Energy

The “Social Cost of Carbon” Scam Revisited

As I wrote in 2015:

The “social cost of carbon”(SCC) is a computer-generated artifice that puts a dollar figure on the alleged environmental and economic damage caused by carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. This number is supposed to allow bureaucrats to offset the alleged damage through regulation and taxes, i.e., it will increase the cost of electricity and gasoline. The computer models fail to take into account the benefits of carbon dioxide, such as making our crops more robust and more water efficient. Also, there is absolutely no physical evidence that our carbon dioxide emissions have any significant role in controlling global climate. (Read more on Wryheat)

Recent articles on SCC:

Why ‘Social Cost of Carbon’ Is Most Useless Number You’ve Never Heard Of

by Kevin Dayaratna

Dubbed by some as “the most important number you’ve never heard of,” the social cost of carbon is defined as the economic damages associated with a ton of carbon dioxide emissions across a particular time horizon. That metric, relied upon heavily by the Obama administration, has been used as the basis for regulatory policy in the energy sector of the economy. Three sets of statistical models are used to estimate the social cost of carbon. Social cost of carbon estimates are based on very questionable assumptions regarding the climate’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide emissions, naive projections reaching 300 years into the future, and ignorance of discount rate recommendations by the Office of Management and Budget regarding cost-benefit analysis. Our results tell the same story: Assumptions made by modelers can drastically change the purported estimates and thus beef up the damages as much as they want. (Read more)

Social Cost of Carbon May Be Social Benefit of Carbon, Economist Finds

by James Taylor (commenting on Dauaratna’s paper)

The Biden administration made headlines by imposing a “social cost of carbon” – to be factored into federal cost-benefit analysis – that is more than six times higher than the social cost of carbon determined by the Trump administration. However, economist and data scientist Kevin Dayaratna published an article documenting that the alleged social “cost” of carbon may actually be a social “benefit” of carbon. In an article for the Daily Signal, Dayaratna observes that any accurate assessment of the social cost of carbon must include social benefits as well as merely social harms. Importantly, Dayaratna observes that any sound cost/benefit assessment must take into account “positive agricultural feedback effects associated with carbon dioxide emissions.”

“In fact, we found that under very reasonable assumptions, those benefits can outweigh the costs, suggesting that the social cost of carbon can indeed be negative,” Dayaratna writes. “The policy implication of a negative social cost of carbon is that the government should not be taxing carbon dioxide emissions, but should be subsidizing it instead.” (Source)

See also: The Social Cost of Carbon Fantasy and

Biden’s Arbitrary Social Cost of Carbon: What You Need to Know

12 State Attorneys General Sue Biden Admin Over Its Climate Policies The lawsuit said Biden’s executive order enables regulatory agencies to place restrictions on nearly every aspect of Americans’ lives in order to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions.

For a tutorial on climate read:

A Review of the state of Climate Science

The Case for Fossil Fuels

Below is an excerpt from a large study: “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” by  Alex Epstein, Center for Industrial Progress.

Read the full study here, 11 pages.

What does it mean to be moral?
This is an involved philosophical question, but for our purposes I will say: an activity is moral if it is fundamentally beneficial to human life.

By that standard, is the fossil fuel industry moral? The answer to that question is a resounding yes. By producing the most abundant, affordable, reliable energy in the world, the fossil fuel industry makes every other industry more productive—and it makes every individual more productive and thus more prosperous, giving him a level of opportunity to pursue happiness that previous generations couldn’t even dream of. Energy, the fuel of technology, is opportunity—the opportunity to use technology to improve every aspect of life. Including our environment.

Any animal’s environment can be broken down into two categories: threats and resources. (For human beings, “resources” includes a broad spectrum of things, including natural beauty.) To assess the fossil fuel industry’s impact on our environment, we simply need to ask: What is its impact on threats? What is its impact on resources? The moral case against fossil fuels argues that the industry makes our environment more threatening and our resources more scarce.

But if we look at the big-picture facts, the exact opposite is true. The fossil fuel industry makes our environment far safer and creates new resources out of once-useless raw materials.

Let’s start with threats. Schoolchildren for the last several generations have been taught to think of our natural environment as a friendly, stable place—and our main environmental contribution is to mess it up and endanger ourselves in the process. Not so. Nature does not give us a healthy environment to live in—it gives us an environment full of organisms eager to kill us and natural forces that can easily overwhelm us.

It is only thanks to cheap, plentiful, reliable energy that we live in an environment where the air we breathe and the water we drink and the food we eat will not make us sick, and where we can cope with the often hostile climate of Mother Nature.  Energy is what we need to build sturdy homes, to purify water, to produce huge amounts of fresh food, to generate heat and air-conditioning, to irrigate deserts, to dry malaria-infested swamps, to build hospitals, and to manufacture pharmaceuticals, among many other things. And those of us who enjoy exploring the rest of nature should never forget that oil is what enables us to explore to our heart’s content, which preindustrial people didn’t have the time, wealth, energy, or technology to do.

The energy we get from fossil fuels is particularly valuable for protecting ourselves from the climate. The climate is inherently dangerous (and it is always changing, whether we influence the change or not). Energy and technology have made us far safer from it. The data here are unambiguous. In the last 80 years, as CO2 emissions have risen from an atmospheric concentration of .03% to .04%, climate-related deaths have declined 98%. Take drought-related deaths, which have declined by 99.98%. This has nothing to do with a friendly or unfriendly climate, it has to do with the oil and gas industry, which fuels high-energy agriculture as well as natural gas-produced fertilizer, and which fuels drought relief convoys. Fossil fuels make the planet dramatically safer. And dramatically richer in resources.

Climate at a Glance from the Heartland Institute

The Heartland Institute has a new website called Climate at a Glance (https://climateataglance.com/) take a look.

Heartland has also launched another new website: Climate Realism

http://climaterealism.com/ 

Nearly every day, the establishment media promotes new climate propaganda themes designed to scare people into believing a climate crisis is at hand. When the Climate Scare goes unrebutted, people are likely to believe by default that the propaganda is true. Yet most of the media’s climate propaganda is misleading or outright false. ClimateRealism.com will address and debunk the media’s most prominent climate-related tall tales.

Desalination of Sea Water Can Augment Our Water Supply Without Harming Sea Life

Since the Colorado River may not supply us with all the water we need, we should turn to the oceans.

Desalination of sea water can produce the freshwater we need to augment our natural supplies. The most common method is reverse osmosis where the sea water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane which removes the salt.

However, the process is energy intensive which some environmentalists claim will put more dread carbon dioxide into the atmosphere if the electricity comes from fossil-fuels. That can be solved by powering the plants with small, dedicated nuclear generators. (Powering such plants with wind or solar energy will make freshwater production intermittent and unpredictable.)

The other claim by some environmentalists is that the effluent from the desalinization process, very salty brine, is harmful to wildlife. A new study shows this concern is overblown.

A seven-year study, jointly conducted by Southern Cross University and the University of New South Wales at the Sydney (Australia) desalination plant found that when the plant was in operation, fish population in the area almost tripled. Fish populations decreased to normal when the plant was not operating. The Sydney plant has a capacity of producing 74,000 acre-feet of water per year.

Lead researcher Professor Brendan Kelaher said, “At the start of this project, we thought the hypersaline brine would negatively impact fish life. We were surprised and impressed at the clear positive effect on the abundance of fish, as well as the numbers of fish species. Importantly, the positive effects on fish life also included a 133 per cent increase in fish targeted by commercial and recreational fishers. As to why fish like it so much, we think they might be responding to turbulence created by dynamic mixing associated with the high-pressure release of the brine. However, more research is needed.” (Source) The report mentions no detrimental effects on fish or other sea life. The research was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.9b03565

I did try to find information on negative impacts to marine life of concentrated brine being pumped into the ocean, but all I could find was speculation, no actual physical evidence. Apparently harm is minimal. As noted by marine biologist Daniel Cartamil of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, intake water may contain tiny organisms (plankton), including the eggs and larvae of marine life. None of these organisms survive their journey through the plant. However, this entrainment typically accounts for only about 1 percent or 2 percent of plankton mortality in a given area. Cartamil says this about the salty brine discharge: “In theory, marine life (particularly plankton) could be harmed by prolonged exposure to salinity levels higher than those they normally cope with. The most common solution to this problem is to mix the brine back into the seawater with high-speed jets, a process so efficient that salinity levels are effectively back to normal within 100 feet of the release point.” (Source)

Perhaps Arizona, California, and Mexico will take heart and build more modern desalination plants near the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean to help ease our dependence on the Colorado River. Some of the salt could be recovered for industrial applications. There is a desalination plant in Yuma, built in 1992 to treat agricultural runoff and conserve water in Lake Mead. But its technology is outdated. There is also a desalination plant just north of San Diego with a capacity of 56,000 acre-feet per year. Building more and bigger desalination plants powered by nuclear generators is technologically feasible but politically problematic.

Articles on small nuclear reactors:

A New Type of Molten Salt Nuclear Reactor

Small Modular Reactor by Westinghouse

What are small modular nuclear reactors, and why are three provinces uniting to build them?

Advanced Small Modular Reactors

Electric Vehicles Need Fossil Fuels

It seems that all Democrat candidates for president want to get rid of fossil-fuel-powered automobiles and have us all drive electric vehicles. But guess where the electricity to charge those vehicles comes from – mostly from burning natural gas or coal.

The other main problem with pure electric vehicles is their limited range. That problem has been solved, sort of.

In Australia and New Zealand, they are deploying small, diesel-powered generators. See photo below.

Another solution is to tow a generator behind your EV. Unknown to me, this option has been available for some time and for several car models. See Cars with Cords for photos of several models. Of course, this option turns your pure EV into a hybrid.

See also: Low-Emission Range Extender for Electric Vehicles, a 10-page analysis of the pros and cons of towing a generator. The article begins:

“Typical auto trips are within the driving range of efficient electric vehicles (EVs), but typical vehicle use also includes occasional trips that exceed EV range. EV users may face the necessity of maintaining a second car, or renting a car, for such trips. An alternative is the use of a range extending trailer (RXT), a trailer-mounted generator that, when towed behind an EV, effectively converts the EV to series-hybrid mode for long trips.”

Back in 1896, Thomas Edison told Henry Ford to forget about electric vehicles and stick to his gasoline engines. (source) Is this advice still relevant?

My article from 2010 gives a history of electric vehicles:

The Chevy Volt, Just the Latest Expensive Toy

 

 

 

 

A Citizen’s Guide to Climate Change

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has just published A Citizen’s Guide to Climate Change authored by Marlo Lewis, Jr. The article is relatively short, just six pages with an additional four pages of references to the scientific literature.

The article begins: “Climate change is not a hoax, but as a political matter, it is a persistent pretext for expanding government control over the economy, redistributing wealth, and empowering unaccountable elites at the expense of voters and their elected representatives.”

The article concludes: “The perception of a ‘planetary emergency’ arises from the combination of overheated climate models, inflated emission scenarios, and relentless exaggeration by political interests claiming to speak for ‘the science.’ The very real costs of coercive de-carbonization outweigh the hypothetical benefits. The more “ambitious” the climate policy, the more likely it is to damage economic growth, consumer welfare, and our institutions of self-government.”

The article discusses:

Humans’ Role in Climate Change,

Improving State of the World,

Science—Models vs. Real World Data,

No Planetary Emergency,

National Climate Assessment’s Bogus Headline Grabber,

Perils of Climate Policy,

Official Climate Assessments Need a Reset.

 

We have more to fear from climate alarmism and its resulting policies than from climate change itself. Read the paper online here or download as a PDF file.

Related articles: 

A Review of the state of Climate Science

The Broken Greenhouse – Why CO2 is a minor player in global climate

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

Climate Madness 12, California is craziest

Climate on this planet has been changing all by itself for about four billion years. Now, either through ignorance or presumed political advantage, some politicians think they can stop climate change. That policy represents the real danger of global warming. Their magic formula is to stop carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. Instead, they promote generation of electricity mainly from utility-scale solar or wind installations. As I have written before, solar and wind generation cannot respond to demand and are ultimately very unreliable and very expensive for ratepayers. Solar and wind would not exist without mandates and subsidies.

(See Vote NO on Arizona proposition 127 the renewable energy mandate and the references in that article.)

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has produced five major reports none of which contain any credible proof that carbon dioxide emissions are the principal cause of global warming. In the third report, the IPCC admits: “In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

Following are some of the most recent manifestations of climate madness. We start with California climate craziness.

Climate Activists Want Gov. Brown To Shut Down Fossil Fuel Production In Calif.

By John Glennon

On the heels of Judge William Alsup’s decision to dismiss San Francisco’s and Oakland’s climate change lawsuits, local California officials are turning to new symbolic tactics, including pressuring Governor Jerry Brown ahead of his Global Climate Action Summit.

A group of 150 local elected officials sent an open letter to Governor Jerry Brown last week to chastise him for not completely shutting down fossil-fuel production in the state.

In the letter, the local officials demanded that Governor Brown pursue a meaty list of harmful and unrealistic policies:

“Recognizing that we are in a climate emergency, as you have rightly done, and given the grave public health and environmental justice consequences of fossil fuel production in California, we respectfully urge you to make a new statewide commitment and lay out a plan for California to achieve the following:

“End the issuance of permits for new fossil fuel projects, including permits for new oil and gas wells, infrastructure for fossil fuels, and petrochemical projects in California.

“Design a swift, managed decline of all fossil fuel production, starting with a 2,500-foot human health buffer zone around all occupied structures, public parks, and farms to protect public health and vulnerable communities.

“Commit the state to 100% clean, renewable energy, starting with significant investments in disadvantaged communities and areas that are already suffering the most from the negative impacts of fossil fuel extraction.” Read more Update: By a vote of 44 to 33, lawmakers in the California State Assembly passed SB 100, a bill that calls for the state to transition to emissions-free electricity production in less than three decades. Under the guidelines of the legislation, California must obtain 60 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. The state’s electricity generation must be completely carbon free by 2045. The bill still needs to pass the CA senate. (Source)

 

Analysis: California’s Solar Panel Mandate Lowers CO2 Emissions by 0.32%

By Elizabeth Harrington

California will mandate solar panels on new homes out of concern for climate change, a policy that will raise prices in the most expensive home market in the country and does little to decrease the state’s carbon footprint. MIT reports: “California estimates that the new rule will cut emissions by 1.4 million metric tons over three years, which is a small fraction of the 440 million tons the state generated in 2015.” Emissions would be reduced by 0.32 percent. Read more

 

Utility blaming climate change, not its fallen power lines, for California wildfires

By Thomas Lifson

My cable news viewing is frequently interrupted by commercials instructing Northern Californians that climate change is responsible for the state’s current ordeal with multiple large wildfires. This is a contemptible attempt by utilities to evade responsibility for the damages caused by their power lines located near combustible forests (made much more combustible by policies preventing harvesting “old growth” and clearing deadwood). Read more

 

California and the L. A. Times latest climate alarmist absurdities

by Larry Hamlin

The Times article fails to note the UN IPCC conclusions regarding the undisputed inadequacy of “climate models” which it described in its AR3 climate report as “In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

The Times article provides speculative alarmist “model driven” assertions about future coastal sea level rise contained in the state’s report which it characterizes as “Until recently, scientists and state policymakers worked with a projection that sea level rise by the end of this century could amount to about 5.48 feet in California under the worst case scenario. But the latest reports and state policies are now accounting for the extreme possibility that sea level rise could exceed 9 feet.”

Of course as is always the case with these wild and absurd sea level rise claims actual California coastal sea level rise measured NOAA tide gauge data with records going back more than 100 years is completely ignored by the state and L. A. Times because it shows absolutely no coastal sea level rise acceleration occurring at the states coastal locations with sea level rise occurring at steady rates between about 3 to 8 inches per CENTURY. Read more

 

Other climate madness:

UN Appointed Climate Science Team Demands The End of Capitalism

by Eric Worrall

A team of scientists appointed by the United Nations has reported that a free market system cannot provide the economic transition required to defeat climate change. Read more

 

You can now bet for and against “global warming” with an online “climate bookie”

by Anthony Watts

Things just got stranger in the already strange world of global warming/climate change. You can now wager on it. Yes that’s right, you can put down money on temperature futures. An outfit called “PredictIt” is running a book on this question: “Will NASA find 2018’s global average temperature highest on record?” Read more

 

REPORT: How The Billion-Dollar-A-Year Climate Industry Weaponized State Attorneys General

by Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller

A new report based on documents collected over two-and-a-half years through open records requests outlines an “elaborate campaign” by the “billion-dollar per year climate industry” to weaponize state attorneys general (AGs) in service of the global warming agenda.

That campaign culminated in what the report labels “law enforcement for hire” because it allows political donors to pay for state prosecutors “in the service of an ideological, left-wing, climate policy agenda.”

“It represents private interests commandeering the state’s police powers to target opponents of their policy agenda and to hijack the justice system as a way to overturn the democratic process’s rejection of a political agenda,” Competitive Enterprise senior fellow Chris Horner wrote in his report, a copy of which was given to The Daily Caller News Foundation. Read more

Somewhat related:

Smart meters: Data spy or key energy device

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has handed down a landmark ruling, stating that data collected by smart meters is protected by the Fourth Amendment.

The court pointed out that the smart devices, in fact, collect information for a deeper insight which can be obtained by thermal imaging tech. Furthermore, the court held that residents have a reasonable expectation of privacy and government access of this data constitutes, in essence, a search.

Jamie Williams, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said: “The Seventh Circuit recognized that smart meters pose serious risks to the privacy of all of our homes, and that rotely applying analog-era case law to the digital age simply doesn’t work.”

This has shone the spotlight on whether or not smart meters can be used to spy on consumers. Through the collection of usage data at high frequencies (every five, 15 or 30 minutes), a clear picture can be garnered of activity occurring on the property.

Individual lifestyles can be examined, such as predicting daily routine, sleep patterns, meal times and periods away from the property. Read more

 

Previous climate madness articles:

Climate Madness 1

Climate Madness 2

Climate Madness 3

Climate Madness 4  

Climate Madness 5

Climate Madness 6

Climate Madness 7

Climate Madness 8

Climate Madness 9

Climate Madness 10

Climate Craziness, Politics, and Hypocrisy

It’s time to dump the EPA “endangerment finding” which classified carbon dioxide as a pollutant

In 2009, the EPA ruled, under the Clean Air Act, that “the current and projected concentrations of the six key well-mixed greenhouse gases—carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)—in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.” In essence, the EPA classified carbon dioxide as a pollutant even though Carbon dioxide is necessary for life on Earth.

For some perspective, note that current atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is about 400ppm (parts per million) while the air we exhale with every breathe contains 40,000ppm carbon dioxide. Is breathing causing air pollution?

This EPA ruling in effect allowed EPA to regulate everything from automobile exhaust to power plants to refrigerators. In order to overturn the finding, one would have to successfully show that the underlying scientific basis is wrong – and it is. Another tactic would be to have Congress amend the Clean Air Act, something that is very unlikely in the current contentious Congress.

The EPA’s scientific basis is derived from climate models, predictions of which diverge widely from reality. See my ADI articles:

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

Failure of climate models shows that carbon dioxide does not drive global temperature

Additional reading on the “Endangerment Finding” if you want to get into the details:

 

The EPA CO2 endangerment finding endangers the USA by Dennis Avery.

“In science, if your theory doesn’t take account of all the relevant data, you need a new theory.” Avery shows how the climate models fail to explain observations and notes that thousands of new coal-fired power plants are being built around the world – even in Europe. Avery is a former U.S. State Department senior analyst and co-author with astrophysicist Fred Singer of Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years.

 

Why Revoking the EPA GHG Endangerment Finding Is the Most Urgent Climate Action Needed

by Alan Carlin. Carlin is a scientist and economist who worked for the RAND Corp. and the EPA.

“Revoking the EF is the only way to bring the climate alarmism scam to the untimely end it so richly deserves in the US and hopefully indirectly elsewhere. Until that happens the CIC [climate industrial complex] will continue to pursue its bad science through reports such as the National Climate Assessment with the recommended disastrous policies that would seriously damage the environment, impoverish the less wealthy, and bring economic disaster for our Nation by raising the prices and decreasing the availability and reliability of fossil fuel energy which is so central to our way of life and economy.”

 

In a separate post, Carlin also said that “EPA never engaged in a robust, meaningful discussion. Rather, there was a pro forma review after a decision had already been made which met many but not all of the legal requirements.” He lists “six crucial scientific issues that EPA did not actively discuss despite my best efforts to bring a few of them to their attention in early 2009.”

 

Dr. Pat Michaels on the ‘voluminous science that the USGCRP either ignored or slanted’ for the EPA endangerment finding

Patrick J. Michaels is the director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute. Michaels is a past president of the American Association of State Climatologists and was program chair for the Committee on Applied Climatology of the American Meteorological Society. He was a research professor of Environmental Sciences at University of Virginia for 30 years. Michaels recounts his testimony before the EPA. USGCRP is U.S. Global Change Research Program.

 

60 scientists call for EPA endangerment finding to be reversed

“We the undersigned are individuals who have technical skills and knowledge relevant to climate science and the GHG Endangerment Finding. We each are convinced that the 2009 GHG Endangerment Finding is fundamentally flawed and that an honest, unbiased reconsideration is in order.”

Earth Hour: A Dissent

Reblogged from WUWT

Earth Hour: A Dissent

by Ross McKitrick

Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics, Univer...

Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics, University of Guelph, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

In 2009 I was asked by a journalist for my thoughts on the importance of Earth Hour.

Here is my response.

I abhor Earth Hour. Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every material social advance in the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity.

Giving women the freedom to work outside the home depended on the availability of electrical appliances that free up time from domestic chores. Getting children out of menial labour and into schools depended on the same thing, as well as the ability to provide safe indoor lighting for reading.

Development and provision of modern health care without electricity is absolutely impossible. The expansion of our food supply, and the promotion of hygiene and nutrition, depended on being able to irrigate fields, cook and refrigerate foods, and have a steady indoor supply of hot water.

Many of the world’s poor suffer brutal environmental conditions in their own homes because of the necessity of cooking over indoor fires that burn twigs and dung. This causes local deforestation and the proliferation of smoke- and parasite-related lung diseases.

Anyone who wants to see local conditions improve in the third world should realize the importance of access to cheap electricity from fossil-fuel based power generating stations. After all, that’s how the west developed.

The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity. I cannot do that, instead I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity.

Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness. By repudiating the greatest engine of liberation it becomes an hour devoted to anti-humanism. It encourages the sanctimonious gesture of turning off trivial appliances for a trivial amount of time, in deference to some ill-defined abstraction called “the Earth,” all the while hypocritically retaining the real benefits of continuous, reliable electricity.

People who see virtue in doing without electricity should shut off their fridge, stove, microwave, computer, water heater, lights, TV and all other appliances for a month, not an hour. And pop down to the cardiac unit at the hospital and shut the power off there too.

I don’t want to go back to nature. Travel to a zone hit by earthquakes, floods and hurricanes to see what it’s like to go back to nature. For humans, living in “nature” meant a short life span marked by violence, disease and ignorance. People who work for the end of poverty and relief from disease are fighting against nature. I hope they leave their lights on.

Here in Ontario, through the use of pollution control technology and advanced engineering, our air quality has dramatically improved since the 1960s, despite the expansion of industry and the power supply.

If, after all this, we are going to take the view that the remaining air emissions outweigh all the benefits of electricity, and that we ought to be shamed into sitting in darkness for an hour, like naughty children who have been caught doing something bad, then we are setting up unspoiled nature as an absolute, transcendent ideal that obliterates all other ethical and humane obligations.

No thanks.

I like visiting nature but I don’t want to live there, and I refuse to accept the idea that civilization with all its tradeoffs is something to be ashamed of.

Ross McKitrick
Professor of Economics
University of Guelph