Do the scientists and politicians that strongly seek to reduce Greenhouse Gasses want this goal enough to badly jeopardize US relations with Russia, China, South Korea and India? Are they so concerned about this problem that they would willingly pursue a diplomatic and trade strategy that would potentially provide any nations casus belli similar to that cited by Japan to justify the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor? As a man of goodwill and bonhomie, I would assume the answer is an obvious “No!” Assuming that the Air Pollution Meteorology and Climate Science are both as settled as Al Gore liked to claim, I can therefore only assume that the translation of this infallible knowledge into public policy has been very badly bungled. This will be evidenced by President Barack Obama’s State of The Union Show to take place amid the hazardous wintery weather forecasted in DC for tonight.
Since I strongly believe we have followed the current state of Climate Science to precisely the wrong conclusions and are about to endorse precisely the wrong set of government policies to counteract the projected negative effects, I thought it would be fair to examine what courses of action we should be following if assume that the typical UN IPCC report is more factual than fictional. The chart above is designed to speak to those who follow Climatology as a science rather than a religion. It assumes that CO2 emissions present some quantifiable risk to climate stability. It demonstrates that even amongst the top 10 CO2 emitting nations of the world, there is a major factor that determines the potential impact of those emissions. The chart above examines how much pollution each nation has to emit in order to produce $1Million USD in GDP. Based on this figure we can determine whose continued emissions would cause the planet greater environmental damage in the pursuit of a higher standard of living that most human beings alive consider well within their Natural Rights of Man.
We see that the top 10 CO2 emitters produce some $37 Trillion (USD) in GDP. This well over ½ of all the goods and services produced throughout the world. They do so at a pollution price of 5,867,867 Metric Tons of airborne CO2. We can thus produce that a typical $1Million (USD) of GDP requires a trade-off of 0.1559 Metric Tons of airborne CO2. However, if we produce that $Million (USD) of GDP in Japan, it costs 0.0581 Metric Tons of airborne CO2. In the US, we perform about twice as poorly as The Japanese at 0.1016. In Russia, the CO2 emits you!* The picture is similarly unpleasant in China, India, S. Korea and perhaps of marginal interest; Iran.
Thus, if we assume that the $37 Trillion (USD) has to be produced somewhere in order to avoid major problems,** then we have two options to make this production skew more solidly in favor of CO2 efficient nations. This leads me back to my original rhetorical questions atop the post, because we have two ways of getting more production to occur in nations like Japan, UK, Germany, Canada and (if Barack Obama isn’t too offended by our bullying) the Good Old US of A. We can pursue a trade policy of environmental climate penalties against all nations who violate the median top 10 CO2 emitter efficiency of 0.1271 Metric Tons of airborne CO2 per $1Millon (USD) of GDP. This would make firms in China, Russia, SK, India and (with Valerie Jarrett’s express, written permission) Iran have to lose money or move their production facilities to lower emission nations.
This would enrage/exacerbate/damage all of these nations mentioned above. It would do wonders for getting that US-SK free trade agreement banged out. It would make the recent salacious conduct of our glorious TSA towards an Indian Diplomat seem to be a tempest in the tea pot. Russia and China would recognize this as a renewal of old, intense Cold War rivalry. It would certainly raise stakes in China’s and South Korea’s ongoing disputes with Japan if these penalties were in effect against China and South Korea but not Japan.
Another possibility would involve Barack Obama emulating changes to environmental policy taking place in the European Union. With the cost of electricity increased by 20% due to energy policies that are skewed towards alternative renewable sources and the absence of hydraulic fracturing, these nations are moving away from renewable and towards hydraulic fracturing in order to maintain their economic competitiveness. The hope here is that a more economically competitive Germany will produce more of the world’s economic need at a lower rate of emissions per $1Million (USD) of GDP.
But sadly, President Barack Obama will do the opposite of what the EU is proposing and make traditional US energy sources more expense. This will chase economic activity out of the US and towards China and South Korea which both produce more CO2 emissions per $1Million (USD) of GDP. The end result of this will be a cleaner US but a dirtier world as we successfully cut off our economic nose to spite our environmental face. Plus, there is the fact that airborne CO2 is a well-mixed atmospheric constituent. Thus CO2 released in Beijing is just as bad for the US as CO2 released in Toledo. This fundamental economic denialism on the part of Barack Obama will lead him to badly bungle the protection of the US and the Global environment in tonight’s State of The Union Show.
*-Just kidding, but they are way worse than the average at 0.3208 Metric Tons per $1Million (USD) of GDP produced.
**-John Maynard Keynes would pound the tables and argue this as point of fact.