so long.
Since the science is clearly on the skeptical side of man’s impotence in controlling global temperatures by driving golf carts with doors instead of real cars, there must be another reason congress and the Obama administration is ramming this through the legislative docket. And here’s your reason: $$$$$!
Obama administration officials originally projected that they could raise over $600 billion in taxes levied against carbon emitters. Jason Furman, deputy director of the National Economic Council, recently revised that estimate to $1.2 to $1.9 trillion from 2012 to 2019.
According to the Investor’s Business Daily, the impact on the economy would be devastating, and put us in a perpetual state of recession by reducing our GDP by $7.4 to $9.6 trillion. Remember, companies don’t pay taxes, people do. Anything that uses energy, or is produced with energy, will have costs skyrocket. IBD says, “As energy prices rise, income and employment will fall, and families will spend larger portions of their incomes on energy.” Projections are that net job losses will exceed 2.5 million, even accounting for new “green jobs.” The bottom line to each of us would be an additional $1,600 to $2,200 in lost yearly income to energy costs, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
I know a lot of people like to think they’re “saving the planet” by driving a hybrid or driving a dangerous go-cart with doors instead of an SUV. If that makes you feel important or worthwhile, by all means, believe what you want. However, the science just doesn’t support your cause. And while Washington may try to sell cap-and-trade with the same feel-good rationale, it’s imperative that we know it’s all about money and control, not the environment. I’m just grateful that we aren’t as dependent upon coal as West Virginia, since Obama promised he was going to “bankrupt the coal industry” last year. This is how he’s going to do it.
Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.