Net Zero: Shattering economies, shattering dreams


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Joe Biden fell asleep (not even his most embarrassing moment!) at the Glasgow climate conference. And for good reason. It’s over. Net Zero by 2050 is dying a slow, painful death.

President Xi Jinping said so. So did India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. So did Africa. Good riddance.

Oh, they are still trying, but people are not buying.

Mr. Modi just demonstrated the absurdity of the climate crazies by demanding a trillion dollars as his price for achieving “Net Zero” carbon dioxide emissions – by 2070, not the official goal of 2050. India in the real world has other problems far more pressing – reducing energy poverty, building transportation infrastructure, and eliminating crippling diseases.

But who cares about humanity when the Earth itself is dying? [It isn’t.]

African nations, too, are telling the smug Europeans (and their colonial cousins) to put up or shut up – to the tune of $1.3 trillion ANNUALLY for climate finance.

You might think these are large sums, but you would be wrong. According to a Vivid Economics study entitledNet Zero Financing Roadmaps,” it will take a combined $125 trillion of investment over the next decade alone to enable the world to achieve Net Zero by 2050.

Mark Carney, former Bank of England governor, says that the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), which he chairs, already has over 450 members (banks, asset managers, investment consultants, stock exchanges, and ratings agencies) from 45 countries that together control assets totaling $130 trillion.

The member list includes BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, which operates globally with 70 offices in 30 countries and clients in 100 countries. BlackRock’s website states that “climate risk will fundamentally reshape finance and drive a significant reallocation of capital.” Lew Rockwell says that BlackRock and fellow asset manager Vanguard “run the world.”

Banks, too, are championing Net Zero by 2050. Bank of America (BOA) brags that it achieved 100 percent renewable electricity in 2019* and blurts out that “the next 30 years could determine whether humans are able to set a course for long-term environmental sustainability and a more prosperous world.” [*Not really. Many BOA offices rely on fossil fuel burning power plants.]

BOA boasts that, under its Environmental Business Initiative, it has deployed over $200 billion to low-carbon, sustainable business activities since 2007 and will up that total to $1 trillion by 2030. Another $500 billion of investors’ money will go to address climate action, clean water and greater access to clean energy, ending poverty and hunger, and much more.

And what a paragon of virtue! The Corporate Research Project calls Bank of America “one of the main symbols of the excesses that brought about the financial meltdown of 2008 and the ensuing economic troubles,” and which paid $17 billion for its foibles. A laundry list of BOA payouts for its wrongdoing can be found here.

It may seem shocking that these elites want to squander 40 percent of the world’s financial assets to allegedly reduce global temperatures by a fraction of a degree Celsius! Surely, in a world in which billions live without electricity, running water, sanitation, schools, and so much more, a far smaller investment in humanity would have a much larger return on investment.

According to a study by Bjorn Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus, addressing human needs will do more than $15 worth of good for every dollar spent. The list includes lowering chronic child malnutrition, halving malaria infections, reducing tuberculosis deaths, avoiding 1.1 million HIV infections, reducing newborn mortality, increasing immunization to reduce child deaths, eliminating violence against women and girls, and expanding family planning services.

But no. Human suffering is not nearly as important to these elitists as climate suffering (otherwise known as consolidation of power). The technocrats’ “solution” to the much-hyped “climate crisis” amounts to little more than a war against the middle class.

But that should be no surprise. Back in 2013, The Harvard Gazette “warned” that, “the growing middle class is prompting increased competition for resources in global markets for oil, food, and minerals.”

The Gazette bemoaned that, “Our most pressing environmental challenge is not how many people the planet can support, but rather how many cellphone-toting, satellite-TV-watching, gas-guzzler driving members of the middle class it can bear.”

Omigawd! The greatest horror facing the Earth today is the rise of the middle class!

No wonder Joe Biden is thrilled that the price of everything is rising quickly under his watch.

There’s only one small problem. No, it’s not Joe Manchin, or Krysten Sinema.

It’s YOU!

You – the 99 percent – actually do not like rising prices, blackouts, food shortages, and other disruptions to your middle-class life (even the poor in America are relatively speaking middle class by world standards). And politicians tend to panic when the lions roar.

The very nerve of Americans to complain about higher prices and inflation. When CNN says that inflation is a presidential “political nightmare,” you know the green future is beginning to dim.

The green light was already turning yellow when a petition already signed by nearly 20,000 Britons is seeking to force a national referendum on committing to the Net Zero by 2050 targets. The British government is required by law to respond to petitions gaining over 10,000 signatures, and those with 100,000 signatories force consideration of a debate in Parliament.

The petition states that, “I believe Net Zero target lacks legitimacy and without a referendum the current climate change policy lacks the explicit consent of the people…. This exposes a massive democratic deficit in our system of government.”

Imagine if Americans could get to vote on a similar petition.

The Virginia elections, and the defeat of the New Jersey senate majority leader, sent a message that even the hardest headed are hearing. The planners are spinning, the less strident are quivering, but Madame Pelosi and Joe Biden remain resolute. They may go down with the ship next year, but meanwhile their cannon just keep blasting away.

So, yeah, Net Zero by 2050 is gasping for breath. But a wounded lion is the most dangerous. The growing wall of opposition to the intentional downsizing necessary to carry out the Net Zero mandates could crumble in a heartbeat.

But it won’t.

I hope.

  • Duggan Flanakin is the Director of Policy Research at the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow. A former Senior Fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Mr. Flanakin authored definitive works on the creation of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and on environmental education in Texas. A brief history of his multifaceted career appears in his book, "Infinite Galaxies: Poems from the Dugout."

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