Senator John Kennedy tried to get an estimate of the cost of net zero in a recent hearing
By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
The New Pause has lengthened to 8 years 9 months. The least-squares linear-regression trend on the UAH monthly satellite global-temperature dataset shows no global warming from July 2014 to March 2023. As usual, this site is just about the only place where this continuing failure of global temperatures to do as they are told is reported.
The start and end dates of the New Pause are not cherry-picked. The end date is the present; the start date is the farthest back one can reach and still find a zero trend. It is what it is.
For comparison, here is the entire dataset for 44 years 4 months since December 1978. It shows a less than terrifying long-run warming rate equivalent to 1.3 degrees/century, of which 0.3 K has already occurred since January 2021, leaving just 1 K to go (on the current trend) until 2100, by which time reserves of coal, oil and gas will be largely exhausted.
The fact that, over the third of a century since IPCC (1990), global warming is proving to be so slower than the 0.3 degrees/decade that IPCC had then confidently predicted (and still predicts today) is relevant to a question posed to two hapless representatives of the current U.S. maladministration by Senator John Kennedy when he skewered them at a recent hearing.
The Senator began by asking Dr Robert Litterman, the chairman of the climate-related market risk subcommittee of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, how long he had been studying the climate question. Answer: 15 years. Next, Dr Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum. Answer: about 25 years.
Senator Kennedy: “Dr Litterman, how much will it cost to make the United States of America carbon-neutral by 2050?”
Litterman: “I don’t know, sir.”
Senator Kennedy: “So you’re advocating that we do these things but you don’t know the ultimate cost?”
Litterman: “Yes, absolutely, I certainly don’t know the ultimate cost and it’s very uncertain. It depends on innovations, it depends on …”
Senator Kennedy: “I’m just trying to lay a foundation here to understand your expert testimony. Dr Holtz-Eakin, do you know how much it will cost to make the United States of America carbon-neutral by 2050?”
Holtz-Eakin: “Depends how you do it. If we do it all with the Federal budget …”
Senator Kennedy: “Public and private dollars. It’s ultimately private dollars anyway.”
Holtz-Eakin: “I agree.”
Senator Kennedy: “So, how much?”
Holtz-Eakin: “You’re going to look at $50 trillion.”
Senator Kennedy: “$50 trillion?”
Senator Kennedy: “OK, thank you. If we make the United States of America carbon-neutral by 2050, by spending $50 trillion, which you’re advocating, I gather …”
Senator Kennedy: “OK, strike that last part. I’m wrong. You’re not advocating it. You’re advocating something.”
Holtz-Eakin: “If you’re going to do something, do something smart: that’s what I’m advocating.”
Senator Kennedy: “If we spend $50 trillion to make the United States of America carbon-neutral by 2050, how much will that lower world temperatures?” 
Holtz-Eakin: “I can’t say, because I don’t know what China and India and the rest of the world has done.”
Senator Kennedy: “Have you heard anybody from the Biden administration say how much it would lower world temperatures?” 
Senator Kennedy: “Does anybody know how much it will lower world temperatures? [Pause] No?” 
Holtz-Eakin: “No one can know for sure.”
Senator Kennedy: “OK. Dr Litterman, if we spend $50 trillion, or however much it takes, to make the United States of America carbon-neutral by 2050, how much will it lower world temperatures?” 
Litterman: “Senator, that depends on the rest of the world. We have to work with the rest of the world. We’re in this together. It’s one world. We can’t put a wall around the United States and say …”
Senator Kennedy: “What if we spend $50 trillion, Europe co-operates, most Western democracies co-operate, but India and China don’t? How much will our $50 trillion lower world temperature?” 
Litterman: “We’re in this together, Senator. We have to get the world to work together.”
Senator Kennedy: “I understand. I get that. How much will it lower world temperatures?”
Litterman: “If China and India do not help? I don’t know.”
Let us answer Senator Kennedy’s six-times-posed and six-times-unanswered question. It is one of the central questions in the climate debate, but no one in Parliament on this side of the pond would have had the wit, the courage or the persistence to ask it and go on asking it. I continue to be impressed with the calibre of your statesmen compared with our politicians.
To answer this question, we shall use only mainstream, midrange data from scientific sources that the “Democrats” would regard as suitable.
First, the near-straight-line rate at which global anthropogenic CO2-equivalent emissions have grown since the First Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1990 is shown above. That business-as-usual rate will be likely to continue, since most nations continue to expand their combustion of coal, oil and gas.
The global Annual Greenhouse-Gas Index, compiled by the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, shows that, despite costly measures taken chiefly by Western nations to abate their emissions, the radiative forcing driven by global greenhouse-gas emissions has continued to increase since 1990 at a near-straight-line rate of 1/30th unit per year. Thus, no effect of existing global emissions-abatement measures, estimated by McKinsey Consulting last year as costing $5.6 trillion a year, is yet discernible.
Secondly, the near-linear uptrend in anthropogenic forcing will continue, given the expansion of coal-fired power in nations such as India, China (now building 43 new coal-fired stations and planning to build still more) and Pakistan (which in early 2023 announced that it would quadruple its coal-fired generating capacity).
In the 27 years 2023-2049, a further 27/30ths of a unit (0.9 units) will arise on business as usual. But if all nations were to move in a straight line towards net zero by 2050, half of those 0.9 units – or 0.45 units – would be abated.
Thirdly, the medium-term rate of global warming per unit of anthropogenic forcing is the ratio of the 1.8 C midrange medium-term 2xCO2 transient climate response, (TCR, above), and the 3.93 W m–2 effective 2xCO2 forcing (ERF, below): i.e., 0.458 K W–1 m2.
Fourthly, adjustment is made for the fact that global warming since 1990 has proven to be less than half the midrange decadal rate that was then predicted – and continues to be predicted today. The observed decadal global-warming rate since 1990, using the satellite global-temperature dataset maintained by the University of Alabama in Huntsville, has been only 0.136 C decade–1:
IPCC (1990) made predictions of global warming based on four emissions scenarios A-D, in descending order of predicted anthropogenic emissions. The scenario B trend-line in CO2-equivalent forcing from 1990-2025 (ibid., fig. 2.4B) was identical to the trend-line assuming constant annual emissions after 1990 (ibid., fig. A.15). In reality, however, by 2023 emissions had increased by some 53% compared with 1990.
Thus, in the 33 years since 1990, Scenario A has proven very much closer to outturn than B-D. Under Scenario A (the business-as-usual scenario), IPCC predicted midrange global warming of 0.3 C decade–1, or 3 C to 2100, and also 3 C final doubled-CO2 warming.
Accordingly, multiplying by 0.136 / 0.3, or 0.453, reduces the predicted warming per unit of anthropogenic influence to match observation.
The above calculations, based on mainstream data, are then combined in a simple equation. The 27/30ths degree uptrend in anthropogenic influence over the next 27 years is halved to allow all nations to move in a straight line from here to net zero by 2050 rather than attaining net zero immediately. That anthropogenic forcing is then converted to global temperature change prevented, which is in turn reduced in line with the shortfall of real-world medium-term warming per decade since 1990 against then-predicted midrange medium-term global warming. Global warming prevented, even if all nations succeeded in attaining net zero emissions by 2050, which they will not, would be less than one-tenth of a Celsius degree:
Even if the US, responsible for 15% of global emissions, were able to attain net zero by 2050, its contribution would reduce global temperature by less than one-seventieth of a degree. That is the answer to Senator Kennedy’s question – the answer that “Democrat” climate “experts” with 15 and 25 years’ experience were altogether unable (or unwilling) to answer.
Does this infinitesimal reduction in global temperature represent value for money? Let us use Mr Holtz-Eakin’s $60 trillion cost of U.S. net zero as a starting-point. For it implies that the cost of global net zero would be $400 trillion. Given that McKinsey Consulting puts the capex cost alone at $275 trillion, and that opex is 2-3 times capex, the total cost could well be $900 trillion, more than twice Mr Holtz-Eakin’s plucked-out-of-the-air guesstimate.
In that event, each $1 billion spent on the futile attempt to attain net zero emissions would prevent approximately one ten-millionth of a degree of global warming – the worst value for money in history.
I have set out these new calculations in some detail because once it is more widely known it will help to bring the climate nonsense to an end.
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