Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cap-and-trade bill's effects: one twentieth of a degree

Someone ran the numbers through a government-funded computer climate model (known as MAGICC -- the Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse-gas Induced Climate Change) to determine how much warming we could offset by implementing the new cap-and-trade climate bill soon to be voted on in the US House of Representatives. You can run this model from your own computer, by the way.

"By the year 2050, the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill would result in a global temperature 'savings' of about 0.05ºC regardless of the IPCC scenario used—this is equivalent to about 2 years’ worth of warming. By the year 2100, the emissions pathways become clearly distinguishable, and so to do the impacts of Waxman-Markey. Assuming the IPCC mid-range scenario (A1B) Waxman-Markey would result in a projected temperature rise of 2.847ºC, instead of 2.959ºC rise— a mere 0.112ºC temperature “savings.” Under the IPCC’s high-emissions scenario, instead of a projected rise of 4.414ºC, Waxman-Markey limits the rise to 4.219ºC—a 'savings' of 0.195ºC. In either case, this works out to about 5 years’ worth of warming. In other words, a full implementation and adherence to the emissions restrictions provisions described by the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill would result only in setting back the projected rise in global temperatures by a few years—a scientifically meaningless prospect.

"...The bottom line is that a reduction of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions of greater than 80%, as envisioned in the Waxman-Markey climate bill will only produce a global temperature 'savings' during the next 50 years of about 0.05ºC. Calculating this isn’t all that difficult or costly. All it takes is a little MAGICC."

At 1200 pages, the bill is turning into a monstrosity of regulation, special favors to special interests, and the end result is higher cost for consumers of any kind of energy, with almost undetectable effects on global temperature.

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