Green New Deal would barely change Earth’s temperature. Here are the facts.

By Nicolas Loris | The Daily Signal

Here’s the most important fact about the Green New Deal: It wouldn’t work.

Ultimately, fully implementing the Green New Deal would have no meaningful impact on global temperatures.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., released their much-anticipated blueprint for a Green New Deal Thursday.

Wikimedia Commons/Paul Anderson

While one of the priorities of the Green New Deal is to make the U.S. a lead exporter in green technologies, assuming developing countries will forgo cheap, abundant carbon dioxide-emitting energy for more expensive intermittent sources is pure fantasy.

And make no mistake: If implemented, the Green New Deal would bring huge changes to our country. According to an FAQ put out by Ocasio-Cortez’s office, this new deal is “a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War II to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.”

The plan additionally asks Americans to “upgrade or replace every building in U.S. for state-of-the-art energy efficiency” and to “build out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.”

That’s not even all. Far from being just an energy and climate resolution, the Green New Deal resolution is a wish list for big government spending, expansive government control, and massive amounts of wealth distribution.  As Ocasio-Cortez told NPR, “the heart of the Green New Deal is about social justice.”

Ultimately, this deal would fundamentally change how people produce and consume energy, harvest crops, raise livestock, build homes, drive cars, travel long distances, and manufacture goods. And it wouldn’t even work.

Green New Deal Wouldn’t Change Climate Significantly

But here’s the key thing: Even if Americans were on board with this radical change in behavior and lifestyle, it wouldn’t change our climate.

In fact, the U.S. could cut its carbon dioxide emissions 100 percent and it would not make a difference in abating global warming.

Using the same climate sensitivity (the warming effect of a doubling of carbon dioxide emissions) as the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assumes in its modeling, the world would be only 0.137 degree Celsius cooler by 2100. Even if we assumed every other industrialized country would be equally on board, this would merely avert warming by 0.278 degree Celsius by the turn of the century.

One of the biggest sources of carbon dioxide emissions is developing countries.

But while one of the priorities of the Green New Deal is to make the U.S. a lead exporter in green technologies, assuming developing countries will forgo cheap, abundant carbon dioxide-emitting energy for more expensive intermittent sources is pure fantasy.

Yes, developing countries will likely expand their use of renewable power sources over time, but not to the extent it will have any meaningful impact on global temperatures. While some countries are shuttering their coal-fired plants, others in both developed and developing countries are building new plants and expanding the life of existing generators.

After all, affordable, reliable, and widely available energy is essential to lifting people out of poverty and improving the life, health, and comfort of people trying to reach a better standard of living.

Americans Could Face Hundreds of Dollars in New Energy Costs Monthly

But not only would the Green New Deal be ineffective, it would also almost certainly impose steep costs on Americans, via increased energy bills.

The resolution calls for deriving 100 percent of America’s electricity from “clean, renewable, and zero-emission” energy sources—a steep increase from the 63 percent of electricity that came from carbon dioxide-emitting conventional fuels in 2017. Nuclear power was responsible for another 20 percent. But, according to the FAQ sheet, “The Green New Deal makes new fossil fuel infrastructure or nuclear plants unnecessary. This is a massive mobilization of all our resources into renewable energies.”

The proposal also calls for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and other infrastructure as much as technologically feasible. Yet, as recently as 2017, petroleum accounted for 92 percent of America’s transportation fuel.

To achieve these targets, the resolution proposes a massive government spending program in addition to carbon dioxide taxes, subsidies, and regulation. How are Americans going to pay for it?

Don’t worry, the FAQ answers that one: “We will finance the investments for the Green New Deal the same way we paid for the original New Deal, World War II, the bank bailouts, tax cuts for the rich, and decades of war—with public money appropriated by Congress. Further, government can take an equity stake in Green New Deal projects so the public gets a return on its investment.”

Credibly estimating the cost of the Green New Deal for American taxpayers, households, and businesses is exceedingly difficult. Even projecting the cost of switching to 100 percent renewable power for electricity relies on a set of largely unknowable assumptions. How companies would make large-scale investments to meet the mandate and how intermittent power sources would receive backup power is mostly a guessing game.

Technological challenges aside, the upfront capital costs would reach trillions of dollars. Trillions of dollars of energy existing assets (coal, nuclear, natural gas plants, etc.) would be stranded and lost.

In effect, the result would be households potentially paying hundreds of dollars more per month in their electricity bill.

Green New Deal Could Lead to Millions of Lost Jobs

Even more concerning, the direct impact from higher energy costs is just a small part of the story. Energy is a necessary input for nearly all of the goods and services consumers buy. Consequently, Americans will pay more for food, health care, education, clothes, and every other good or service that requires energy to make and transport.

In fact, Heritage Foundation economists used the Heritage Energy Model, a derivative of the Energy Information Administration’s National Energy Modeling System, to model the economic impacts of a carbon tax, which Green New Deal advocates admit would only be one tiny fraction of the entire plan.

Each carbon tax analysis found an average shortfall of hundreds of thousands of jobs with peak year unemployment reaching over 1 million jobs lost and half the job losses coming in energy-intensive manufacturing industries.

Over a 20-year period, the total income loss would be tens of thousands of dollars and the aggregate gross domestic product loss would be over $2.5 trillion. If policymakers spent, taxed, and regulated to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for America’s transportation, agricultural, and industrial sectors, the costs would be several orders of magnitude higher.

Importantly, Americans have little appetite to pay such costs. In fact, a recent Associated Press poll found that 68 percent of Americans oppose paying an additional $10 per month to fight climate change. The protests in France are quite indicative of how people feel about costly climate policies.

The Broad Scope of the Green New Deal

Furthermore, the Green New Deal would affect a lot more than energy. Guaranteeing high quality health care, education, and a job with a family-sustaining wage are all part of this new deal.

And don’t forget the egregious amount of spending that would result in energy cronyism and corporate welfare on steroids—essentially, taxpayer dollars from hardworking families going to line the pockets of companies like Tesla and Solyndra.

Don’t worry, though. These Green New Deal proponents do admit they can’t quite get everything done in 10 years. According to the FAQ sheet:

We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast, but we think we can ramp up renewable manufacturing and power production, retrofit every building in America, build the smart grid, overhaul transportation and agriculture, plant lots of trees and restore our ecosystem to get to net-zero.

Moderation itself.

In the end, this massive government-planned, taxpayer-funded plan is a raw deal for Americans—and a totally ineffective climate policy.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Paul Anderson

13 thoughts on “Green New Deal would barely change Earth’s temperature. Here are the facts.

  1. One resident, Dave Moriarty, told the Boston Globe “the damage can never be reversed for many of us wind turbine victims. Some of my friends have serious health issues now.” February 11, 2019
    http://wbsm.com/real-green-new-deal-energy-fail-on-cape-cod-opinion/

    The movement to throw out existing, proven sources of energy in favor of “green” energy is building steam. But the reality is a tough thing to overcome.
    Last month the Boston Globe wrote an interesting story about the realities of wind-based power in Falmouth. The Cape Cod town finally ended its rocky and expensive relationship with windmills. Actually, the expensive part isn’t over, but the windmills are no longer turning.

    The Globe, hardly a member of the vast rightwing conspiracy, warned: “the protracted resistance to the turbines offers lessons as communities throughout the region consider similarly controversial renewable energy projects.” The folks in Congress, particularly the endorsers of the Democratic Socialist activists’ resolution known as the “Green New Deal,” should pay attention.
    The town of Falmouth erected two wind turbines to save the planet from death by climate change and to generate energy. They borrowed the money to pay for this miracle cure for the planet. The turbines ruined the quality of life for people in Falmouth and even caused health issues for some real-life human beings.

    After years of battling, the courts in Massachusetts curbed and then ultimately ended the spinning of the turbines. The earth continues to exist and so does Cape Cod. What also continues to exist is the expensive payments the town of Falmouth has to pay for the non-functioning, earth-saving, but life-ruining wind turbines. Falmouth’s Town Manager estimates the costs at over $10 million dollars to be borne by the taxpayers.

    The town is looking at ending curbside pickup of trash to pay for their failed experiment at ending global climate change.

    One resident, Dave Moriarty, told the Boston Globe “the damage can never be reversed for many of us wind turbine victims. Some of my friends have serious health issues now.”
    According to the Globe, the “neighbors complained that the churning of the turbines and the resulting flickering light and vibrations produced dizziness, nausea, depression, or anxiety—a set of symptoms that critics call ‘wind turbine syndrome.'”

    The Wall Street Journal, commenting on the Falmouth situation, summed it up: “This green new deal was a bad deal all around.”

  2. The Green New Deal is an accelerated rehash of the discredited Jacobson Plan.
    That plan is for 100% of US primary energy, not just the primary energy for electricity generation, which is only 40% of all primary energy.

    – Source energy is the energy taken from coal mines, oil and gas wells, and forests for conversion (by means of combustion) to electricity and heat.
    – Primary energy = source energy – energy used for exploration, extraction, processing and transport of fuels (coal, oil, gas, biofuels, wastes, etc.) to fuel users, such as electricity generating plants, process plants, buildings and vehicles, etc.
    – Consumed energy by users = electricity fed to grid + electricity imports fed to grid + fuel to process plants, buildings and vehicles, etc.

    The Jacobson plan would be met with:

    30.9% onshore wind,
    19.1% offshore wind,
    30.7% utility-scale photovoltaics (PV),
    7.2% rooftop PV,
    7.3% concentrated solar power (CSP) with storage,
    1.25% geothermal power,
    0.37% wave power,
    0.14% tidal power, and
    3.01% hydroelectric power.

    Jacobson forgot to mention an HVDC overlay grid

    Plan would require an HVDC overlay grid (at least a $400 billion item) that would be connected at many points to the existing HVAC grid, to ensure electricity would be instantaneously delivered everywhere, 24/7/365, as needed.

    For example, the US northeast could be overcast and not windy (wind and solar would be minimal, as happens many times during the year, i.e., almost every early morning and every late afternoon/early evening), but elsewhere, such as in the Colorado region, it could be sunny and windy enabling any excess wind and solar to be instantaneously transferred, via the overlay HVDC system, to the US northeast.

  3. The below info was removed from Ocasio- Cortex’s website, because it was too embarrassing to many Democrats

    The Green New Deal will convert the decaying fossil fuel economy into a new, green economy that is environmentally sustainable, economically secure and socially just.

    The Green New Deal starts with transitioning to 100% green renewable energy (no nukes, no natural gas, no coal, no oil) by 2030. It would immediately halt any investment in fossil fuels (including natural gas) and related infrastructure.

    The Green New Deal will guarantee full employment and generate up to 20 million new, living-wage jobs, as well as make the government the employer of last resort with a much-needed major public jobs program.

    Our nation – and our world – face a “perfect storm” of economic and environmental crises that threaten not only the global economy, but life on Earth as we know it. The dire, existential threats of climate change, wars for oil, and a stagnating, crisis-ridden economic system require bold and visionary solutions if we are to leave a livable world to the next generation and beyond.

    These looming crises mean that the question facing us in the 2016 election is historically unique. The fate of humanity is in our hands. It is not just a question of what kind of world we want, but whether we will have a world at all.

    Building on the concept of FDR’s New Deal, we call for a massive mobilization of our communities, government and the people on the scale of World War II – to transition our energy system and economy to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030, including a complete phase out of fossil fuels, fracked gas and nuclear power.

    We propose an ambitious yet secure economic and environmental program that will revive the economy , turn the tide on climate change, and make wars for oil obsolete – allowing us to cut our bloated, dangerous military budget in half. [1]

    The Green New Deal is not only a major step towards ending unemployment for good, but also a tool to fight the corporate takeover of our democracy and exploitation of the poor and people of color. It will provide a just transition, with a priority on providing resources to workers displaced from the fossil fuel industry, low-income communities and communities of color most impacted by climate change.

    The Green New Deal will provide assistance to workers and communities that now have workers dependent on the fossil fuel, nuclear and weapons industries, and to the developing world as it responds to climate change damage caused by the industrial world.

    The transition to 100% clean energy will foster democratic control of our energy system, rather than maximizing profits for energy corporations, banks and hedge funds. It will promote clean energy as a human right and a common good. It will include community, worker and public ownership, as well as small businesses and non-profits.

    We will cut military spending by at least half to bring our troops – currently stationed in over 800 bases worldwide – home to their families, deploying our valued servicemen and women in their own communities to build up our country’s future and prosperity here at home.

    Maintaining bases all over the world to safeguard fossil fuel supplies or to shore up repressive oil monarchies could no longer be justified as “protecting American interests.”

    The Green New Deal not only saves us from climate catastrophe.

    It also pays for itself through health savings alone, from the prevention of fossil fuel-related diseases – which kill 200,000 people every year and afflict millions more with asthma, heart attacks, strokes, cancer and other illnesses.

    This program not only addresses the urgent crises facing our society, but puts America’s leading role in the world to work in a constructive way: to build a just, sustainable, and healthy planet for our young people and future generations.

    MY ADDITION

    – Worldwide Tobacco: Causes nearly 6 million deaths per year, and current trends show tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030.

    – Worldwide Alcohol: Beer, wine, etc., are a leading risk factor for death and disease, associated with 2.8 million deaths each year and the seventh-leading risk factor for premature death and disability in 2016.

    – Worldwide Traffic: Each year, 1.25 million people are killed on roadways.

  4. Here is a partial capital cost of NEW GREEN DEAL
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/partial-capital-cost-of-green-new-deal

    In the URL is a section dealing with high levels of wind and solar.

    HIGH LEVELS OF WIND AND SOLAR REQUIRE ENERGY STORAGE

    Wind and solar proponents claim a MWh of wind displaces a MWh of fossil generation, and therefore fossil generation is equivalent to wind and solar. That is very far from the truth. Wind and solar needs all sorts of crutches to have a measure of viability on the grid.

    High levels of wind and solar, say 40% to 80% of US grid annual load (the rest supplied by other sources), could not ever stand on their own, without the US grid having:

    1) Gas turbine plants and
    2) Reservoir and run-of-river hydro plants, and
    3) CSP plants with at least 12 hours of storage and
    4) A US-wide HVDC overlay grid (as above described), and
    5) Energy storage of about 100 TWh (at 40% wind and solar) to 250 TWh (at 80% wind and solar).

    All would quickly vary their outputs, as needed, to compensate for:

    1) The quickly varying outputs of wind and solar, including very low outputs of wind and solar, which occur at random at least 30% of the hours of the year, according to minute-by-minute generation data posted by various grid operators, including ISO-NE.

    2) The minute-by-minute varying electricity demand throughout each day.

    NOTE: During high winds,
    Turbine rotor blades are feathered when winds exceed allowable speeds.
    The turbine output would be maintained at about 95% of rated output.
    Such conditions are very rare in most US area, may be up to 100 to 150 hours per year.
    The average output of all US wind turbines is about 33%; it varies with the windiness of the year.

    Energy Storage: If high levels of wind and solar were built out to 80% after a few decades, and the gas turbine, nuclear, coal and oil plants were closed down (according to Green New Deal wishes), and with existing reservoir and run-of-river hydro plants, and with existing other sources, the US grid would require about 250 TWh of storage to cover:

    – 5 to 7 day wind/solar lulls, which occur often and at random
    – Seasonal variations (storing wind when it is more plentiful during fall, winter and spring, and when solar is more plentiful in summer, so more of their electricity would be available in summer when wind usually is at very low levels). See URLs.

    That storage would need to have a minimal level at all times (about 10 days of demand coverage), to cover multi-day, scheduled and unscheduled equipment and system outages and unusual multi-day weather events, such as a big snow fall covering the solar panels, simultaneous with minimal wind conditions.

    Energy Storage System Capital Cost: One TWh of storage costs about $400 billion, at $400/kWh, or $100 billion at a Holy Grail $100/kWh. See URL
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/economics-of-tesla-powerpack-and-powerwall-systems

    Battery Charging and Discharging Losses: Any electricity passing through storage has about a 20% loss, on a high voltage AC-to-high voltage AC basis, to be made up by additional wind, solar and other generation.

    Battery Capacity Losses: Batteries lose about 10 to 15% of their capacity, kWh, during their lifetime, which means additional capacity has to be installed to offset that loss.

    Battery Lives: The useful service lives of lithium-ion batteries is at most 15 years. In about year 15, the used-up batteries would need to be replaced with new ones.

    Electric Vehicle Charging and Resting Losses: Any electricity fed to EVs and plug-in hybrids has about a 20% charging and resting loss, from wall meter to “in battery”, as indicated by the vehicle meter, to be made up by additional wind, solar, and other generation. See URLs

  5. The new green deal, according to the DNC’s Newly appointed ” Queen ” Alexandra Ocasio-
    Cortez all ” GAS ” Vehicles, Boats, Planes, Trains need to be removed from service, what about
    all the power plants ??

    Then she states, all Structured Buildings yes ” all “, will need to be torn down and rebuilt with new technology ??…….. Outstanding !!

    The Only problems are she also stated that we only have ” Twelve Years” before the earth explodes,
    guess she understands demolition & construction better than she knows the environment ……….!!

    Socialist DemocRATs …………….Yup, Outstanding !!

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