NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


August 20, 2008

Liberal proposals to battle global warming, based on science that is far from "settled," would be disastrous to world economies, says Townhall magazine.

By almost all estimates, the costs will be staggering:

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.N. group behind the global warming scare, says 1.7 percent of the world's gross domestic product (GDP) a year will be needed to pay for global warming -- an amount exceeding $1 trillion a year, and a sum greater in size than the total GDP of all but about 15 countries.
  • The 26-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says global warming costs over the next 50 years will exceed $45 trillion, or roughly $900 billion a year; the United States, as the world's largest economy, will be expected to pay at least $200 billion of that annual tab -- possibly more.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency, analyzing the recently failed Climate Security Act of 2008, estimates it would have cost Americans $1.2 trillion a year in inflation-adjusted dollars by 2030.

Suffice it to say the estimates all basically come down to the same thing: Cutting the world's output of CO2 by 80 percent by 2050 would be the largest project ever undertaken by mankind, dwarfing such things in the United States as the construction of the interstate highway system, sending a man to the moon or even fighting World War II.

And no matter how it's spun, says Townhall, Americans will pay a huge chunk of their national output over the next half-century or so to mitigate an arguably nonexistent problem.  This is policymaking at its absolute worst, the kind of thing that gets governments thrown out of office.  Moreover, the money could be far better spent elsewhere.

Source: Terry Jones, "Sledgehammer Solutions," Townhall Magazine, August 2008.


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