To the GOP and the Pope: Forcing Higher Energy Prices on the Poor is Immoral

January 20th, 2015 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Iím seeing a flurry of news articles lately casting conservatives as closet believers in human-caused climate change who are struggling to formulate a global warming policy that is smart, but without looking like Liberals in the process.

Also, Pope Francis, after being advised by a committee of the most left-leaning global warming “experts” one could find, has decided to write an encyclical on global warming and the environment to be released later this year.

This all resonates with under-informed voters who think we already have the infrastructure to sustainably collect and distribute methane emissions from unicorn herds, and who believe solar freakiní roadways are a good idea.

OK, maybe that was too snarky. Iím referring to those who believe that wind and solar really do provide reasonably priced, large scale alternatives to fossil fuels.

Except that solar and wind do not accomplish this. On an equalized basis, the cost of wind and solar is many times (as much as 10x to 30x) higher than fossil fuels, and we canít get enough of those renewables to meet a substantial fraction of global energy demand anyway.

Remember, energy isnít just needed for transportation and home heating/cooling and powering our lights and electronic devices. Itís needed for everything humans do, and when you make it much more expensive, life becomes harder for everyone. Call it trickle-down poverty.

I really donít know what the underlying motivation of the GOP and the Pope is, but if they really care about the poor, they wonít force them further into poverty Ė and kill millions unnecessarily Ė by following a pipe dream which only enriches the renewable snake oil salesmen.

Yes, fossil fuels are a finite resource which will eventually need to be supplanted by other energy sources. But without widespread embrace of nuclear power, those energy sources do not yet exist in abundance or at low cost.

And if there one thing we know that kills poor people, its poverty. The Pope claims he is merely following biblical teaching to help the poor. But the bible teaches us to help to those who cannot help themselves. It doesnít say to institute government regulations that make poverty even worse.

And in order to share our wealth with the poor, that wealth has to be generated in the first place.

First, do no harm. Itís really not rocket science. The GOP should not (nor should anyone else) accept the premise and narrative dictated to it by journalism majors.

Expensive energy kills people. UNICEF estimates 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. In contrast, no one is known to have ever died due to human-induced climate change. I predict that modest warming (whatever its cause) and more CO2 will turn out to be better for life on Earth.

Now, GOP, go grow a pair, and spread the word. The moral high ground is yours for the taking.

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