Property Owners and Consumers Pay the Tab for Climate Alarmism

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Property Owners and Consumers Pay the Tab for Climate Alarmism
Property Owners and Consumers Pay the Tab for Climate Alarmism

Middle-class households feel the pinch of rising costs associated with environmental regulations that impose additional taxes and stringent penalties for not towing the “green line.”

In Paris, for instance, if a building is old and fails an energy efficiency assessment, it can result in substantial financial burdens. Owners of thermally inefficient homes must conduct an energy audit when placing them for rent or sale and are required to disclose anticipated energy costs to potential buyers or renters. Moreover, they are barred from raising rent until renovating to enhance energy efficiency. The common-sense principle of having something “grandfathered in” does not apply in such cases.

The burden of energy transition is shifting directly to owners. Initially, subsidies were used to incentivize the adoption of green practices. As governments face budget constraints, they are being phased out. As subsidies evaporate, carbon emission-related taxes are being introduced, and costly renovation mandates are being enacted.

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Many need help with the financial burdens. Sudden and unjust mandates have led to protests by European farmers facing rising diesel costs and German households resisting mandates to replace gas boilers.

In California, homeowners and small businesses installing solar panels have faced challenges due to new metering regulations that significantly reduce compensation for excess electricity sold back to the grid.

Many governments established a range of climate measures during a period of relatively low interest rates and seemingly plentiful energy supplies. Still, governments and citizens are now confronted with a new set of challenges.

The current landscape, shaped by conflicts such as those in the Ukraine and Gaza, is compelling Western governments to allocate more resources to defense amidst rising energy costs and inflation. Thus, the West has done what communist regimes refuse to do. French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed a regulatory pause for Europe to absorb the repercussions of the Ukraine conflict, leading the European Union to scale back some climate initiatives in favor of defense spending.

Weary energy consumers may welcome the respite, as 70 percent feel they have reached their sustainability limit, a sentiment echoed in a recent Ernst & Young survey. The three-year comprehensive survey of nearly 100,000 residential energy consumers in 20 countries found declining consumer confidence regarding their energy future, highlighting shortcomings in affordability, access and appeal.

Indeed, only 30 percent felt confident about the future affordability of green energy, with 72 percent unable to afford a 10 percent raise in cost. Furthermore, despite green energy’s high media profile, just 26 percent clearly understand key terms like renewable energy and sustainability. This lack of understanding and adherence highlights the utter failure of climate activists to convince the public that their alarmist rhetoric is true.

Energy transition disproportionately burdens the low- and middle-income, who perceive that it primarily benefits its more affluent talking heads.

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Families are grappling with escalating costs imposed by developing or upgrading critical infrastructure to support energy transition. Electricity rates charged by California’s Pacific Gas and Electric Company have surged 127 percent over the past decade. Coupled with increased expenses for wildfire prevention and grid enhancements, this has resulted in more than one million customers falling behind on their payments.

The irony of “soak-the-rich-corporations” sloganeering is that utility companies can only absorb the transitioning costs by passing them on to consumers. Do climate alarmists really think that businesses can shoulder these expenses without consequence?

California has set a 100 percent clean energy goal by 2045, yet faces challenges with excess solar power generation in some areas. The loss of government subsidies, changes in metering rules aimed at distributing grid development costs and homeowner investment in energy storage have led to a 75 percent drop in new rooftop solar installations, causing job losses. In addition, the unjust application of electricity pricing based on personal income has further divided the clean-energy community.

Consider a California farmer who installed solar panels in 2017 to power irrigation pumps and reduce electricity costs. The metering system in 2024 now forces him to sell solar power generated back to the grid at low rates and then repurchase it later at high rates when most needed the most, scarcely an incentive for investment.

Europe faces challenges transitioning to cleaner energy, especially after Russia’s aggression in Ukraine severely disrupted energy prices. Germany’s dependence on Russian energy has caused it to struggle with high energy costs that have impacted its economy, leading to budget cuts and the inability to redirect funds for future green initiatives.

The transition has raised questions regarding whose financial responsibility it is, but the end-user will inevitably pay the tab. Berlin has announced a series of measures, including increasing carbon prices and taxing aviation fuel and plastics. It has ended subsidies for grid fees and electric vehicle buyers while reducing incentives for diesel fuel used in agriculture and solar panel installations.

Token measures will not satisfy the radical demands of climate alarmists. Bjorn Lomborg, a Nobel Prize-winning economist from the Copenhagen Consensus Center, stated in Imprimis that lowering the temperature by a few degrees could cost between 20 and 100 trillion dollars, with global cooperation being highly improbable. The undeniable certainty is that the greatest financial burden will fall upon American consumers.

The proposed solution’s cost far outweighs the purported cost of the potential damage that has yet to be proven to be anthropogenic. The United States federal government plans to allocate $400 billion of taxpayer money for green energy projects, signaling the initial steps in addressing climate transition.

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News reports suggest that the Biden administration is exploring controversial techniques to mitigate global warming, such as stratospheric aerosol injection and marine cloud brightening to partially block the sun. In the face of public concerns, the White House has stated that there are no immediate plans for solar modification research.

Meanwhile, affluent climate activist jet-setters fly around the globe demanding costly “solutions” for a problematic “crisis” and demanding that average citizens pay the price tag for their alarmist hyperbole.

Photo Credit: © Andy Dean –

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