From Science Matters
By Ron Clutz
From Daily Caller: Biden Official Speechless After John Kennedy Grills Him On Simple Question
Department of Energy Deputy Secretary David Turk testified Wednesday before the Senate committee on appropriations to discuss the 2024 budget request for the Department of Energy.
Kennedy noted the budget requests a 38% increase in green energy funding while cutting nuclear energy funding with barely an increase fossil fuel energy. Kennedy then asked Turk for an estimate of how much it would cost to be carbon neutral by 2050, with Turk refusing to provide a number. Kennedy first said Turk’s colleagues have presented a figure in the range of $50 trillion before asking how much would temperatures be affected by that massive spending.
“If you could answer my question: if we spend $50 trillion to become carbon neutral in the United States of America by 2050, you’re the deputy secretary of energy, give me your estimate of how much that is going to reduce world temperature.”
“So first of all it’s a net cost, it’s what benefits we’re having by getting our act together and reducing all of those climate benefits, we’re seeing –” Turk said before Kennedy interjected.
“I’m gonna ask again, maybe I’m not being clear: if we spent $50 trillion to become carbon neutral by 2050 in the United States of America, how much is that going to reduce world temperatures?”
“This is a global problem so we need to reduce our emissions and we need to do everything we can –”
“How much if we do our part is it going to reduce world temperatures?”
“We’re 13% of global emissions–”
“You don’t know do you?” Kennedy asked, stunning Turk who had his mouth agape. “You don’t know, do ya?”
“You can do the math–”
“You don’t know do ya Mr. Secretary?” Kennedy again asked.
“So we’re 13% of global emissions–” Turk said.
“If you know why won’t you tell me?”
“If we went to 0 that would be a 13% less pollution,” Turk said.
“You don’t know do ya? You just want us to spend $50 trillion and you don’t have the slightest idea whether it’s going to reduce world temperatures,” Kennedy said. “Now I’m all for carbon neutrality, but you’re the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy and you’re advocating we spend trillions of dollars to seek carbon neutrality – and this isn’t your money or my money, it’s taxpayer money – and you can’t tell me how much it’s going to lower world temperatures? Or you won’t tell me, you know but you won’t?”
“In my heart of hearts there is no way the world gets its act together on climate change unless the U.S. leads,” Turk responded, before Kennedy once again asked him for a number.
The Department of Energy is requesting $51,99 billion to, among other things, advance “critical climate goals,” according to Turk.
Bjorn Lomborg Answers the Question
As seen in the figure above provided by Lomborg, we get somewhere between 0.028 and 0.0009°F reduction in temperature by 2100 for about 400 billion dollars in climate spending contained in the bill.
At that rate, simple math suggests the amount of money required to achieve the much desired 1.5°C (2.7°F) reduction in temperature using the best case reduction of 0.028°F would be $38,571,428,571,428 or approximately 39 Trillion dollars. The worst-case temperature reduction of 0.0009°F would cost a staggering 1,200,000,000,000,000 dollars or ONE QUADRILLION TWO HUNDRED TRILLION DOLLARS.
To put that number in perspective, according to the World Bank, the 2020 world economy in U.S. dollars was approximately $84.7 trillion. Assuming it would actually work, to have a meaningful effect on climate, the world would have to spend about half the global annual economy for the best-case scenario. If you think inflation is bad now, just wait for those sorts of numbers.
Even if you buy UN IPCC assumptions about reducing carbon emissions reducing global warming, the cost is outrageous for neglible benefit. What a rip-off.