French give up on carbon tax plan – for now

In a move sure to set off a tirade from Joe Romm, we have this story from the BBC:

French government backs down on carbon tax plan

The French government has signalled that it is dropping a plan for a tax on domestic carbon dioxide emissions.

http://www.freefoto.com/images/13/74/13_74_24---CO2-emissions_web.jpg

Image: Freefoto.com

Jean-Francois Cope, parliamentary leader of the governing UMP party, was quoted as saying the tax “would be Europe-wide or not (exist) at all”.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon told parliament that the government should focus on policies that increased France’s economic competitiveness.

France had been rethinking the tax after a court rejected it last year.

The Constitutional Council said there were too many exemptions for polluters in the tax plan, and that a minority of consumers would bear the burden.

But President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government had still been planning to push through a revised version of the measure later this year.

more at the BBC here

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104 thoughts on “French give up on carbon tax plan – for now

  1. “Environmental agencies expressed dismay on Tuesday, while the head of the French business federation Medef expressed relief.
    The European Commission said earlier this month that it was planning an EU-wide minimum tax on carbon as part of the EU’s green energy agenda – though the UK opposes such a move. ”
    The economic crisis (which is continuing unabated) will hopefully derail all such nonsense, but we in the US shoul expect the current POTUS to stop at nothing. To him, I am afraid, the greater the economic crisis, the more people will turn to goverment. I truly do not think this administration cares at all about the “science” of CAGW, but only about the poptential revune to empower the goverment as the individual becomes smaller.
    BTW, can anyone comment on this, as I have not seen it discussed…. According to this…
    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2009/12/sea-level-decrease-over-last-6-years.html
    The argos system not only shows no warming, but no sea level rise for the past six years. if this is true how do the AGW proponents insist sea level rise is accelerating?

  2. “Prime Minister Francois Fillon told parliament that the government should focus on policies that increased France’s economic competitiveness.”
    Looks like Captain Obvious stopped by Prime Minister Francois Fillon’s office and explained the downside of a carbon tax.

  3. What about the French leftists? From what I’ve heard they trounced Sarkosy’s more conservative parties and may have given the French leader second thougts on increasing taxes on all motor fuels.

  4. Haven’t the French done enough to reduce DANGEROUS EVIL CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS by switching to nuclear power? They deserve a break. Tell China and India to cut down on their emissions instead!

  5. The giving up on carbon tax perhaps has something to to with Monday’s story from the BBC:

    ” Sarkozy’s UMP party loses in regional elections”
    “President Nicolas Sarkozy’s centre-right UMP party has suffered a heavy defeat in French regional elections.
    The Socialist-led opposition alliance took about 54% of the vote with the UMP on 36%.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8579232.stm

  6. France always does what’s best for France – even though it’s deep-routed in Europe it stil does exactly what it wants. It’s infuriating on one level, as you feel they just ignore everyone else even though they are one of the cornerstones of Europe, but you also admire them for doing what’s best for their citizens. We in the UK do what’s best for Europe despite the fact that half the population want to leave it! A CO2 tax is about to hit car sales here – it’s been called the ‘showroom tax’ and will mean almost a whopping £1000 tax on cars that are the highest emitters of CO2. It’s insane. Unfortunately, we have limp politicans who just see warming as a way of coining something more out of the taxpayer.

  7. “would be Europe-wide or not (exist) at all”.
    Is the key message for those familiar with the way the EU works. France doesn’t want to impose election suicide, so it passes the buck to the EU. They’ll happily legislate to impose domestic carbon taxes, probably as part of the new 30% reduction targets. French government can then honestly say they didn’t want to do it, but the EU made them.

  8. That will be not at all then.
    It has been all over bar the shouting since the 19th of November.
    Some, particularly those on the left of center it would seem, are just a little slow on the uptake.
    AGW is a fraud. Forcing honest people to hand over money on false pretenses is mafia style racketeering.
    Using fear to coerce large populations to make unpopular political decisions is called terrorism.
    Go ahead and role out cap and trade!

  9. Errr, why does the post include an image of a lot of steam billowing from a chimney. ?
    At least the Beeb link has an image of cars, well, er, being driven, and so emitting some invisible CO2,
    but they had to get one car carrying a pedal cycle didn’t they…

  10. The dominos are starting to Fall.
    So goes France, so likely goes Europe (the furthest along the carbon regulating path), so goes the world.
    AGW advocates, bend over and kiss your…..goodbye.
    It ain’t going to happen — and whether you know it or not — it’s a good thing to.

  11. Just wait and see the UKIP get into power in a few years and then the Eurocrats will have to deal with a British public who dare to make their country great with a libertarian manifesto that everyone in the world will aspire to.

  12. My protest against the French by avoiding French fries has just ended. I also now will resume calling them French fries instead of American fries.
    (I like the pic of a smoke stack sending out steam. CO2 is colorless It adds to the drama when greenie weenies use it.)

  13. Why worry? Apparently it worked–what little CO2 reduction mere French mortals accomplished seems to have pulled the earth back from the CO2 “tipping point” since we’ve seen little or no warming in the past 15 years (paraphrasing Phil Jones).
    Good work, France! Next time we need to cool the earth, you can legislate it!
    (Or did they go too far, considering this past winter?)

  14. Unforntunately we live in the dictatorship called the Europeen union. The Carbon tax may well be dead but to allow the introduction of the money making (at least for the dictators) cap and trade. Allegre (was a minister before the election) appeared on TV here last week to say that CO² global warming was a nonsense and put up a good argument with a greeny-beeny. Whether Sarkozy will want to fight the dictatorship in Brussels/Strasbourg or not we will have to wait and see.

  15. Al Gore’s Holy Hologram (13:02:09) :
    Just wait and see the UKIP get into power in a few years and then the Eurocrats will have to deal with a British public who dare to make their country great with a libertarian manifesto that everyone in the world will aspire to.

    Sorry to introduce a small amount of UK electioneering into this, but UKIP are not particularly libertarian so will do no such thing. The Libertarian Party (LPUK) will, though.

  16. Derek has an excellent point. The white stuff is steam.
    Use of pictures tend to alarm the uninformed into believing that the emissions from the stacks is pollution. This normally is a scare tactic used by the CAGW to misrepresent the real world.
    The MSM like to confuse the public about CO2 versus pollution.
    In processing plants where wet gas scrubbers are employed, the effluent from the stack is steam since water is used to capture the small particles to comply with EPA regulaions. The ones I am familiar with emmit a huge steam plume but the pollution levels are very low unless water vapor is declaired a pollutant.

  17. “A CO2 tax is about to hit car sales here – it’s been called the ’showroom tax’ and will mean almost a whopping £1000 tax on cars that are the highest emitters of CO2.” – The ghost of Big Jim Cooley
    The leftist in the Good Ol’ US of A love those type of taxes too. They call them “gas guzzler” or “luxury” taxes. I guess it’s inherent to their cognitive social engineering philosphy. Of course, these taxes mostly hurt the poor working stiff on the assembly line making the cars, which are subject to the tax.
    Sometimes these taxes actually get repealed only after the subject industry has been decimated.

  18. “Prime Minister Francois Fillon told parliament that the government should focus on policies that increased France’s economic competitiveness.”
    What a concept! Public rage over the lack of economic focus by the political elite has reached a boiling point in both the US and the EU. Politicians ignore it at their electoral peril.
    November cannot get here soon enough (for us in the US).

  19. Mais oui. Bien. (That’s about all my french.)
    The French generate a majority of their electricity from nuclear, and don’t want to tax CO2. Sounds reasonable to me.

  20. Canada’s British Columbia Carbon Tax is set to increase in July: the climate was too balmy during the Vancouver Olympic Games, likely a proof that the tax was not high enough to prevent warming. LOL

  21. In some ways this is a shame, it would have been interesting and probably educational to watch the French populous display their displeasure at a new tax.
    I have to say I do admire our Gauloises smoking, fromage consuming surrender singe neighbours – if they don’t like a law / tax / anything they either [a] ignore it or [b] set fire to something; a most refreshing change from our British way of just sucking it up whilst getting more and more annoyed.
    Cheers
    Mark

  22. The ghost of Big Jim Cooley (12:41:38) :
    “Showroom tax” on cars? The UK is really on the downhill slope as far as owning cars is concerned. And here I am thinking that anything less than 250hp in a small car is underpowered. My little turbo assisted car is underpowered at around 210hp or so and gets to 60mph in a slow 6.1sec.
    Carbon? What carbon emissions?

  23. AusieDan (03:33:55) :
    “Vuk etc…….lines of magnetic force seems to mirror the rise of global temperature through quite a long time frame. Have you any evidence that this is more than just a coincidence, like the correlation of CO2 levels with temperature?”
    No I have not any evidence, or even hypothesis that the geomagnetic field causes the climate changes. What I speculate is that there may be a link between GMF and ocean and atmospheric currents. Ocean currents have a definite link to climatic events, is there a reverse effect difficult to say, but possible. Also circulation of the electrically charged gas molecules in the atmosphere will be affected by GMF in the polar regions. I have identified number of location where magnetic and climatic movements have similar trends. Coincidence possible, even likely but that does not mean it should be ignored.
    It is highly unlikely that climatic changes could affect to any degree the GMF, however imprint of GMF on climatic trends is frequent:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC8.htm
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC16.htm
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC18.htm
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC19.htm
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC5.htm

  24. Sarcozy has no choice.
    His party just lost the elections and he does not like the idea losing France to the Left!
    In two years he’s up for Presidential elections again.
    So, he will keep low profile with any climate related ruling.

  25. looks like those Frenchies aren’t “cheese eating surrender monkeys” after all – retract your words Bush, the French are doing us all a favour
    /Mango

  26. Romm posted on Carbon cabal tax schemes. How fine they are. If Climate Progress drools in regard to taxation, let’s see how it looks.
    New York just dipped in the kitty and used their RGGI tax for general state expenses. It seems New York is short on pocket money. Jersey is dipping into 60 million of RGGI shakedown moneys. New Jersey’s governor said this week he will use move $65 million in RGGI money
    So they lied about how the carbon/energy tax money was to be spent. A rational person is opposed to fake arguments for taxation.
    Of course they used cooked temp records to assure us the planet was rapidly reaching a biiling point. Had the liberals not caused a lot of snow, New England would have roasted this winter.

  27. Given the state of the EU at present (Germany refuses to bail out Greece and the rest of the PIIGS), I don’t see any ‘EU-Wide’ anything financial for quite some time. Indeed, if you read AEP over at the Torygraph, the EU – originally conceived to keep France and Germany from dragging the rest of the show into yet another conflict – will do well to survive at all.
    As a character on a Brit war comedy show used to say:
    “Oh dear, how sad, never mind”.

  28. Is New Zealand the only contry stupid enough to pass an emissions trading scheme – essentially a tax or increase in cost of living of at least $1400 a year / person!

  29. Hansen says today that the SST temperatures still rising!
    “Global Cooling Is Politics, Not Science: Study”

  30. Now if Cameron will join the French band wagon there might be some point in the coming election.

  31. @ R. de Haan
    Sarkozy (we French skeptics call him Carbozy) is an extreme statist. To US standards, he would be on the left of Obama.
    Like elsewhere in Europe, politicians have all drunk the carbon kool aid and we in France, just like the Brits with Labor and Tory, have the same choice between the left and the right regarding carbon & energy policies : no choice.
    Maybe some more shattering defeats (Copenhagen being the first) will help them open their eyes.

  32. I never did think that China had any intentions of reducing their emissions, but now it’s official. In fact, China is going to allow their emissions to increase.
    China says no emissions cap for now
    Thu, Feb 25, 2010
    AFP
    BEIJING, Feb 25, 2010 (AFP) – China’s top climate change negotiator has said the world’s biggest carbon polluter has no intention of capping greenhouse gas emissions for the time being, state media reported Thursday.
    Su Wei, who led China’s negotiating team at the UN climate change talks in Copenhagen in December, said the country’s carbon emissions had to increase because the economy is still developing, the China Daily said.
    Read more: http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20100225-200907.html

  33. David A (12:28:48) :
    “BTW, can anyone comment on this, as I have not seen it discussed…. According to this…
    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2009/12/sea-level-decrease-over-last-6-years.html
    The argos system not only shows no warming, but no sea level rise for the past six years. if this is true how do the AGW proponents insist sea level rise is accelerating?”
    That is very simple to answer.
    The AGW crowd believe in the IPCC. The IPCC cherry-pick from models, and refuse to look at data from the real world.
    http://www.climatechangefacts.info/ClimateChangeDocuments/NilsAxelMornerinterview.pdf
    Why this isnt the biggest Gate of them all beats me. SeaGate.
    Niels Axel Moerner speaks in Oslo the 17’th of April 2010.

  34. I wouldn’t go too far in cheering the French, they’re still a rum lot. Rude, useless policemen, stuck in their ways, and completely useless in a war. Their engineering can be really iffy too – although there are exceptions. They banned sales of our UK beef for six years – three of those years completely against EU rules. The EU decided not to fine them a single Franc because they wouldn’t have paid it! Seriously! France has some serious problems coming up in the future with regard to its fiscal confidence, medical care, its education, social welfare, taxes, and pensions. The French workers will strike at the drop of a hat, and the government there have some future battles on their hands.
    Oh, and they actually do smell of garlic.

  35. Reference: The ghost of Big Jim Cooley (15:36:39) :
    Spoken like an Englishman. French medical care is superb and readily available at reasonable cost; your country’s heath care is an unfolding disaster. French citizens pay reasonable fees for ordinary doctor’s visits and the Government pays for catastrophic expenses like cancer, kidney failure, major trauma accidents, etc.
    The garlic makes the food taste good, and it is considerably better on average than that served across the channel. Same goes for the wine. As my French step-daughter says “The English burned Joan ‘d Arc and boil their beef”
    Most of their electrical power comes from nuclear energy, and has for many years. A carbon tax is complete nonsense, and the French citizens turned it down for good reasons even though the current Government was smoking the AGW dope. Then there is the matter of driving on the wrong side of the road…

  36. Ghost of Big Jim Cooley
    I think you got a little carried away slagging the French because of your own personal experience. My experience with France could not be more different. The French just did all of us fighting carbon taxes a big, big favour. No doubt they have fought hard to rid themselves of this tax and my congratulations to them for this accomplishment.
    Bravo et Merci mes amis!

  37. “The ghost of Big Jim Cooley (15:36:39) :
    […]
    Oh, and they actually do smell of garlic.”
    Mais les filles!

  38. OT but the AGW are in need of a little Dutch boy with an increasing number of fingers.
    UK Times Online has: –
    Public scepticism prompts Science Museum to rename climate exhibition
    “Even the title of the £4 million gallery has been changed to reflect the museum’s more circumspect approach. The museum had intended to call it the Climate Change Gallery, but has decided to change this to Climate Science Gallery to avoid being accused of presuming that emissions would change the temperature.”
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7073272.ece

  39. “I never did think that China had any intentions of reducing their emissions, but now it’s official. In fact, China is going to allow their emissions to increase.” –
    toyotawhizguy (15:27:29) :
    Even if China was onboard China would be about as effective curbing their CO2 emission as thay are at protecting against trademark & copywrite infringement, which is to say, Good luck. Only the AGW devotees would buy that idea as they get suckered by China.

  40. From Junk Bonds to Sub-prime to Carbon Trading, he just keeps getting richer and richer.
    Carbon emissions trading might be useless at tackling climate change but it is proving to be highly profitable for the financial engineers behind it – men like the godfather of pollution trading, an American called Richard Sandor, who was one of the founders of financial derivatives in the 1980s at junk bond trader Drexel Burnham Lambert.
    It was at Drexel Burnham Lambert that Sandor pioneered the “collateral mortgage obligations” that eventually brought the financial markets to their knees. He was also architect of the first pollution permit trading scheme (in sulphur emissions) in the US in the 1990s.
    Today, he chairs the company controlling more than 80% of EU carbon emissions trading, Climate Exchange plc, which regularly launches “innovative” carbon products such as daily futures contracts and has set up trading exchanges in China, Canada and Australia. Sandor meanwhile has been a big mover behind plans for a mandatory trading system in the US that would see his company”s income multiply.
    “Significant long-term growth potential”
    Under Sandor, and chief executive and offshore insurance specialist Neil Eckert, Climate Exchange plc owns the European Climate Exchange based in London’s Bishopsgate, as well as the Chicago Climate Exchange and the Chicago Climate Futures Exchange. Business is especially booming in London, as Eckert boasted in a results announcement last week: “ECX had a wonderful year and with the continuing EU discussion of an anticipated 30% cut [in emissions] by 2020 and particularly the move to 100% auctioning [of allowances] in 2011, shows significant long-term growth potential.”
    Last year Sandor earned $1m and Eckert £575,000. Sandor”s shares in the company are worth more than £40m, and Eckert”s around £5m on top of £7m worth of options. These riches came on the back of operating profits last year of £11.5m, made almost entirely in London, where trading in £70bn worth of emissions allowances by the European exchange’s 100 members, including such renowned environmentalists as Shell, Barclays and RBS, earned the exchange £11.4m.
    Not that any of this finds its way into the government’s coffers in the form of tax that might be invested in slightly more useful environmental measures. Climate Exchange plc is registered in the tax haven of the Isle of Man, where, according to its accounts, “it is subject to tax at 0%”, having been set up there when it was simply a fund company in order to avoid capital gains tax. But the company also claims that its operating subsidiaries “are resident in various jurisdictions where they are subject to local rates of taxation”.
    Same name, different company
    In Britain this might be thought to refer to the company ostensibly running the exchange in Bishopsgate, European Climate Exchange Ltd. But its accounts, filed quietly at Companies House, show that it is owned by an Irish company with exactly the same name: European Climate Exchange Ltd. It is this Irish company, registered at its lawyer”s office at 70 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay in Dublin (without a trading exchange in sight and only a company secretary to be found there), that earns the commissions.
    The synonymous British company is reimbursed for its costs of running the exchange while the profits that accumulate in Dublin are then returned to its ultimate parent company, Climate Exchange plc, in the Isle of Man in the form of tax-free interest payments on the substantial loans from Douglas that fund the operation.
    This kind of tax planning requires plenty of carbon dioxide-intensive jetting off to board meetings in whichever countries the directors want their companies to be tax resident. As a Climate Exchange plc spokesman was quoted “They’re always traveling.” This might not do much for the planet but it’ll be good for business when airlines are forced into the trading scheme from 2012.
    And I’m sure when prices increase we will all be grateful that this man is receiving so much of our carbon taxes.

  41. Our local weather guy continues to predict 80s and about daily. The high today barely hit 74, and then went right back down. right now out weather bug shows 60. Normal is high in low 80s lows about 65. And then everyday he puts out his ‘tourists only’ weather cast.
    Eventually everybody knows the truth and you begin looking laughable. The French, the French have figured it out.

  42. Re kwik (15:31:13) :
    Thank you for responding. I am familiar with Morner and respect his presentation. Your commetnrefers to 2010, but the link is from 2007.
    I am aware somewhat of the use of models in sea rise projections, but I thought most claims of increasing rate of SLR came from satelite data. I am most curious as to the data from satelites vs the recordings from the argos ocean buoys. This is what I have not seen discussed. http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2009/12/sea-level-decrease-over-last-6-years.html I agree that this potential “gate” is relatively neglected. (perhaps because there are so many “gates”)

  43. Good. Now let’s start taking full advantage of safe French nuclear power experience to start along the road to dealing with peak oil whenever that is.

  44. I guess that leaves the Brits in bit of bind, them being the only major euro state with green (i.e. anti-economy) taxes.

  45. The French have always had a strong sense of self preservation. It is insane for any country to depress their own economy on the basis of a falsified hypothesis. It is a clever move to deflect criticism by saying they will wait for an EU agreement on carbon tax. I also expect they will stall and ignore any such EU legislation when it is enacted, as the do with current rules.
    Just wish politicians in England were brave enough to do the same, although it seems they would rather get into bed with the USA for some unexplainable reason?

  46. David A. i agree that Obama cares little about the citizens IWouldn’t surprise
    me at all to see EPA issue all those regulations. The number of lawsuits
    against Healh Care law is 14 states A lot of states want that CO2 Endangerment
    verdict dropped. It is like a “Sword of Damocles” over industry.

  47. Tenuc (16:38:02)
    In the UK I think part of the reason the Conservative party poll lead has eroded away is that people are nervous of the trendy activism of David Cameron now the reality of an election is looming. Cameron has styled himself a treehugger championing AGW, antinuclear, anti 3rd Heathrow runway (after the strike this wont be needed anymore anyway) etc.
    If Labour had courage and intelligence they would sieze the opportunity thus presented, adopt a reserved position on climate change, promote an open scientific debate etc. Present a safe and sensible image versus the risky Tory activism. The French precedent could help.

  48. James F. Evans (12:47:47) :
    The dominos are starting to Fall.
    So goes France, so likely goes Europe (the furthest along the carbon regulating path), so goes the world.

    Yes — people are getting off the bandwagon, a sign its momentum is fading. US politicians will take note.

  49. Don Shaw (13:25:55) : “…the pollution levels are very low unless water vapor is declaired a pollutant.”
    Don! Shhhh!!!

  50. agw_skeptic99 (15:52:59) : “The English burned Joan ‘d Arc and boil their beef”
    And do both to their coffee. English coffee, last time I was there, was insidious. It was so bad that I found myself unable to believe that the first sip had actually been that hideous, so I took a second sip. It was every bit as bad as I’d been warned. In fact, it was “worse than we thought.”

  51. Justa Joe (13:27:54) : “…Of course, these taxes mostly hurt the poor working stiff on the assembly line making the cars, which are subject to the tax.”
    Yes, one of our wackazoid Democrat presidents put a tax on yachts a while back. Instant unemployment for several hundred boatyard workers. A great victory for the worker, comrades? Socialism up close sucks.

  52. “Vuk etc…….lines of magnetic force ……”
    Thanks for that and for the links which I will study.
    AS you are aware, there is a theory that the underlying long term linear trend in temperature, post Maunder Minimum, is due to changes in the strength of the lines of magnetic force between sun and earth (Svensmark; Kirby at CERN etc), through intensitivity of cosmic rays, cloud formation, etc.
    It would indeed be interesting if, as you say, the periodic ocean cycles (which vary from 11 to 65 years in length, depending on which ocean) are also due to changes in solar cycles.

  53. Vuk etc
    I meant to add that there is a 65 year zigzag cycle running through the NCDC global monthly land and ocean temperature record fro 1880.
    You can see that easily if you calculate the linear trend and then deduct that from the temperature.
    What is left is the trendless 65 year zigzag cycle, plus short term noise from El Nino La Nina, volcanoes etc.
    The zigzag cycle is very pronounced.

  54. If the global market meldown had not occurred, we all would be knee deep in new carbon taxes.
    Right now, cuts, cuts, cuts.
    So scientsists are seeing the lining coming. Trim the fat from the beef!

  55. Phlogiston
    I agree totally, just don’t think Brown has the bXlls for it, and he would have a credibility problem after that simpering idiot Millibands spoutings (oh…and Benn jr)…….though thinking about it, he might get a cred bonus for chucking Millaband under a bus…now theres a thought. Oh happy days….

  56. R. de Haan (13:54:33) :
    “Sarcozy has no choice.
    His party just lost the elections and he does not like the idea losing France to the Left!
    In two years he’s up for Presidential elections again.
    So, he will keep low profile with any climate related ruling.”
    I agree with Ron here.

  57. mikef2 (18:05:18)
    As an alternative to the bus option, he could pack Milliband off to the EU parliament. Fewer legal complications.

  58. “The ghost of Big Jim Cooley (15:36:39) :”
    I must remind you that French was the primary spoken language in England and remained the official language for Govn’t and law etc, as well as latin, for some time before, thanks to the printing press and The Bible, old English became popular and the official language.
    Have you heard of the French paradox? How can the French get away with eating such rich, high fat content foods and still remain one of the healthiest, low obesity prone, countries? Wine, olive oil, garlic and quality foods.
    I have always admired the French when they don’t like what their leaders try to impose, like fuel taxes etc. Motorways get blocked by truckers!
    As mentioned the French also generate lots of electricity via Nuclear, 80%+ I think, and they sell the stuff to the Pomes too.
    PS. I am English too.

  59. Both pro-nuclear and pro-AGW, France is like a mad people psychologically devided, but it is the plurality that is the cornerstone of the post-war France. Seemingly a politically very left country in the American sense, the indeed right-leaning country have been using pragmatism to establish themselves as a balance between all the powers. Carbozy was elected to get the France out of the troubles, economical, educational, et cetera, but he failed, and the country continues its ideological struggle. It’s time for Sarkozy to move.

  60. From the Daily Telegraph (UK)
    Chantal Jouanno, the environment secretary, said she was “devastated that eco-scepticism had prevailed”.
    Methinks Chantal Jouanno can see his/her (not sure which!) job and government department going out of the window.
    Hence the reason why Milliband, Chantal Jouanno counterpart in the UK, still bangs on about AGW!

  61. A new French Revolution!
    [but a better one, no doubt]
    Well done.
    Vive la france!
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  62. Good to see the headline of this piece had that two word qualifier — “for now.” Sadly, there are too many politicians all over the world who’ve never met a tax they didn’t like. For every problem they can find or make up, they’re sure to find a tax that’ll fix the problem.

  63. cbullitt (12:21:12) :
    “I never thought I’d be praising the work of French courts.”
    It has far more to do with the governing party losing heavily in regional elections last Sunday: 50% of voters did not turn out, 20% of those who did voted for the far right FN in regions were it could present itself after the first round (more people actually voted for the FN in the second round than the first round there).

  64. Henry chance (14:12:27) :
    (…)
    So they lied about how the carbon/energy tax money was to be spent. A rational person is opposed to fake arguments for taxation.
    (…)

    Surely we have learned by now how government works. At the US federal level, Social Security got IOU’s so they could shuffle the “excess” to the regular budget. At the state level, the grand sums of the tobacco settlement often did not go to targeted programs of smoking cessation and education of the dangers, and anything else they were specifically to be spent on, but instead were diverted to general fund expenses like road repair.
    It’s all one big pot to government, they grab out their funding for whatever they want from wherever they can get it. And anytime we allow more to be tossed in, no matter how noble the reason, the beast sees it can get even more out of the pot and it grows even more fatter.
    Remember cash for clunkers? What did the current administration learn from it? There were far more people than it thought who either had cash or could quickly get credit, as they snapped up nearly any new vehicle they could. This meant, to their way of thinking, that Americans weren’t that bad off despite the recession, there was money available. Thus the money was out there, among the “rich Americans,” to pay for health care “reform,” cap and trade…

  65. kwik (15:31:13) :
    David A (12:28:48) :
    “BTW, can anyone comment on this, as I have not seen it discussed…. According to this…
    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2009/12/sea-level-decrease-over-last-6-years.html
    The argos system not only shows no warming, but no sea level rise for the past six years. if this is true how do the AGW proponents insist sea level rise is accelerating?”
    That is very simple to answer.
    The AGW crowd believe in the IPCC. The IPCC cherry-pick from models, and refuse to look at data from the real world.
    http://www.climatechangefacts.info/ClimateChangeDocuments/NilsAxelMornerinterview.pdf
    Why this isnt the biggest Gate of them all beats me. SeaGate.

    —————————-
    Data from the real world:
    The Argo float armada shows that the oceans have indeed been warming in the six years from 2003 to 2008, if you look at the full 2000m layer dataset (the warming is stalled for much of that time if you only look at the subset of the upper 700m):
    http://www.mercator.eu.org/documents/lettre/lettre_33_en.pdf#page=3
    Look at Figure 2a: Jan 2003 to Dec 2008 clearly shows global oceans, upper 2000m, to be warming. The Atlantic Ocean is warming the most in this short time period, followed by the Indian, then Pacific Oceans.
    Note Figure 2b: Horizontal map of heat storage changes from 2003 to 2008 in Wm-2. Heating and cooling of ocean areas are distributed over the planet. Ocean currents, oscillations and topography are complex.
    And sea level is certainly rising:
    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/current/sl_ib_ns_global.jpg
    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/results.php
    France, and everyone else, will have to deal with these things sooner or later as the 21st century progresses.
    Nobody wants to go first, or tackle the problems alone.
    Enjoy your optimistic, wishful thinking now, before its too late.

  66. The French chose the Nuclear route not because of their carbon guilt but because they had no offshore oil and gas production like the UK. The left in the UK were critical of this choice but now are reinventing their acceptance to nuclear. French labor can easily see their advantage over the UK in low carbon manufacturing so why should they be punished. Sarkozy is a dilettante conservative like Gov Christ of Florida and Gov Schwarzenegger of California. They have no future.

  67. Anu (23:11:01) :
    (…)
    The Argo float armada shows that the oceans have indeed been warming in the six years from 2003 to 2008…

    From the Argo website: (emphasis added)

    The global Argo dataset is not yet long enough to observe global change signals. Seasonal and interannual variability dominate the present 6-year globally-averaged time series. Sparse global sampling during 2004-2005 can lead to substantial differences in statistical analyses of ocean temperature and trend (or steric sea level and its trend, e.g. Leuliette and Miller, 2009). Analyses of decadal changes presently focus on comparison of Argo to sparse and sometimes inaccurate historical data. Argo’s greatest contributions to observing the global oceans are still in the future, but its global span is clearly transforming the capability to observe climate-related changes.

  68. AusieDan (17:51:57) :
    “Vuk etc
    I meant to add that there is a 65 year zigzag cycle running through the NCDC global monthly land and ocean temperature record fro 1880. You can see that easily if you calculate the linear trend and then deduct that from the temperature. What is left is the trendless 65 year zigzag cycle, plus short term noise from El Nino La Nina, volcanoes etc. The zigzag cycle is very pronounced.”
    I have done similar exercise as you can see here:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CETt.htm
    Green oscillating function can be linked to the solar up/down longer term output as in here: http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC4.htm

  69. richcar 1225 (23:11:25) :
    The French chose the Nuclear route not because of their carbon guilt but because they had no offshore oil and gas production like the UK.
    The point is that the French made a rational decision and reaped considerable benefit from doing so. The English oil resource is declining, and they are decades away from replicating the French infrastructure. One could surmise that a major reason why the French can continue to afford their very nice social support systems, their support for the arts down to subsidizing performances in the smallest villages, their excellent health care systems, etc. is that they have not been sending their national treasure to oil producing countries. It is the surplus from the whole economy that funds whatever is purchased above subsistence expenditures.
    The French have money to spend to the benefit of their citizens because they don’t waste so much on oil. One can argue whether they would be better off with different spending choices, but at least they have the choice.
    In the US, we continue to drain the economy of its life by funding our friends in Venezuela, Russia, and the desert dwellers of the Middle East. The decision to cripple our economy so we can join northern Europe and England in carbon tax insanity is next up after health care.
    Those carbon taxes are like a manufactured opiate, only there is no requirement for actual poppies. Once it starts dripping into the veins of the government bureaucrats, NGOs, and academics, only something akin to a revolution will be able to stop the flow of pure ecstasy.
    Signs of rationality are being detected in the US only by wishful thinking and unrealistic optimism. Those in power regard skeptics as nut cases. Who could possibly challenge or distrust NASA, NOA, MIT, et al unless they were part of a crazy lunatic fringe. As the links to GRL suppression of dissent indicate, the chance that any of these institutions will forgo their flow of grant money to question AGW is non-existent.
    Unless rational allocation of grant money to fund skeptics can be re-established, I fear that only something like glaciers advancing on Oslo or Toronto will turn the tide.

  70. France with its previous huge investment in Nuclear Power would have been well placed to continue with the carbon credit hurdle.
    This would have given it a competitive advantage against Britain with no such headstart.
    If Britain continues to play out this stupid policy it will become increasingly uncompedative.

  71. agw_skeptic99 (15:52:59) :
    C’est la vérité, cela. Je préfère d’être la que la-bas. Food is better, climat better, people better, political system better (not more honest, though) and the police? They just caught 3 groups of anglais drug runners scattered around the Dordogne. Not bad?

  72. Nobody wants to go first, or tackle the problems alone.
    Enjoy your optimistic, wishful thinking now, before its too late.

    The Chinese have volunteered to go first – in being the worlds premier CO2 producer. They claim to have a 90 year supply of methane hydrates. They plan to use it to power their society before it escapes and destroys the world.
    We need to be doing the same in Alaska or else we are doomed.

  73. The sea levels are rising. Some think at a rate of 4 or 5 inches a century. Others think 6 or 8 inches a Century. The trend line for he last 100 years or so has been running 10 inches a century. The most alarming prediction by the IPCC (probably from a WWF article) comes in at about .36 inches a year.
    We are truly doomed. But we will have some compensation. Al Gore’s new house near the sea will be subject to flooding.

  74. Phlogiston,
    “If Labour had courage and intelligence they would sieze the opportunity thus presented, adopt a reserved position on climate change, promote an open scientific debate etc.”
    How can they after Gordon Brown has nailed his colours to the AGW mast, taken upon himself to pontificate to the world to cut their carbon emissions and decried critics as “flat earthers”? He would look a complete idiot.

  75. Somewhat O/T but the “Tips & Notes to WUWT” thread looks awfully full.
    Some of you may know that the UK Prime Ministers Office has an online petition site. I’ve just had an automated reply to one I signed recently:
    “We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to suspend the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia from preparation of any Government Climate Statistics until the various allegations have been fully investigated by an independent body.”
    Details of Petition:
    “The Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia is a “leading centre” for the investigation of “manmade global warming” and government policy relies on the integrity of these statistics. Several claims have been made: that data was “cherry picked” to make the 20th century temperature rise look exceptional in historical terms; emails suggest the unit has colluded in “tricks” to “hide the decline” in a high profile scientific journal, and this unit has colluded in active, secret and highly political campaigning through the website “realclimate”. The preparation of climate statistics require many judgements: stations move & sites become surrounded by urban sprawl (urban heating) & a judgement must be made of the size of the offset to apply to the global temperature record. The University accepts most emails are genuine so it appears the Unit has been acting in a highly partisan way incompatible with that of a neutral body preparing and interpreting government data. We call on the PM to suspend all further use of the climate research unit until all pertinent allegations have been investigated and any action (if any) has been taken.”
    The Government’s response:
    “The Government believes that all these allegations should be investigated transparently.
    An independent review is currently examining the scientific conduct of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and is due to report its findings later in the spring. More information on the review can be found at: http://www.cce-review.org/. The University of East Anglia also recently announced that there will be a separate review to examine the CRU’s key scientific publications. The findings of both these reviews will be made public.
    The House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology is also investigating the matter. On 1 March the Select Committee heard evidence from a wide range of contributors, including Professor Jones, who has temporarily stepped down from his post as Director of CRU.
    CRU’s analysis of temperature records is not funded by, prepared for, or published by the Government. The resulting outputs are not Government statistics.
    Our confidence that the Earth is warming is taken from multiple sources of evidence and not only the HadCRUT temperature record, which CRU scientists contribute to. The same warming trend is seen in two independent analyses carried out in the United States, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Goddard Institute of Space Studies at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). These analyses draw on the same pool of temperature data as HadCRUT, but use different methodologies to produce analyses of temperature change through time. Further evidence of this warming is found in data from instruments on satellites, and in trends of declining arctic sea ice and rising sea levels.
    Science is giving us an increasingly clear picture of the risks we face from climate change. With more research, we can better understand those risks, and how to manage them. That is why the Government funds a number of institutions, including the University of East Anglia, to carry out research into climate change science.”

  76. Anu,
    “And sea level is certainly rising:”
    Rising, yes, but at a deccelarating rate.
    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/01/07/sea-level-budget-over-2003%e2%80%932008-a-
    The above is a paper by Cazanave that looks at sea level rise through the datasets of Argo, Grace and satellite altimetry, and made the following conclusion:
    “From the results presented in this study, we see that confronting independent estimates of ocean and land contributions to sea level with altimetry results leads to a rather coherent picture for recent years variations. This can be summarized as follows: since 2003, sea level has continued to rise but with a rate (of 2.5 +/-0.4 mm/yr) somewhat reduced compared to the 1993-2003 decade (3.1+/-0.4 mm/yr). Over 2003-2008, the GRACE-based ocean mass has increased at an average rate of ~1.9 mm/yr ”
    IE, somewhat reduced. Furthermore, the “steric” component is even more sharply reduced:
    “The steric sea level estimated from the difference between altimetric (total) sea level and ocean mass displays increase over 2003-2006 and decrease since 2006. On average over the 5 year period (2003-2008), the steric contribution has been small (on the order of 0.3+/-0.15 mm/yr), confirming recent Argo results (this study and Willis et al., 2008).”
    This sharp fall in steric component is consistent with a slowing down in ocean warming.

  77. agw_skeptic99 (15:52:59) :
    “Spoken like an Englishman. French medical care is superb and readily available at reasonable cost; your country’s heath care is an unfolding disaster. French citizens pay reasonable fees for ordinary doctor’s visits and the Government pays for catastrophic expenses like cancer, kidney failure, major trauma accidents, etc. The garlic makes the food taste good, and it is considerably better on average than that served across the channel. Same goes for the wine.”
    Ah, you’re wrong my friend – and you haven’t been keeping up with your own country’s news! Our FREE medical care is one of the best in the world despite its troubles. Garlic doesn’t make food taste good – unless you have severe sinus problems. Our wine is now better than yours (an admission from your own wine tasters – and Australia’s is better too).
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/6175313/Forget-French-food-simple-British-pub-grub-is-the-new-haute-cuisine.html
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/7501766/British-home-cooks-beating-French-in-the-kitchen.html
    France’s problems lay in sticking with old ways. Australia has taught them about wine-making, but it’s taking the French a long time for it to sink in. France has some huge problems coming up – you’ll see.

  78. Stephan (14:44:12) :
    That is some depostion by Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, it doesn’t pull any punches and lays the blame exactly where it belongs.
    Everybody should go and read it.

  79. A bit more meat on the bone from the UK Telegraph.
    The government said its energy tax was being postponed indefinitely in order not to “damage the competitiveness of French companies”, fearing that it would be too risky for France to go it alone without the rest of the EU. Brussels has announced plans for an EU-wide tax, but the initiative already looks doomed.
    Chantal Jouanno, the environment secretary, said she was “devastated that eco-scepticism had prevailed”. France’s leading green groups wrote a joint letter to Mr Sarkozy saying they were “scandalised” by his decision, accusing him of tearing up a pledge to put climate change at the centre of his presidency.
    Medef, France’s business lobby, said the demise of the carbon levy was a “relief”. The tax would have been €17 a tonne compared to around €100 in Sweden, but business feared that this would creep up over time.

  80. I always like to read what people from other countries think of mine
    Chantal Jouanno is essentially ridiculous in France, she ought to resign!
    She is a kata karateka (not udo).
    In France, the press is just starting to deal with climate sceptics, most of the times, papers do as if the science was settled; so did environment minister on the last days.
    One of the big dangers we have is a leftist party called ecologists, they tend to have a great power for the years coming.
    HI to you all!

  81. Don
    “The MSM like to confuse the public about CO2 versus pollution.

    That is for sure. Just the other night there was a scary show on Natgeo or discovery about the scary global warming. Every few minutes they made sure to crow about factories belching out CO2 ( called “carbon pollution”), but every time this was re-emphasized, the accompanying picture was of a Nuclear power plant’s cooling towers, which I am pretty sure belch steam.
    What are they going to do about Pepsi ? ( with actual belching CO2)

  82. Anu
    “And sea level is certainly rising:”
    And just how long has THAT been going on ?
    “You’re getting older. We are all going to die !”
    Harumph.

  83. The ghost of Big Jim Cooley (04:58:03) :
    and agw_skeptic99 (15:52:59) :
    The UK Health Service is a national disgrace – it is rated 18th in the world (equal with the USA for heaven’s sake!!). The hospitals are germ-infested death traps. Stafford hospital alone killed 100’s of patients in the past five years through incompetence and chasing targets.
    The French healthcare system is in the top 4.
    Also French engineering is among the best in the world – especially civil, aerospace, nuclear, and rail.
    However yes, the French are garlic+cheese eating surrender monkeys, and can only be trusted to look after their own interests.

  84. From the French presidency itself :
    http://www.elysee.fr/documents/index.php?lang=fr&mode=view&cat_id=1&press_id=3476
    “Le dumping environnemental menace nos emplois. Il serait absurde de taxer les entreprises françaises en donnant un avantage compétitif aux entreprises des pays pollueurs. Je confirme sans ambiguïté notre choix d’une fiscalité écologique mais je subordonne la création d’une taxe carbone intérieure à une taxe aux frontières qui protègera notre agriculture et nos industries contre la concurrence déloyale de ceux qui continuent à polluer sans vergogne. Je lance d’ailleurs un appel à une prise de responsabilité générale pour que l’Europe admette le principe de la protection de ses entreprises et de ses emplois contre les concurrences déloyales.”
    Shortly, it means that Environmental dumping is not acceptable et it would be a nonsense to tax french compagnies when others are not. A carbon tax in the internal market can be put in place only if a carbon tax is put at the same time for imports (at EU level). He ask to EU to protect the european compagnies and jobs against unfair competition.
    Mainly french people are against the tax carbon (it will increase the total amount of taxes on gas). The Constitution Court revokes the first carbon tax and since, it was impossible to find a solution.
    I haven’t a car, but I’m very happy.

  85. Vincent (03:42:49) :
    Phlogiston,
    ” “If Labour had courage and intelligence they would sieze the opportunity thus presented, adopt a reserved position on climate change, promote an open scientific debate etc.”
    How can they after Gordon Brown has nailed his colours to the AGW mast, taken upon himself to pontificate to the world to cut their carbon emissions and decried critics as “flat earthers”? He would look a complete idiot. ”
    Ancient (Koine) Greek had four words for “if”; they meant (approximately):
    if (and it is)
    if (and it isnt)
    if (it might be, it might not be)
    if (I wish it was but sadly it is not)
    My “if” in the above posting is of the 4th type.
    Vincent (04:00:05)
    “This sharp fall in steric component is consistent with a slowing down in ocean warming.”
    I share the opinion of Stephen Wilde among others on this site that the ocean is the principle player in driving climate patterns, in interaction with solar variations and possibly solar system gravitational effects. The atmosphere by contrast plays a passive role, caught in between and holding a tiny insignificant fraction of climate heat. This probably involves long term ocean circulation dynamics involving all ocean depths that are poorly understood. There is some circumstantial evidence that the rate of sea level rise might be predictive of global temperature changes:
    http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/sea-level-rise-rate-leads-global-temperature/
    For instance rate of level rise could indicate rate of heat input into the upper ocean. (Not only from above but from below also.) All this together with the published evidence you refer to, could hypothetically predict sustained climate cooling for a number of years.

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