‘Social cost of carbon’ racks and stacks human life around the globe
There are several things that stand out about the composition of Democrats, but one trait remains the most recognized: they love to flap their jaws about how much Black lives matter, and the endless ways in which racism against the BIPOC community (Blacks, Indigenous, People of Color) permeates every facet of conservative, Republican, or pro-American philosophy. Yet, shocker, it’s just a massive load of malarkey.
Mid-November, the Biden EPA released a document with a title so typical of big government bureaucracy — as Dylan Matthews described it, “weapons-grade boring.” However, in Matthews’ essay published yesterday at Vox:
The 131-page document is not as dry as it sounds. It’s where the EPA, and the whole Biden administration, lays out an estimate of how bad carbon emissions are for the world. It estimates the ‘social cost of carbon,’ a key variable in climate policy that could affect everything from power plant emissions to fuel economy standards.
Yes, we all foresee the agenda of more tyranny and control, but here’s the real kicker:
But there’s an unusual choice buried in the new EPA estimate. Much of the harm of climate change comes from the fact that it literally kills people. Usually, when regulators consider risks of death, they put the same value on all lives. But the social cost of carbon is not a normal rule. It is the only federal rule of its kind that explicitly puts a value on the lives of non-Americans, and considers the benefits to them of abating climate change. In doing so, however, the rule does not weigh lives equally [emphasis added].
So how did Biden’s bureaucrats arrive at a formula to measure which lives are worth more and which ones are worth less? Well, they went off of GDP per capita, with citizens in wealthier countries being worth more.
Matthews uses the EPA formula to arrive at the following computations:
A lost life in Haiti represents a smaller cost than a lost life in Canada. In fact, a Canadian life saved is worth over 16 times as much as a Haitian life saved in the EPA’s calculus… Canada’s GDP per capita is more than 16 times that of Haiti.
We can keep going. A Qatari life is worth 118 Burundian lives — a Qatari life is worth more than an American life, in fact. A German life is worth 12 Cambodian lives. An Australian life is worth four Indonesian lives. A Russian life is worth two Ukrainian lives.
I’m starting to sense a pattern here — those rotten little guttersnipes in Burundi and Cambodia trying to rise above Third World living conditions, who do they think they are? Carbon emissions and climate pollution are necessary byproducts allowed for the jetset class, not the lower classes. Also, on another note, how dare the political class lambast us as Russophiles when we question obvious corruption through Ukraine; they’re the ones devaluing Ukrainian lives.
The EPA’s FAQ page says the agency “does not place a dollar value on individual lives” so maybe it’s all fake news? Not quite. Matthews breaks down the academic hoops the EPA jumps through to in fact place a dollar sign on foreign lives, by disguising the racking and stacking with academese like the “Value of Statistical Life” (VSL) model and the “revealed preferences” approach. According to Matthews:
VSL as a tool must be applied carefully. Revealed preferences approaches relying on actual spending decisions usually imply that the value of a statistical life is greater for rich people than poor people, because they have more money to spend on extending their lives. A recent study by Viscusi [economist who conceived VSL] and Clayton Masterman estimated that for every additional dollar in income an American earns, their VSL goes up between 50 and 70 cents. That implies that if the US were to use different VSLs for different states, people in Massachusetts should count for significantly more than people in West Virginia.
As it turns out, Democrat concerns aren’t for the prosperity and welfare of Black and Brown lives, but rather rich lives! Who knew?
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