On November 1, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee took the first step to approve legislation to “avert catastrophic global warming,” by imposing draconian reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, meaning energy use, without any idea of how to achieve them or the consequences of trying. No one who understands the role of energy in a robust economy, the limits of existing or near term technology or the impact of a growing economy on energy use could seriously support the unrealistic goal of requiring emission reductions of 15% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 70% by 2050. If enacted, this legislation would cost “hundreds of billions of dollars” in the words of one of its co-sponsors, Sen. Joseph Lieberman.
Much of what passes for climate policy today is driven by assertions of a certain climate catastrophe and United States inaction. Neither claim is true.