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Climate orthodoxy punishes the West
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Climate orthodoxy punishes the West

We’re reducing our standard of living — including everything that makes us human — while China and India burn coal with abandon.

The world is said to be in a climate emergency. Illegal immigration, aircraft turbulence, and even your dog's behavior are all blamed on climate change.

The prescribed solutions are the forced adoption of so-called green technologies that are less reliable and more expensive, driving up costs and lowering living standards. The enforcers of climate orthodoxy frown on eating red meat, having babies, and, in general, being human because doing so emits greenhouse gases that supposedly will overheat the planet.

Why must people in the West forego their access to affordable energy sources when coal-guzzling China and India aren't going to give up fossil fuels for the next 40 years?

None of it makes sense, particularly when juxtaposed with the massive and growing emissions of such gases from new coal plants in India and China. Western governments are punishing their citizens for no good reason.

For too long people have been misled into thinking that wind and solar energy can replace fossil fuels, but this is false. Because they are costly and susceptible to the vagaries of the breeze or dependent on the diurnal availability of sunshine, they are incapable of supporting a modern society.

Compared to traditional energy sources, wind and solar require huge amounts of land and materials to generate equal amounts of electricity. Environmentally friendly they are not.

“The true energy and raw material impact of wind and solar is ‘hidden’ in the primary energy required for extracting the solar and wind energy and making the generated electricity truly usable by the consumer,” says Dr. Lars Schernikau, an energy expert who has been studying the utility of energy sources for economies.

For families already struggling with the expense of daily living, the additional money spent on fuel, heating, and everyday energy use can be overwhelming. Poorer families spend a larger share of their income on energy, making them particularly vulnerable to price increases.

The U.S. fossil fuel industry supports millions of jobs, particularly in states like Texas, Wyoming, and Pennsylvania. In fact, the country is a global leader in the production of liquefied natural gas. Carbon taxes and other regulations that favor wind and solar over fossil fuels lead to job losses and economic devastation as power plants shut down.

All of this takes place as Asia opens coal-fired plants in record numbers!

The world's first- and third-largest emitters of carbon dioxide are China and India, respectively. China's rapid industrialization and urbanization have made it heavily reliant on coal. The country consumes more coal than the rest of the world combined, and it continues to build new coal-fired power plants at a staggering rate.

Despite commitments to begin reducing carbon emissions by 2030, China's coal consumption is expected to remain high for decades, driving significant carbon dioxide emissions. The case is no different in India, which will surpass China's oil use in the coming decades.

Both China and India have set distant net-zero deadlines — 2060 for China and 2070 for India. These long timelines permit continued substantial fossil fuel consumption in the near term, especially through coal. Additionally, both countries are making significant efforts to increase the extraction, import, and consumption of natural gas.

So, ask yourself or those with whom you discuss “green” policies: Why must people in the West forego their access to affordable energy sources when coal-guzzling China and India aren't going to give up fossil fuels for the next 40 years?

Regardless of where one stands in the climate debate, the fact remains that adequate supplies of energy for modern living cannot be secured at this point in history without conventional energy sources.

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Vijay Jayaraj

Vijay Jayaraj

Vijay Jayaraj is a research associate at the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, Virginia.