Reducing CO2 emissions can carry a high cost to the environment, as explained by The Climate Skeptic. The tradeoff is all too real because the resources available for mitigating environmental damage are scarce. The simple economics of pollution abatement suggest that small reductions in CO2 are the best that can be achieved even as opportunities for large reductions in more dangerous pollutants are foregone. From The Skeptic:
“Coal plants produce a lot of CO2, but without the aid of modern scrubbers and such, they also produce SOx, NOx, particulates matter and all the other crap you see in the Beijing air. The problem is that the CO2 production from a coal plant takes as much as 10-100x more money to eliminate than it takes to eliminate all the other bad stuff. … Thus the same money needed to make an only incremental change in CO2 output would make an enormous change in the breath-ability of air in Chinese cities.”
In the developing world, the reductions in CO2 emissions might also mean the sacrifice of gains in the standard of living and public health. To make matters worse, the actual benefits of reducing CO2 emissions are highly questionable: a warmer climate, should it come to pass, is unlikely to be any catastrophe, and in fact it could produce substantial net benefits for humanity.
Along the same lines, President Obama’s recent call for reduced CO2 emissions is described by Alan Caruba as a “Cruel and Costly Climate Hoax“. The climate panic has been inflamed by a community of climate researchers who have perpetrated fraud in the management of temperature data and corrupted their field’s peer review process, and who continue to rely on climate models with terrible track records. After roughly 25 years of warming temperatures had dispelled fears of a new ice age, these researchers have recognized the latest 18-year pause in that trend with reluctance, marshaling a variety of excuses for the poor performance of their models: the ocean has acted as a heat sink (false), a series of small volcanic eruptions have caused solar energy to be reflected back into space (speculative at best, and without data prior to the year 2000 to back up the claim), or my favorite… that Chinese carbon emissions have limited solar radiation! How ironic is that?
Reductions in carbon emissions are resource intensive. Those resources have alternative uses that are too valuable to make a cavalier sacrifice. Opportunities for other kinds of environmental enhancements, improvements in public health, and better living standards should carry the day, not carbon reductions.