Is Global Warming worth the Hot Air?

In a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Ann Jolis uses a disingenuous feint to throw more doubt on global warming. Her question was “Is rising CO2 behind the “apparent” increase in catastrophic weather?” For example, heat waves in America and Europe last summer followed by bitter winters; firestorms in Australia last summer, followed by Biblical floods, etc. Good question, and she turned to climatologist, Gilbert Compo at the University of Colorado in Boulder, for an answer.

Turns out his “super-computer” model of the world’s weather does not correlate rising CO2 levels with the current spate of storms. Just too many variables, he says. OK.

But Jolis uses this reasonable fact to draw the absurd conclusion that the best way to cope with catastrophic weather is to build a strong economy without wasting trillions (her word) of dollars on green energy.

You can’t argue with idiots, so don’t try.

  • Renewable Energy reduces our dependence on foreign oil. ~$350B per year. Not only is the a significant fraction of our trade deficit, there is a real flow of US money to terrorist bent on our destruction.
  • Clean air and clean water is essential for human life. It is our obligation to the future. How hard is that to understand?
  • Solar and wind energy is free, but obviously converting it into useful energy costs money. Most of the cost is in fixed installation. Afterwards the output is essentially free minus minor maintenance (monitoring strongly recommended). Fixed costs are benefiting from gains in technology and manufacturing, i.e. the learning curve. Today’s 15 year pay-back will be tomorrow’s 3 year pay-back.
  • The expansion of renewable energy markets is an economic force that is only accelerating. World-wide solar and wind power account for ~200GW of generating capacity today and will exceed 1TW by the end of the decade. That level of growth will produce jobs for the countries that innovate, make and market solutions. Jobs that span all sectors of energy generation, energy efficiency, air and water purification, and more. Coal mining is not a job skill that anyone wants. Job growth in offshore oil exploration is negligible.

As a footnote, Ms. Jolis, strong economies don’t protect us from the resulting higher taxes, insurance and borrowing rates that disasters bring about. And while it was fortunate that “fans got to the SuperBowl”, the people who lost livelihoods or family members in these storms don’t feel so fortunate.

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