Archive for the ‘Climate Politics’ category

Der Spiegel: Pessimism At Bonn Climate Conference. EU Climate Targets On Ice

June 1, 2010

According to a Der Spiegel report today:

The world community is preparing a world climate treaty – but the first reactions sound pessimistic.

About 4500 participants from all over the world have gathered in Bonn in an attempt to forge a new world climate treaty in talks that will last two weeks. But so far talks have shown that no quick solutions are in sight. Der Spiegel writes:

Delegates and observers are almost unanimous on the view that a new world climate treaty won’t be achievable in time for Cancun at the end of 2010, this after the disaster in Copenhagen. At the conference in Bonn, the target is to lay at least the cornerstones for a partial success.

Government delegates have presented a new 42-page draft with options for contents of negotiation.

Der Spiegel writes: EU climate targets on ice!

Artur Runge-Metzger, Climate Protection Director of the EU Commission, emphasized that the EU’s target of reducing GHG emissions by 30% are not off the table. But the EU will go ahead with the 30% target ONLY IF other countries do their fair share in global climate protection.

Emphasis above is mine.

The EU has also pledged €2.4 billion in immediate aid to poor countries for climate protection. It was agreed in Copenhagen that industrialised nations would pay developing countries approx. $30 billion in immediate aid between 2010 and 2012. Developing countries have complained that they haven’t received anything so far.

As Governments Bedwet Over AGW, World Faces Potential Food Catastrophe

May 26, 2010

      While world governments bedwet over a fantasized climate catastrophe taking place 100 years out, mankind could be facing a potential catastrophic food shortage. A worthhile read (see link below).

A fungus threatens 20% of the world's food supply.

      The disease is Ug99, a virulent strain of black stem rust fungus (Puccinia graminis), discovered in Uganda in 1999, threatens the world’s wheat supply. Read the scary details here: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/02/ff_ug99_fungus/all/1

      Wheat provides 20% of all calories consumed by humans. According to Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution:

This thing has immense potential for social and human destruction.

      According to wired.com, the fungus attacks the stem of the wheat plant, causing it to wither and die.

Stem rust is the polio of agriculture, a plague that was brought under control nearly half a century ago as part of the celebrated Green Revolution. After years of trial and error, scientists managed to breed wheat that contained genes capable of repelling the assaults of Puccinia graminis, the formal name of the fungus.

But now it’s clear: The triumph didn’t last.

      The new fungus has spread from Africa and into the Middle East. It would only take a  traveller with a single spore on his shirt to transport it to the USA and Canada.

The pathogen makes its presence known to humans through crimson pustules on the plant’s stems and leaves. When those pustules burst, millions of spores flare out in search of fresh hosts.

      It goes to show that nature has a bag full of nasty tricks, and there’s nothing you can do to stop her. All you can do is adapt, hopefully quickly enough. But if you waste your time trying to appease her, and don’t invest your resources wisely in adapting, you’ll get eliminated.

German Industry Says: Take A Break!

May 26, 2010

The online German Der Spiegel reported yesterday here that the EU Commission wants to accelerate cuts in CO2 emissions, but industry and government officials are saying “no!”. With economies gripped by hardship and overall growing public scepticism (see here), calls for even more draconian measures to curb CO2 emissions are ringing hollow.

German Minister of Economics Rainer Bruederle says it’s time to take a break from efforts to protect the climate:

It accomplishes nothing for environmental protection when Europe goes it alone and jobs are sent to other regions of the world.

Werner Schnappauf, Director of the German Association of Industry adds:

As long as there is no international and legally binding climate protection treaty,  industry rejects increasing the climate reduction target from 20% to 30%. There are only disadvantages for both the climate and economy if Europe rushes and goes it alone.

      The EU wants to ratchet up the target from 20% to 30% less CO2 emissions than 1990 by 2020. Other leading German government officials think they can both appease the climate gods by making human sacrifices at the Altar of Climate, and at the same time boost the economy. German Minister of the Environment Norbert Roettgen and other EU environment ministers have said they want to go ahead and require the 30% target, with or without an international treaty.

It’s good for the environment and also for the incentive to innovate, from which the German industry would greatly profit.

      According to the EU Commission, a CO2 reduction of 30% by 2020 would lead to a 0.54% drop in GDP. Can’t these people think of ways to make our lives easier for a change?

Global Warming Is Off The Radar!

May 12, 2010

Earth to Gore! Earth to Gore! Do you read?

I remember seeing Gallup polls listing Global Warming and Environment separately, and almost always near the bottom on the list of concerns. But I don’t ever recall GW being relegated to obscurity – but maybe I’m wrong here. Anyway the “climate crisis”, as Gore likes to call it, is not even among the top 10  concerns for Americans. Here are the latest Gallup poll results. H/t: hotair

Maybe global warming has been lumped in under Environment, along with air and water pollution, littering, lawnmower noise and plastic bags.

Crash Of 2009 – Scientists Say Climate Policy Needs Radical New Direction

May 11, 2010

In a just published 43-page paper, leading scientists and professors are calling for a completely new direction in climate policy after what they call “The Crash of 2009”. http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/mackinderProgramme/pdf/HartwellPaper07052010.pdf

This was made public this morning by Dr Reiner Grundmann, one of the paper’s authors, at http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com.

In its Executive Summary, the paper states that climate policy “has failed to produce any discernable real world reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases in fifteen years”, adding:

…UNFCCC/Kyoto model was structurally flawed and doomed to fail because it systematically misunderstood the nature of climate change as a policy issue between 1985 and 2009.

In my view this paper reveals that many scientists and policymakers are now realising what many of us already knew: Radical regulation and taxation of carbon is not going to work. The paper proposes a much watered down version of what governments, interest groups and activists were previously pushing for. Its authors are still calling for a tranformation in energy supply and consumption, but in a more measured and targeted approach using low taxes and through the development of unsubsidised energy sources.

 The authors say of their paper:

It explains radical and practical ways to reduce non-CO2 human forcing of climate. It argues that improved climate-risk management is a valid policy goal, and is not simply congruent with carbon policy.

Well at least governments now have an option: they can continue to allow energy policy to be formulated and driven by zealots, or they can hand the job over to the lukewarmers, who are promising a less painful approach, one that respects human dignity.

USA’s CO2 Emissions Plunge 7%!

May 7, 2010

Well at least President Barack Obama is reaching his climate protection targets by cutting CO2 emissions like he promised he would. The USA’s CO2 emissions fell a whopping 7% last year.

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2010/05/us-carbon-dioxide-emissions-fell-record-7-last-year/1

While part of the reductions came from energy conservation and more efficient technology, a big part came from the nasty economic slowdown.

Heck, at the current rate the USA will be practically carbon-free by 2020! Not everybody thinks there’s been an economic price and pain. Take Joe Romm for example. The USA Today writes:

Romm says the CO2 decrease, larger than previously expected by the EIA, shows that such reductions are possible without harming the U.S. economy.

Say what! 10% of the workforce is idle and 20% is under-employed. Just how stupid can one possibly be?

What Leaders Can And Cannot Control

May 6, 2010

Listening to all the news about the debt crisis in Greece and Europe, the USA’s exploding deficits, and all the out-of-control city and state budgets, etc. etc., I ask myself:

How is it possible for leaders to think they can control the earth’s temperatures when they can’t even control their own deficits at home?

The next time you see a politician, ask him or her:

What is easier to control – your government’s spending or the earth’s temperature?

The answer to that will tell you a lot.