The Trying Glass World Of “Local weather Injustice” — Half II – Watts Up With That?


September 05, 2021/ Francis Menton

This is Part II of what will now be a series titled “The Looking Glass World Of ‘Climate Injustice.’” The original post in what is now this series appeared way back on April 11, 2014. The thesis was that while climate campaigners prattle on about very minor supposed differential impacts of “climate change’“ upon the poor, at the same time the same campaigners demand schemes to intentionally devastate the economic situation of the poor by decreasing the availability and increasing the price of energy. The particular focus of the April 2014 post was policies advocated by the U.N., although the reasoning would apply equally to all national and international schemes to reduce carbon emissions. Excerpt:

Given the serious hardship faced by the world’s poor in the absence of energy access, one would think that a top priority of the U.N. would be finding ways to achieve that access as quickly, as cheaply, and as reliably as possible. But in fact, under the banner of so-called “climate justice,” the U.N. is doing exactly the opposite. It is doing its best to hobble, hinder and obstruct development of the cheapest and most reliable sources of energy in the third world, . . .

Fast forward seven years to today, and we now have the Biden administration going all in on the embrace of what they call “environmental justice” as the prime motivation behind trillions of proposed dollars of spending to transform the nation’s energy economy. It all kicked off with Biden’s January 27, 2021 Executive Order, commanding that all government agencies adopt a new focus on this “environmental justice” thing. Excerpt:

To secure an equitable economic future, the United States must ensure that environmental and economic justice are key considerations in how we govern. That means investing and building a clean energy economy . . . . Agencies shall make achieving environmental justice part of their missions by developing programs, policies, and activities to address the disproportionately high and adverse human health, environmental, climate-related and other cumulative impacts on disadvantaged communities, as well as the accompanying economic challenges of such impacts . . . .

Following the President’s directive, the EPA is just out with a big new Report titled “Climate Change and Social Vulnerability in the United States.” Take a look at the Report, and you will see these geniuses struggling to articulate exactly how climate change is supposedly going to differentially impact the poor or minorities in any way that anybody (including themselves) can even notice. Here are a few choice quotes from the Executive Summary:

  • “Those with low income or no high school diploma are approximately 25% more likely than non-low income individuals and those with a high school diploma to currently live in areas with the highest projected losses of labor hours due to increases in high-temperature days with 2°C of global warming.” Hang on — even assuming that “high temperature days” are increasing (they are not) does anyone actually lose “labor hours” due to high temperature days? As far as I know, the economy of places like Texas and Arizona, with summers above 100 deg F for weeks on end, continue to function without notable interruption.
  • “With higher levels of global warming and sea level rise, the risks to socially vulnerable groups are generally projected to remain approximately the same or increase.” Scary!
  • “Minorities are 41% more likely than non-minorities to currently live in areas with the highest projected increases in traffic delays from high-tide flooding associated with 50 cm of global sea level rise.” So exactly how many people in a given year experience “traffic delays” due to “high tide flooding”? They don’t say, but a good answer would be “almost none.”

Against these completely speculative and almost negligible harms to small numbers of people, we have the Biden administration working diligently to cause a dramatic increase in the price of energy, to the obvious significant detriment of everyone, and most particularly the poor and minorities. From its first days in office, the Biden crowd has fought pipelines, fought fracking, tried to ban drilling on federal lands, threatened the coal industry, and otherwise tried everything it could think of to decrease the availability and increase the price of energy that works. As one small indication of the results so far, the price of gasoline at the pump, per EIA data, has gone from an average of $2.55/gallon in January 2021 when Biden took office, to $3.16/gallon in August 2021 — an increase of about 24% in under 8 months.

But rest assured that the “environmental justice” crowd has only gotten started in their efforts to impoverish the poor in order to save them. As one indication of what they have in store for us, check out the August 16 article from Nature Sustainability titled “Personal carbon allowances revisited.” Here’s the idea: the government gives everyone a “personal carbon allowance” or PCA for the year. That’s all the carbon you can use, and when you have used up your allowance, it’s no more heat or driving or electricity for you. Then, every year, they just reduce the PCA a little until it gets to zero. Easy. Excerpt:

The literature highlights the importance of economic incentives, cognitive awareness, prevailing social norms and education as drivers for pro-environmental decision-making and behaviour. Research indicates that behavioural change could be engendered by creating a direct and visible incentive to reduce carbon emissions. Studies show that people tend to adhere to the prevailing norm and that descriptive social norms and comparison with others influence decisions about electricity use and mode of transport. Building on this literature, PCAs are envisaged to deliver carbon-emissions-related behavioural change via three interlinked mechanisms: economic, cognitive and social. . . .

Got that? Once the “experts” in our administrative bureaucracies have decreed how much carbon you can use in a year, that will become a social norm, and peer pressure will come to bear upon you not to exceed your limit. So of course you will conform. If December comes and you’ve used up your annual limit, I guess that means that you will just gladly turn off the lights and the heat and freeze.

I haven’t seen this particular idea yet put forth by the Bidenites, but it’s only a question of time.

Read the full article here.

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