Thursday, January 23, 2014

Europe Dials Down the Global Warmism

Consider the source. Then, consider the cost.

The source is the New York Times, hardly infected with climate-change denial.

Today, it reports prominently that Europeans have been reconsidering their environmentalism. It turns out that the fight against global warming is very expensive. It’s very expensive for business, but who cares about that. But, it’s also very expensive for consumers.

The result, as reported by the Times:

For years, Europe has tried to set the global standard for climate-change regulation, creating tough rules on emissions, mandating more use of renewable energy sources and arguably sacrificing some economic growth in the name of saving the planet.

But now even Europe seems to be hitting its environmentalist limits.

High energy costs, declining industrial competitiveness and a recognition that the economy is unlikely to rebound strongly any time soon are leading policy makers to begin easing up in their drive for more aggressive climate regulation.

On Wednesday, the European Union proposed an end to binding national targets for renewable energy production after 2020. Instead, it substituted an overall European goal that is likely to be much harder to enforce.

It also decided against proposing laws on environmental damage and safety during the extraction of shale gas by a controversial drilling process known as fracking. It opted instead for a series of minimum principles it said it would monitor.

It turns out that renewable energy sources are not cost efficient. For environmentally-conscious high tech oligarchs, cost is no object. For everyone else, it is.

It's nice to show how rich you are by burning money, but, a time will eventually come when you have to pay for it.

Perhaps it’s an accident that this news comes at a time when some people are predicting a new Ice Age, but it is surely a good thing to see that Europeans are being more rational and less zealous about so-called global warming.

Apparently, the science is not quite as settled as everyone thought.


Anonymous said...

Whew! And I thought we were all going to boil and vaporize tomorrow.

I love the cacophony of Armageddon being quelled by such a simple tool as a cost-benefit ratio, driven by the most powerful force in the political and bureaucratic universe: self-preservation. Always remember -- in the end, they're materialists.

No doubt the epitaph of this crusade will be "But their intentions were so noble..."

The facts about the complexity and dynamism of weather and climate seem to be very stubborn things.

Better start cooking up the next terrifying cosmic lie... using lots of propane. It's cold out there!


Dennis said...

It would seem that it is not only in the area of Global Warming that Europe is moving away from the State being the provider of all things.
I suspect that as governments run out of other people's money they will have to reevaluate policies in almost every area.
It remains to be seen how much destruction, created by Obama and his fellow travelers, before we wise up. At some point the money will not exist because it has gone somewhere else.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I wonder what Krugman thinks about all of this austerity!!

Lastango said...

I'm skeptical about the rollback. Europe's governments and common people alike have been doubling down on stupid for decades.

Building wind farms while planning to end nuclear and coal-fired power generation were important sociological and ideological reference points. Opening a window for fracking is probably just a way of moving that agenda forward: wind+gas instead of wind+solar as the solution. The core religion of environmentalism remains unaffected. Only the tactics are changing, for immediate economic reasons.

So, I look for the Europeans to drag their feet in allowing fracking and shale gas development. They will try to have their climate alarmist cake and eat it, all the while continuing to build and lie about new wind power boondoggles.

Sam L. said...

What Tip said...and we all know with what the road to Hell is paved with.

n.n said...

It's a chaotic system, where states are only ever semi-stable. We should expect bounded conditions with sudden and unpredictable changes. It would be in our best interest to pursue reasonable efforts to mitigate the consequences of those changes. The money laundering scheme of the [anthropogenic] cooling/warming/change/disruption/etc. agenda is not in people's best interest, economically or for risk management.