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WSJ: The Inflation Reduction Act Does Little to Reduce Climate Change – Watts Up With That?

Essay by Eric Worrall

h/t M; Bjorn Lomborg dismantling the hype surrounding President Biden’s Green New Deal Inflation Reduction Act, in the increasingly climate skeptic Wall Street Journal.

The Inflation Reduction Act Does Little to Reduce Climate Change

Democrats are cheering, but by 2100 it’ll likely cut the temperature by only 0.0009 degree Fahrenheit.

By Bjorn Lomborg
Aug. 23, 2022 6:11 pm ET

While the administration talks up its emission reductions, it never seems to tout the law’s impact on temperature and sea level—for good reason. If you plug the predicted emissions decline into the climate model used for all major United Nations climate reports, it turns out the global temperature will be cut by only 0.0009 degree Fahrenheit by the end of the century. This is assuming the law’s emission reductions end when its funding does after 2030. But even if you charitably assume they’ll somehow be sustained through 2100 without any interruption, the impact on global temperature will still be almost unnoticeable, at 0.028 degree Fahrenheit.

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Of course we don’t have to take Lomborg’s word for it. The US Government estimates the Inflation Reduction Act will reduce emissions by 1000 MMT CO2 Equiv by 2030 (a reduction in greenhouse gasses equivalent to a billion metric tons of CO2), or 125 MMT per year (1000 ÷ 8 = 125).

But according to the International Energy Agency, of which the U.S. is a member, every year the world emits 31500 MMT CO2 equiv.

Calculate the percentage reduction: 125MMT per year ÷ 31500MMT per year global emissions = an 0.3% reduction in global CO2 emissions.

So Biden’s $369 billion climate expenditure (source Democrat Senate Website) has purchased a 0.3% reduction in CO2 over the next 10 years, assuming everything goes to plan.

Interestingly Biden’s emissions reduction prediction gives us a mathematical method of estimating the total cost of 100% global net zero:

Total cost of global Net Zero (using Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act Numbers):
100% ÷ 0.3% x $369 billion = $123 trillion US dollars.

This Biden number based $123 trillion estimate is of similar magnitude to other estimates I’ve seen, like the $125 trillion estimate from the United Nations, though there are much higher estimates like the $275 trillion estimate from McKinsey Global Institute.

Think about what spending $123 trillion on Net Zero means.

At best spending all that cash on Net Zero achieves zero in terms of improved quality of life – all we could hope to have by the end of the $123 trillion expenditure is a power grid which does exactly the same as our existing power grid.

And of course, by wasting all that money on Net Zero we would miss out on the the goodies that $123 trillion could have purchased – more money for pensioners, clean water and food for everyone, better schools and hospitals, and massively upgraded roads and transport systems.

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