Climate Change: The Economics and Solutions

The economics of climate change is becoming an increasingly critical issue and divisive issue.

President- elect Donald Trump’s pick for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) , the Hon. Scott Pruitt, Attorney –General, State of Oklahoma, is a major change away from the previous administration’s position on climate change.

Historically, EPA chiefs have been climate change advocates. Mr. Pruitt appears not to be.

Left to Right: Bruce Bullock, Niki McCuistion, Charlene Heydinger, Dennis McCuistion and Tom “Smitty” Smith

In an article for the National Review, co-authored with a fellow attorney-general rich Luther Strange of Alabama, he said, “Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind,” he wrote. “That debate should be encouraged—in classrooms, public forums and the halls of Congress.”

Mr. Trump once tweeted that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing noncompetitive.” Mr. Trump followed up during the campaign with his “America First Energy Plan,” which would rescind the present (soon past) administration’s actions on climate change.

President Trump has stated he wants to dismantle the Paris Agreement.

So what is the future of climate change and the economics involved? Isglobal warming/ climate change responsible for everything that is wrong with our world as some advocates claim?

Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, to discuss the issues from an economic perspective are:

  • Bruce Bullock – Director of the Maguire Energy Institute, Southern Methodist University, Cox School of Business,
  • Charlene Heydinger – President of Texas Pace Authority
  • Kelly Mitchell – Energy Campaign Director, Greenpeace
  • Tom “Smitty” Smith – Texas Director of Public Citizen
  • A clip from Prager University with Richard Lindzen, PhD – a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute outlines the politicians, media and environmentalists points of view on energy and climate change. Global warming alarmism- according to Lindzen provides these groups with what they most want.

Renewable energy advocates believe that clean energy for the future means shutting down coal plants, building our natural gas reserves and increasing wind and solar technology and use. The panelists agree, markets make better decisions than man does.

Various alternatives are discussed. One program, headed by the Texas Pace Authority, grants loans to business which allows them to make energy –saving infrastructure improvements, e.g., a new roof, insulation, an air conditioning system, etc… The loan is tied to the property, so risk to the lender is reduced, the company saves on utility bills, and the end result, cost savings overall.

Fossil fuel fracking, which some are against at least, have made for new deposits and less expensive natural gas reserves.

Solar energy is discussed as a more cost effective solution. India and China are starting to investigate these technologies. While China is reducing coal consumptions, one billion Chinese do not yet have access to electricity, so innovations will take a long time. Coal is still growing faster than any other energy choice, especially outside the U.S.

All energy is subsidized to a degree. The panelists discuss corporate tax deductions which could help.

Joining in by a previous interview is Robert” Bob” Durden Inglis, Sr., Executive Director, Energy and Enterprise Institute. Their goal is to catalyze a movement among ‘conservatives’ to find answers, a free market one that is eco right and eco left, for more energy for less.

With 1000 people moving into Texas each day, finding a way a way to economically look at what is happening in our own backyards is critical.

P.S.

In response to a question about his views on climate change on Science Debate, Trump implied that the US shouldn’t waste “financial resources” on climate change and should instead use them to ensure the world has clean water, eliminate diseases like malaria, increase food production, or develop alternative energy sources.

“There is still much that needs to be investigated in the field of ‘climate change,'” he said. “We must decide on how best to proceed so that we can make lives better, safer and more prosperous.”

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2317 – 01.15.2017

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