My first venture into the study of global warming was as a researcher for a State Senator at a time when his State was considering a set of new laws to combat man made global warming. The laws were to be based upon a just published study that had been led by a Professor at the University. The study was how the State should control emissions, improve energy efficiency and develop schemes to reduce energy consumption. In many respects, energy efficiency, for example, had good programs. But its ideas for regulating and controlling energy in the name of global warming, was a reach too far in my thinking.
In my reports to the Senator, I always requested that he try to make the study authors provide an end point and how they were going to get there. I know he tried to do this, but with no success. They would only say that it was necessary to prevent or stop man-made global warming. It was obvious to me this would be an enormous task that might not be possible to accomplish.
I believed that the legislators should know what was needed to be done, how long it would take, and what would be the costs of these actions. In my years in the business world, that information was a requirement if I expected to get the money needed to achieve some results at the end point.
The Study was adopted and the over the years, coal plants have been shut down, subsidies paid to renewable energy producers, and the State eventually joined a cap and trade organization.
The public has been made to pay for some crony capitalism in the form of fuel cell production. More crony capitalism was in play when the State offered incentives in the form of loans to have in-state manufacturing of a hybrid plugin automobile named the Fisker Karma. The project fell through because of battery fires and an incident of flooding followed by fires of Karmas when tropical storm Sandy hit a New Jersey Port. The State got some of their money back. The big loser were the Feds who had loaned Fisker $529 million. I believe that the Feds only got back $25 million when it auctioned off Fisker to a Chinese company.
The State has installed a small number of wind turbines and solar cells. Fortunately, their plan to set up the first East Coast Off Shore Wind Farm was aborted.
All of this has had no perceptible impact on the global climate nor will it ever. It has made the State’s residential electric rates to the 14th highest in the contiguous US. No long-term plan; no real vision of where the State was being led.
This story is a microcosm of what has happened globally. The Paris Accord, that Obama signed and provided $500 million in his last days in office, is clearly unworkable. As the dimensions of the required cuts in CO2 are at last becoming clear, the task is so enormous that it is almost beyond comprehension. It will not be implemented as the task is so far from anything the human population will accept either financially or from the suffering it will cause. And is it really necessary to cut CO2? The next blog will look at what has been proposed as the action plan to prevent a global temperature rise of 2°C.