Political Climate
Jan 18, 2008
Poland - Global Cooling Or Global Warming For The Polish People?

The Polish Outlook

Since the mid-19th century, the mean global temperature has increased by 0.7 degrees Celsius. This slight warming is not unusual, and lies well within the range of natural variation. Carbon dioxide continues to build in the atmosphere, but the mean planetary temperature hasn’t increased significantly for nearly nine years. Antarctica is getting colder. Neither the intensity nor the frequency of hurricanes has increased. The 2007 season was the third-quietest since 1966. In 2006 not a single hurricane made landfall in the U.S.

The idea that global warming is a problem provides many great ways to make money, make political points and gain competitive advantages. But to the economies of Europe, it may have some disadvantages. Former New York Mayor Ed Koch slams Al Gore and points out how the idea of Global Warming is an economic tool being used against Europe and the US by developing countries in an article called, Does Gore Know What He’s Talking About?. Koch points out: “The argument offered by China, India and other developing countries is clear and direct. Said Lu Xuedu, the deputy director general of the Chinese Office of Global Environmental Affairs, “You cannot tell people who are struggling to earn enough to eat that they need to reduce their emissions.” China’s intent is to put the United States and Europe in a difficult economic position where standards of living will be reduced until developing countries rise to the standard of the U.S. At that point the developing countries will be required to reduce their emissions.”

With countries, powerful business interests and journalists behind selling global warming as fact, Polish politicians will be under pressure to do something politically correct as the people are fed a continual stream of warnings. If they look at the data, they may make a reasoned decision. But then they might just take the simple approach being taken by Norway - just pollute and put tax zloty in some global warming dependent company’s coffers. Norway’s emissions soar. And then look out the window to see if it is getting warmer or colder. As it stands now, if 2007 is indicative of the future, it is likely to get colder. Read more here.

Jan 17, 2008
Ice Returns as Greenland Temps Plummet

On Disko Bay in western Greenland, where a number of prominent world leaders have visited in recent years to get a first-hand impression of climate change, temperatures have dropped so drastically that the water has frozen over for the first time in a decade. “The ice is up to 50cm thick,” said Henrik Matthiesen, an employee at Denmark’s Meteorological Institute who has also sailed the Greenlandic coastline for the Royal Arctic Line. ‘We’ve had loads of northerly winds since Christmas which has made the area miserably cold.’ Matthiesen suggested the cold weather marked a return to the frigid temperatures common a decade ago.

Temperatures plunged to -25C earlier this month, clogging the bay with ice and making shipping impossible for small crafts, according to Anthon Frederiksen, the mayor of the town of Ilulissat, where Disko Bay is located. The mayor cautioned against thinking that the freezing temperature indicated that global warming claims were overblown. He noted that a nearby glacier had retracted more in the past two decades than in recorded history. But he noted “‘We Greenlanders have acclimated to changing conditions over the past 1100 years,” said Frederiksen. “Temperatures change at regular intervals.”

NASA satellite image of Greenland. You clearly see the ice cap covering almost entire Greenland even in this non-winter photo. Only in summer are the coastal areas free of snow. On the far left you can see Baffin Island.

Jan 17, 2008
Carbon Trading- Europe Faces Huge Job Losses, Are We Next?

Excerpts from AFP and Financial Times with thanks to Benny Peiser

The German steel industry warned Thursday of huge job losses if the European Commission went ahead with a new emissions trading scheme in its climate protection drive.  “If by 2020 all emission rights must be bought at auction, at least 50,000 jobs in the German steel industry are in danger,” the head of the industry foundation, Dieter Ameling, told the conservative daily Die Welt in an interview to be published Thursday. Currently European companies receive free certificates that cover a large share of their carbon dioxide emissions.

The European Commission plans a new emissions trading system as part of the bloc’s commitment to cut greenhouse gases by 20 percent by 2020. By that date, all free emissions certificates will be phased out, according to plans that are to be officially presented next Wednesday in Brussels. “The EU programme would make German and European manufacturers the clear losers in the global steel industry,” he said. Read more here.

France agrees. In this Financial Times story , Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, has weighed into the controversy over the European Union’s climate change plans with an attack on some proposals as “neither efficient, fair nor economically sustainable”. Just six months before France takes up the EU presidency, Mr Sarkozy has written to Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso to set out his objections to the plan for reducing carbon emissions to be published later this month. In the letter seen by the Financial Times, Mr Sarkozy stresses his support for a system to cut carbon emissions and promote the development of renewable energy. However, he warns that, as currently structured, the proposals could unfairly penalise France and would pose a real threat to European industry, which would be forced to move to countries where regulations were less restrictive and costly.

Thanks to Benny Peiser for keeping us up to date on the concerns mounting abroad. You can bet that if here in the United States, we enact similar measures, energy prices, already sky high, will rise dramatically hurting poor and middle income families most and bring similar job losses and likely ensuring a recession or worse. No one argues we all need to do our part to conserve. One would hope already high prices, public pressure and fierce competition should incentivize private industry to innovate with more efficient use of resources and sources of energy with positive instead of negative economic impact.  See more on this issue here.

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