Wrong-Headed And Harmful Strategies
Last updated 2/8/2021 at 2:29pm
The left’s war on fossil fuels may have some scientific merit, but their strategies are all wrong. In a basic economics course, one would learn that both supply and demand drive consumption of a good or service. The left’s focus on reducing demand by unilaterally mandating reductions in fossil fuel supply is the wrong approach and will cause much more pain than is necessary if the goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Fossil fuels – particularly oil and natural gas – are used in many hundreds of products that do not produce greenhouse gasses. Examples include roof shingles, packaging, paint, heart valves, vinyl siding, sunglasses, refrigerators, computers, smartphones, toothpaste, fertilizers, clothing, carpets, upholstery fabrics, printer ink, IV bags and tubing, shoes, and countless other things we all use almost every single day. Some sources say that as much as 20 percent of the oil in a barrel is used to make such things. Increasing the price of oil up by artificially reducing the supply will increase the prices we all pay for every one of these things while not contributing one bit to reductions in greenhouse gasses, which I thought was the whole point.
Focusing more on the demand side of the equation would allow a more “surgical” approach, by increasing the costs of activities and processes that do put out greenhouse gasses would have a more positive effect on alleged climate change. If burning fossil fuels generates greenhouse gasses, then levy more punitive taxes (say $2 per gallon) on gasoline, diesel fuel, propane, home heating oil, jet fuel, etc. Consumers will adjust their consumption accordingly. Just don’t provide any subsidies to anyone… for any reason, as that inserts intentional “leaks” in the remedy, and I understand that we all really do have to do our part.