As reported in the WSJ. As many of us suspected (knew for a certainty, actually) all along, it has never been about science or the environment. It has always been about money:
During the decades we’ve been waiting for actual climate data to validate or invalidate our climate models (we’re still waiting), at least one phenomenon has been reliably observed. This is the political domestication and co-optation of the once-vexing global warming hypothesis.
A pioneering shaman of this transmutation was BP CEO John Browne, who in the 1990s declared his company “beyond petroleum,” then proceeded on a series of mergers that made it an even bigger petroleum company. GE, Ford, DuPont and others quickly lined up behind a U.S. cap-and-trade bill. There can be something for everybody in treating carbon dioxide as a problem, they realized. That is, as long as nobody is so crazy (wink, wink) as to actually try to slow down materially the amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere.
Which brings us to President-elect Trump’s meeting this week with Al Gore.
Details weren’t released but we can be pretty sure of the message Mr. Gore delivered. It’s the message he’s been delivering since President Obama’s election in 2008: Climate change no longer requires any painful root-canal actions. No need for unpopular energy taxes or giving up our energy-rich lifestyles.
The problem can be solved with handouts to the green energy lobby. Who doesn’t like distributing handouts?
A credulous piece in the New York Times tells us Elon Musk makes a “compelling case” that Tesla would be better off without federal subsidies yet the paper doesn’t tell us what the case is. Here it is: Mr. Musk would certainly be better off without federal fuel-mileage mandates that cause his competitors to make and dump electric cars on the market at a $9,000 loss. But those rules aren’t going away even under President Trump. And there is no sign Mr. Musk is eager to do without his own subsidies. He was last seen berating the California Air Resources Board for failing to create enough “zero-emission” credits to suit Tesla.
A new study from Arthur D. Little finds that, over its lifecycle, an electric car will generate just 23% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a gasoline-powered car. If every car on earth were electric, this translates into a mere 1.8% decline in total emissions.
Yet even a small electric car will cost its owner $20,816 more to own and operate than a comparable gas-powered car, and its total “human toxicity”—mainly due to heavy metals and graphite—will be three to five times greater.
This is hardly the first study to demonstrate that electric cars solve no environmental problem. Will it make a difference? No. We’re way beyond that now.