New York Virtue Signaling on Climate Gets Bad Reviews

New York Virtue Signaling on Climate Gets Bad Reviews

NIMBYismRoger Caiazza (on the subject of)
Independent Researcher and Publisher,
Pragmatic Environmentalist of New York


[Editor’s Note: New York State, like California, has committed itself to a future energy crisis by big commitments to wind and solar that make no sense, and many are noticing.]

This post describes some articles I have noted recently that relate to the Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act (Climate Act) net-zero transition plans.  At the core of the Climate Act the key questions are is there a problem that warrants the complete conversion of our energy system and can the alternatives proposed replace the existing system affordably while maintaining current standards of reliability.  The articles referenced here address those questions.

I have been following the Climate Act since it was first proposed. I submitted comments on the Climate Act implementation plan and have written over 300 articles about New York’s net-zero transition. The opinions expressed in this post do not reflect the position of any of my previous employers or any other company I have been associated with, these comments are mine alone.

New York

Climate Act Background

The Climate Act established a New York “Net Zero” target (85% reduction and 15% offset of emissions) by 2050 and an interim 2030 target of a 40% reduction by 2030. The Climate Action Council is responsible for preparing the Scoping Plan that outlines how to “achieve the State’s bold clean energy and climate agenda.”

In brief, that plan is to electrify everything possible and power the electric gride with zero-emissions generating resources by 2040.  The Integration Analysis prepared by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and its consultants quantifies the impact of the electrification strategies.  That material was used to write a Draft Scoping Plan.  After a year-long review the Scoping Plan recommendations were finalized at the end of 2022.  In 2023 the Scoping Plan recommendations are supposed to be implemented through regulation and legislation.

Climate Change Problem

After a lengthy hiatus new articles have been showing up at the Science of Doom website.  The author tries to describe the science behind the subject of climate change.  In order to see the whole articles on his website, you need to visit the new Science of Doom on Substack page.

He recently did a series of 14 articles about extreme weather trends.  He accepts the alarmist narrative that CO2 is the principal cause of the observed warming but picks apart the claims of inevitable catastrophe using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change references.  Now, he is doing a series of articles on natural variability, attribution and climate models.  He explains:

Perhaps a recent flood is “the worst in history”, however history is defined. But that doesn’t automatically mean it can be attributed to burning fossil fuels. Climate scientists, at least when writing papers, are careful to avoid this claim.

I disagree with the last sentence.  Reputable climate scientists may avoid this claim but I have seen plenty of analyses that if not explicitly make the connection certainly imply that the “worst in history” events can only be avoided by reducing burning fossil fuels.  For example, two University of Michigan professors insist we “must reduce the emission of greenhouse gases to zero” to stabilize the planet’s temperature and imply that not doing so will result in every increasing weather events. Despite my disagreement with some points I recommend his articles.

Proposed Solutions

Jude Clemente raises some pertinent implementation questions in “5 Things I Truly Don’t Understand About The “Inevitable Energy Transition”.  He asks if the weather is getting worse why should we set up the energy system to rely on weather-dependent resources, how can any jurisdiction claim global climate change benefits for unilateral climate policy, how will we convert to electric vehicles when most people cannot afford them, how can we expect poor countries to get off fossil fuels when the rich countries cannot do it, and how can we claim significant air quality benefits from future reductions when there have been much larger air quality improvements over recent decades.

Coincidently EPA just released their annual air quality report.  They noted that:

National average concentrations of harmful air pollutants decreased considerably across our nation between 1990 and 2022:

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) 8-Hour, 81%
  • Lead (Pb) 3-Month Average, 88% (from 2010)
  • Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) Annual, 60%
  • Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) 1-Hour, 54%
  • Ozone (O3) 8-Hour, 22%
  • Particulate Matter 10 microns (PM10) 24-Hour, 34%
  • Particulate Matter 2.5 microns (PM2.5) Annual, 42% (from 2000)
  • Particulate Matter 2.5 microns (PM2.5) 24-Hour, 42% (from 2000)
  • Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) 1-Hour, 90%

The key point is that the alarmists who claim significant health benefits for much smaller projected improvements in air quality due to the emission reductions associated with the net zero transition have yet to show how the observed air quality improvements led to large changes in health impacts.

James Hanley from the Empire Center did an article on the Iron Law of Megaprojects that offer warnings of trouble ahead for green-energy projects.  He gave examples of components of renewable projects that have seen costs double before the work has even broken ground.  This reinforces my belief that at the end of the day, the costs of the Climate Act net-zero transition will far exceed the numbers included in the Climate Act Scoping Plan.

Ron Clutz writing at Science Matters describes an article by Edward Ring.  The money quote: “What is actually beyond debate is not that we are in a climate crisis but thatif we don’t stop destroying our conventional energy economy, we are going to be in a civilizational crisis.”

Finally, a reminder that any climate related article attributed to the Associated Press should be considered knowing that AP announced on Feb. 15, 2022, that it would “significantly expand its climate coverage.”  Newsbusters reports that received $8 million from leftist nonprofit organizations like the Rockefeller FoundationQuadrivium (the activist organization of News Corp. Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch’s estranged son and climate activist James Murdoch), the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation (Walmart) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  The article documented numerous instances of alarmist reporting.

Roger Caiazza blogs on New York energy and environmental issues at Pragmatic Environmentalist of New York.  This represents his opinion and not the opinion of any of his previous employers or any other company with which he has been associated.

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