Saturday, November 07, 2015

EPA's Ruinously Expensive Math Deficiency

by JASmius

There is a concept in economics - something that Gina McCarthy doesn't so much know nothing about as simply doesn't give a damn about under any circumstances, up to and including the zombie apocalypse - known as the Law of Diminishing Returns.  It's a very easy idea to grasp: When the cost per unit of measure of a commodity exceeds the break-even point (where return equals cost), you start losing money beyond that point, and therefore you stop manufacturing that commodity or spending more resources to acquire it.  Because the cost literally isn't worth the effort.

Leaving aside the fact that the EPA is unconstitutional (because the word "environment" doesn't exist in the United States Constitution, much less is its pollution an enumerated power of the federal government)....oh, heck, let's pretend that the Twenty-Eighth Amendment is passed and ratified giving the federal government that power (purely for the sake of discussion - we wouldn't really want to do that, just as we wouldn't really want to not abolish the EPA as the communist economic wrecking ball it really is.  But I digress.).  I could tolerate a (constitutional) EPA if it were reasonable, not run by Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries hiding behind trees and inedible fish and the like.  And a prime indication of that reasonableness would be the application of cost-benefit analysis to every single last rule EPA sought to promulgate to determine if it did or did not exceed the point of diminishing returns.  If it didn't, the rule could go forward; if it did, bye-bye rule.  Because everything - including "clean air" - is a commodity and therefore has a cost, and pursuing a commodity past the point of diminishing returns is not worth that cost.  It isn't reasonable.

It's insane.

Which is how we can know that Gina McCarthy is cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

But let's start with the warmup story:

EPA Chief Gina McCarthy wants the world to stop using hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in air conditioners and other consumers products as part of Barack Obama’s plan to fight global warming.

McCarthy is so determined to make this happen, she’s taking the lead role at an ongoing United Nations summit to expand the current global treaty covering ozone-depleting substances. The EPA chief hopes that her agency’s recent HFC regulations will convince other countries to join the U.S. in limiting the chemicals…

“Solutions are here, and it’s time to amend the Montreal Protocol to reflect that,” McCarthy wrote, adding that phasing out HFCs would avert 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by the end of the century.

Which is cow flatulence, as the globe is, I will remind one and all again, cooling, not warming, and it's going to get a lot cooler still over the next generation, and a prime way to prepare for the coming mini-ice age is to pour as much "greenhouse gas" into the atmosphere as possible.

But let's revisit a little EPA history, which appears to be another topic in which Mrs. McCarey is not particularly well-versed.  The Montreal Protocol was promulgated to protect the ozone layer (which shields our planet's ecosphere from lethal ultraviolet solar radiation) from the substance that used to be used in air conditioners and refrigerators and similar appliances up until the 1970s: CHLOROflourocarbons.  CFCs were replaced by, you guessed it, HYDROflourocarbons, which do NOT damage the ozone layer.  And everybody lived happily ever after for the next forty or so years....until now, when Gina McCarthy is invoking a "protocol" that isn't relevant to the HFCs she's trying to ban.

The term "any port in a storm" comes to mind.  Also that the butch woman can't read.  And, finally, that it's adding insult to injury to take away everybody's air conditioners - hey, maybe she'll confiscate all our fans as well - in the face of her mythical claim that the entire planet is in imminent danger of roasting to death.

This is what zealotry looks like, my friends.  And Gina McCarthy isn't a pretty sight even when her big mouth is closed.

But she can't do arithmetic, either:

The Environmental P[ollu]tion Agency estimated its stricter smog limits would only cost Americans $1.4 billion a year, but a new report argues the total cost to the economy is likely forty times higher than agency estimates.

The American Action Forum says EPA’s updated smog, or ground-level ozone, rule could cost $56.5 billion in lost wages based on economic losses from counties that couldn’t comply with the agency’s 2008 rule.

“Observed nonattainment counties experienced losses of $56.5 billion in total wage earnings, $690 in pay per worker, and 242,000 jobs between 2008 and 2013,” according to AAF policy experts. [emphases added]

And how much ground-level ozone reduction would that $56.5 billion purchase?  Five parts per billion.  Or, expressed decimally, 0.000000005.  Which begs the question of why Mrs. McCarey is thinking so small.  I mean, if cost is no constraint, and smog is such a horrible, toxic substance, why doesn't she propose getting rid of it altogether?  Just ban the internal combustion engine!  Confiscate all cars and motorcycles and scooters!  Make public transportation on hippity-hops and pogo-sticks (since electric vehicles inescapably run on electricity generated by the burning of fossil fuels) mandatory!  Or just force the private sector to spend the additional eleven quintillion, three hundred quadrillion dollars ($11,300,000,000,000,000,000) to regulate it out of existence.  Only then will we be able to "breathe easy".  Right?  Well, no, probably not, because we will have all starved to death.  But at least our graves will sit beneath a troposphere that is smog-free.

Gosh, it makes the quarter-quadrillion dollar entitlements fiscal apocalypse - which is REAL and which these mindless animals are doing NOTHING about - look like an outright bargain, doesn't it?

So, Gina, why don't you calm down, sit down, have a nice, hot, steaming cup of Screw You and make yourself constructively useful for a change by getting to work on the EPA constitutional amendment so that at least your mass throttling of the U.S. economy into the extinction on the brink of which it's already teetering will be legal.

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