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A lecture to the Defending the American Dream summit on the current political problems surrounding global warming

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  1. 1. The Cost of Climate Change Hysteria Iain Murray Defending the American Dream Summit Austin, TX July 19 th 2008
  2. 2. The Really Inconvenient Truths <ul><li>Subtitle – Seven Environmental Catastrophes Liberals Don’t Want You to Know About – Because They Helped Cause Them </li></ul><ul><li>Liberals have a track record of hyping environmental issues </li></ul><ul><li>The cure is often worse than the disease </li></ul>
  3. 3. “ Global Warming: What Should Texas Do?” Texas Public Policy Foundation, April 2007 <ul><li>The global warming debate is subject to obfuscation and misrepresentation </li></ul><ul><li>Significant uncertainties remain in the basic areas of climate science </li></ul><ul><li>The benefits of affordable energy to Texas, the US and the world are immense </li></ul><ul><li>Emissions reductions are not the best way to tackle the potential damages of global warming </li></ul><ul><li>Global warming is not all downside </li></ul><ul><li>Resilient societies are wealthier, healthier and cleaner </li></ul>
  4. 4. “ Global Warming: What Should Texas Do?” Texas Public Policy Foundation, April 2007 <ul><li>Texas requires greater energy capacity to meet its demand or it will suffer hardship </li></ul><ul><li>Cap and trade schemes are failing where they are being tried </li></ul><ul><li>Spending money on global warming is generally a bad investment </li></ul><ul><li>Even accounting for the cost of carbon emissions is imprudent </li></ul>
  5. 5. Obfuscation and Misrepresentation <ul><li>Too many examples to cite. Here’s one: </li></ul><ul><li>NOAA: June the ninth warmest in 129 years </li></ul><ul><li>But, NASA’s satellites tell a different story </li></ul><ul><li>13 th coldest June in last 30 years </li></ul>
  6. 6. Obfuscation and Misrepresentation
  7. 7. Benefits of Affordable Energy <ul><li>“ Energy is an indispensable ingredient of material prosperity. . . . Where and when energy is in short supply or too expensive, people suffer from lack of direct energy services (such as cooking, heating, lighting, and transport) and from inflation, unemployment, and reduced economic output.” </li></ul><ul><li>- John Holdren </li></ul>
  8. 8. Are Renewables Affordable? 24.34 Solar 23.37 Wind 0.67 Hydroelectric 0.89 Biomass 1.59 Nuclear 0.25 Natural Gas 0.44 Coal Subsidy $ Fuel Source Source: Energy Information Administration Subsidies per Megawatt Hour
  9. 9. Cost to Replace Coal, Gas and Nuclear with Wind and Solar <ul><li>In 2007, the US generated 4000 billion kilowatthours of electricity </li></ul><ul><li>3659 bn kwh from coal, natural gas and nuclear ($3.6 billion in subsidies there) </li></ul><ul><li>Subsidies needed to replace that with wind and solar: </li></ul><ul><li>$88 BILLION </li></ul><ul><li>Yet solar and wind still more expensive </li></ul>
  10. 10. Emissions Reduction <ul><li>Replacing high-emissions fuel sources with low-emissions fuel sources is expensive </li></ul><ul><li>High prices mean less energy used </li></ul><ul><li>Gas demand fallen 3% thanks to $4 gas </li></ul><ul><li>Burden falls mostly on the poor </li></ul>
  11. 11. How Easy is Emissions Reduction?
  12. 12. The Truth About Kyoto
  13. 13. How Expensive is the Gore Plan?
  14. 14. So What Do We Do? <ul><li>No Regrets Mitigation </li></ul><ul><li>Focused Adaptation </li></ul><ul><li>Resiliency </li></ul>
  15. 15. No Regrets Mitigation <ul><li>Prime Example: Air Traffic Reform </li></ul><ul><li>Utilizing satellite-based technology could save 146 million barrels of oil annually </li></ul><ul><li>Saves the economy $20 billion </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces GHG emissions by 53 million tonnes </li></ul>
  16. 16. Focused Adaptation <ul><li>Main risks of global warming: hunger, disease, sea level rise, water stress, biodiversity </li></ul><ul><li>Halting global warming is an expensive way of tackling these problems </li></ul><ul><li>Goklany (2008): halting global warming reduce hunger, disease and sea level rise by 4-10 percent by 2085, but increase water stress and biodiversity problems at a cost of much more than $165 billion annually for many years </li></ul><ul><li>Focused adaptation could reduce each of these problems by 50-75% by 2015 at a cost of less than $34 billion annually, and also provide benefits in terms of child mortality, literacy etc. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Resiliency <ul><li>Wealthier societies manage disasters better </li></ul><ul><li>1955: Hurricane Janet, category 5, hits Mexico – 600 people killed </li></ul><ul><li>2007: Hurricane Dean, category 5, hits Mexico in exact same place – no-one killed </li></ul><ul><li>2005: Hurricane Katrina, category 5, hits most vulnerable place in America and kills 1,836 </li></ul><ul><li>2008: Cyclone Nargis, category 4, hits Burma and kills at least 84,500 </li></ul>
  18. 18. A Final Thought <ul><li>“ In short, if we can rise to the challenge, the permanent abolition of the wheel would have the marvelously synergistic effect of creating thousands of new jobs - as blacksmiths, farriers, grooms and so on - at the same time as it conserved energy and saved the planet from otherwise inevitable devastation.” </li></ul><ul><li>-- Catherine Bennett, The Guardian, 2004 </li></ul>
  19. 19. For more information The Really Inconvenient Truths on Amazon The PIG to Global Warming on Amazon