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When the main feature is the big bug

05 Jun 2019 | OP ED Watch

The Business Council of B.C. rallies round the white flag in Business in Vancouver, with executive VP and chief policy officer Jock Finlayson and chief economist Ken Peacock welcoming the “timing” of the CleanBC plan and praising its goal “to speed the shift to a lower-carbon economy”. However, they then venture to note, “architects of the CleanBC plan have underestimated the difficulty of sharply lowering greenhouse gas emissions, particularly against the backdrop of a rapidly expanding population.” But otherwise the plan is perfect.

What makes this article amusing is that the difficulty of sharply lowering greenhouse gas emissions isn’t some small random flaw or minor oversight in an otherwise brilliant and timely plan for sharply lowering greenhouse gas emissions. It’s the whole problem. Which means the plan itself is the problem.

Finlayson and Peacock antiseptically warn that “Among other things, policy-makers have paid little attention to the marginal abatement cost (MAC) of curbing emissions.” That’s quite the oversight. Yet another wonderful plan whose buried costs will guarantee its failure. Because as we explained in our video series on why the Paris Accord is doomed (see Part I here and Part II here), the more you cut emissions, the greater the cost of each additional reduction because you pick the low-hanging fruit first. (Or, if you’re trying to put your audience to sleep, “A decade of experience with the carbon tax implies that most of the inexpensive emission reduction options have already been implemented in B.C., as households and businesses have incrementally responded to the escalating carbon levy.”)

Our economy, also known as our way of life, secure food supply, comfortable dwellings, ability to pursue our dreams and our children’s future, depends on reliable, affordable energy. And as we’ve said before, the only really plausible alternative to fossil fuels at the moment is nuclear which climate alarmists inexplicably despise and which in consequence is shrinking not growing. Wind and solar just aren’t getting it done; without subsidies they can’t compete, with subsidies they drive energy prices to intolerable levels, and their own environmental footprint is a lot bigger than it seems to be.

If the man-made global warming crisis is as bad as alarmists say, then let us stop using fossil fuels regardless of the cost, and force other nations to do likewise (perhaps allotting some aviation fuel to our armed forces as an interim measure) no matter what misery and death result, because the alternative is the collapse of civilization and possibly the extinction of humanity. But if you believe we must do so, don’t tell us fairy stories about how it will all be painless, even pleasant, as green technology creates the clean exciting innovative jobs of the 21st century which is already 1/5 over without them showing up.

Above all, don’t go telling us about some great plan for getting rid of fossil fuel emissions once we iron out the strange technical wrinkle that doing so will cause our civilization to collapse.

One comment on “When the main feature is the big bug”

  1. You just don't get it! We will all be rich once we start using more expensive energy! Isn't it obvious?

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