New Year’s resolutions for Prime Minister Trudeau

The government’s draconian policies on curbing CO2 have failed on every front—spectacularly! It’s time for a new, less extreme approach

By Ron Barmby

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government had a rough year in 2022 on the climate-change file. So let’s review the events and help him make better resolutions for 2023!

2021 ended with the 26th annual Conference of the Parties (COP) in Glasgow, Scotland failing to agree to phase out their fossil-fuel public-enemy number one: coal. Demand rebounded in 2022 and worldwide coal consumption is now forecast to hit an all-time high in 2023.

Early in 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the balance of its Assessment Report 6 (AR6) series, which the United Nations (UN) Secretary General proclaimed was a “Code Red for Humanity.”

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Should West be penalized for making the world better off?

If we in the West are to pay damages for the Industrial Revolution, shouldn’t we also consider the extraordinary wealth that process has helped spread around the world?

By Ger­ard Baker, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 22, 2022

The latest synod of our modern church of climate change theologians, otherwise known as COP27, concluded its deliberations in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, with a “breakthrough” agreement over the “loss and damage” provisions of the global governance regime they have established to tackle climate change.

Before they left their air-conditioned hotels and hopped into limousines to take them to their jets for the long journey home, these courageous fighters for carbon neutrality agreed to create a fund on the principle that rich countries like the U.S. should compensate poor countries for the damage caused by climate change. Successive administrations, Democratic and Republican, long opposed this idea, justifiably fearing that it represents an open-ended scheme to funnel American taxpayers’ money to beacons of planet-saving good governance like South Africa, Pakistan and Indonesia.

The idea is that developing countries are being literally inundated with the costs of climate change in the form of rising sea levels, extreme weather and the other horsemen of the meteorological apocalypse. Developed countries are responsible for most of the carbon that’s already in the atmosphere and therefore should be made to pay for the costs of climate damage to small developing countries that have contributed little to the planet’s warming.

There are several problems with this.

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If we’re in a ‘climate crisis’, why are most people better off?

Fossil fuels have dramatically improved humanity’s quality of life. This would not be true if fossil fuels were the enemy climate alarmists want us to believe

A questioner on Quora asks: “If we are in the middle of a ‘climate crisis,’ as is alleged by many, then why is the health, wealth, and quality of life for the majority of people still improving so rapidly?”

A good question, and here’s a possible answer. Look at the following chart, from Alex Epstein’s book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, keeping in mind that we measure a country’s fossil-fuel consumption by the amount of CO2 produced:

Fossil fuel use and human progress—the big picture. Source: Alex Epstein, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, Chapter 3.

Note that for almost all of the last 2,000 years (and, of course, long before that), the condition of humanity did not substantially improve.

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‘De-growth’ craze another crackpot disaster in the making

What would a ‘post-economic-growth’ world look like? It wouldn’t be pretty. Like Manta rays that must keep swimming or die (sharks too), societies that don’t grow eventually devolve into oppression, chaos, anarchy and then ruin

By Andy Kessler, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 31, 2022

The modern world is constantly subjected to crackpot movements that eventually fail, but not before causing serious damage. Karl Marx was a crackpot. So was the John Birch Society in its mission to fight communism “behind every tree.” The latest is Modern Monetary Theory and unlimited dollar creation for government spending, which caused today’s runaway inflation.

In the 1970s, the Club of Rome insisted that for the world to be ecologically sound, we needed a “no-growth economy.” This was as dumb as the debunked Malthus theory that population growth would outstrip food. The disgraced Club of Rome thankfully went dormant. But it’s baaaack.

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Switzerland may ban electric cars due to energy crunch

Ukraine war means Swiss face severe limits on electricity use, including EVs, home heating, even hot water. Meanwhile, the nation is phasing out nuclear power

By Verity Bowman, Daily Telegraph, Dec. 3, 2022

Electric cars could be banned from making non-essential journeys in Switzerland this winter under a Covid lockdown-style plan to deal with potential energy shortages. 

Emergency proposals have been drafted by the government that could see buildings heated to no more than 20 degrees Celsius, shop opening hours reduced and streaming services limited. The strictest measures – designed to avoid a blackout in the worst case scenario – include a ban on sports matches, concerts and theatre performances.

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Electric cars? Not that great for the climate or drivers

If EVs are so good, why do we need to ban the alternatives? And subsidize electrics to the tune of $30 billion per year?

By Bjorn Lom­borg, National Post, Dec. 1, 2022

Climate activists and politicians constantly tell us electric cars are cleaner, cheaper, better. Germany, the U.K. and Japan, among other countries, will even prohibit the sale of new gas and diesel cars within a decade or two. But if electric cars are really so good, why do we need to ban the alternatives? And subsidize electrics to the tune of $30 billion per year?

The reality is far more muddled than the boosters of electric cars would have you believe. Carbon emissions from an electric car depend on whether it is recharged with clean or coal power. Moreover, battery manufacturing requires lots of energy, which today is mostly produced with coal in China. That is why the International Energy Agency estimates that an electric car using the global average mix of power sources over its lifetime will still emit about half as much CO2 as a gas car. You can buy that same carbon emission reduction on America’s longest-established carbon trading system for about $300. Yet many countries pay more than 20 times that in subsidies to convince people to make the switch.

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