The Unintended Consequences of Declaring ‘Climate Emergency’

Posted: Aug 06, 2022 12:01 AM

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President Biden is toying with the idea of declaring climate change a national emergency. Proponents want him to usher in drastic changes to address climate change–bypassing approval from Congress.But as the old saying goes, haste makes waste. We only need to remember untested environmental policies that sounded good but ended up creating a bigger mess.Consider California. The Golden State threw every incentive it could at solar energy beginning in 2006. In turn, most new construction in California included solar panels. Despite lawmakers knowing solar energy was relatively untested. Solar energy is significantly less efficient than fossil fuels – especially in a state known for struggling with rolling blackouts. And it’s created a toxic waste problem. According to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency, California’s rushed transition to solar energy has created a toxic waste disaster for the state. Solar panels, especially those installed as far back as 2006, only have an average lifespan of 25 to 30 years. As the first batch of solar panels reaches the end of its lifecycle, only 10% have been recycled. A Harvard Business Review study revealed that California’s recycling capacity is “woefully unprepared for the deluge of waste that is likely to come.”And despite taxpayer subsidies, California only gets 15 percent of its electricity from solar panels.Next, consider plastic. We’ve all heard about alternatives that are supposed to be better for the environment. Plastic water bottles have been a top target of environmentalists, with many cities and agencies banning the containers.A new study from McKinsey and Company pours cold water on this notion. The study suggests that alternatives to plastic may similarly lead to worse results for the planet. The study revealed that plastic products had a lower greenhouse gas foot …

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