New Mexico’s Climate Follies

New Mexico’s Climate Follies by Peter Burrows 11/24/19 –

Ten months ago, Governor Lujan Grisham created a “Climate Change Task Force” to come up with proposals to reduce New Mexico’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  The initial recommendations were released last week in a 28-page report you can find at

When I read the report, I quickly came to the conclusion that the whole thing was a huge waste of time. The authors simply hadn’t done their homework and their recommendations, if implemented, will be a disaster for New Mexico as well as a huge waste of money.  This is true even if adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere is as harmful as the climate alarmists claim.

Some of you are thinking, “Carbon dioxide IS the problem, Burro, you climate denier troglodyte, and New Mexico has a moral obligation to join the climate battle to save humanity!”

That’s just what New Mexico is poised to do, but before manning the ramparts, don’t you think it would be wise to survey the battlefield?  The task force report says that New Mexico produced about 66.7 million metric tons of greenhouse gas in 2018, a little over 1% of total U.S. GHG emissions.  Let’s repeat that: New Mexico produces ONE PERCENT of total U.S. GHG emissions.

On a global scale, 2018 GHG emissions were estimated at 37.1 billion metric tons, which puts New Mexico’s global contribution at about one-fifth of one percent.  Furthermore, the Energy Information Administration estimates that by 2040 global GHG emissions will grow 6 billion tons to about 43 billion tons. This means that even if New Mexico eliminated 100% of its GHG emissions by then, we will have reduced the total amount of ADDITIONAL GHG emissions by only about 1%.

That’ll save the world. Right. And at what cost? Ah, there’s the rub, Hamlet.  The task force doesn’t give any cost estimates! It talks about modernizing the grid, adding electricity storage, creating lots of electric vehicle recharging stations, encouraging public transit in cities (they never learn), monitoring methane emissions, passing cap-and-trade, imposing emission standards for cars and changing building codes, BUT THE REPORT NEVER MENTIONS WHAT ALL THIS IS GOING TO COST! 

I suspect they don’t care. They have a world to save, and if our electricity bills necessarily skyrocket, so be it.  That’s what President Obama said would happen, and now his prescient forecast is coming true, right here in The Land of Enchantment.

Proof that ideology trumps cost is the fact that the report never mentions adding nuclear power to the grid.  Nuclear power is the only way to reduce GHG emissions economically. Wind, solar, and storage can’t do it.  In fact, adding wind and solar to the electric grid has increased electricity costs all over the world, from Germany to California.  Those who claim otherwise haven’t looked at the evidence.

Similarly, the environmentalists who claim wind and/or solar are cheaper than coal or nuclear haven’t done the math.  Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, did the math many years ago and has long been critical of wind and solar, advocating for nuclear power instead.

A recent convert to Gates’ point of view is the environmentalist Michael Shellenberger. He says wind and solar aren’t going to save the environment, and in fact we must save the environment FROM wind and solar. Both Gates and Shellenberger can be found making their case on numerous You Tube videos.

On one, Shellenberger is joined by James Hansen, the NASA scientist who testified before Congress in 1988 on the dangers of adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Hansen is often called “The father of global warming,” and he gives the argument against wind and solar huge credibility.

Can Gates, Shellenberger, Hansen and a growing army of people who actually understand renewable energy save New Mexico from itself? I doubt it. The Climate Crisis agenda is not driven by facts, it’s driven by emotion.  To a certain extent, it is also driven by a desire to tear down an ‘evil’ economic and social system that has created so much earth-destroying prosperity and in the process an unacceptable amount of inequality, too.

That’s why our salvation may come at the unlikely hands of Michael Moore. The old social justice warrior has produced a new documentary, Planet of the Humans, in which he documents Shellenberger’s claim: wind and solar do more harm than good, and  — GASP! — some evil-dirty bastard capitalists are making a PROFIT on those solar panels and wind mills.

I hope Moore’s documentary sparks enough fact-based emotionalism to counter the push for wind and solar. Lord knows, FACTS ALONE won’t do the job.

Unless sanity prevails, New Mexico is about to embark on a feel-good crusade to lower GHG emissions that will wreck our economy, be hugely expensive and have no effect on global temperatures.  This will occur just as the false promise of renewable energy is starting to be recognized around the world.

Unfortunately, if New Mexico’ recent history is any indication, e.g. The Rail Runner and the Spaceport, sanity has no chance to prevail.

FYI You Tube videos:   Note what Gates says 11:20 to 11:45. I think he means the “renewables are the answer crowd” is more of a block to effective CO2 reduction then folks like moi.

Here’s a short one, well worth the time. Shellenberger’s conclusion is noteworthy:


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