The efforts of President Barack Obama and other world leaders to prevent global warming is almost certainly doomed to failure. That’s not some conservative naysayer talking. Instead it’s the scientists Obama is so fond of mentioning whenever the topic of climate change comes up.
In this case, the scientists are from Texas A&M, and have published a new study whose co-author, Glenn Jones, said in a statement on Wednesday:
[Combating global warming as Obama envisions] would require rates of change in our energy infrastructure and energy mix that have never happened in world history and that are extremely unlikely to be achieved. For a world that wants to fight climate change, the numbers just don’t add up to do it.
The study modeled the projected population growth and per capita energy consumption, as well as the size of known reserves of oil, coal and natural gas, and greenhouse gas emissions. It determined that it would be essentially impossible to meet the global warming goal of 2 degree Celsius by 2100 set by the December Paris agreement.
“The latest study just adds to what everyone other than those with their heads in the clouds already knows: the combination of a growing demand for energy and a growing population will lead to continued growth in the most practical form of energy production — one reliant on fossil fuels,” Chip Knappenberger, a climate scientist at the libertarian Cato Institute, told The Daily Caller Caller News Foundation. “Unless a technological breakthrough in non-carbon emitting energy production occurs in the very near future, the global production of energy and the global emissions of carbon dioxide will stay pretty tightly coupled for the remainder of the century.
Significant reductions to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are extremely difficult to achieve due to the immense costs involved, according to the scientists. They estimate that simply limiting global warming to the Paris agreement targets would require the annual installation of 485,000 wind turbines by 2028. Only 13,000 turbines were installed in 2015, despite the enormous tax breaks and subsidies offered to wind power.
“The costs of reducing emissions are enormous, while the reductions in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases are non-existent,” Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the free market Competitive Enterprise Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “It is nice to see scientists in the alarmist community realizing what has been obvious for decades.”
The likely costs of the kind of wind and solar power program the scientists say would be necessary to actually slow global warming would be measured in the tens of trillions of dollars, and even then success would be far from assured. The scientists conclude that other methods of reducing CO2 emissions, such as significantly increasing the number of nuclear reactors, would run into political opposition from environmental groups.
“Current efforts, like US EPA regulations or the UN’s Paris Agreement may chip away at the tightness of the gross world product/global CO2 emissions relationship but, they probably won’t be successful in breaking it so long as they are relying on current technologies (with perhaps the exception of a rapid build-out of nuclear power plants — something that doesn’t seem to be in the cards),” Knappenberger concluded.
The study’s conclusions are mirrored by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy’s comments during a Tuesday hearing to the effect that the Clean Power Plan (CPP), her agency’s signature regulation aimed at tackling global warming, was meant to show “leadership” rather than actually prevent projected warming.
EPA repeatedly has long argued the point of the Clean Power Plan was to show the world America was serious about tackling global warming in order to galvanize support for United Nations delegates to sign a global agreement to cut emissions. Nearly 200 countries agreed to a U.N. deal last year.
This report, by Andrew Follett, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.