The Wages of Green

Make no mistake — climate change mitigation is a juggernaut. . . [In 2015], the world is expending 2% of the value of all its gross products and services on climate change mitigation and that number could easily reach 4 or 5% in just the next few years. With that amount of money in play and operating independent of market forces, there are Gore-like fortunes beyond the imagining to be made, both legally and illegally. And indeed, the political class and academics are uniquely positioned to take advantage of those economic rent-seeking opportunities. Thus, there is an overwhelming economic motivation for many of those now in power, as well as their cronies, to impose climate change mitigation, a motivation wholly independent of actually believing in the science of anthropogenic, carbon-centric, catastrophic climate change.

—  The Audacity of Climate Change: Catastrophic Climate Change Mitigation and Today’s Crisis of Economics, Science, and the Law (2015)

The last four decades of Lysenkoism in the West have been spent building a fraudulent narrative — one devoid of a basis in actual science — for the claim that human-caused global warming is set to destroy the planet.  And now, governments are acting, forcing climate change mitigation policies.

The consequences are already proving catastrophic in several widely separated areas:

The Netherlands, in 2020, to mitigate anthropogenic climate change, passed a law imposing draconian reductions on nitrogen in its agricultural sector.  That law is now starting to bite, threatening the livelihood of many farmers.  Perhaps they can learn to code and the rest of us subsist on pixels?

As one Dutch citizen explained:

. . . [The cause of this] is, greed. Greed combined with woeful economic ignorance. Yes, it’s socialism rearing its nasty face. In this case, greedy environmentalists smelling an opportunity. They want to close down agriculture altogether, and use that precious land for something else. Why farm, if you can build houses, industrial estates and asylum centers? Just get rid of the farmers first. Farmers are stupid, smelly and don’t vote for D66 (Democrats 66) anyway. The best part of it is that the taxpayer pays for everything.

The excuses is nitrogen excess. Not the gas itself, but related chemicals, such as ammonia. In other words, manure. The Netherlands developed one of the best agricultural industries in the world. One of those industries is the dairy industry. Gouda cheese, anyone? Those cows produce not only milk, but also too much ammonia in their feces. We have to do something about that, and fast. That’s the stick to beat the cow to death with. . . .

Of course, progressives and their fellow travelers are celebrating this top-down reordering of society at whatever cost to the hoi poloi. For instance, Amy Buxton is a writer who considers the key points of her bio to be:

Amy enjoys reporting on vegan news and sustainability initiatives. She has a degree in English literature and language and is raising a next-gen vegan daughter.

Can’t you just smell the moral superiority wafting off the page?  At any rate, Ms. Buxton fully embraces sticking it to the farmers of the Netherlands:

Deeming the environmental policy as an “unavoidable transition,” the government will impose stringent restrictions on the region’s agricultural sector. The move is part of the 2019 Climate Act to bring greenhouse gas emissions down by 49 percent by 2030.

Pulling in €94.5 billion in exports in 2019, the farming sector is a significant economic string in the Netherlands’ bow. But it is also a major contributor to its environmental impact.

Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 87 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. This makes reducing livestock numbers imperative, particularly for farming-reliant nations such as the Netherlands. . . . [emphasis added]

Farmers have previously attempted to reduce their operational emissions in light of the “nitrogen crisis” in the region. The government now wants to see more progress. It acknowledges the struggle ahead for agricultural businesses as they try to align with the new plan.

“Of course, it has enormous consequences. I understand that, and it is simply terrible,” Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands said in a statement. “And especially if they are businesses handed down in the family who want to proudly continue.”

The new reduction targets are ambitious. Many farms will need to produce up to 70 percent fewer emissions. However, figures of up to 95 percent are touted.

The response of northern Europe’s farmers to this green insanity is becoming increasingly disruptive:

While we wait to see the outcome in the Netherlands, on the opposite side of the world, we’ve already seen the people engage in a spontaneous, and successful, coup in Sri Lanka because of green policies that have severely harmed the nation. The MSM, though, still seems confused about why that coup happened. For instance, in the Reuter’s “explainer” about what has happened in Sri Lanka, a nation that, since WWII, has depended on its agricultural exports, Reuters mentions a number of factors leading to the coup, from bad tax policy to an overly large public workforce, completely skipping over any mention of green policies.  It really is a masterpiece in bullshit.

The reality is that green policies were the huge straws that broke the camel’s back.  As an author at the Asia Times writes:

In April 2021, the Rajapaksa government made another fatal mistake . . . [by banning] all fertilizer imports . . . Sri Lanka was declared a 100% organic farming nation. This policy, which was withdrawn in November 2021, led to a drastic fall in agricultural production and more imports became necessary.

But foreign exchange reserves remained under strain. A fall in the productivity of tea and rubber due to the ban on fertilizer also led to lower export incomes. Due to lower export incomes, there was less money available to import food and food shortages arose.

Lest you think the author wrong, here is what the CIA Factbook has to say:

Sri Lanka’s agricultural import ban on chemical fertilizers resulted in disastrous reductions in rice, tea, and rubber yields, increasing Sri Lanka’s import dependencies for these goods.

And this from Tunku Varadarajan writing in the WSJ:

The Green Revolution of Norman Borlaug, the American agronomist who did more to feed the world than any man before or since, set Sri Lanka on the path to agricultural abundance in 1970. It was built around chemical fertilizers and crops bred to be disease-resistant. Fifty-two years later, Sri Lanka has pulled off a revolution that is “antigreen” in the modern sense, toppling its president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. In an uprising that has its roots in Mr. Rajapaksa’s imperious decision to impose organic farming on the entire country—which led to widespread hunger after the agricultural economy collapsed—Sri Lanka’s people have wrought the first contra-organic national uprising in history.

. . .

[T]he truth is, Mr. Rajapaksa was driven from office in part because he was an overzealous green warrior, who imposed on his countrymen a policy that the American environmental left holds sacred.

According to this from Legal Insurrection, green policies are likewise threatening both Ghana and South Africa with imminent, dire economic consequences.

In the U.S., every aspect of our nation’s economy is under threat from dementia Joe — most particularly fossil fuel production.  But our nation’s progressives are in this for the long-term, and that means not merely choking our nation with green “new deal” laws and regulations, but tapping our nation’s wealth as well for climate equity and climate change mitigation.  Such has been the hope and dream of the global warming movement for decades, and their intentions were made crystal clear in the Paris Climate Accords:

Former President Trump withdrew the United States officially from the Paris Climate Agreement on November 4, 2020, having claimed in 2017 it would cost the country $3 trillion in GDP and 6.5 million jobs. On his first day in office, President Biden signed an executive order to rejoin the agreement, in line with his campaign pledge to make the nation carbon-neutral by 2050 irrespective of cost.

In this light, we should take extremely seriously any claims that our nation is responsible for damages to the rest of the world for our history of burning fossil fuels.  The people making these claims are setting the stage for grand theft and punitive international agreements.  And in that light, there is this recent offering from academia, claiming the U.S. owes trillions in damages for its climate sins:

Grasping at straws, it appears that another modeling study has been produced whose sole purpose is to allow developing nations to sue developed nations.

National Attribution of Historical Climate Damages

While the burden of proof for demonstrating liability is high and nonlinearities in the climate system make any such attribution difficult, our work is an important contribution to the effort to develop evidence that can be used to make claims for legal standing.

As WUWT points out:

This paper appears to be an extended exercise in modeling over modeling with some more regionally scaled modeling. How they came up with 6 trillion in “damages” well, I guess that’s for the courts.

Here is the Discussion section.

“Our analysis has shown that GHG emissions from high-emitting countries have caused substantial economic losses in low-income, tropical parts of the world and economic gains in high-income, midlatitude regions. Critically, these economic changes are attributable to the largest emitters despite the substantial uncertainties at each step in the causal chain from emissions to impact. Our results are robust despite the wide range of carbon cycle parameters and climate sensitivities, global-to-local forcing strengths, and temperature-growth specifications we test.

These results have two key implications. Firstly, they illustrate that physical climate uncertainty may constitute the dominant source of uncertainty in losses in tropical countries that are attributable to major emitters. While uncertainty in the relationship between the climate and economy is the dominant uncertainty in global losses from warming (Burke et al., 2018), our results demonstrate that this does not hold at the country level. In the low-income tropical countries that are most vulnerable to warming, internal climate variability and differences in model structure can produce a wide range in damages attributable to major emitters like the U.S. Scientific efforts to narrow uncertainty in regional climate change may therefore pay large dividends for countries seeking legal recourse for climate damages.

Secondly, our results show that the actions of specific emitters can be tied to the downstream monetary implications of climate change. Emerging discussions about climate liability have been limited to date by a lack of scientific evidence supporting causal linkages between individual countries’ emissions and the consequent local impacts (Burger et al., 2020; Stuart-Smith et al., 2021). Our framework shows that such linkages can be quantified using state-of-the-art climate models and empirical approaches and that we can process-trace exactly who has caused economic losses from their emissions, and how much. While previous studies have illustrated the economic harms of global warming, our work shows that these harms can be assigned to individual emitters in a way that rigorously accounts for the compounding uncertainties at each step of the causal chain from emissions to local impact. Finally, it is worth noting that our approach can be generalized to other actors, such as individual firms (Ekwurzel et al., 2017; Heede, 2014; Licker et al., 2019), or to other harms, such as the economic losses suffered by farmers due to extreme heat (Diffenbaugh et al., 2021). These results therefore contribute to resolving a key barrier to climate liability efforts and advance these critical emerging discussions.”

We ignore fraud like this at our extreme peril.