Americans work hard to feed their families, educate their children, and support their communities through donated time and money. Unfortunately, the well-paid blue-collar jobs many families rely upon are at risk across multiple industries—including energy, agriculture, timber, and forestry.
This isn’t because the work is illegal, immoral, or unnecessary—in fact, the complete opposite is true. It is because politicians have decided that they must impose ineffective and harmful policies in pursuit of a “net-zero” economy by 2050. What is most disturbing is not that these jobs are being sacrificed for a goal that is achievable (it is not achievable), or for policies that will achieve the stated purpose of significantly reducing CO2 emissions (these policies are not fit for this purpose). What is disturbing is that those imposing these policies know the implausibility of their aim and yet continue to commit to push them merely for showmanship.
The world has high and growing energy needs. So-called green energy alone cannot meet those needs. The current administration has demonized fossil fuels, even though America produces energy in a more environmentally responsible manner than any other country in the world. Despite the claims of green energy evangelists, renewable energy technology, such as wind and solar, is not “clean” and requires equipment and materials created from emission-heavy industrial processes, which rely on fossil fuels.
Additionally, consider the fact that green energy advocates refuse to consider the use of nuclear energy, a reliable source of zero-carbon emission energy, which leaves the unavoidable impression that net-zero or even a significant reduction in CO2 emissions is not the goal.
The true goal is the performative act itself of taking steps on an issue in a manner that their (vocal but not necessarily large) constituency insists upon, regardless of the fact that it will not result in meeting the purported goals, and will have harmful consequences on the economy and working-class families.
Central planning and the imposition of “solutions” by the government are inefficient methods and often lead to results that are negligible or even contrary to the stated goals, with consequences that are more harmful than the supposed problem. But these policies are not about significantly reducing CO2 emissions, they are about imposing certain favored actions by a small group of politicized activists.
Reducing CO2 emissions in a cost-effective manner, while also ensuring that the energy needs of the United States and the world are met, will require advancements in technology and a recognition that wind farms and solar energy arrays alone are not a serious approach.
Markets are the best mechanism for allocating resources in the most efficient and beneficial manner, including the development of new technology. They help ensure that the costs and benefits of reducing emissions are appropriately weighed.