AB 32 never inspired anybody else

April 5, 2013

By John Seiler

AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, was supposed to inspire other countries to follow the state in mandating the reduction of greenhouse gases, in particular by switching from such “dirty” energy as coal to such “green” energy as solar and wind power.

AB 32’s language was explicit:

“National and international actions are necessary to fully address the issue of global warming. However, action taken by California to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases will have far-reaching effects by encouraging other states, the federal government, and other countries to act.”

Now, consider the following chart of China’s use of coal:

China coal use


Soon China will be using half the world’s entire coal supply. And notice what has happened since 2006, when AB 32 passed: China’s coal use has risen from around 2.6 billion tons per year, to 3.8 billion  in 2011. That’s a 46 percent rise.

China has 34 times as many people as California. And its GDP is about six times larger.

Californians still like to brag that our state is the eighth or ninth largest economy on the planet. But China’s is second largest, and soon will be first.

And the ChiComs care more about caring for their people, about half of whom still are impoverished, than about making California environmentalists feel good, or burnishing the ego of ex-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who signed AB 32 seven years ago.

In fact, things have changed so much that “global warming” now is called “climate change.” That’s because the latest studies show there hasn’t been any global warming for the past 16 years — despite the explosive growth of China, India, Brazil, Russia and other economies.

If you add the numbers of the black and red lines together in the above chart, global coal use jumped from 5.3 billion tons in 2000 to 9.1 in 2011. That’s global growth of 72 percent in just 11 years.

Yet the sun hasn’t been blotted out from the sky, the waters haven’t boiled over into our cities and the polar ice caps haven’t melted, as Al Gore warned would happen in his movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Gov. Jerry Brown is traveling next week to China. Do you think he will take in any of this, suspend AB 32 for a year (as the law allows) and promote California jobs growth?

Of course not. His illusions  are precious to him.

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