Sen. John Kennedy, (R-La) grilled a Biden Administration official about climate change. The senator ask, "how much would spending $50 trillion in American taxpayer money to become carbon-neutral lower global temperatures?"
The official was at a loss for words, but I'd say, "There are too many other variables in that equation. What will other countries do, for instance." "It's not a question that can be answered that simplistically." I don't know, for sure, what I'd say if I was sitting at that microphone being grilled, however.
Here is my take.
Climate change is a global problem related to population growth and increasing consumption around the world. Apparently, the US now accounts for only 13% of global carbon emissions; according to that Biden official's testimony.
Republicans use that figure to imply that our efforts to reduce our own carbon emissions may not make that much difference in the bigger picture. We are just one of many drops in the bucket.
One must also, of course, figure in the things we consume in the US that are manufactured overseas. Our consumption likely accounts for more than 13% of global carbon emissions, but it likely would still be much less than half.
Other countries are making strides to reduce emissions so they aren't just twiddling their thumbs, as many Republicans would say. This is a global problem that goes beyond an "us versus them" mindset.
Historically, the US and other first world countries of the past, have created most of the emissions over the past century, but going forward, it's a different story. Our emissions are now a smaller part of the overall picture.
I highly doubt that we (first world) can amend or compensate for the past. Aside from the logistics, the political will does not exist.
Forgetting the past, going forward is the issue we are dealing with now.
Over the next 10 years, I doubt we will be able to meet our goals to reduce carbon emissions. Green technology is still slow in coming, though it is coming faster than before. Our society's dependency on wealth and convenience is so strong that we can't likely meet the goals environmentalists set, let alone think about the past.
As for the rest of the world, the problem is global. The US does need to strive harder to reduce carbon emissions along with the rest of the world. The technology and lifestyles to accomplish this should be shared around the world.
Solutions to the problem include, of course, technology, but also changes in the way we plan our living habitats. We should learn how to build with less sprawl. The whole world needs reductions in population growth worldwide (which is starting to happen). We need less dependency on automobiles, large homes and personal wealth. New paradigms for the entire world including USA.