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Will Climate-Change Fanaticism Bankrupt The West?

Will Climate-Change Fanaticism Bankrupt The West?

The headline from The Wall Street Journal— and the sub-head — should provoke a lot of thought:

Net-Zero Emissions Policy Bankrupts Britain

And it could do the same to the U.S., which is following a similar path.

Americans who fancy themselves net-zero climate advocates might want to take a look at Britain for a guide to the future. Household energy bills were expected to rise 40% this autumn, but on Friday the government regulator announced they’ll leap 80% in a single bound.

This boost follows a 54% rise in April and brings the average household’s annual bill to £3,549 ($4,208). The median household income is £31,400, which gives a sense of the growing proportion of each household’s budget that will go toward central heating, cooking and keeping the lights on. For the ruling Tories, this is a political calamity.

And that’s merely what households will spend directly on energy. Britain is also in the grip of an energy-price crisis for businesses, whose rates aren’t subject to a cap. Some small businesses report they can’t get any utility to supply them without paying a steep deposit up front, because energy companies are concerned that high prices will push more small firms into insolvency. Lower-income households in particular will bear the brunt of this as prices for goods and services skyrocket and companies lay off employees.

If you think this couldn’t happen in America, think again. The underlying cause of Britain’s energy misery is its fixation with climate goals, especially the ambition to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. To meet that goal, Britain has grown hostile to domestic energy exploration, banning shale-gas fracking and slapping windfall-profits taxes on North Sea oil and gas producers that will deter investment. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has hurt, but the U.K.’s policies made its citizens vulnerable to such a global shock….

Energy policies in much of the West today resemble a religion, based on faith, rather than any kind of actual cost/benefit analysis. In fact, it reminds one of the policies adopted around COVID, where the desire to be seen as doing something about the pandemic seemed so great that many were simply incapable of looking at the costs of, say, keeping children home from school.

But this policy can result in bankrupt farms, stores, restaurants, etc. – And, of course, consumers that have to spend their money on electric and fuel will look to economize elsewhere. Less eating out, more shopping at discount stores, etc.

Remember, after years explaining how global warming was destroying the Great Barrier Reef, we all of the sudden have a change:

Despite climate change’s potential impact, the Great Barrier Reef had its highest coral coverage in 36 years from August 2021 through May 2022, the Australian Institute of Marine Science reported Thursday.

Is our knowledge about climate change so certain as to justify bankrupting the west? And, by the way, what exactly is the likelihood that Russia, China, India or Africa will cut their carbon emission? And, if they don’t, what is the likely impact of the West doing so alone?

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