Newsbytes: Political Climate Change In Europe

By Dr. Benny Peiser of The GWPF

Conservatives in the European Parliament delivered a setback for European Commission plans to erase tax benefits for diesel fuel, saying that a period of austerity and high fuel costs is not the time for such moves. The vote also calls for changes to the Commission’s proposed minimum carbon tax on emissions from households, farms and the transport industry not already covered under the EU’s Emissions Trading System. The Parliament’s recommendations are non-binding. But they lay the groundwork for anticipated changes in the Council of Ministers, where Poland has already blocked moves to impose stronger emission-reductions obligations, and at a time when high fuel prices may tame the political appetite for higher taxes. –EurActiv, 20 April 2012

The European Commission has decided to carry out a full study into the impact of proposed fuel quality laws on business and markets, delaying until next year any ruling on how to rank the polluting effect of oil from tar sands, an EU official said. Ministers had been expected to vote on the regulations in June as part of EU efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said EU member states would not be asked to decide until early 2013 on the scheme, part of the EU’s Fuel Quality Directive, which would rank tar sands oil as more polluting than other fuels. “We did not have a qualified majority against or in favour. We want to gain the support of those who are in doubt,” the source said. –Barbara Lewis, Reuters, 20 April 2012

A European Commission plan to boost the carbon market is unfeasible and could bankrupt Polish companies, Poland’s environment minister said on Thursday. European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard announced a review of the auctioning profile for the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which could limit the number of allowances available and help tackle a glut that has kicked the market to record lows. EU ministers said there was widespread support for action, but Poland, which is heavily reliant on carbon-intensive coal is worried about the rising cost of offsetting emissions. Asked what impact the Commission’s proposal would have on Poland, the nation’s Environment Minister Marcin Korolec told Reuters: “Bankruptcy of companies.” –John Acher, Reuters, 20 April 2012

There’s a large new row developing in British politics — with potential for another major row between Britain and the European Union. For the last few months the “Green Agenda” of the Coalition government has been unraveling for one reason after another. If shale gas can be “fracked” cheaply, then it will undercut such “renewables” as wind power, however heavily they are subsidized — and it will also undercut coal and nuclear power. This shift is very good for Britain, of course, but it cuts against some very large domestic vested interests — all the renewable companies, landowners who rent out their land for wind farms, the Green movement, and not least the ideological interests of one of the governing parties. So the shift is in its early stages, and it will be some time, maybe not until after the next election, that it is fully reflected in a rational British energy policy. –John O’Sullivan, National Review, 19 April 2012

In a controversial move that promises to rattle markets, the government of Argentina announced the re-nationalization of YPF, a major subsidiary of Spain’s Repsol. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Argentina’s president, accused Repsol of failing to keep up with investment promises, while funneling profits out of the country via dividend payments. Behind the scenes, there are two major themes guiding this story. First and foremost is Argentina’s energy crisis, followed closely by the discovery of massive reserves in shale rock in the Argentine mainland. –Agustino Fontevecchia, Forbes, 17 April 2012

40 thoughts on “Newsbytes: Political Climate Change In Europe

  1. I wouldn’t bank on Shale gas.
    Yes, they’ve allowed them to restart drilling but if there is a local tremor above a 0.5 seismic event, they have to drain the water & stop drilling.
    I suspect this is roughly equivalent to saying, “yes you can frack the gas as long as you don’t run any machinery such as drills, pumps, generators, etc..”
    Perhaps someone in the trade would have a better idea about this but background tremors I suspect will be larger than 0.5 regularly.

    DaveE.

  2. I was thinking about fitting solar panels to my roof to save money as the European Government told me I would.

    A solar installation on my roof would, with a bit of luck, generate 2kW/day averaged over the year.

    I use 14kW/day. My bill is about £1.22 per day.

    So a solar system will save me one seventh of consumption, that is 17p per day or £63 per year.

    The system will cost £8000 and last 20 years.

    It will take 145 years for the savings to pay for the installation so if I replace it every 20 years it will be costing me a £40,000 every 100 years.

    That’s £400 a year minus the £63 savings so I will be £337 a year worse off.

    That means my total electric charges will go up by more than 50%!

  3. Re; Argentina

    Why does the one country in the world blessed with so many natural resources from climate to minerals have so many populist incompetent politicians?

  4. What’s this? Common sense is actually starting to seep into climate legislation? An in Europe of all places?

  5. “This shift is very good for Britain, of course, but it cuts against some very large domestic vested interests — all the renewable companies, landowners who rent out their land for wind farms, the Green movement, and not least the ideological interests of one of the governing parties”

    Not the least of which is the UN, which needs this agenda to push it’s Agenda 21 goals. They need the recession and economic stress to force peoples and nations to accept their socialist/totalitarian controls.

    The renewable companies are crony capitalism designed to fail = nonviable.
    The landowners are greedy fools, nothing better than leeches on the consumers/taxpayers = not acceptable.
    The Green movement hates people and has altogether too much power and mostly bad ideas and goals = dangerous.
    The governing parties are not ideological, they are either evil or egregiously misled and do not have the good of the people or world in mind = malicious and agenda driven.

  6. “the discovery of massive reserves in shale rock in the Argentine mainland.”

    This makes total sense if “fossil” gas and oil are actually from the planet’s core. We can expect to see gas, at least, anywhere we drill deep enough. The rich oil fields are just places where rock formations have accumulated these products over time.

    I always wondered why, if you dig deep enough into soil, you always find a reducing environment. Why does it always become so? Well, it appears to come from below.

    This also explains the huge methane hydrate deposits. I always wondered how bacteria in the rock could get ahold of so much CO2 to reduce to methane to make so much hydrate—as the hydrates overlay the rock, gas exchange would be difficult. Now, it appears that bacterial action is not even necessary to explain these hydrates—methane is just percolating up through the rock.

    It’s so cool!

  7. More discoveries of “massive reserves” of petroleum. Was there ever really this amount of dinosaur goo? The more oil that is discovered, the more I’m convinced that petroleum is a geological deposit, not a fossil fuel.
    Geologic hydrocarbon ? I refer you to the oceans of methane on Titan, a satellite of Saturn, I believe.

  8. Here is a news bite for you:

    The upcoming United Nations environmental conference on sustainable development will consider a breathtaking array of carbon taxes, transfers of trillions of dollars from wealthy countries to poor ones, and new spending programs to guarantee that populations around the world are protected from the effects of the very programs the world organization wants to implement, according to stunning U.N. documents examined by Fox News.

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/04/20/tab-for-uns-rio-summit-trillions-per-year-in-taxes-transfers-and-price-hikes/

    ———————————————————

    RobRoy,
    Petroleum and other such fuels do not come from dinosaur goo or other parts thereof. Such parts are in museums. You can look it up.

  9. Meanwhile, here in Maryland, our good Governor Martin O’Malley is strenuously pursuing the green agenda, even if it bankrupts the state.

  10. John F. Hultquist says:
    April 20, 2012 at 7:47 am

    John – I was just about to post this news story and you beat me to it! :)

    Folks – this is the end game for CAGW climate alarmism, as advocated by Jim Hansen, Kevin Trenberth, Michael Mann, etc., and their followers. Your life is about to get much worse – not because of climate change but because of irrational climate hysteria. Don’t let them do it! And for citizens of the U.S., please keep this in mind when you vote this November…

  11. Peter Miller says:
    April 20, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Why does the one country in the world blessed with so many natural resources from climate to minerals have so many populist incompetent politicians?

    For a minute there I thought you were talking about the UK. :)

  12. RobRoy says:
    April 20, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Geologic hydrocarbon ? I refer you to the oceans of methane on Titan, a satellite of Saturn, I believe.

    Who knew that the dinosaurs were a spacefaring society?

  13. It hardly matters now how clearly the CAGW alarmists are discredited. The “green” mindset supports many agendas and interests. Business, finance, world government, social reformers, environmental extremists, and a collection of true believers will be enough to keep the public money scams and foolish misallocation of resources going for a long time.

  14. David A. Evans says:
    April 20, 2012 at 6:36 am
    I wouldn’t bank on Shale gas.
    Yes, they’ve allowed them to restart drilling but if there is a local tremor above a 0.5 seismic event, they have to drain the water & stop drilling.
    I suspect this is roughly equivalent to saying, “yes you can frack the gas as long as you don’t run any machinery such as drills, pumps, generators, etc..”
    Perhaps someone in the trade would have a better idea about this but background tremors I suspect will be larger than 0.5 regularly.

    DaveE.

    If you look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richter_magnitude_scale you will see that 0.5 is somewhere between a hand grenade and a stick of dynamite. Bear in mind that this is energy equivalent, and means you’d have to bury it to prevent any air burst effects. It seems like you could probably get the same effect by letting your garage door free fall to the ground. The same article notes that the frequency for magnitudes less than 2.0 is “continuous”. I can’t see how they could distinguish a pump from a passing truck.

  15. Re YPF – if the reports that Repsol was in a deal to sell 56% to Sinopec are true, then I’m not going to bash Kirchner for nationalizing YPF.

    Not that I think much of the Argentine government, but why should they permit the Chinese to nationalize it through a state-owned company?

  16. Click on ClimateTruthIreland to support climate truth in Ireland.

    REPLY: Dude, this is not cool.

    1. You are thread-bombing WUWT to promote your website
    2. Your wesbsite mixes science and religion
    3. I’m not your PR firm

    Stop it. – Anthony

  17. JEM says:
    April 20, 2012 at 9:33 am
    Re YPF – if the reports that Repsol was in a deal to sell 56% to Sinopec are true, then I’m not going to bash Kirchner for nationalizing YPF.

    “Not that I think much of the Argentine government, but why should they permit the Chinese to nationalize it through a state-owned company?”

    What’s the difference? The gov’t could have have stolen it from the Chinks post-sale, and let Spain pocket the cash.

  18. @DJ Hawkins you can acheive a 0.5 by walking too close to a sensor, but anything like a tree falling or a car accident sufficiently loud thunder, all could break the very low threshold for a 0.5 magnitude vibration.

  19. Michael Bergeron (@zerg539) says:
    April 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

    @DJ Hawkins you can acheive a 0.5 by walking too close to a sensor, but anything like a tree falling or a car accident sufficiently loud thunder, all could break the very low threshold for a 0.5 magnitude vibration.

    So essentially what I was saying was correct, the permit to recommence drilling isn’t worth the paper it’s written on? (Or email as the case may be.)

    DaveE.

  20. jayhd says:
    April 20, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Meanwhile, here in Maryland, our good Governor Martin O’Malley is strenuously pursuing the green agenda, even if it bankrupts the state.

    All too true. Since implementing their tax on millionaires, tax revenue and average income has plummeted. The long list of other taxes and regulations, not to mention the State pouring away money into that stupid offshore windfarm off Ocean City hasn’t help much either. In 2005, two of the top five richest counties in the country were in Maryland. Only one was in Virginia and there was only one other Virginia county in the top 10 (http://money.cnn.com/2005/08/30/pf/city_county_rankings/index.htm):

    2005
    7 Prince William, VA
    5 Howard, MD
    4 Montgomery, MD
    1 Fairfax, VA

    In 2012, there is only one Maryland county in the top 10 while three of the top 5 are in Virginia with two more Virginia counties in the top 10 (http://www.mainstreet.com/slideshow/money/investing/richest-counties-america):

    2012
    9 Prince William, VA
    7 Stafford, VA
    5 Arlington, VA
    3 Howard, MD
    2 Fairfax, VA
    1 Loudon, VA

    Gee, I wonder where all those Maryland millionaires went?

  21. Godfrey Bloom- Vampires sucking the life out of the economy. A cartel of vampires

    and
    Nigel Farage – The Euro is Doomed !!.

    A normal salary in Spain is about 1000 euros per month.There are already many families who financially do not reach the end of the month. Should energy prices continue to rise, many Spanish families will get below the poverty line, and I am talking about those who still have a job.

    Labour: EU; unemployment gap with Spain widens
    Situation critical for youth in 2/3 of member states

    http://ansamed.ansa.it/ansamed/en/news/nations/spain/2012/04/17/Labour-EU-unemployment-gap-Spain-widens_6731524.html

    Spain pays nothing to 43pct of unemployed

    http://www.tumbit.com/news/articles/5289-spain-pays-nothing-to-43pct-of-unemployed.html

    Believe me most people in Europe are sick and tired of the EU. The only people that like it are those in Banking and most Politicians. It is waiting for the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

  22. Believe me most people in Europe are sick and tired of the EU. The only people that like it are those in Banking and most Politicians. It is waiting for the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

    Those straws seem to be more common in the summer and early fall when people are hot and cranky and the weather does not impede long running demonstrations. This will be an interesting summer and fall I suspect.

    Larry

  23. Europe is not much different of USA
    I can see Elephants vs. donkeys in US
    in Europe I see blue vs. pink or others colours

    But I see the absolute victory of the 1% against the 99 % in US and in EU
    Now they want to make a “good” war as if the word “good” for war is meaningful .
    the fact is we are going to massacre Iranians that did nothing to us (the opposite is far to be true) and this “state of war” is going to bury the very few civil liberties still remaining.

    At the time when direct democracy is technically feasible, peoples should seriously reconsider the utility of representative democracy specially due to the ease of corruption it authorizes!

  24. re: Kelvin Vaughan
    Kelvin, I can believe your figures if you live in a very cloudy area. Your 14 kw usage a day sounds about right, assuming you mean kilowatt hours. But your 2 kw generation a day seems so low as to suggest it is the power output of the system–i.e. literally kilowatts, not kilowatt hours.
    I put a 2 kw system up on the roof last June and production since then just passed 3000 kwh. That’s almost 10 kwh per day. Of course, this is Southern California, where you can see the sun all day, and all night too, if you’re high enough.

  25. I love the green unravelling. The nonsense is breaking up and breaking down everywhere. Wonderful wonderful stuff.

  26. Why does the one country in the world blessed with so many natural resources from climate to minerals have so many populist incompetent politicians?

    It is often argued that natural resources, when too easily obtained, make for an extraction economy. That means money is not made by the people doing things the best way, but whoever can obtain control of the land or resources. Once obtained profits flow regards of how incompetent the administration. Crony economies naturally have crony politicians.

  27. juanslayton says:
    April 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    re: Kelvin Vaughan
    Kelvin, I can believe your figures if you live in a very cloudy area. Your 14 kw usage a day sounds about right, assuming you mean kilowatt hours. But your 2 kw generation a day seems so low as to suggest it is the power output of the system–i.e. literally kilowatts, not kilowatt hours.
    I put a 2 kw system up on the roof last June and production since then just passed 3000 kwh. That’s almost 10 kwh per day. Of course, this is Southern California, where you can see the sun all day, and all night too, if you’re high enough.

    Where I think Kelvin is, 2kwHr is reasonable. He was conned & that’s NOT unrealistic.

    DaveE.

  28. At the time when direct democracy is technically feasible, peoples should seriously reconsider the utility of representative democracy specially due to the ease of corruption it authorizes!

    They should also recognize the tyranny of the majority that is possible in a pure democracy. If we had a pure democracy, destructive green initiatives would have long sense been made into law and our economy would be in shreds instead of just crippled.

    The founding fathers of the U.S. very carefully considered the consequences of a true democracy and found it flawed.

    The populous states would have run rough shod over the low population density states and anyone who could assemble a dominant plurality or majority would become defacto dictator (can you say machine politics).

    Even with the checks and balances of a republic using a representative democracy and the electoral college to blunt the tyranny of the majority, we still have had our periods where popular political fads have run largely unchecked. We are seeing the consequences of large numbers of unsophisticated voters being led by the nose to faulty conclusions all over the world right now in the “Green plague” we are enduring now.

    Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water!

    A pure democracy has flaws too when used by real people in a real political system.

    Larry

  29. Conservatives in the European Parliament delivered a setback for European Commission plans to erase tax benefits for diesel fuel, saying that a period of austerity and high fuel costs is not the time for such moves.
    ———
    This must be real confusing for you guys, so many ways to spin this?

    1. The preferential diesel tax treatment is bad because its corporate welfare.
    2. The preferential diesel tax treatment is good because it encourages fuel use and makes running cars cheaper.
    3. The preferential diesel tax treatment is bad since it is a measure to encourage people to use cars with high efficiency engines and so reduce carbon emissions.
    4. The preferential diesel tax treatment is bad because it is a tax and this gives government money and control of our lives.

    Looks like Benny-spin went for 2.

  30. Lazy, we’re not confused. We can see who is doing the spinning here.

    Do you work at being disingenuous, or does it come naturally?

  31. LazyTeenager says:
    April 20, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    “This must be real confusing for you guys, so many ways to spin this?”
    ===========
    Damn right there are many ways it could be spun, but unless you take a position, how are we supposed to assuage your concerns.
    Did you take a position ?, or just a cheap shot.

  32. Watch Poland. Those folk have put up with 300 years of outsiders telling them what they can and cannot do, and the abuse has made them very tough, and able to recognize a bully even when the wolf is dressed as a sheep, and able to look like a lamb even as they reach back for the perfect timing for a blow on the bully’s nose.

  33. “high fuel prices may tame the political appetite for higher taxes”

    Nothing will tame the political appetite for higher taxes except [SNIP: Barbara, you may be correct, but that is not a suggestion we would like to entertain here at WUWT. -REP] :-(

  34. LazyTeenager says:
    April 20, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    @ #3 – What’s the problem with carbon emissions? Nature loves this …

    … and what nature love, is good for us!

  35. @Higley7:

    The atmosphere of early Earth was a reducing one. Only after photosynthesis evolved did we have what is called “The Oxygen Catastrophe”. I explore what it might have been like back then, here:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/did-crude-oil-rain-from-the-sky/

    On other solar system bodies with reducing atmospheres, hydrocarbon rain happens…

    @Peter Miller:

    Well, part of it is that after W.W.II a load of old Nazis and Italians ran off to Argentina. Despite how the “The Left” likes to call them “right”, they aren’t. They were a particular form of Socialism. The Nationalist sort (with a Corporatist bias). For Germany they added a heavily Racist element (Jews were accepted in the Italian Fascist system until Germany came to Italy…)

    Right about now a few thousand people are about to erupt with a load of “You Jerk! They were NOT!!”… I suggest reading your history, and reading what they actually said they were first. They self identified as “socialists” and the only folks, then, who called them “right wing” were the Stalinists (for whom everything else was ‘to the right’). I’ll not argue the point here as it is way Off Topic and just devolves into a Rant War.

    But the bottom line is those folks took a lot of their belief structures with them and were often in positions of power and authority for decades after.

    Remember, it was National Socialist German Workers Party.

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/some-quotes-on-socialism-and-fascism/

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/fascist-doctrine/

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/nationalist-socialists/

    (For anyone wondering, my assertion does not at all mean I’m some kind of “right wing nut”. My political leaning is close to centralist / Libertarian or the Classical Liberal. I’m just a stickler for being correct about history. As an Economist, I can also make the best economic defense of the Lange Type Socialism that typified their economic policies; and find the totally ‘free market’ a very risky business. We need a ‘regulated market’ at minimum. The US Progressive Movement praised the Fascists, right up until the war, and followed many of the same policies. They need to embrace their history, not lie about it due to political embarrassment. The “tag line” then was “Third Way” and you can even find video of Bill Clinton talking about his “Third Way” progressive politics. It did work and the trains were on time. It just isn’t stable and is especially unstable with a Nationalist and Racist bent tossed in.)

    @RobRoy:

    You will like that hydrocarbons link ;-)

    But most oil attributed to biological sources is attributed to algae, not dinosaurs. The North Sea oil, for example. It was a very shallow stagnant sea. Ideal for algae sequestration and shallow oil. Now the stuff being found under salt domes several miles down under the ocean… that’s a bit harder to explain ;-)

    @John F. Hultquist:

    Maybe we can cut out the middle man and ask the UN to just send the Tax Bill to China, as they are our source of money anyway ;-)

    With Europe and the USA functionally bankrupt right now, there isn’t a chance in Hades that they can get any money out of us. We don’t have any. We’re borrowing it from China and OPEC (as ‘recycled’ petro-dollars and petro-euros – putting oil on the Bond Credit Card). Japan is more in debt than Greece, so good luck with them, too…

    @Jayhd:

    It will. We went there first in California and we’re already bankrupt. Just haven’t filed any paperwork. (Other than a few cities and counties…. State still playing shell games and having ‘furlough days’ for workers…)

    @LazyTeenager:

    While you spin, there is only one accurate way to state it. Putting the words Diesel and Tax together is bad. Period. Full stop. Crimps economic growth and harms the economy. All the other variations you imagine show your have an imagination doing great zymurgy.

    @All:

    The Slavic areas have a pretty good handle on things. From Czech Republic to Poland and on to Russia. Not going to hand over their money to any outsider without good cause, and pretty sure ‘warm is good, cold is bad’, and knowing cold is coming.

    The “watershed” will be between the old Slavic areas and the Germanic, with Latin on the sidelines asking for more money, please..

    As the only folks with “net money” are Germany, it’s going to fall on their heads. France is voting now, most likely going to try another Socialist (again…) so will be on the “gimme” line too.

    Looks to me like a Euro breakup in 2 to 5 years, EU collapse shortly after.

    Unless the “Middle East” wars spread north. Egypt is unstable, still. Most of the rest too. Saudi Royals “have issues” and the whole region has explosive population growth with no jobs; and lots of government dole. This is not going to stabilize, UN or no UN.

    So yes, I take encouragement from the folks with no money saying “that will kill what little income we have now”, but suspect the “fix” will end in a reprise of the breakup of the Holy Roman Empire / Austro-Hungarian Empire / Napoleonic Empire / or any of the other times they’ve tried the integration thing… Don’t know which has killed more people; the deaths in wars to make the empires or the deaths in wars and famine from their collapse. Oh Well, at least it will make for interesting history.

    I suggest being wary of folks flying from windows in Prague…

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/defenestration-of-prague/

    it tends to be the start of Big Changes…

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