The Government Accountability Office estimated that the United State government spent about $13.2 billion on climate change and climate change research in 2017 alone. While this may seem like a fairly paltry amount, especially when compared to expenses such as our military budget of $590 billion, it is still not an insignificant chunk of change, especially at the individual level.
So much of what is considered “climate change research” actually has depressingly little to do with the problem of climate change. Professors at Stanford and Berkeley released a paper about the economic impacts that climate change would have on global economies around the world. They found that colder countries would be less cold (and theoretically more productive) and warmer countries would be even warmer (and theoretically less productive). Time and energy obviously well spent.
Meanwhile, the actual mechanisms of “climate change” remain a mystery (hint: it’s the sun), at least to the community of scientists and crackpots profiting the most from the federally funded hysteria. Meanwhile, real problems that have practical solutions go completely unfunded and utterly unresolved. Just for example, let’s look at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that is growing every year.
Basic research is what I am doing when I don’t know what I am doing.
– Wernher von Braun
According to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration article, the cost of cleaning up just 1% of the figurative sea of floating garbage (largely plastic) polluting the northern Pacific Ocean would could be as much as $489 million every year for a hundred years. Taken at face value, that seems pretty pricey, but when we look at it in terms of how much our government blows on “research” that tells us what any child could tell us, it becomes considerably less daunting.
To put this into perspective, with just the $13.2 billion our government flushes down the toilet annually on “climate change research” and “climate change” that’s gotten us no closer to understanding the mechanisms behind climate change other than “waste less fuel” and “consume less energy“, and directed it to something practical, like cleaning up the ocean, assuming a cost of $489 million to clean up 1% of the Pacific Garbage Patch a year, barring other constraints, the entire Pacific Garbage Patch could be cleaned up in less than 4 years.
The problem for climate alarmists and environmentalists is the inescapable economic conundrum posed by opportunity cost. If you spend money on one thing, you will not be able to spend it on another thing. By directing billions of dollars into largely useless climate research that tells us that if temperatures continue to increase, the Earth will be warmer (thanks, Professor Obvious, PhD!), billions of dollars have necessarily been directed away from crucial environmental cleanup and preservation.
This isn’t to say that all funding for climate research should be cut. Practical research into the actual mechanisms and causes of climate change are undoubtedly useful to society (even if I’ve made light of them). The problem is the impractical and research that isn’t strictly related to discovering the mechanisms and causes of climate change. Impact studies can pound sand, especially where they already fall under the auspices of other unrelated sciences.
The solution to paying for future climate change research is actually quite simple. As the purpose of this spending was to solve a specific practical problem, not to fund lab coat wearing scam artists, any institution that has received any funding that was earmarked for climate change research but spent the public treasury on any research unrelated to the practical problem of climate change should repay all such funds they have ever received.
This should keep actual climate change research funded for at least the next century.
Liberty is For The Win!