Capping and Trading Us to Death
By WAYNE LUSVARDI
The mounting contradictions of California’s Green Power Law are so many it is getting to be ridiculous. The policy is mandated by AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.
Using data from Nature Magazine, it is estimated that California’s 18,000 wind turbines kill 75,000 birds a year; while the state’s 19 conventional coastal power plants must shift to costly air-cooling systems to avoid killing an average of 57 sea lions and seals per year that get trapped in their ocean-cooling water intake pipes.
Now Matt Ridley, one of the world’s top science writers, has estimated that Cap and Trade emission trading laws will result in increased human deaths of homeless street persons from hypothermia. The laws also will cause deaths from starvation mainly in the underdeveloped areas of the world, due to lower temperatures and rising food and heating fuel prices from global-warming mitigations in California. Ridley points out that cold-related deaths outweigh heat-related deaths by five to one.
A Google search of the Los Angeles Times indicates that hypothermia is a problem even in Southern California.
Adding to the many contradictions of Green Power and Cap and Trade, poverty law groups are suing to exempt low-income areas from the effects of Cap and Trade and green power laws in California on the specious grounds that low-income areas are disproportionately impacted by industrial air pollution. But low-income industrial areas, such as Oakland and Oxnard, have better air quality than higher income areas such as Bakersfield or San Bernardino. Ironically, who will speak in such legal cases for the increased health risks for the elderly and the homeless who live in the suburbs or in coastal cities where there is cleaner air?
None of this is deterring the California Air Resources Board, which on Aug. 25 announced that it was proceeding with a 2013 rollout for its Cap and Trade emissions trading program, one year later than originally planned in 2012.
California’s Green Power Law is not only being legitimized as morally superior to conventional sources of power on the grounds of “clean energy,” but also as a health program. Quoted in the Los Angeles Times, Timothy O’Connor of the Environmental Defense Fund stated: “The cap and trade program isn’t going to let polluters off the hook” because, along with AB 32, it promotes public health.
Capping and Trading
Mary Nichols, the head of the Air Resources Board, echoed the same moral justification or proceeding with Cap and Trade: “I don’t think there is anybody who serves on this board who doesn’t believe that breathing healthy air is a right that every Californian should have.”
Contradicting Ms. Nichols, Joel Schwartz of Harvard University has “documented…evidence that even air pollution levels far higher than any we experience in the U.S. are perfectly safe, and that the nation’s air does not cause adverse health effects” concerning children’s health, asthma rates and premature deaths’ and that even diesel fumes are harmless. Air pollution is mainly a nuisance, an irritant and a visual blight, not necessarily a health hazard.
And is it any more a nuisance than a wind turbine?
Speaking at the National Clean Energy Summit on Aug. 30 in Las Vegas, California Gov. Jerry Brown stated: ”Climate change will create floods, droughts, forest fires of greater intensity and regularity, and with far greater devastation.” He asserted that many of the people who once denied that tobacco was harmful are now well-financed “climate deniers.”
“Climate denial propaganda is very powerful, but California is standing against it,” Brown said. “Part of my job is to advance the truth of science.”
But according to Matt Ridley, deaths from natural disasters are down 98 percent since the 1920’s, not due to climate change policies but due to industrialization and capitalism, which have brought improvements in medicine, water infrastructure, treatment, bridges, elevated highways, better and cheaper food production, safer and lower heating and air cooling costs and higher income levels.
And as the many contradictions of California’s Cap and Trade and Green Power laws described above indicate, such policies are clearly not based on “science.”
May 20, 2013