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By DONALD J. BOUDREAUX
Richard Branson,Arianna Huffington and several other business icons recently called on world leaders to commit to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Such a commitment, they vow, would “drive innovation, grow jobs, build prosperity and secure a better world.”
This isn’t merely impractical; it’s nonsensical. Fossil fuels are the bedrock of modernity, generating cheap energy and widespread wealth. Environmental crusaders who would do away with these fuels fail to acknowledge the stark results in a world forced to rely solely on renewable energy.
Altogether, renewable energy sources—including wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal and biomass—generate one-tenth of the energy Americans demand. Without fossil fuels to fill that 90% gap, the economy would collapse, commodity supplies would dwindle, jobs would disappear, and households would remain cold, dark and haunted by hunger.
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