French Revolution! Carbon tax ruled unconstitutional just two days before taking effect

This new French carbon tax was scheduled to go into law on Jan1, 2010. The tax was steep: 17 euros per ton of carbon dioxide (USD $24.40).  In a stunning move, and surely a blow to warmists everywhere, the tax has been found unconstitutional and thrown out. Originally found here (Google Translation).

Lord Monckton was kind enough to assist me in deciphering the meaning of the ruling and writes:

In France, if at least 60 Deputies of the House and 60 Senators appeal to the Constitutional Council, it has the power to pronounce on the constitutionality of a proposed law – in the present case, the 2010 national budget of France, which contained enabling provisions (loi deferee) for a carbon levy. The Council found that these enabling provisions were unconstitutional on two grounds: that the exemptions contained within the provisions for a carbon levy vitiated the primary declared purpose of the levy, to combat carbon emissions and hence “global warming”; and that the exemptions would cause the levy to fall disproportionately on gasoline and heating oils and not on other carbon emissions, thereby breaching the principle that taxation should be evenly and fairly borne.

The Press release from the French Constitutional Council is here in English (Google Translated) and in original French

Here’s a Deustch-Welle news article on the reversal.

France’s Constitutional Council says the country’s proposed carbon tax is illegal. This is a severe blow to French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plans to fight climate change.

France’s Constitutional Council has struck down a carbon tax that was planned to take effect on January 1st. The council, which ensures the constitutionality of French legislation, said too many polluters were exempted in the measure and the tax burden was not fairly distributed.

It was estimated that 93 percent of industrial emissions outside of fuel use, including the emissions of more than 1,000 of France’s top polluting industrial sites, would be exempt from the tax, which would have charged 17 euros per ton of emitted carbon dioxide.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has argued the tax is necessary to combat climate change and reduce the country’s dependence on oil.

However, the council’s ruling is a severe blow to both Sarkozy’s environmental plan as well as France’s budget for 2010. The government now has to find a way to come up with about 4.1 billion euros in revenue that was expected from the tax.

h/t to WUWT reader Dirk H


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224 thoughts on “French Revolution! Carbon tax ruled unconstitutional just two days before taking effect

  1. To the carbon tax: “Now go away, or I will taunt you a second time” 8^]

    REPLY: [ Moderator will now take an unplanned giggle break ;-)
    -mod ]

  2. Rationality!

    Seems to me that tax rate was more than a little excessive… according to the EPA site, a gallon of gasoline creates 8.8 kg (19.4 lbs) of CO2, using round numbers it takes about 100 gallons to make that ton… that is an instant tax of about $20/100 = 20 cents per gallon of gas.

    I know gas is already expensive in Europe, but that’s a lot more $$$ for no return.

  3. God bless the French for seeing the light of reason. Plant trees. Don’t tax the people to death. Tea Party America!

    Que Dieu bénisse les Français pour voir la lumière de la raison. Planter des arbres. Ne pas taxer les gens à la mort. Tea Party America!

  4. Well done France (you have no idea how hard it is for an Englishman to say that).

    And a very happy New Year to you Mr Watts and to all your team and readers.

  5. The French are already paying about (USD) $7 per gallon of gas, about 70% of which is already tax. Since it takes roughly 100 gallons to create a ton of CO2, the added tax would hardly be seen. Fill up with 20 gallons and the cost would increase from $140 to $144. This must be a real hard blow right to the center of the forehead of the French alarmists.

  6. Bear in mind that the tax may return with the “problems” removed. But this is a considerable blow to the AGW movement, esp. on the heels of Copenhagen.

    Also never forget that France does a lot to maintain peace, order, and whatever freedom exists in its former colonies at considerable cost and with no thanks from anyone. These are places no other nation (including the US) cares about. So let us recognize and appreciate that.

  7. Thank the Lord! My family and I have always considered living in France,now we shall sell up -lstock and barrel- and arrive on her beautiful shores!`

  8. Jim,

    I do believe [url=http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/ets_assumes_room_temperature/]this may have been the first domino to fall[/url], let’s see how may more fall now, hopefully then it will look like this…

  9. Great news, there’s still a 4c per litre carbon tax on diesel and petrol here in Ireland though :\
    Off topic, wired’s latest issue has a story about a study of researchers “Accept Defeat: The Neuroscience of Screwing Up” that might help explain the AGW heavyweight’s behaviour: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/12/fail_accept_defeat/

    “The scientists had these elaborate theories about what was supposed to happen,” Dunbar says. “But the results kept contradicting their theories. It wasn’t uncommon for someone to spend a month on a project and then just discard all their data because the data didn’t make sense.”

    Awful to waste a month, but 25-30 years would be unbearable.

  10. ok not sure if my last post went through, so I’ll try without the double links and change it a little :)

    To Jim,

    I do believe that the ETS, which was basically a carbon tax, was defeated in
    Australia earlier this month, so I think this French one would be the second one to fall, hopefully this will be the first of many dominoes to fall, like this….

  11. OK, I’m not the first, (h/t to ManbearPig (22:02:58) : ) but I second that: viva la france! viva les francaise! Les Chaudierres, aux lanternes!

  12. President Nicolas Sarkozy admitted that it was just a tax. He said ” We have taxed labour, we have taxed capital, now is the time to tax energy”. The tax is needed to balance the budget. It was supposed to be agreed on by all countries of the world so that no country was disadvantaged compared to another which did not implement the tax. Global warming, climate change, the IPCC and all the charade.

  13. We live in bizarre times.

    It seems that a straight CO2 tax would be OK for the law makers. A head tax , we exhale 1/2 ton CO2 a year.

    It seems that the ones proposing the law assume that taxation will reduce pollution, while they have the clear example in comparing US and european prices, where we pay per liter what US pays per gallon, that cars and congestion are equally bad over the two sides of the atlantic. People will pay for their car transport through the nose as they would pay for a head tax: it is a matter of life and death I suppose.

    If CO2 is a pollutant, neither taxation nor, much worse, open markets will reduce it . In the first case the government gets richer in the second Al Gore et al , that is all.

    Rationing might do it. But then no money is made by anybody.

  14. I think this is the time for a rerun of the Wattswupwithat song with Al Gore.

    I hope everyone realizes why national sovereignty is important. In the future a more centralized EU government would simply bypass local judiciary.

  15. A sincere tip of the hat to some courageous and right minded French politicians! I suggest we get OUR legislators to invite the Frenchmen to testify before some hearings if our own Administration sees fit to punish us again by wasting more resources pushing for passage of any carbon tax legislation.

    U.S. legislators and voters take heart.

  16. Allons enfants de la Patrie
    Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
    Contre nous de la tyrannie
    L’étendard sanglant est levé
    Entendez-vous dans nos campagnes
    Mugir ces féroces soldats?
    Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras.
    Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes!

    Aux armes citoyens
    Formez vos bataillons
    Marchons, marchons
    Qu’un sang impur
    Abreuve nos sillons

  17. Amazing, there is some sanity in France!

    I heard about this one on the news earlier today, part of the stimulus funds are going to a research project for machine generated humor. Yahoo it, plenty of info on it out there.

    A $712,883 research grant to develop “machine-generated humor.” Project will design artificially intelligent “comedic performance agents”, and will “deploy them both on and off-line for the enjoyment and illumination of everyday citizens”.

    If the US government isn’t wasting money on phony “global warming” research, they find plenty of other junk to blow it on.

    What’s next, novel writing machines? Orwell would be so proud… or saying “See, I told you so”. How do they come up with such odd numbers? Why not simply $713,000? Looks like an auction sale price!

  18. What’s with the little smiley face at the bottom of the page in the bottom left hand corner? I just noticed it! lol

  19. Yes, thank you France. Please accept this proxy application for the majority of our Congress for special education economic sense 1A.

  20. Très magnifique! Freedom Fries sont maintenant Carbon Tax Free, et prêt à être dégusté dans l’Amérique de nouveau!

    Magnificent! Freedom Fries are now Carbon Tax Free and ready to be enjoyed in America again!

  21. Any French legalists out there who can let us know to what extent the court’s decision was based on the law (as described in the article), and to what extent a response to broader policy concerns hidden under the legal basis for the decision?

    That is, was it a black-letter law decision or was it a response to a changing of the zeitgeist covered by legal reasoning?

    Forgive my cynicism about Court reasoning; I’ve watched too many courts too long to have any other response.

  22. The worm is turning and the early frog gets the worm. Who’d have ever thought it might be the French would lead the way toward carbon sanity. The French pride themselves in staying out in front of the fashion curve. Hopefully this development means AGW will soon be passe.

    CH

  23. Reading the title I saw The National Razor and an endless queue of well known carbon scammers. Anthony, I’m a little disappointed.

  24. So there was a war on carbon and the French were defeated? Why is this news?

    (I was going to link the albinoblacksheep link for French Military “success”, but their web site is down ATM).

  25. Anyone remember the third verse of La Marseillaise?

    Amour sacré de la Patrie,
    Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs
    Liberté, Liberté chérie,
    Combats avec tes défenseurs ! (bis)
    Sous nos drapeaux que la victoire
    Accoure à tes mâles accents,
    Que tes ennemis expirants
    Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire !

    Vive La France!

  26. I do believe that the ETS, which was basically a carbon tax, was defeated in Australia earlier this month…Vote Quimby

    It was indeed VQ. But Kevin Rudd is persisting and it will be brought before the House again in February.

    Tony Abbott, new leader of the Opposition severely wounded the beast when he stood up to it and convinced the wavering members of his party to follow when it came to a Senate vote earlier this month. The Greens also voted it down because for them it did not go far enough. So PM Rudd is now caught between a rock and a hard place.

    For Round 15 in February Rudd has the option of going towards the Greens but after Copenhagen that would be political suicide so it looks like that he will just try to keep it alive without losing face. This will be a very hard task even though he will have the MSM on his side beating up every extreme weather event and trying to assassinate Tony Abbott’s character.

    But what has happened in France will further boost Abbott’s chances. Keep predicting snow for Paris Piers and Vive Liberté, égalité, fraternité, and Vérité!!!!!

  27. As someone would have say, “in some sense, this is cheering news”. Only in some sense, indeed, since the decision of the Conseil Constitutionnel does not give its backing to us skeptics at all. It is even the opposite, since the “attendus” of the decision explicitely endorse the “setting up of tools allowing to significantly reduce greenhouse gases emissions in order to fight global warming”, without expressing any doubt. The main reason of the decision has nothing to do with the climate debate, it is all about the equality of the citizens in the eyes of taxes. Cela dit, je suis content quand même.

  28. I knew “the Europeans” we’ve been hearing about in the U.S. for the last 11 yrs. allegedly hating America as a “rogue nation”, loving the Frenchman Jhonn Carrie’, etc., couldn’t be as bad as they were made out to be here, even though the French have won only one War in the last few hundred years, the French Revolution, which they also lost. Viva la France!

  29. “There is hardly a political question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one.”
    Alexis de Tocqueville

    de Tocqueville was referring to the US at the time, but thank goodness for France’s Constitutional Council. They have, at least for a time, put a screeching halt to this madness.

  30. Hallelujah!! I think it’s time for everyone here to get our acts together, pitch in (30m hits is enough of us to make the money thing less painful) and graciously ask the assistance of the good Lord Monkton to take the key players in all this to task (court). It’s time to get this nonsense thrown out for once and for all! Tax Shmax….it’s the damage all this alarmist bull is doing to my kids’ brains that really gets my back hairs up.

    Doesn’t anyone else find this situation as absolutely fundamentally RIDICULOUS as me? I mean really! At what point did the human race get so stupid as to let an obviously bogus hypothesis get this far down the track…..If it wasn’t so absolutely ridiculous it would be hilarious… fundamental logic and a good look at the data could only leave the world population with nothing left but a very feeble case for the precautionary principle.. It’s the emperors new clothes and the boy who cried wolf all rolled into one…but for the fact that the perpetrators of this juggernaut have managed to put most of the worlds people into some sort of a trance! ‘We believe, we believe’…..

    How did it ever get to this point? I’m stunned! We have blogs like WUWT that spend every day battling to justify nature…..mind boggling! It’s like one of those experiments where everyone stays in the waiting room as the smoke wafts under a door way and everyone looks at each other waiting for the first person to get out….little sheep baaah baah…

    The big players need to go to court and the world needs to be told the outcome! We are causing damage to our society, our kids are growing up thinking they are going to drown and fry at the same time! It all amounts to fraud and it’s inexcusable to let this thing keep playing out the way it is.

    The time has come to end this ridiculous charade. It’s time to employ the same tactics that the other side uses, but with truth and logic!

    30m hits is a potentially powerful tool if we all mobilize, get our ducks in a row and help someone like Monkton to drive this thing home for once and for all.

    I’m sick of having to justify logic to people who believe a man that states on national television that the earth is several million degrees just 2km from the earths surface. What a farce!

  31. I think this is perhaps more important than you might think.

    France is very pro nuclear. They (France) have been very pro AGW in the EU because they are not as reliant on coal fired power. Cap and trade/ETS has been seen as giving the French an economic advantage over those more reliant on coal. This indicates a significant weakening of the AGW position.

    I view this as a great victory for sanity. Short lived though it may be.

    Vive la France.

    ( I wish we had a Constitution and not an ETS)

  32. There is always some idiot completely ignorant of military history who think the French lose a lot. Go read a damned history book before you criticise the Western nation with the greatest military history of them all. Frances military exploits over the past millennia pur Americas trifling little contributions to shame. At least France lost to major military powers, unlike a certain modern power which gets it arse handed to it by third world hell holes.

  33. Benoît Rittaud (23:23:08) : Wrote

    “As someone would have say, “in some sense, this is cheering news”. Only in some sense, indeed, since the decision of the Conseil Constitutionnel does not give its backing to us skeptics at all. It is even the opposite, since the “attendus” of the decision explicitely endorse the “setting up of tools allowing to significantly reduce greenhouse gases emissions in order to fight global warming”, without expressing any doubt. The main reason of the decision has nothing to do with the climate debate, it is all about the equality of the citizens in the eyes of taxes. Cela dit, je suis content quand même.”

    See, you got that right away. It’s only concerns the tax question. Sometimes a problem has two solutions.

  34. No matter the nature of the noises politicians (of any country or ideology) make, it has never been about the environment, global warming, or saving the planet. Politicians and environmentalists will always rally round each other, considering the other a conveniently useful fool serving their purpose — for one, getting the industrial infrastructure torn down; for the other, raising taxes. At the moment, it is all about a €4 billion budget shortfall that France needs to fix. And since AGW is the Mother Lode of all potential revenue streams, French citizens still can look forward to getting hit. It’s just going to take a more creative approach, but the politicians will figure out a way to get the money they want.

  35. inversesquare (23:34:35) :

    Welcome.
    I’m psyops here, been here for about 5 months. This army at WUWT is just about ready.

    P.S.
    Eloquently said.

  36. Unfortunately anna v has hit the real problem here. This is about money and taxation is the opiate of governments. It’s interesting that the reaction of the French government revolves around where they will make up the 4 billion euros this tax would have brought in!

    Mailman

  37. inversesquare, the major stumbling block for what you say should happen is the media. They have participated (willingly or not) in this fraud and prevented the truth from coming out as much as possible. If it wasn’t for the Internet, we would have lost the war against the man-made global warming alarmist crap a long time ago. We may still do so. In any case, next time we might not be so lucky once they have more control over the Internet.

  38. The wealthy elite think they can slip through our fingers. We are everywhere. We are the world wide web. Nothing slips through our web. In the immortal words of George Carlin , not they anymore they but, “We Got Them By The Balls”.

    YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS – George Carlin

  39. The decision was based on the egalité pârt of the constitution and is very tenuous. It will be re-written and presented to the parlement by Jan 20. It will pas eventually. Monsieur S is an ally of Mr Brown and is determined to lead the world to its utopia. Its all down to his sizecomme Napoleon.

  40. Bad news for Sarko. €4.1Billion short!!! Try standing THAT one on a box for the cameras!

    But, seriously. He should have a word with his mate Gordo.
    Mr. “Flat Earth” Brown and little Ed Milipede conjured up £6 Billion (they haven’t got) to throw on the table for the “poor” at Copenhagen. Another €4.1 Billion for our “colleagues” in France – surely, no problem!

    And there are plenty of precedents for the UK taxpayer bailing out France, believe me!

    Meanwhile, much MUCH more on our favourite Railway Engineer and his little business undertakings on:-

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2009/12/pachauri-teri-europe-enigma-part-1.html

    Keep following the money!

  41. An Englishman I may be but I love France and the attitude of their people to their Government.
    Even though we occasionallly get caught up in the politics with the ports being shut et al.
    Their healthy disrespect for officialdom is to be admired………unlike the sheep in my own country.
    Brainwashed Brits simply can’t get their heads around that fact that AGW is a scam.
    They think we must be doing “something” to the climate therefore “something” must be done…..try explaining about even part of what we know.
    They have been brainwashed into believeing that the BBC are the arbiters of truth and justice, everything you say has to be balanced aginast the BBC.

    It beggars belief.

  42. That doesn’t mean the idea is dead. Not by any means.
    This particular version was shot down because 93% of industry got a free pass while most of the burden was to be carried by the poor, already overtaxed commuter.

  43. And don’t expect the French to be more open to a CO2 tax in the weeks ahead as temperatures of -10°C are forecast for Paris next week. Sacré bleu!

  44. Vote Quimby (22:31:34) :

    What’s with the little smiley face at the bottom of the page in the bottom left hand corner? I just noticed it! lol

    ????? lol

  45. Mom2girls
    “[snip per P Gosselin's attention]”

    What are you? Some kind of …..?
    You’re bluntly implying an offensive ethnic slur that should have been deleted. It’s not at all funny.
    There are other similar ethnic slurs used for Mexicans, Jews, Chinese, etc. that also would not be tolerated in this forum. The one above, plainly implled, should have had no place here.
    I hope you are not teaching your two girls such things.
    MODERATOR – ARE YOU ASLEEP!

    Reply: Actually I was at the movies, being brainwashed by another fall from Eden movie, but this shall now be rectified. ~ ctm

  46. I swear, not even a year ago things were looking utterly hopeless. But now, things are getting more awesome, and seemingly by the minute!

    John in NZ (23:49:02) : “I view this as a great victory for sanity. Short lived though it may be.”

    Why do you say that?

  47. Don’t celebrate victory yet: the french government said that it will present a new law on 20th January. Even if this carbon tax is very unpopular in France, Sarkozy is very stubborn and he will do everything he can in order to impose this tax.

  48. I’d hesitate to read too much into this without a much better understanding of the process in France. It may well be that this type of objection is business as normal, and the law was prepared with the option of relaxing some of the more controversial items. If it gets mainstream news coverage as a fund-raising exercise, that may help people to think about it in terms of a tax, rather than a necessity.

  49. Strangely, the Beeb has reported the ruling.

    “The tax was aimed at encouraging consumers to use less oil, gas and coal. It would have meant a rise in the price of fuel for cars, domestic heating and factories.

    But it did not apply to the heavy industries and power firms included in the EU’s emissions trading scheme.

    Most electricity in France – excluded from the carbon tax – is nuclear-generated.

    According to France’s Le Monde newspaper, the tax would have generated about 4.3bn euros (£3.8bn) of revenue annually.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8434505.stm

  50. Unfortunately all of you are wrong.
    The tax has been cancelled because there was too many people and companies exempted. So a new project could be even more dangerous for the french industry and for the consumers. And the government could hardly definitively cancel the tax because of the previous positions of Mr Sarkozy on the subject.

  51. Let’s watch for the carbon credit price taking another dive after this announcement.

    While we are on a roll. Next case, People of the U.S. Vs The EPA in the Supreme Court?

  52. Methinks people here are opening their bottles of champagne too early…

    The Problem:

    “The Council found that these enabling provisions were unconstitutional on two grounds: that the exemptions contained within the provisions for a carbon levy vitiated the primary declared purpose of the levy, to combat carbon emissions and hence “global warming”; and that the exemptions would cause the levy to fall disproportionately on gasoline and heating oils and not on other carbon emissions, thereby breaching the principle that taxation should be evenly and fairly borne.”

    The Reaction (by the brainwashing MSM & brainwashed public):

    “The tax must be even and fair!”

    The Solution:

    “Tax ALL carbon emissions – tax ALL forms of human life – NO tax exemptions…”

    And BTW – this technique of hegelian dialect is being used in a democracy constantly…

  53. “David Ball (22:00:55) :

    To the carbon tax: “Now go away, or I will taunt you a second time” 8^]

    REPLY: [ Moderator will now take an unplanned giggle break ;-)
    -mod ]”

    As long as they are girlie giggles (A la Thumb Wars).

    I wonder when the Trojan Rabbit will be unleashed?

  54. Sadly there is no written constitution in the UK.
    The government opposition is too weak to try the French gambit.

  55. “France’s Constitutional Council has struck down a carbon tax that was planned to take effect on January 1st. The council, which ensures the constitutionality of French legislation, said too many polluters were exempted in the measure and the tax burden was not fairly distributed.”

    Magic. Absolutely magic. What riles me no end about the proposals to tackle climate change and the vested interests here and there that grab themselves exemptions. If carbon is a threat then laws taxing carbon emissions *must* be applied evenly or they are nothing more than a redistribution of wealth by force that is either socialist or corporatist depending on the direction the money goes. It cannot be founded on science if polluters get exemptions.

  56. Great in principle. But real victorys against the money changers are rare. What appears to be a victory will simply result in an esculation in aggression from them. They have all manner of insidious tricks to use against the people. For a start, from these posts it seems they are threatening the french national money supply.
    French government 4.1bn euros short of cash? i.e the french ‘central bank’ may cut off credit to the government.

    Everyone here ought to watch the ultimate primer on the history of money and ‘central banks’. A long fascinating documentary, so be ready.

  57. A few years down the line, when we are in the depths of a severe case of climate change (the sort you get on the downswing of a climate cycle), do you think they will be encouraging the generation of CO2 with a carbon debit scheme or do you expect by then they will have worked out that CO2 is not the culprit?

  58. volauvent (02:17:52) :

    Unfortunately all of you are wrong.
    The tax has been cancelled because there was too many people and companies exempted. So a new project could be even more dangerous for the french industry and for the consumers. And the government could hardly definitively cancel the tax because of the previous positions of Mr Sarkozy on the subject.

    You may be right. But the momentum is shifting away from AGW alarmism. It gives extra time to re-evaluate the scientific basis of global warming hysteria.

  59. It is important to have a Constitution. Its meant to protect the citizens against the elected politicians every day foolishness.

    But who could predict it would be neccessary to protect humans against AGW ( Al Gore Warming ) ?

    I think Anthony needs to post the sequence of Donald Duck in 1952, when he found the helmet that made him King Of America. And the only thing he wanted to own was the air.

    A sigh for a cent, a cough for a dollar. ( Or something like that) Oh that Donal Duck. He was truly a visionaire.

  60. Vote Quimby (22:31:34) :

    > What’s with the little smiley face at the bottom of the page in the bottom left hand corner?

    That goes to a .gif file at http://stats.wordpress.com that is referenced with some of the access information about the page. Basically it’s a trick to get usefule counter information to wordpress so they can track information about browsers, OS types, screen resolutions, and a couple other things that give web designers feedback about the sorts of systems they should design web pages for.

    Some third party web hit counters use something like it to track page hits – the real ISP provides the page, the third party provides a tiny image and track references to it.

    I had one on my ProveIt page that accessed the web server on my home system, and it came along when Anthony copied my page to WUWT. For some reason, I’m still getting hits on it, some 25 yesterday.

  61. LB (00:04:29) :

    There is always some idiot completely ignorant of military history who think the French lose a lot. Go read a damned history book before you criticise the Western nation with the greatest military history of them all. Frances military exploits over the past millennia pur Americas trifling little contributions to shame. At least France lost to major military powers, unlike a certain modern power which gets it arse handed to it by third world hell holes.

    —————–

    Really. And do you speak French or German? The fact that you’re speaking in English is prima facia evidence that the US beat the Germans. Both times.

  62. @Scott Fox

    Not really, it’s because lots of people like farmers and taxi drivers did a lot of lobbying because they didn’t want to pay the tax.

  63. I don’t want to foodfight here, but Galen’s statement is far from accurate.
    Actually it was the Brits, Canadians, Irish, Poles, French, Russians, Dutch, etc., etc. and the US that beat the Germans. LB’s point has merit.
    I’m American and I do find the post WWII military-venture track record of the US a bit sub-par. Mind you not because of the men and women in uniform, but because of the lousy Washington internal politics.
    I think all this French bashing is ridiculous. Look, they at least got it right on this particular CO2 issue. Give em credit when due and leave the insults out.

  64. volauvent (02:17:52) :
    Unfortunately all of you are wrong.
    The tax has been cancelled because there was too many people and companies exempted. So a new project could be even more dangerous for the french industry and for the consumers. And the government could hardly definitively cancel the tax because of the previous positions of Mr Sarkozy on the subject.

    The bigger issue for the French Government is that the rich & big business groups (All exempt) never had any intention of paying this tax, it was just for the poor. There is no way the rich will allow themselves to be included in a ‘Tax for All’ even if the Government wants to.

  65. For those who think that it will give some time to raise scientific arguments in order to kill definitively the tax, I mention that a new project could be ready to be voted in january, the 20th.
    The french government has been completely trapped by this decision; the main argument of the council is that industry under the european emissions quotas market would not be exempted. So if the government wants a tax (and it will be very hard for Mr Sarkozy to abandon) they will have to tax the cement, steel , chemical industry; at 17 euros per ton, it would kill these activities within 5 years.
    The battle will be very hard in the next months.

  66. Australia signed Kyoto because we were ahead of Kyoto Targets and the [snip] as major players were talking trade blocades, fines and so on.

    [snip]

  67. Too early to rejoyce. A modified version of the bill will go to Parliament on 20 January.

    The French State is in desperate need of funds and it will not give up on this one. To give some background, for any of you who read a bit of French, a forum thread about all the taxes created or increased since N. Sarkozy came to power :

    https://www.liberaux.org/index.php?showtopic=35383

    We also relay the best of WUWT :

    https://www.liberaux.org/index.php?showtopic=29890

  68. P Gosselin (01:28:20) :

    That doesn’t mean the idea is dead. Not by any means.
    This particular version was shot down because 93% of industry got a free pass while most of the burden was to be carried by the poor, already overtaxed commuter.

    P Gosselin (01:31:04) :

    And don’t expect the French to be more open to a CO2 tax in the weeks ahead as temperatures of -10°C are forecast for Paris next week. Sacré bleu!

    Hmmmm. Do you suppose 93% of industry is just going to roll over and play dead? How this all plays out will be interesting. But I bet they’ll wait for the weather to warm, before dropping any bomb shells.

  69. Hi
    I am French.
    There are a few mistakes in this article:

    “the tax was steep: 14 euros per ton of carbon dioxide (USD $20).”
    17euros, not 14 (you get it right later in the article).

    “France’s Constitutional Council says the country’s proposed carbon tax is illegal. ”
    No, they clearly say the tax is legal, only the way it was put into action here was not: too many industries are exempted therefore therefore it is unconstitional for the two following reasons
    *The tax’s goal is to reduce emissions but because of the exemptions it will not therefore it goes against our “environment chart”
    *So many exemptions go against any kind of fairness (“égalité devant l’impot”).

    “The government now has to find a way to come up with about 4.1 billion euros in revenue that was expected from the tax.”
    The government wasn’t gonna earn any money with this carbon tax, it was supposed to be compensated by a lowering of the income tax.

  70. @ Peter of Sydney (00:55:01) :

    Whilst I agree with your observations regarding the media and internet censorship, I believe these points actually reinforce rather than detract from my argument.

    We have the facts, there is no requirement for us to be defeatist. The alarmist argument, being devoid of any logic is slowly retreating up it’s own anal cavity. Lets all help it along, which brings me to:

    @Michael (00:39:09) :

    Where do I sign up!

  71. P Gosselin; So you’re saying the French speak German now? That’s what I was pointing out. And if you look at WWII, it looked pretty grim until the US joined the fight. Indeed, it looked pretty grim for a while after the US joined the fray, so kudos to the allies, too, and the French resistance was certainly part of it. I’m just looking at history.

  72. I have not seen a comment on this aspect. The EU has made it clear that they were taking action on taxing carbon in order to be leaders. As Gordon Brown has stated very eloquently, the probelm is so serious that someone needs to lead. Yes, it is short term pain, but it is for long term gain. The EU was prepared to withstand the short term pain, because if they led the rest of the world will follow.

    What Copenhagen has made abundantly clear is that the rest of the developing world is definitely NOT going to follow. As to the rest of the developed world, they are, to say the very least, very hesitant. Australia has shown it’s reluctance; as has Obama with his eye on the US Senate. Canada is not pressing for a carbon tax.

    I am sure it is too much to hope for, but maybe it is just possible that the French will realize that no nation outside the EU is going to follow an EU lead on a carbon tax, and abandon this stupidity altogether.

  73. In sweden we have had a co2 tax since 1991. On gasoline its about 0,25€ per litre now, up from 0,04€ in1991. It increases by 0,01 per year except for electionyears when it stays the same. The year after elections it goes up by 0,02€ though…

  74. Hooray! We were dreading this from January 1st – we have all topped up our central heating oil and vehicle tanks in advance. Maybe 2010 will be a promising year after all.

  75. Be careful here you are mixing taxes, I think. I’m a conseiller municipal in france and my french colleague above is of course dead right.

    As I stated here a few days ago the tax is €17 / tonne of CO² which works out at about €0.10 / ltr depending on which journal you read here.

    At the same time the state are refunding money through tax cheques to the populace of between €80 to €122 but and more significantly for local government, Monsieur S wants to eliminate the tax professionel? a sort of business tax. This will remove a great deal of money from the coffre of local government and cause much greater hardship for rural comunities. At the same time the state are imposing ever more expensive pollution targets. Our commune of some 450 people have had to find €500,000 for a communal sewage system while those on fosse sceptiques will be forcesd to pay €1000’s for waste systems and their systematic disposal.

    So a) this tax will apply itself b) it may now be more expensive than originally planned and businesses will somehow be refunded in order to promote employment.

    In my opinion co² tax is a better option than the brown,benn,milipeed bankers xmases all at once co² trading scheme. But then they will all want new jobs this year won’t they …… britons?

  76. “The government now has to find a way to come up with about 4.1 billion euros in revenue that was expected from the tax.”

    Revenue generation, not climate change. Do all politicians think the people they serve are blind?

  77. Incidently, I love France, I love the french and knowing well the history of our occupation and the resistance I would be very insulted, more than you can imagine, by silly US comments on winning the war.

    Moderator; Please remove such discussion. dans l’attente, Monsieur, Merci bien

  78. Tamara (06:22:37) :
    I believe the president has admitted Revenue generation and the French are politically very sophisticated.

  79. Then French will not disadvantage their main manufacturing industries, the populus will not stand for it, you only have to look how they have clung on to the farming subsidy to see that.

  80. Here’s a bit of info that may be worth paying attention to: http://www.abanet.org/environ/calendar/pdf/Copehagen.Flyer.Environ.CME.pdf .

    The ABA is hosting a “de-brief” of Copenhagen next week, so we may get some clues regarding future legal maneuverings. From: http://www.abanet.org/environ/

    “Join our panel of recognized climate change thought leaders from private practice, government, policy institutes, and industry for a one hour teleconference as we distill what was accomplished during those chaotic two weeks, what critical issues remain unresolved and their potential outcomes, and the impact of Copenhagen on both industry and the US political process. Each of our panelists will have attended COP15, providing the audience a unique perspective and first hand account. Time will be set aside during to the latter part of the teleconference for audience members to obtain answers to their own questions from the panelists.”

  81. Jim Cripwell,

    “Yes, it is short term pain, but it is for long term gain.”

    And where does the long term gain come from? It seems more of the case of short term pain for long term agony.

  82. I am sure France had already spent the money.

    America faces the same when the EPA starts regulating CO2. How do they decide who is worthy and who is unworthy?

    will the tax wild animals if they tax livestock? Your cat will require a tax stamp in its collar.

  83. I agree with Cripwell. The EU is so alarmist and AGW orientated that they will still be banging on about taxing, regulating carbon emissions and being “good europeans” when the advancing glaciers reach Brussels.

    Remember that van Rompoy (who? – the President of the EU) said that Copenhagen was the first step in World Government, which he supported. The EU will go on for ever with ways to regulate carbon emissions because they have the mindset of wanting to regulate everything and make our lives miserable. France will get leaned on by Germany and the the EU commision and there will wailing and diplomatic gnashing of teeth all round. Since, according to Baroso (who – the president of the EU commission) the most important thing that EU does is to stop Germany and France going to war with eachother, this might just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

    Unfortunately the EU cannot abandon stupidity, it is built into its constitution.

  84. We in Minnesota are already paying carbon taxes starting this year. Now that Global Warming was discovered to be a fraud we should try to sue Al Gore and his cronies for racketeering, and get those laws overturned using the courts.

  85. No no wait a minute, theres something wrong here.

    There couldn’t possibly be that much courage in France. I mean, we have the data from historical records, unless there is some positive forcing that we are not aware of, none of the models predict there could be this much courage in the whole of the French speaking world let alone in France itself.
    Peer reviewed literature strongly indicates that this hitherto unknown positive force must be in the order of magnitude of ten at least.

  86. There is nothing to be lamented about a legal ruling saying that a tax is too limited in its application – remember that in any democratic (or semi-democratic) society the easiest way to pass any tax bill is to make sure it only applies to a portion of the population while you exempt as many powerful players and interest groups as you need for support. They of course will almost always support any tax that applies only to “other people” and not to them – such a tax is even better than a direct government subsidy since it’s hidden.

    So what happens when their is a ruling that says a tax is not applied widely enough? All the powerful interests who supported the tax because they had managed to wrangle exemptions for themselves all of a sudden see the tax with new eyes, the eyes of people who will be paying for it. Their support vanishes overnight, and with a widely based tax it quickly becomes impossible to muster majority support.

    Not to mention that after the failure of Copenhagen, every industrialist in France now realizes that they will be burdening their own ability to export while China and India are able to produce whatever with no restrictions or extra costs at all. And they cannot do unilateral trade restrictions since they are bound by the E.U.

    Odds are that this tax is dead. Perhaps something small and ineffective will be passed in it’s place just to allow Sarkozy to save face, but even that is questionable.

  87. “Sarkozy is very stubborn and he will do everything he can in order to impose this tax.”

    That’s because France is probably like the US government (and others), upside down in various ways and effectively already had the money spent three times over. On stuff completely unrelated to genuine climate correctness.

    “climate correctness” ? Boy that sounds so gross.

  88. “stephen richards (01:01:43) :

    The decision was based on the egalité pârt of the constitution and is very tenuous. It will be re-written and presented to the parlement by Jan 20. ”

    Good point, Stephen. The AGW Titanic will be hard to steer out of harm’s way.

  89. Somehow in all this chatter denigration of horse-meat has crept in. Did the Mongol Hoard not conquer the world (Japan excepted, thanks to a Divine Wind) while eating horse-meat and besotted on fermented mare’s milk? Horse-meat is powerful stuff!

    CH

  90. Wow, I didn’t realize that the French constitution was superior to the U.S. constitution! If the U.S. constitution had a provision for fair and equitable taxation, the personal income tax would be dead meat!

  91. anna v (22:25:37) :

    We live in bizarre times.

    It seems that a straight CO2 tax would be OK for the law makers. A head tax , we exhale 1/2 ton CO2 a year.

    Oh anna, talk of a head tax, which some will not want to pay? In France, land of the guillotine?

    “Off with their carbon dioxide emitters!”

  92. Congratulations to the France’s Constitutional Council!

    I am pleased to see that the spirit of democracy and personal freedom is still alive in France.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  93. Capn Jack, you wrote :

    “Any frog scientist or scienitst group on this blog before.
    None.”

    Not like you, of course, since you know everything about french blogs on climate. Maybe you daily put comments in french in their threads ?

  94. Again the moderator has fallen asleep [snip]

    [someone else took care of responding to your concern before me. Your concerns are one hundred per cent valid and I apologize for any such mistakes. While it's no excuse, try and realize that moderators plow through scores of posts at a time scanning quickly. Certain types of things may be missed if they are not a common problem. ~ ctm]

  95. Few years ago the same politicians were explaining France had a distinct advantage through its nuclear plant generated electricity emitting very little GHGs. Then they figured that the Carbon Tax was a way to milk citizens. France is a fiscal hell: even Johnny Hallyday doesn’t live there anymore and di not return…
    Sarkozy was elected as an agent of change, against the bureaucracy and was supposed to tranform France into a dynamic country. He is failing miserably.

  96. This is the second time today.
    The first time around I was more polite.
    So I hope you can understand my frustration.

  97. I’m not ready to celibrate yet.

    The ruling was that the tax was not broad enough. While a broader tax will be more difficult to pass, it doesn’t mean that it won’t happen.

    This is not a change in French attitude. It is simply a political defeat. We’ve won a battle, but the war continues on…

  98. “HereticFringe (08:09:47) :

    Wow, I didn’t realize that the French constitution was superior to the U.S. constitution! If the U.S. constitution had a provision for fair and equitable taxation, the personal income tax would be dead meat!”

    Nah, the gov would just tax us all at the higher rates.

    The carbon tax issue isn’t over yet in France, or Australia, or even the US. Expect some more wheeling and dealing to go on to get this passed. After all, why cut spending when you can tax the air?

  99. It isn’t new taxes that are needed on anything. What’s really needed is to educate people about the nature of taxation – and get more people to understand that they need to get rid of it altogether. Until people realize that tax is an abridgement of rights, we’ll never make real progress.

    It is the mechanism of tax – the power of government to confiscate wealth that enabled this farce to get as far as it did.

    As far as dealing with the climate is concerned, whether it’s changing rapidly enough to matter (and I don’t think it is) is not the point. Dealing with climate per se is challenging enough, and the only proper way to deal with climate is via laissez-faire capitalism.

    I’m not an anarchist. There is a proper role for government, but only on a voluntary uncoerced basis. No more tax period.

  100. stephen richards (06:25:42) :

    Incidently, I love France, I love the french and knowing well the history of our occupation and the resistance I would be very insulted, more than you can imagine, by silly US comments on winning the war.

    Moderator; Please remove such discussion. dans l’attente, Monsieur, Merci bien

    I agree…the war/military has no bearing on the discussion and should be snipped :-) This American also happens to remember that it was France that provided aid to the colonies during the Revolutionary War.

  101. I think all this French bashing is ridiculous.

    Yes on a higher level, except that what people like me are responding to is much more about American politics and propaganda memes, where the alleged “Progressives” here are always trying to claim “The French” are just oso sophisticated and so on, and we here in America are therefore inferior and must become more like “The French”.

    Most of the “Progressives” here don’t even know that France occupied Viet Nam for about 150 years and were finally ignominiously defeated by Ho Chi Minh, even though the U.S. was strongly backing France. That’s partly how we in America got into Vietnam thereafter. They don’t know about France’s use of Nuclear Energy. Lordy, they don’t know much of anything at all about France, including the Vichy and the French resistance.

    So “we” then take to bashing “The French” as a political tactic, too, just to tear down American “Progressives” and to defend the America the “Progressives” here want to destroy. We take them on at the bigoted level of their own fantasy meme and “win” even at that level, that’s all.

    It’s still amazing, but the “Progressives” here often only live at the superficial level of these fantasy memes, so it’s easy to defeat them – not that a lot of them notice it much because they just then immediately turn to other fantasy memes and infantile tactics more appropriate for deranged two year olds, but it’s good for one on one interactions with these physical “adults” and because we simply must play the political game too. Otherwise, who in their right mind would want to do it except as a kind of humorous jousting?

    And “Progressivism” is still a big force for evil, so we keep “bashing” where appropriate on that low level. A lot of people read this blog. It’s never over.

  102. Don’t worry, soon there will be another try, and if it fails, yet another. This is the EU/French way, ask/coerce until you get the “correct” answer, and then stop all further debate.

  103. Carbon tax, is a tax on oil and also everything that is made with or transported with oil. Particularly food production. Oil to run the tractors- to plant and harvest, oil to make the fertilizer, oil to deliver the food. As we have just seen, as oil goes up, so does the price of food, and everything else follows.

    This is what government desperately wants now: Inflation. Why? Because they want the value of the bank’s mortgage holdings to go back to 2008 levels so that they do not have to declare the banks insolvent.

    It doesn’t matter if the science is right or not.

    Citizens should be outraged. The people who worked hard and saved money will find their money evaporated by inflation. The bankers who overextended credit and committed fraud, in the US, England, France and every where else will get away with the biggest scam in history.

    I say hurray for any delay of this tax. It buys time to educate the people.

  104. If they want to get people to drive electric cars, then mandate electric cars. Or just mandate electric cars in big cities. Or give big tax rebates for electric cars in big cities.

    If they want people to pay for their excesses, then have a luxury tax, not tax air and food, the necessities of life. Come on peasants. We have seen this before.

    If they want to tax manufactures.. I would think long and hard about that. We have already exported most of our manufacturing, and pollution, to China. We have no economy left. Don’t you get it? We produce nothing anymore. There is nothing left but the Ponzi stock market and consumption.

  105. The governments no longer care about science, justice or truth. They do not care about the environment. They do not care about the economy or the people. They care about their banker friends and their own pile of money.

    Carbon tax is the final nail in the coffin for the West.

  106. Interesting. Invidious Discrimination (unequal treatment under a law that seemingly applies to all except in practice). The same Constitutional argument being made in the USA relative to Cap and Tax and Obamacare.

  107. People in France, Write to your representatives. Send them quotes form this web site. You, and you, and you, can make a change. There was a delay. There is a little more time. Talk to your friends. Turn the tide.

  108. Gregg E. (22:28:55) :
    A $712,883 research grant to develop “machine-generated humor.” Project will design artificially intelligent “comedic performance agents”

    That device has already been invented!! It’s the Al Gore’s portrait

  109. Hate to rain on the parade but here in the land of OZ our illustrious leaders KRudd and Wrong are not giving up on the ETS. Last night I went looking for mention of anything about the French rejection of the carbon tax in the MSM. All I found was this or a variant of it http://www.smh.com.au/environment/ets-cash-bonus-for-millions-of-families-20091229-lir3.html
    So us clever Australians can introduce the Everything Tax Scheme and only the rich will have to pay more rest of us will get a bonus! It seems their logic is that one can increase the cost for the energy sector and they will not pass the cost on. All that extra cash can then be paid to families. Believe that and this also becomes fact http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cottingley_Fairies there really are fairies.

  110. The carbon tax creates the invisible tax of inflation. Inflation particularly on food. Your bread is being taxed peasant. The bonuses are bribes to keep you quiet. The stucture will keep you dependant on government hand-outs. Like chains. Your freedom: gone. The aristocracy holds the chain. Of course this is only until the ecomomy as a whole crashes down. No manufacturing= no economy.

    What can you do? You have words. The word is mightier than the sword. The is the internet. Send and e-mail to 10 of your friends. Ask them to pass it to 10 of thier friends.

    Its up to you now.

  111. How about a import tariff on China. Then turn around and use that money to help China fix its pollution problem? ( I don’t mean carbon. I mean basic stuff like sulpher dioxide, lead and mercurey, etc.)

  112. Germany also works the same way with its supreme court. You can query the court on a proposed law prior to its passage. In the US, however, you can not deal in hypotheticals. If there is a tax passed, then and only then can you start to go through the court system and perhaps make it to the supremes.

  113. Speaking as another person living in France and loving the French, I far prefer the carbon tax to any cap and trade scheme to enrich bankers, especially since it will go straight back out towards funding energy-saving initiatives. There’s really nothing unusual about taxing fossil fuels in Europe and 4 centimes per gallon of diesel is virtually nothing so they’ll reintroduce it in some way. However they also have zero percent loans for any home insulation, geothermal heating or similar energy saving project. In about a year I’ll be taking advantage of that thank you very much. A tax is honest but cap and trade just isn’t and the evidence clearly shows that reducing the price of fuel leads to people just wasting it – like buying gas-guzzlers for example.

  114. I meant per litre of diesel sorry! ie from around 100 to 104 centimes. By comparison the Goldman Sachs fatcat oil speculation tax is around 50 dollars a barrel and it got as high as 100 dollars a barrel in 2007.

  115. IndianaBones (23:37:59)

    My thanks to you for posting the link to Solomon’s excellent series of articles “The Deniers” featured in the National Post 2-3 years ago.

    It was that series of articles that moved me to get off my duff and start doing my own digging for climate information.

    To read example after example of what many of the top scientists in a variety of fields related to climate science had to endure even as far back as 1990, was an eye opener to me. It wasn’t a surprise to me when “climategate” unfolded.

    I recommend this series highly.

  116. MikeO (12:03:16) :

    Hate to rain on the parade but here in the land of OZ our illustrious leaders KRudd and Wrong are not giving up on the ETS.

    What about Mr. Spencer, the man fasting in a tower on his farm now x 38 days?

    He’s your future. The true nature of the scam is “settled”. I tried to give a strong devastating post indicating that this crap will simply not happen, at an Au. news website where the story was presented. But the comments seemed to be cut off at 40. Maybe they can’t moderate all their comment threads? But such input has to continue regardless and elsewhere.

    [I'd post what I tried to post there, but somehow I've just now managed to erase it from wordpad. I'll try to find it and I'd like to anyway, but so far I don't know how.]

  117. Man in a Shed,

    Of course not. Every country needs to have industry. There is no economy without industry.

    The US and the UK think that they are now “service” economies. They think that banking is their business. But there are only three reasons to borrow money:

    Productive: The use of borrowed funds to purchase something such as a machine that produces more in output than it cost.

    Consumptive: The use of borrowed money to purchase something that is consumed (a house, food, vacation, etc.)

    Ponzi: The use of borrowed funds to purchase an item with the intent to sell it to someone else at a higher price. At certain times this describes the stock market, commodities, and housing.

    Consumption and Ponzi can fall apart and you would still have an economy. If production goes away, you have nothing.

    Right now in the US, we have nothing but the Ponzi stock market. How long will that last?

    Carbon tax will kill any industry left in the west.
    Carbon tax will cause severe inflation on food prices.
    Carbon tax will not help the earth because industry and its pollution simply move to China.
    Carbon tax increases dependence on the Government for handouts.
    Carbon tax uses emotional coercion to suppress opposition.
    Carbon tax is to distract you from real pollution problems and economic fraud.

  118. Brief response to JamesG (13:00:43)

    Reducing the price of fuel also leads to increase in standard of living for any country truely interested in doing that. Availability of fuel is necessary to how we got here as “developed”. Iran can’t even refine oil to gas.

    Why don’t you even have enough money to insulate your house? Why are you waiting? Nuclear availability allows it?

    Taxes are not “honest” in practice. Here in the U.S., it’s enrich your buddy time big time, or Commie in the Candy Store Time for the Obama Adm.. They want all the already created “wealth” that exists, including what any citizen might do to accumulate any “wealth” – as they can always redefine it if you have “too much”, so they can redistribute it, you know, “equally”. It’s the biggest “windfall profit” scam ever imagined, going to the Government, for the exact benefit to it and other special interests.

    Apart from the Nuclear “deterrent” , France can’t defend itself. That’s why the U.S. is in Nato. Maybe France should do that before you insulate your house?

  119. There is one last thing not mentioned about the way the french are governed which is fundamently different to you anglo-saxons.

    In France the government leans toward encouragement as opposed to punishment. We get upto 50% rebates on green energy projects directly refunded in our tax payments or by cheque from the tax office. The anglo-saxon way is to beat you around the wallet until you do what we say. I know its defeatist but you will never COMPLETELY stop the AGW faith even if the climate dips violently so what would I choose to be taxed like?. Carbon tax direct. I could not bear to see another con banker gaining from my loss and that is all the anglos want. Obama, brown et al are keeping all their mates in the financial secteur rich. And now I see that brown is trying the climate trick on the brits to get re-elected. “If you don’t vote me in you will wreck our economy”. Exactly the same old tactic. I’ll scare you into committing economic suicide with me in charge.

  120. It does appear to be a delay in carbon tax, not necessarily any kind of repudiation on any level.

    However, it is also possible that what has happened in Australia, France and Copenhagen reveal that the political will to defeat this “tax on everything” is indeed quite powerful. I would like to think politicians are taking note.

    Since the subject is Europe, will someone explain to me the difference between a “sustainable” community and a ghetto.

  121. Summarizing a few comments above: “The French court basically ruled against it because it ’t taxing enough people, not because it (AGW tax increases) are economically wrong, based on a flawed premise of man-made global warming caused by man-released CO, and will destroy the economy of the nation passing the taxes.”

    I agree: That’s what this court did say.

    However, the purpose of the new tax on automobile fuel was to raise money. And the only they (the French government) could get this tax passed was to exempt the hundreds of thousands of businesses and the basic producers of their economy from the tax. So, when they have to the tax on January 20, must now spread his tax out on a whole LOT of other businesses and groups who will now have to pay.

    And they won’t like to see THEIR taxes raised, when before (with the fuel surcharge that has been declared illegal) the ones paying are the automobile drivers, farmers, truckers, and taxi drivers. And they have less influence (less money) to influence the government.

    He () now has to pass the tax law again, and now has t face more opposition to the new law from a wider base, and that base has seen the first version defeated.

    Momentum can shift, though, as you said, this is not the final tax bill.

  122. yonason (10:58:48) :

    From your link:

    France becomes the first and only country to ever lose two wars when fighting Italians.

    As a full-blooded Italian, I must protest.

    It is a well-known fact that Italy has never lost a war. It just keeps switching sides until it ends up with the winner.

    :)

  123. Governments just don’t all of a sudden simply toss out some MAJOR legislation. On the other hand, since this has vote has occurred there MUST HAVE been support among the politicians to squash this new tax. This means that the occurrence of this is not an accident at all.

    If by the end of January they have a new bill in place, then obviously all those exemptions was the issue. However if the bill and legislation drags on for a longer period of time, then this is clearly an attempt by the French government to wait and see what other nations are going to do in regards to carbon trading. This ploy allows the government to stall and wait, yet at the same time remain perfectly politically correct in their stance on AGW.

    Green Turtle

  124. To the moderators : I think that all comments on France in general, military history and alike, which are completely out of subject, should be deleted.
    In France, being a climate skeptic is difficult partly because it is associated with an alleged “american point of view”, the connotation of this being the very symmetric clichés that the ones appearing in this thread.
    I’m not interested at all here in defending my country. I do not say that it is better than any other. I just say that there is a risk that a french warmist make use of some of the previous comments to say something like : “Look ! How can you support those anti-french skeptics ?”
    Yes, such kind of “argument” is abundantly used here, in France.
    Please, help us to avoid having to deal with it.
    Of course, the present comment should be considered as out of topic as well, so should be deleted at the same time.

  125. HereticFringe, the federal income tax in the US is unconstitutional:

    Aaron Russo: America – Freedom To Fascism

  126. I always wondered about the constitutionality of taxes like this in the US. How does taxing certain products randomly because the government wants more money not violate equal protection? Why can you impose large taxes on legal products such as tobacco and alcohol, with the only reason being a desire for more government income, and not have equal taxation policies on other products?

  127. I’m afraid Lord Monckton’s interpretation of the event is uncomplete hence the unjustified cheering.

    As a French, I confirm what others have said : the French carbon tax has been repelled temporarily, not because there is too much tax (for the guys at the Conseil Constitutionnel) but because there is NOT ENOUGH tax, in the form of too many exemptions.
    So the small agitated guy we put at the head of France will try to revive his tax in a way or another because he has been encouraged by the Council to tax more, not less ! Yeah, don’t worry, our politicians are as disconnected from the base as yours (2/3 of the French are against the carbon tax according to polls, which doesn’t prevent Sarkozy from passing the law because the State is broke and taxpayer’s money is urgently needed).

    The thing which may save the day is that Carbozy won’t be able to tax lorry drivers, fishermen… (exempted so far to avoid violent manifestations as they know how to do). If he tax them, there will be very disrupting strikes, especially from truckers and there is no way he will risk that just 5 months from regional elections (quite important here). If he doesn’t, his law will be again rejected because of exemptions now considered unconstitutional.

    It’s as if he holds the AGW scam tiger by the tail and has no idea how to let it go. But in France, we have ZERO skeptical media, ALL of them are climate change hysterics, so who knows…

  128. Viva la France!

    I am half French, if that matters.

    I love France and the French.
    I just don’t like:
    bad science,
    big government,
    waste,
    fraud,
    lies,
    pollution,
    and emotional coercion

    I like good food.
    Maybe that is why I like the French. : )

  129. Benoît Rittaud (15:11:35) :

    I just say that there is a risk that a french warmist make use of some of the previous comments to say something like…

    No, that’s exactly perhaps the main element of their game: trying to get others to limit their speech becuause they will distort the intent>!

    They will always distort, so you become speechless and defeated. It’s as simple as that.

    The ultimate result of this tactic is the destruction of language, along with Science perhaps falling first, so that all that’s left is brute force. Think about it because that’s how it would work, and how they intend for it to work.

  130. Carbon tax will also pave the way for nuclear power into the US.

    There is great opposition here in the US to nuclear power. Many people think nuclear power is OK… but not in my back yard.

    The other purpose of the great Global Warming agenda is to soften up the Greenies towards Nuclear power… when it is shown that solar and wind will ultimately fail to fulfil the energy needs of the US.

  131. Robert Wykoff (16:05:48) :

    I always wondered about the constitutionality of taxes like this in the US.

    Actually, having sales tax and income tax is double taxation. It is in direct violation of our US Constituion.

  132. Demesure

    >>> the State is broke and taxpayer’s money is urgently needed…

    Is the state broke because of the lorry drivers and fishermen?
    Or is the state broke because of the bankers and politicians?

    Got a pitchfork?

  133. France has made the first step.
    The American People must kill the carbon dioxide fraud once and forever. Common sense must prevail.
    Bismark: “God protects fools and americans”.

  134. r (11:15:45) : What business is left then, only Kool Aid manufacturing?… or is it imported from China too?

    Yes, it’s imported from China, but be careful, some of it’s laced with melamine!

  135. In France the government leans toward encouragement as opposed to punishment.

    Same difference. I’m not going to analyze it further, because if you think about it, in both cases “punishment” leads to encouragement”.

    The U.S. economy is much larger that that of the French and there’s more to steal per capita, because the GDP of the U.S. is about 40% greater per capita, 12/30 last time I looked. But Obama and his fellow Progressives are working hard to end the “the disparity”.

    I’m very happy that you have Nuclear Energy at a rate of 3/1 compared to the U.S.. We should go that way, and so I promise I will never say The French are stupid again. Not that I ever have.

    I could not bear to see another con banker gaining from my loss and that is all the anglos want.

    Here in the U.S. Obama is in fact working exactly toward that goal as I’ve aready mentioned, you know, “for the equality”. I’m not sure that the French are any better, but maybe “they” are. Note that I’m considering Government to be essentially the same as a “con banker”.

  136. J.Peden

    >>>>They will always distort, so you become speechless and defeated. It’s as simple as that.

    1 If they use name calling say:
    Name calling means that you do not have an argument so you lose automatically.
    2 If they use bullying (swearing, threats, etc ) say: bullying means that you do not have an argument so you lose automatically.
    3 If they try throwing their credentials around say: Throwing your credentials around means that you do not have an argument so you lose automatically.
    4 If they use false statistics. Say you must support those statistics. What are your references? This gives you time to make up some statistics and references of your own. It is better to have the real ones, of course, but the idea here is to get people to have a discourse rather than try to win an argument with things that they have heard somewhere but don’t understand.

    I like this one:

    5 If people try to make you choose from two unfavorable options: As in… would you rather pay carbon tax now or have all the polar ice caps melted and your house flooded?

    Reply: Those are false options. Then talk about other options.

  137. You do know that the Federal Reserve is not part of the US Government, right?

    Yes, but the Fed was lending to Freddie and Fanny, Government Sponsered Entities, as though F and F were private institutions at the same discount rates, and F and F were creating a gigantic market for bad paper with that “money”, which led to or touched off the World recession.

    Darn, I’d just finished off a longer post trying to explain that exact thing and how it amounted to Gov’t con banking, but it got erased when I jiggled my key board too much or something. Anyone can figure it out though, so long as you don’t focus on the blame game and other diversions.

  138. “r (17:13:35) ”

    Yes, you can always defeat these tactics one on one. But as large propaganda memes spread in media, that’s not so easy, especially when the “opposition” spokespeople – Republicans, for example – cede the meaning of language ground to the destructors of meaning [ actually accepting, for example, that certian words such as "I hope he fails" cannot even be applied to Obama] which is one big reason why the Republicans have been taking heat from “neocons” for some time now.

    If you’ve got the truth, you can’t cede the ground. That is, just because the words can be distorted to mean what the author didn’t mean doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them, it means the opposite.

  139. “Gov’t con banking”, briefly and standing to be corrected:

    FF can borrow from Fed. just like every other [private] Bank. FF get pressured by Gov’t, enc., to buy bad paper so that everyone and their Mother can buy houses which evil capitalistic loan originators won’t allow. So capitalistic loan originators say, “Great, we’ll just loan money to everyone possible regardless of risk, because we can sell the debt obligation immediately to FF.” “Plus we don’t get harassed by ACORN like we used to – suits, demonstrations, villification of business, resulting in payoffs to ACORN to desist.” [Obama actually worked for ACORN way back, threatening and even filing at least one such suit. He also taught the Communist, Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals".]

    FF execs are political appointees. They can show “profits” by ignoring quality of loans, because they can buy loans with money from Fed costing less than what FF will get in [fantasyland] return from people buying houses. More FF profit = larger exec bonuses, then execs retire.

    Everything blows up when buyers can’t pay mortgages. Everyone cries, “But how could we have known this would happen, blame “capitalism”.”

    Wrong, blame idea that Gov’t should get everyone and Mother into own house + scammed by FF execs and politicos.

    I heard about the basic idea, as also stated in the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, at least once around 1998. I thought, “This can’t work on a large scale, but maybe the lenders can pull it off now and again”, but didn’t know FF were than starting to buy the bad paper. The rest is history, except for the hand waving and exclusive political blame game.

    Now the Obama adm., enc., wants to do it again. Why turn your back on a money + political power maker?

  140. I know what you mean, Its like in 1984, by George Orwell:

    “The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc {Global Warming), but to make all other modes of thought impossible.”

  141. More Orwell,

    “Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper.”

    And

    “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

    By controlling Wikipedia and editing out the Medieval warm period and Vikings in Greenland. They are behaving like the creeps in 1984.

  142. So much for the idea of keeping politics and science separate…

    If the AO stays strongly negative for some years to come, what does that do for the prospects of wind energy in France?

  143. Sweet. I guess it’s time for me to start calling them “French Fries” again. Maybe I’ll even call them pommes frites!

  144. r, quoting Orwell:

    “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

    If you can make it “cool” it might help? I wanted to know if it might somehow work, so I sucked one troll into the trap by saying Joe Wilson’s ~ “that’s a lie” made him the new epitome of “cool”. “Alphie” said something like, ‘it’s not cool if you have to go around begging forgiveness for the whole next day”, at which point I pointed out Obama’s months of apology and weakness.

  145. r, quoting Orwell:

    “Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper.”

    Gees. I was misquoted when I was 5 or 6 years old – even remember where I was when I found out, it was so impressive. The reporter turned something like the school “is always stealing my guns” to “I like to dress up and play like a Cowboy.” Once I defeated the system by concealing one gun in my pants. After they took the other two, I was still in business for a while.

  146. This is Europe man – when we are given the option to vote we have to keep on voting until we get the right answer.

  147. I think this is just the typical European gambit – you make a huge gesture for whatever cause is popular at the time, and then wait for it to be made meaningless. Either you ignore it (like France did with the Kytoto treaty) or you let an unelected court overrule it. You get the credit for making the gesture, but the ill-effects never come about.

  148. Galen Haugh, I speak English because I am an Englishman, and if we had not stood up to Herr Hitler you Americans would have continued to hide from him across the ocean. You may even have gone fascist as well, the tendency has always been there.

    The albinoblacksheep website on French military history is laughably inaccurate, I realise this is off topic so mods feel free to snip it but:
    Gallic Wars: Gauls were not French, the Franks did not arrive until many hundreds of years later.
    Hundred Years War: French ultimately won decisively.
    Italian Wars: A loss
    Wars of Religion: France started off mostly Catholic and ended mostly Catholic, it was a brutal series of conflicts but the ultiamte goal, to preserve France as a centre of Catholic Christendom was achieved.
    Thirty Years War: The French inflict the first serious military defeat on Spain in a century (the Battle of Rocroi), cementing their place as the dominant military power of the continent, a position they would maintain until 1871 despite the Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. (Britain was the supreme power (God Save Her Britannic Majesty) but Britain was not and never will be a continental European country. The Treaty of Westphalia which ended the war benefited France by far the most, gaining them the territory of Alsace and causing the majority of western German princely states to come under French domination. The war between France and Spain continued until 1659 when the Treaty of Pyrenees when France gained a swathe of territory in both what is now Rousillon and the Lowlands.
    Revolutionary Wars: French invade Lowlands and Italy, are invaded by the Prussians. Ultimately drive off the Prussians and secure Lowlands .Italy is eventually taken with the aid of a certain Corsican upstart.
    The Dutch Wars: Initially tied, ultimately the French gained territory although failed to dominate the Dutch.
    The Seven Years War and subsidiares: A catastrophic defeat.
    The American Revolution. Won because of French intervention, without the French naval blockade and threatened invasion the British could have used their naval superiority to cut off the new USA and land its army where ever it wished. You Americans might want to show some gratitude.
    Napoleonic: Loss, but it took an alliance of all the worlds great powers to take them down, and in the words of Wellington himself, it was a close run thing.
    Crimean War: France and allies win
    Franco-Prussian: Lost
    World War One: France loses nearly 5% of its population so the Americans can come in late and claim to have won, when it fact it was a joint effort. Had France not fought so bravely the US would have kept its head firmly up its behind, as is its wont.
    World War II: The French capitulate after a series of military defeats against the most terrible modern military power the world has known. The war is ultimatley won thanks to the British and Montgomery’s judicious use of US cannon fodder.

  149. Either you ignore it (like France did with the Kytoto treaty)…

    At one point the ipcc had decided that France was doing just fine and didn’t need to change a thing – no doubt largely due to its admirable use of Nuclear Energy?

    If so, what is ironic is that it took quite a while after the 4AR for the ipcc to even admit that Nuclear Energy should even be in the mix, even using some ambiguous language as to “should”, ~”Nuclear Energy should remain at about the same per cent use”, as though it might be a prediction or it might be a recommendation.

    There’s something really wrong with science that states a disaster based upon fossil fuel CO2, then won’t strongly recommend one obvious solution which has a country such as France in complete compliance with Kyoto. Obviously, given what the ipcc was considering it should have recommended a strong push to increase the use of Nuclear Energy. But from the way the ipcc talks about Nuclear Energy we could assume any number of things other than that it is a solution to the ipcc’s own stated problem.

    Which might lead one to conclude once again that the ipcc does not even believe its own “science”. So why should anyone else?

  150. Charles,
    That is still a win. The people who had the stupid idea may now realize how stupid it was but need to save face. That is why you still need to make a lot of noise. It helps the “unseen hand” that makes things happen. There may not be a big fanfare and victory march, but it is still a victory. The MSM news papers may still have stupid head lines, but no one believes them anymore. Ever hear of the Boy Who Cried Wolf?

  151. Today i thank god for god & gods mother….he he
    I am an American & love French fries…
    Long live France

  152. LB (05:58:59),

    Very good summary. Yes, the U.S. entered WWI late. We should never have taken sides at all, recalling George Washington’s clear warning to avoid foreign entanglements, which should have applied to most other U.S. wars as well [except for WWII, when Japan and Germany each declared war against the U.S. on December 7th & 11th, 1941].

    One quibble: President Woodrow Wilson was the Jimmy Carter of his day, in a job that exposed his lack of competence. By unnecessarily pushing the U.S. into WWI, he set the stage for Germany’s declaration of war against the U.S. 23 years later. The animosity came from the moral support that the American entry in the war gave to the victors, and which resulted in the vindictive armistice negotiations.

    The U.S. entry into WWI was decisive. At the cessation of hostilities, Germany had lost no land, and its forces controlled much territory outside its borders. But Wilson’s support at Versailles allowed the Allies, led by the French delegation, to succeed in drastically exacting retribution from Germany. The war was no more the fault of Germany than of France; before actual hostilities commenced, all sides had railroad cars full of soldiers and equipment racing toward the front. There was no turning back, lest the other side gained the advantage.

    Germany was out maneuvered politically at the armistice with the feckless concurrence of President Wilson. The result was that war reparations, insisted upon by France, were assessed against Germany in the amount of six billion gold marks — an amount far beyond the capacity of Germany to pay, and which led directly to Zimbabwe-style inflation under the Weimar Republic six years later. Under the circumstances it was a simple matter for Hitler to focus on the grossly unfair treatment of Germany and rally domestic support.

    [The U.S. learned from Wilson's blunder, and undertook the Marshall Plan following WWII, which more than anything else helped to contain communism.]

    France has nothing to be ashamed of militarily, as you point out. No country wins every war. But France has been perceived as not being a team player due largely to Charles de Gaulle’s separatist influence. When unity is demanded in a crisis like 9/11, it is simply human nature to resent and make fun of anyone who doesn’t provide a common front against a common enemy. But attitudes are fickle, and can change 180° in the next crisis.

  153. “The war is ultimatley won thanks to the British and Montgomery’s judicious use of US cannon fodder.”

    That is both entirely false and unnecessarily insulting- not least to the Russians, who provided by far the greater part of the cannon fodder. Even if one restricts the discussion to the Western Allies, it remains the case that Monty was sending his Anglo-Canadian cannonfodder into the Caen meatgrinder over and over again while the Americans broke out through Avranches and St-Lo.

  154. You may even have gone fascist as well, the tendency has always been there.

    LB, I can’t resist Tom Wolfe’s observation that while intellectuals constantly see fascism hovering on the American horizon, somehow it always seems to land in Europe. Not that there aren’t leftists in our country (and in our present adminstration) who would be entirely comfortable with one-party rule and “hate speech” legislation to shut up those who don’t tow the PC line. No lack of totalitarian-minded types in the UK either – I read the Guardian.

    Actually, I was all set to break out the champagne and brie when I read about this too, but ironically, it’s the sober-minded French commenting here that made me realize this is not quite the great victory for common sense we want it to be. We live in interesting times, folks. Politicans are slippy characters, but I really can’t recall when the leaders of the Western democracies were quite as determined to shove extremely unpopular and ruinously expensive taxes and programs down the throats of their unwilling citizens. Demesure’s comment about the possibility of truckers and fishermen fighting back if Sarko tries to ram this thing though is intriguing. I shall be following this story with great interest. I wish you all the best.

  155. LB (05:58:59) :
    If we had not stood up to Herr Hitler you Americans would have continued to hide from him across the ocean.

    The US was reluctant to enter WW2 because the isolationists here argued, “What’s the use of a replay? We saved the bacon for the UK and France last time, but they over-rode Wilson’s 14 points and insisted on a victor’s peace. Let them lie in the bed they made.” This was a strong argument. I daresay it would have cut plenty of ice in the UK, had the shoe been on the other foot.

    LB (05:58:59) :
    Had France not fought so bravely the US would have kept its head firmly up its behind, as is its wont.

    The US entered the war against Hitler because he, invoking the Axis pact with Japan, declared war on us a week after Pearl Harbor. If he’d done so after having defeated or knocked out the UK, the US would still have fought him until The End, and insisted on unconditional surrender too. There could be no peace in the world as long as a powerful nation doctrinally and fanatically committed to expansionism and “mastership” was still at large.

    (FWIW, I’ve read that the long-range high-altitude B-29 bomber, eventually used against Japan, was in development before the war and was intended initially to strike Germany from Iceland, if the UK was no longer available. The US was getting prepared for a desperate conflict.)

  156. PS: I should have inserted the boldfaced phrase in my comment above:
    “There could be no peace in the world as long as a powerful nation doctrinally and fanatically committed to expansionism and “mastership,” and capable of developing an A-bomb, was still at large.”

  157. Go France, will they start striking too, (have they already and the pet media have their noses whacked if they speak of it) Hope it sends chills up the unelected bunch of MPs who have hijacked our british parliament and are on a trolley dash round the expenses scam and every other money grubbing scheme they can image. When the elite are done with us, they will come for them.

  158. I’m a red-neck and I have a question? If one gallon of gasoline weights 6 pounds, or at least I know that 100LL weights 6 pounds for aircraft weight and balance calculational purposes; then, how does that EPA figure that this one 6 pound gallon of petroleum distillated solution produces 19.4 pounds of carbon dioxide whentz its all burnt up? That don’t make any sense at all?!? Is that cause all them chemicals in that thar gasoline is combining with all them air molecules and stuff and it gets all heavy after it gets burnt? Golly, why can’t we revere this process and extract carbon dioxide from the air and produce fresh gasoline and just put it all right back down thar in the ground where it all come from in the first place? Humm, you know, maybe we could build a Gi-normous air conditioner and pull the extra heat out of the air at the equator, and pipe it back up to the soon to evaporate arctic ice cap. (I got this idea from Obama) It’s like monetary redistribution of wealth, cept its global redistribution of heat. Ok Back to the egg-nogg now, happy new year yee-all.

    [REPLY - The gasoline is just C and H. The mass of the H is very little, but the C is picking up two Os from the atmosphere. The O has a LOT more mass than the H. ~ Evan]

  159. I apologise unreservedly for any offense caused, I was unnecessarily innacurate and insulting regarding the US in WWI and WWII. I did so to parallel the albinoblacksheep websites insultingly innaccurate portrayal of French military history, but I realise this may not have been evident.
    I do disagree with the statement the US saved British bacon in WWI, the Royal Navy reigned supreme, Germany could never have challenged it on the seas or invaded the British isles. Britain could have withdrawn from the contest and left Europe to its fate. Germany actually wanted to keep Britain out of the war, so they would have accepted peace with Britain. Instead Britain bankrupted itself ans sacrificed countless lives to keep Western Europe free.

    [REPLY - Heh. I basically agree. As for WWII, I regard that as a titanic 4-year struggle between Germany and Soviet Russia (with some relatively minor stuff going on around the edges). ~ Evan]

  160. Sorry for the double post but I want to point this out:

    French fries are Belgian. I think the French embassy staffers response to a question about Freedom Fries at the time sums it up well “We are busy considering vitally important matters, we do not concern ourselves with what name you call a potato product.”
    As to French toast, there is some debate but originally it seemed to be known as German toast in GB and USA until WWI when anti-German sentiment caused it to be renamed French toast. Rather ironic, what?

  161. OK, so the Constitutional Council didn’t chuck Sarko’s tax out on the grounds that it was bogus science and in fact endorses the bogus science. That’s unfortunate, but I still count this as a victory for the simple reason that a carbon tax was stopped. The reasons given were apparently “fair” in their own way, though that should be completely irrelevant if the basic science is bogus-I say SHOULD be. Virtually no-one in any position of power anywhere in the world is interested in the actual science, but that’s just the way it goes.
    As for other carbon taxes, the French decision draws attention to the possibility that other carbon taxes like the ETS may also be vulnerable on constitutional grounds. In Australia we have, I think, a very interesting dimension to all of this that has has not been picked up on at all in the debate. The ETS is the GST’s (Goods and Services Tax) Big Brother. The GST was only able to be passed in1996 because of the extremely limited awareness of its unconstitutionality among the Australian people (I was unaware of this myself). I am NOT talking about sovereignty issues, though they probably destroy the ETS in their own right. I’m talking about other good stuff. Sn. 256,p.78 of the Constitution explicitly states that no tax should have more than one object of taxation, whereas the GST was a goods AND services tax. The ETS would be a Tax on Everything because what doesn’t involve CO2 or other so-called greenhouse gases? Further, it would discriminate between parts of the country where people have to use more of theses gases, and ignores issues of fairness and popular will. The Constitution also forbids politicians to knowingly lie to the people. Oh, and we have a man called Peter Spencer who’s on hunger strike because he has had the use of his land confiscated under the cover of Kyoto, so you can add the unconstitutionality of no just compensation to the mix. Mr. Spencer’s farm is near Parliament House in Canberra and if Tony Abbott wanted to, he could make a real photo opportunity out of it. Why doesn’t he?

  162. [REPLY - Heh. I basically agree. As for WWII, I regard that as a titanic 4-year struggle between Germany and Soviet Russia (with some relatively minor stuff going on around the edges). ~ Evan]

    From June 1940 to June 1941 England stood alone, and Stalin sent Hitler the very supplies that later were used against him. If England had fallen, there would have been no arctic convoys to supply the Russian troops, and the war would have gone differently, (though, in the end, Truth would have triumphed, because it always does, or so I believe.)

    Anyway, I’d be cautious of calling the year the English stood alone “minor stuff.”

    [REPLY - I was being facetious. It would have been a catastrophe if Britain had fallen. But Lend Lease to Russia was a tiny trickle until mid-1943, when the Iranian route was opened. By that time, the issue was decided. If Russia had fallen it would have required a WWIII to defeat Germany. Note that I also left out the entire Pacific campaign! ~ Evan]

  163. LB (20:07:35) :

    I apologise unreservedly for any offense caused, I was unnecessarily inaccurate and insulting regarding the US in WWI and WWII.

    Good for you.

    It’s a good idea, when in error (or overstatement), to say “Oops” (or at least, “Let me rephrase that”) and “stop digging.” It hurts at the time to back down, but it hurts less in the long run.

  164. [REPLY - Heh. I basically agree. As for WWII, I regard that as a titanic 4-year struggle between Germany and Soviet Russia (with some relatively minor stuff going on around the edges). ~ Evan]

    For a book that vividly illustrates this thesis, see the fairly recent book Armageddon by Max Hastings.

    [REPLY - I always liked Hastings. I was being a bit tongue--in-cheek. Most Americans don't "get" the importance of the Russian campaign. Germany had two big chances: beat England early or beat Russia. It missed both chances at those "tipping points", and not by a heck of a lot. ~ Evan]

  165. LB: I agree that the “freedom fries” business was stupid. It was about as successful as the WWI drive to rename sauerkraut “liberty cabbage.” Nobody in America uses the term “liberty cabbage” and I’ve never heard anyone, not even diehard hawks, order “freedom fries” with their burger.

    As for French toast, well, isn’t it, unlike French fries, an actual French dish? Pain perdu? Whatever you call it, it’s tasty.

  166. [REPLY - I always liked Hastings. I was being a bit tongue--in-cheek. Most Americans don't "get" the importance of the Russian campaign. Germany had two big chances: beat England early or beat Russia. He missed both chances at those "tipping points", and not by a heck of a lot. ~ Evan]

    I read a book about five years ago about the other chance that Germany missed: To divert 5% or 10% of its Russian invasion force to its forces in N. Africa, which would have been enough to enable seizure of the Suez Canal. Alternatively, delay the Russian invasion a year and go for Suez first, then use that as a bargaining chip to get the UK to drop out.

    That must have been what Britain feared, because that was the sensible thing to do. How dark things looked then.

  167. inversesquare (23:34:35) :

    Thanks for your note and welcome to the fight. Your comments were eloquently put forth and I think we are reaching a “pushback” moment. I’m very much with you on the kids comments – enough is enough with this BS…

  168. To divert 5% or 10% of its Russian invasion force to its forces in N. Africa, which would have been enough to enable seizure of the Suez Canal. Alternatively, delay the Russian invasion a year and go for Suez first, then use that as a bargaining chip to get the UK to drop out.

    Mmm. Lots of intangibles. 5% or 10% reduction of troops in Russia would have been very telling in Russia where the German line was stretched to its limits. 2% might well have been enough, but there was the issue of supply-by-sea, which seriously impeded German efforts in North Africa. And the severely bottlenecked frontage on the approach to Alexandria might have stopped the Germans no matter what (or not).

    As for delaying the invasion of Russia, the Red Army was still in recovery from the pre-war purges, but was on schedule for reform by 1942. It might have been far more difficult for Germany to invade at that point. bear in mind, Germany would likely not have had an “extra year” of production. Germany wanted to pig out on the stolen fruits of victory without the sacrifice involved in full war production. As it was, Germany (though it is hard to believe) was the last of all major participants to go to full war footing (1943), and it only did that because the Russian campaign had gone — badly — sour.

  169. I think we are reaching a “pushback” moment.

    We have weathered the Battle of Moscow. But there is still Stalingrad, Kursk, and Bagration to win. (And expect bitter resistance on the Seelowe Heights.)

  170. Anyone know why the Frence have been partial to burning cars on New Years and also just any old time? Fuel prices part of the story?

    2006:
    “An average of 112 cars a day have been torched across France so far this year”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article607860.ece

    2009:
    “According to figures from the French Interior Ministry, 1,147 cars went up in smoke on New Year’s Eve — a 30% rise on the 879 autos torched the same night in 2007.”

    http://www.time.com/time/world/articl/0,8599,1869392,00.html#ixzz0bVM3pvLg

    2010:
    “Paris – Vandals burned 1 137 cars in France on New Year’s Eve”

    http://www.news24.com/Content/World/News/1073/7d0dbdd4d0ec4976ab8f220c460a07c4/01-01-2010-10-14/1_137_cars_burned_in_France

  171. evanmjones: The book I was referring to was How Hitler could have won WW2: The fatal errors that led to Nazi defeat, which is on Amazon here:

    One of the editorial reviews was unduly dismissive, I think. The reader reviews are interesting.

    evanmjones (16:09:21) :
    Mmm. Lots of intangibles. 5% or 10% reduction of troops in Russia would have been very telling in Russia where the German line was stretched to its limits. 2% might well have been enough, …

    Now that I think harder about this, I believe the author claimed that only an extra division (12,000 or so men) would have sufficed. Anyway, Operation Barbarossa wasn’t severely stretched. That came later. (If a shortage had led to a curtailment of Barbarossa’s objectives, like attacking Leningrad, that would have been a feature, not a bug.)

    but there was the issue of supply-by-sea, which seriously impeded German efforts in North Africa.

    I’m not sure, but I think that allied intervention of supply shipping didn’t become effective until many months later, after Ultra had been improved and the UK had got its act together, etc. Once Suez had fallen, the Germans could have supplied their forces from Greece, rather than from southern Italy, avoiding air attacks from nearby airfields. Then they could have marched back west and attacked Gibraltar, eliminating allied air bases and naval forces entirely.

    And the severely bottle-necked frontage on the approach to Alexandria might have stopped the Germans no matter what (or not).

    I read somewhere that the British considered Suez indefensible if its supporting points to the west fell, and that there were even preparations made to abandon it in that event. But perhaps I’m wrong.

    As for delaying the invasion of Russia, the Red Army was still in recovery from the pre-war purges, but was on schedule for reform by 1942. It might have been far more difficult for Germany to invade at that point.

    Sure, but if Stalin still adhered to his disastrous “forward defense” strategy, it wouldn’t have made much difference.

    And the Germans would have been able to attack in May in 1942, rather than getting delayed six fatal weeks suppressing British-inspired insurrections and direct British interventions in the Balkans and Greece in 1941, so their initial advance wouldn’t have been stalled by winter.

    My takeaway is that it was a near-run thing, and that providence saved the West and freedom, not democracy and its politicians, although that is the takeaway message that the MSM promoted in the aftermath of the war.

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