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There Are No Solutions
Brian Maher

“There are no solutions,” intones economist Thomas Sowell — “there are only trade-offs.”

Preserving Earth is a trade-off to shame all trade-offs…

For the cost of preserving Earth may consign its American inhabitants to a poorhouse.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, so-called:

Last April, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a new rule for stricter vehicle emissions standards starting in model year (MY) 2027…

At the time of passage, the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated the Inflation Reduction Act’s energy and climate spending and tax breaks would cost about $400 billion through fiscal year (FY) 2031…

Since then, the combination of higher inflation, greater demand for credits and looser-than-expected regulations significantly boosted the cost of those credits. Last June, we estimated the cost of the IRA energy provisions had grown by two-thirds, to $660 billion through 2031. Assuming the new vehicle emissions rule proposed by the EPA is finalized, we now estimate the cost of the provisions will more than double to $870 billion

A $470 billion doubling — $870 billion in all!

We begin to suspect the Inflation “Reduction” Act is nothing other than a sad, sad jest upon the American people.

Meantime, the Dis-United Nations informs us of the following:

Climate initiatives will touch the American taxpayer for $2,026 each year through 2030.

How do you like it?

Yet Earth should take heart… for the Federal Reserve is with it.

Were you aware the Federal Reserve has labeled climate a menace to financial stability? A risk — ostensibly — greater than even itself?

Well, friends, it has.

The method by which the monetary authority can break an Earthly fever… remains somewhat dark to us. Yet we let it go for now.

We too are heart and soul for Earth’s endurance. Yet we are not half so convinced of humanity’s capacity to hold Earth in siege.

The central bugaboo of the climactic drama is the carbon dioxide molecule.

It is a “greenhouse gas.” It imprisons heat within the atmospheric penitentiary.

Humankind’s carbon dioxide gushings have increased notably across decades.

Yet are they capable of inducing a fever?

We once instructed our minions to ransack the scientific literature. From them we learned that:

Carbon dioxide represents a vanishing 0.04% portion of Earth’s atmosphere.

Consider Earth’s atmosphere a 100-story building. How high does the human CO2 contribution stack?

The human contribution stacks to the linoleum layer upon the ground floor.

That is, the human contribution cannot be measured in stories. The human contribution cannot be measured in feet, in inches, in centimeters.

The human contribution must be measured in millimeters — against 100 stories of height.

This trifle is scorching Earth?

The authenticated documentation, please — chapter, verse and line.

And will you please include the footnotes?

Our minions further inform us that Earth has endured carbon dioxide quantities 25 times or greater than today’s.

Yet the carbon dioxide fever never took.

What is more, the carbon dioxide theory may not only prove incorrect — but 180 degrees incorrect.

A certain Ian Clark professes earth and environmental sciences at Canada’s University of Ottawa. From whom:

Solar input… creates ice ages and interglacial periods — which we’re in now. And CO2 tracks that. So we’ll see enormous temperature changes, going from ice ages to interglacials, and CO2 gets very low during ice ages and very high during interglacials.

And that gives the appearance that CO2 is driving the climate, but it’s actually following. It lags by about 800 years.

That is, carbon dioxide is the product of heat. It is not the initiator of heat.

And it arrives on station eight centuries after heat’s onset.

Have we confused the wagon cart for the horse that hauls it? Evidently we have.

Yet the American taxpayer is cowhided and dragooned under the theory that the wagon cart hauls the horse.

Thus he is cowhided and dragooned under a likely fiction.

He is the victim of humbug.

“There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.”

A fellow can endure a trade-off that spares him a greater evil.

In the case under consideration, the evil of climate calamity.

Yet what if the evil is phantom? What if the evil lacks all existence?

Then the trade-off to tackle the phantom evil… the non-existent evil… becomes itself the evil…



Brian Maher is the Daily Reckoning’s Managing Editor. Before signing on to Agora Financial, he was an independent researcher and writer who covered economics, politics and international affairs. His work has appeared in the Asia Times and other news outlets around the world. He holds a Master’s degree in Defense & Strategic Studies.

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