Over at Dr Curry’s ClimateEtc, Professor Lomborg’s Senate report was clear:
[…] The Kyoto approach is not working for three reasons. First, cutting CO2 is costly. Second, the approach won’t solve the problem. Even if everyone had implemented Kyoto, temperatures would have dropped by the end of the century by a miniscule 0.004C or 0.007F. Third, green energy is not ready to take over from fossil fuels.
Current global warming policies make energy much more costly. This negative impact is often much larger, harms the world’s poor much more, and is much more immediate.
Solar and wind power was subsidized by $60 billion in 2012, despite their paltry climate benefit of $1.4 billion. Essentially, $58.6 billion were wasted. Depending on political viewpoint, that money could have been used to get better health care, more teachers, better roads, or lower taxes. Moreover, forcing everyone to buy more expensive, less reliable energy pushes higher costs throughout the economy, leaving less for welfare.
The burdens from these climate policies fall overwhelmingly on the world’s poor. This is because rich people can easily afford to pay more for their energy, whereas the poor will be struggling. It is surprising to hear that well meaning and economically comfortable greens often suggest that gasoline prices should be doubled or electricity exclusively sourced from high cost green sources.
Take Pakistan and South Africa. With too little generating power both nations experience recurrent blackouts that cost jobs and wreck the economy. Muhammad Ashraf, who worked 30 years at a textile plant in central Pakistan, was laid off last year because of these energy shortages. Being too old to get another job, he has returned to his village to eke out a living growing wheat on a tiny plot of land. Instead of $120 a month, he now makes just $25. Yet, the funding of new coal fired power plants in both Pakistan and South Africa has been widely opposed by well meaning Westerners and climate concerned Western governments. They instead urge these countries to get more energy from renewables.
But this is cruelly hypocritical. The rich world generates just 0.76% of its energy from solar and wind, far from meeting even minimal demand. In fact, Germany will build ten new coal fired power plants over the next two years to keep its own lights on.
A recent analysis from the Center for Global Development shows that $10 billion invested in renewables will help lift 20 million people in Africa out of poverty. But the same $10 billion spent on gas electrification will lift 90 million people out of poverty. $10 billion can help just 20 million people. Using renewables, we deliberately end up choosing to leave more than 70 million people – more than 3 out of 4 – in darkness and poverty.
Judith Curry says “The other thing that struck me in particular was the following text:”
The only way to move towards a long term reduction in emissions is if green energy becomes much cheaper. If green energy was cheaper than fossil fuels, everyone would switch. This requires breakthroughs in the current green technologies, which means focusing much more on innovating smarter, cheaper, more effective green energy.
Read the entire testimony, well worth reading and pondering. […]
[…] I have to say, after reading Lomborg’s testimony, current climate/energy policies have never made less sense.
Read the full piece at the link to Curry’s …