Last week Nobel Laureate and climate change fanatic Al Gore called for a man-on-the-moon effort to reduce carbon dioxide to curb global warming. He proposed to have 100 % of our nation’s energy coming from renewable, carbon-free energy sources in only a decade. Likening his efforts to that of President JFK, he said:
When President John F. Kennedy challenged our nation to land a man on the moon and bring him back safely in 10 years, many people doubted we could accomplish that goal.”
Gore, claiming that the history of civilization is at stake, is willing to spend up to $3 trillion (yes, with a “t”) to achieve emissions free energy by 2018. Thanks to some research and number crunching from The Heritage Foundation’s David Kreutzer, Ph.D. and Patrick Tyrrell, we found that Al Gore’s proposal is the equivalent of 15 man-on-the-moon efforts in terms of cost.
The NASA Budget from 1961-71 was roughly $31 billion in current dollars. In 2008 dollars it equates to slightly less than $200 billion. So, if it takes a $3 trillion federal spending initiative over 10 years to wean oil, natural gas and coal out of the picture, it would cost 15 times as much as JFK spent to bring a man to the moon and back in ten years.
And if the United States embarks on this renewable journey alone, all of this economic pain could be for naught. Every seven to ten days China is bringing a new coal plant online. Other developing countries rightfully have economic development and meeting energy demands as a priority over reducing carbon dioxide. That isn’t to say they will always be mutually exclusive; however, countries that choose to battle global warming should do so in an economically rational way without consumers footing the bill and pushing people into poverty.