The Cost of Global Warming: A Story in Pictures
Written by Nick Loris, Heritage.org
Monday, 06 April 2009
It’s no secret policymakers in Washington want to dramatically change America’s energy policy by regulating carbon dioxide emissions. Their most popular idea, a cap and trade proposal, should really be read as a tax on energy consumption. Indeed, it’s a very large tax that compares with some of the largest government spending items in history.
This translates to real money stripped from real families - causing families to face difficult trade offs and make important budgetary decisions.
Whether they fall on businesses or consumer, higher taxes reduce economic growth. Higher taxes force companies to cut costs elsewhere, typically by reducing production and therefore cutting jobs. According to The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis, job losses resulting from cap and trade will surpass 900,000 in some years. Keep in mind; this is net of any “green jobs” created.
Particularly hit hard is the manufacturing sector. Since fossil fuels generally make America’s economic engine run, especially the manufacturing sector, taxing fossil fuels would cause job losses to exceed two million in 2028 and 2029.
The Heritage Foundation’s Manufacturing Vulnerability Index measures a state’s direct and immediate vulnerability to an energy tax based on the extent of the state’s manufacturing workforce and its reliance on coal power generation. Taking a look at the map, the Midwest will suffer most.
And what should be the final nail in the coffin: All this economic pain is for very little, if any, environmental gain. Analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency concludes that if the U.S. reduces CO2 emissions 60 percent by 2050, it will reduce global temperature by 0.1 to 0.2 degree Centigrade by 2095. A multi–lateral approach wouldn’t fare much better. Why? Well, there’s a lot of reasons. After all, the science behind global warming is anything but conclusive, but one reason could be how small man’s contribution to carbon dioxide emissions is.