The cause of climate change is more complex

December 15, 2018

As my contribution to the climate change debate, let me offer three numbers for your consideration.

Using Department of Energy statistics, U.S. crude oil production during the administration of Barack Obama went up a staggering 76.1 percent. Presumably, the vast majority of this fossil fuel was burned in internal combustion engines creating greenhouse gas.During the same Obama years (2009-2017), solar, wind and geothermal energy production crept up by a minuscule 2.2 percent, as a percent of total energy output. If the crisis is as catastrophic and rapidly approaching irreversible as some claim, doesn’t Obama bear at least some smidgeon of responsibility?According to the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recent report, to effectively limit global warming by 2030, they are recommending a carbon tax as high as $5,500 per ton, or $49 per gallon of gasoline.

When I wrote to our governor asking for consideration of a paltry $2 per gallon gas tax — far below the current norms in Europe — the response was a noncommittal, artful dodge.

Despite what some demagogues tell us, I suspect that the causes of climate change are quite a bit more complex than some of the Trump-haters would have you believe. Also, the solutions to placing significant limits in the short term may prove vastly more costly than we have been led to believe.

Roger Shaffer


Update hourly