Thanks to the CoronaVirus outbreak and the utter collapse in all modes of travel, experts are predicting steep drops in CO2 emissions (a drop of 5% or more this year depending on how prolonged the situation is). In fact, a few weeks ago we said that this pandemic has placed us in conditions akin to the Green New Deal.
Of course, while most Americans and many around the globe live in misery or at least great frustration and discomfort from being unable to travel and engage in a wide variety of everyday activities and demand for oil plummets, the environmentalists claim more is still needed.
We at the Rio Grande Foundation don’t take a firm position on the merits of climate change and how much of a crisis it actually is, but it would seem that environmentalists are simply not going to get people to live such constrained lives once this crisis has passed. Instead, if they genuinely wish to address CO2 emissions they should focus on transitioning electricity generation to nuclear power and (rather than building expensive and germ laden transit systems) should consider policies like tax credits that encourage remote work (thus reducing fuel consumed commuting).