In a taped message shown yesterday to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Governors Global Climate Summit,” President-elect Barack Obama reiterated much of the same rhetoric from the campaign trail: a federal cap-and-trade system, cutting carbon emissions by 80% by 2020, $15 billion a year in new spending, and 5 million new green jobs. The globe-trotting delegates at the posh Beverly Hills conference swallowed every word. London-based Climate Group chief executive Steve Howard told attendees: “It looks as if we’re about to have a climate emissions Terminator in Washington.”

Let’s leave aside the jobs question just for a moment. Obama also told the attendees, “The science is beyond dispute, and the facts are clear.” Obama is right; the science is clear. But not in the way he used it. Obama was referring to the litany of green fear mongering always listed with global warming: rising sea levels, stronger storms, droughts, etc. As bad as all of these things are, there is absolutely no scientific evidence that Obama’s carbon capping targets would solve any of these problems. If the U.S. reduced carbon emissions by 75% by 2050, it would result in just 0.013 degrees Celsius of “prevented” warming by 2050. Studies show that stabilizing carbon at 2000 levels would do nothing to stop the rising seas. And we haven’t even talked about China and India yet. The Electric Power Research Institute in Palo Alto, Calif., calculates that even if the United States, Europe and Japan turned off every power plant and mothballed every car, atmospheric carbon dioxide would still climb from the current 380 parts per million to a perilous 450 ppm by 2070, thanks to contributions from China and India. Let’s recap: There are no environmental benefits from Obama’s green agenda promises.

So what are the costs that we have to bear for Obama’s cap-and-trade plan? Obama says he will take the proceeds from his plan (which is just an energy tax dressed in drag) and spend $15 billion a year to create 5 million new green jobs. But the environmentalist left has already admitted these numbers are completely bogus. Apollo Alliance co-director (and self proclaimed coiner of the “green collar jobs” term) Kate Gordon recently told the Wall Street Journal that her group’s job estimates were arrived at “just to inspire people.” Sure, if the government spends $15 billion, some jobs will be created. But raising that $15 billion will come at a cost. That’s just Economics 101. Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis studied the economic costs of the much less stringent Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade plan and found that it would cost the U.S. economy a $4.8 trillion loss in GDP and a net 1 million loss of jobs by 2030.

There is a reason European Union countries such as Germany and Italy are insisting that the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions targets be eased; they are experiencing the economic pain of the green agenda first hand. The EU’s cap-and-trade program is in complete collapse. Now is not the time for the U.S. to import Europe’s failed and job killing environmental policy.

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