But by environmentalist standards, the only good CO2 molecule is a dead CO2 molecule never released and used by man and reabsorbed (the natural cycle).
- Wow, corn ethanol, once worshiped by Gaia devotees is losing it’s luster with them,
- But not Gaia bible selling Big Ethanol –the growers, “brewers,” implement manufacturers, marketers, — the ones who make money off of the devotional mandates, at least not ’til they find a new boondoggle to promote or glom onto
This Power Line article by Steven Hayword references an informative article that should be fundamental to the debate about CO2 regulations and global warming scare.
The linchpin of the Obama Administration’s so-called “Clean Power Plan” (CPP) is something called the “social cost of carbon,” which is a calculation of the net present value of future climate damages from greenhouse-gas caused global warming. The “official” figure the Obama EPA came up with in their regulatory analysis—about $40 a ton—was necessary for the Clean Power Plan to pass a cost-benefit test.
This calculation is tricky to do, and involved the crucial step of picking a discount rate against projected costs in the distant future. The scandal of the EPA’s calculation is that the conventional discount rates that the government (and private industry) typically uses for such forward-looking calculations all came in with climate cost numbers so low that the Clean Power Plan couldn’t be justified. So the EPA cheated, and used an artificially low discount rate far outside the range of standard practice. (The Trump EPA is currently reviewing the social cost of carbon mischief, and may well reverse it as part of their unraveling of the CPP.)
But even if you accept both the catastrophic temperature predictions of the climatistas and their phony social cost of carbon estimate, there is still the question: what are the economic benefits of cheap fossil fuel energy use? No one ever bothers to offer an estimate of how much better our lives are for the development and diffusion of large scale energy over the last 150 years. (Start with, oh I don’t know—how about longer life spans because of all the material improvements energy has made possible?)
Until now, that is. Richard Tol, one of the world’s pre-eminent environmental economists, has produced a working paper entitled “The Private Benefit of Carbon and Its Social Cost.” Here’s the dynamite abstract:
The private benefit of carbon is the value, at the margin, of the energy services provided by the use of fossil fuels. It is the weighted average of the price of energy times the carbon dioxide emission coefficient, with energy used as weights. The private benefits is here estimated, for the first time, at $411/tCO2. The private benefit is lowest for coal use in industry and highest for residential electricity; it is lowest in Kazakhstan and highest in Norway. The private benefit of carbon is much higher than the social cost of carbon.
Yes, I’d say that $411 > $40. Let that sink in: the benefit of using fossil fuels, even accounting for all damages from pollution and prospective climate change, are one order of magnitude higher than the cost of climate change, even using the EPA’s self-serving calculation. . . .
Today the Des Moines Register (DMR) posts an article about environmentalists fretting over cropland removed from set-aside. The DMR article never mentions that corn based ethanol production demand might have something to do with the problem as the environmentalists see it. The DMR article never mentions that environmentalism provided the push for “renewable” mandates causing so many farmers to add or replace cropland in order to fulfill the market environmentalists drove for corn-based ethanol, which they now deride.
The AP to their credit issued a story three and a half years ago (as we reported on here, here and here) about the effects of corn ethanol and reduced crop-set-asides to concerns over the water table and other environmental factors.
Interesting battle to come? Goofball often lying “environmentalists” who are starting to face the truth about at least one boondoggle they engendered, VS the industry built up around their boondoggle. As always, follow the money trail, in such cases it leads from the taxpayers pocket book.
DLH and R Mall