Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal wouldn’t slow climate change, but your electricity costs would skyrocket

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal would require Americans to rely on unreliable solar and wind energy that would raise electric bills by several hundred percent for every family and business, hit us with power blackouts and brownouts, worsen poverty and do nothing to slow climate change.

Yes, you read that right. Even the drastic, unrealistic and multitrillion-dollar energy schemes in the Green New Deal would have no measureable impact on global temperatures in our lives or our grandchildren’s lifetimes.

Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., knows little if anything about climate science. She has come up with a plan that is the equivalent of amputating your leg to deal with an ingrown toenail. The “cure” is far more harmful than the problem it is designed to solve.

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Nine of the 10 desired outcomes of Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal mention environmental issues, with a particular emphasis on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from our use of fossil fuels.  The goal is 100 percent reliance on renewable energy in 10 years.

This sounds attractive. But there are physical, practical and economic limits to our embrace of renewable energy sources.

Energy is required for everything humans do, and the more expensive it is, the more poverty will be exacerbated.

Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., knows little if anything about climate science. She has come up with a plan that is the equivalent of amputating your leg to deal with an ingrown toenail. The “cure” is far more harmful than the problem it is designed to solve.

Whether we like it or not, the world runs mostly on fossil fuels, which have the advantage of very large energy density and availability, day or night, even when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

Solar and wind energy are not free. They are only practical in limited regions, and they require huge diversions of funds to produce relatively small amounts of energy per acre of land and physical resources used.

The intermittency of solar and wind energy causes instability and inefficiencies in the electric grid. Across European countries, the cost of electricity doubles for only a 25 percent reliance on wind and solar power.

And, of course, air travel will likely always be dependent on fossil fuels due to their light weight and high energy density. You don’t want the plane you are riding in to lose power when the sun goes down or on a cloudy day.

It’s legitimate to ask just how much future climate change would be averted if (for example) the world fully embraced the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The answer is a virtually unmeasurable amount: global warming would be reduced by 0.17 degrees Celsius by the end of this century, even if the agreement’s 2030 goal is extended for another 70 years.

And that assumes computer projections of future warming are reliable. One 2018 study of ocean and atmospheric warming since the late 1800s found that climate models are overestimating global warming from increasing greenhouse gases by about a factor of two.

And even that study assumed that 100 percent of the warming is humanity’s fault. The alarmist U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admits that the fraction of global warming caused by humans might not be much more than one-half, further reducing the threat of warming.

And the Green New Deal calls for far greater changes than the Paris Climate Agreement does.

James Hansen, the modern godfather of global warming theory, has admitted that only a widespread embrace of nuclear power can substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But the Green New Deal would eliminate nuclear power.

All this points to simple fact: for now, fossil fuels are the moral choice. Mandated reliance on expensive solar and wind energy in the U.S. would make our lives much harder and would make energy much more expensive, hurting poor people the most. And there would be no measureable impact on global temperatures in our, or our grandchildren’s, lifetimes.

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No one can say what the future will bring. Perhaps many years from now there will be monumental advances in solar and wind power and batteries to store such power, making it possible to rely on renewable energy for all our power needs.

But this isn’t not going to happen in time to meet the 10-year deadline the Green New Deal sets for complete reliance on renewable energy. Simply wishing for or mandating scientific advances will not make them take place.