(click on image to enlarge)
The cap and trade (energy bill) legislation sponsored by Sens. Kerry, Boxer, Lieberman and L. Graham, that is currently stalled in the Senate, proposes that the U.S. enforce CO2 reductions of 17% by 2020 and 83% by 2050, based on year 2005's emissions. As the red line on the above chart portrays, U.S. emissions continue to contribute to global warming, despite the 83% cut by 2050. The simple facts are, the U.S. emissions will always increase temperatures unless they are cut to absolute zero.
Of more interest, is the incredibly tiny impact the cutting 83% of U.S. emissions has. One would think, based on all the global warming anti-CO2 propaganda, that a huge cut in emissions would have a significant and worthwhile impact - it ain't so, though.
The chart's black line represents the global temperature increase of 0.26°C by 2100 if the U.S. allowed emissions to remain at the 2008 level (since 2003, U.S. annual emissions have been essentially flat, with no CO2 regulations). The red line represents the combined impact of the 17% and 83% emissions cut, which by 2100, the temperature increase would be 0.099°C. For the subtraction challenged, that's a ludicrously small difference of about 0.17 degrees between a "do nothing" strategy versus an all out war on U.S. CO2 emissions strategy.
And, if one beleives the IPCC and its climate models (C3 doesn't), the global temperature could increase some 8°C by 2100 anyways, as depicted on the top of the chart. If that's the case, a 0.17 degree difference is what accountants would call grossly "immaterial."
Now that we know what an 83% CO2 cut means, what would this Democratic, Al Gore-type profiteering, environmental jihadists' war on CO2 cost Americans? Forcing America to cut emissions by 83% would cost Americans from $2.5 to $4.5 trillion in new energy taxes, and the potential economic losses would range from $5 to $10 trillion, depending on which study one believes. With the known outcome to be only a tiny reduction of 17 one-hundredths of a degree, versus a zero dollar cost of doing nothing that produces similar results, the enactment of such CO2 reduction legislation could best be summarized in one word: insanity.
Note: The above analysis results are similar to those generated by a climate model, as described in this masterful article. How does our above analysis differ? We did it the old fashioned way, by simply using historical CO2 emissions data and past temperature data as inputs to an Excel spreadsheet with some formulas.
Here are the key assumptions and data to do your own back-of-the-envelope calculations:
1. IPCC global warming science claims human CO2 emissions remain in the atmosphere for hundreds to thousands of years (not likely, but we'll assume it for this analysis).
2. IPCC global warming science claims that all warming since WWII is the result of human CO2 emissions (not likely, but we'll it assume for this analysis).
3. Since January 1, 1960, approximately 1 trillion tons of human CO2 have been emitted, globally.
4. Since January 1, 1960, global temperatures have increased by approximately 0.50°C.
5. Based on this 50 year experience and its data, this means that a single ton of human CO2 emitted causes a global temperature increase of approximately 0.00000000000050°C.
6. The U.S. CO2 emissions in 2005 were 5,994,000,000 tons.
7. The U.S. CO2 emissions in 2008 were 5,833,000,000 tons.