A brilliant illusionist trick: The shining new EU climate policy

magic-out-of-hatGuest essay by Fred F. Mueller –

Perfectly timed to the run-up of the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference that will be held in Paris in November/ December 2015, the European Union has committed itself to apparently decisive steps aimed at sharply reducing the continent’s “climate footprint” in the coming 15 years. By 2030, the EU intends to reduce its CO2 emissions by at least 40 %, to increase the share of “renewable” energy production to 27 % while boosting energy efficiency by 27 %.

The aim of these measures is simple and clear: at a time where even within the Green God’s own country – Germany – parts of the industry start to openly revolt against the burdens of a crippling energy policy, the big spider mom has decided the time is right to perform a castling queen’s side by tricking other big nations – with the main focus on the US and China – to accept massive CO2 reduction objectives defined in a binding UN agreement. This in turn, so the obvious hope, can then be put to use as a carrot helping to impose the “planet-saving” green agenda onto a European populace increasingly unwilling to shoulder the related burdens. In order to achieve this noble goal at UN level, and regardless of the fact that the EU’s own climate change policy increasingly resembles a hero with feet of clay, the big players pulling the strings in the European political web have pulled off a real masterpiece of a dissimulation trick. After putting to use every political lever one has ever heard of, they managed to present to the media and the outside world the illusion of a united EU ready to undertake bold measures in order to fight “climate change”.

We can thus admire a brilliant multistage maneuver: while the tide of protests against “climate policy” restrictions ruining people’s lives by imposing monstrous tariffs on energy is slowly but surely mounting, the Nations gathering at the UN summit are presented with the artificial picture of a EU united behind bold “climate control” measures. And in the years to come, the binding agreements the Paris summit will hopefully adopt can in turn be used to cajole reticent European populations and even whole nations into accepting policies that are diametrically opposed to their basic interests.

In order to recognize the trick, one has to focus on some facts that are carefully left aside in the covering of the event by most mainstream media. First point is that Germany itself is poised to fail drastically in its proclaimed goal of further reducing CO2 emissions. Obtaining reductions had been easy during the first years since taking over the former communist DDR in 1990. This was simply the result of the dismantling of its monstrously inefficient, power-wasting industry, making it very easy to achieve reductions in CO2 emissions. Thus in 1990, the newly reunited nation had a CO2 output of 1024 million tons. But this boost has since dissipated, and while in 2009, the German CO2 output had sunk to 786 million tons, it has since climbed back to reach 834 million tons in 2013. So Germany, the industrial giant of the EU, is itself unable to meet “climate killer” emission limits it tries to impose on others.

Secondly, by resorting to a host of political tricks from blackmailing to bribery, e.g. by granting reluctant eastern European countries such as Poland generous free allocations of CO2 emission certificates, the political drivers behind the current “climate change” policy were able to get their consent to the abovementioned “40-27-27”-package. But this came at a price: the losers of this power battle insisted upon inserting a hidden back door by implementing a mandatory consensus clause for the future. This means that the noble commitments Europe wants all other Nations to adopt can at any time be blocked within the EU itself depending on the will of individual European countries. Nice trap, eh?

So in a nutshell, Europe has set the stage for a political swindle of enormous proportions, aimed at fooling other big powers to adopt “climate-saving” commitments the European countries themselves are in reality neither able nor willing to fulfill themselves. The obvious hope is that big players such as a leading world power with a president known for his penchant for climate-saving policies or a rising Asian giant with huge air pollution problems in its major cities might be lured to swallow this bait, thus paving the way for a big overall consensus of most other nations.

And of course, apart from losers, there will also be beneficiaries: “climate saving” has since long become an industrial size undertaking whose proportions dwarf the revenues of peanut-chasing fools such as international drug cartels, whose members are risking their lives for comparatively small change. And this big money game must go on…


72 thoughts on “A brilliant illusionist trick: The shining new EU climate policy

    • Well I guess one way to prevent this would be to make electricity and taxes too high everywhere. And that seems to be the EU’s intent.
      What I am most depressed with is that fiscal reality seems to be being trumped by green fantasy. How did we let this happen?

      • Oh not just the EU
        “By THE WASHINGTON TIMES – – Tuesday, August 5, 2014
        President Obama is often faulted, rightly so, for not keeping his campaign promises. That can be a good thing, because one of the few pledges he has kept makes us poorer with every flip of the light switch.
        Mr. Obama outlined his anti-carbon dioxide scheme to The San Francisco Chronicle in 2008: “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” He explained, with a certain glee, that power plants that use an affordable fuel, such as coal or natural gas, will have to install expensive new equipment to comply with unattainable standards. “That will cost money,” he said. “They will pass that [cost] on to consumers.” It’s happening.”

      • The answer? Liberalism, and politicians learning to pander to segmented groups of people – and sell out the US at huge expense to the prosperity of this nation. This keeps the census dumbed down and only concerned with what they can get – and not what’s good for America.

  1. This might be a good thing. There is simply no way on earth that China, India, or the US is going to fall for this and institute reductions. The result will be an increase in the discontent of the general EU population and make it more likely that anti-climate change parties will get elected.
    They are doubling down, and unless mother nature throws them a bone and they experience a huge heat wave drought in the next year they may be toast.

      • Ah, another deja vu. Like Peak Oil. Seen it before. It may seem strange from the outside, but the binding bonds of the EU are much stronger than any crises of politics or finance. Just ask the Europeans, no, not if they are happy with the union, but if they want to quit. Given the strong bias of Anglo-American writers here, one may think that the EU project is doomed. Ask the Estonians. Ask the Italians.

      • Peak oil has become a reality in many parts of the oil producing world.
        Peak renewables will be here shortly.

        • Leo: The term Peak Oil, is and has been an ever moving yard stick. No, the peak is not close to being reached –yet.

      • “Just ask the Europeans, no, not if they are happy with the union, but if they want to quit.”
        That’s not what will break up the EU, but the collapse of the euro, when Germany refuses to take on any more of the EU’s bad debts.

  2. The European Commission and its members are totally insane. These reductions are absolutely not what most Europeans want and will bring the economy back to the 50’s. More and more people here want to dismantle the EC, and reduce them to a trade union without financial power.
    Right now, the EC is bankrupting all of us.

    • These reductions are absolutely not what most Europeans want and will bring the economy back to the 50’s.

      More like 1945.
      I’d like to think that the European politicians will see sense in good time. Of course, if 20th century history is any guide, then the omens are not hopeful.
      However, I’ll be optimistic: When China is seen to be eating Europe’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea and supper every day, then they might get clued-up.

  3. I think this sums up rather well the corruption that is at the heart of the EU (commonly referred to as the EUSSR on account of the commissioners (commissars) being unelected and unaccountable). Of course it should also be noted that the EU’s accounts have not be signed off for 19 years, as nobody can account for where all the taxpayers’ money has gone and continues to go.

    • @phillipbratby – How wasteful has the UK Gov been of UK taxpayers money? When did you last elect the cabinet ministers into the Gov?
      Basically, all your criticisms of the EU are equally applicable to the UK, Ireland or wherever else in the Western world. Unfortunately, the English are now raised on an almost undiluted concentration of xenophobic little englanderisms.
      The EU has been a force for good but it is at times unwieldy and bureaucratic. However, one thing it has done very well is defend the small consumer across many industries against corporate self-interest and greed. Yes it needs reform but what it doesn’t need is xenophobic caricatures and hidebound thinking. Europe is the future and the European Nation States of the 18th and 19th century are the past. This is not ideology but simple realpolitik due to the massive technological advances over the last century. If we European’s don’t work closely together it will only hasten our relative impoverishment and sidelining on the world stage.

      • Corruption and incompetency are on an industrial scale within the EU , while tens of millions are wasted every year moving needlessly from Brussels to Strasbourg and back , while creating a mini CO2 mountain . The people working at the EU organisation enjoy the very high life , its not just the very well paid and totally unaccountable commissioners, but the thousands of others that work there that get such things as ‘free private education for their children, jobs for life , early and well paid retirement etc it is way jobs there are so highly sort after once you’re in you can feel your boots and know its very unlikely you ever will have to go out no matter how much inability you show.
        You say it does good, well if it does the same good could be done with lot less people and by using a lot less money than the bad they do which seems to take far more people and need much more money. We see ideas such as the common agriculture policy which had been costly mistake on both finical and environmental front , although a massive job creation scheme for those working with the EU organisation. Nothing ‘little Englander’ about it if for no other reasons its far from just the English that have serious concern about the total costly mess that its become .

      • The basic problem with the EU is that is exists to serve the aggranisement of elites, not to make life better for ordinary people, The more European political elites have worked together to pursue ever closer union at all costs, the more the relative impoverishment and sidelining of the peoples of the nations of Europe has accelerated.
        If things go on like this by the time the Project is complete Europe will be impoverished, and in any case it will barely exist as a distinct cultural entity, but will simply be a failed corner of Afro-Eurasia. China, India, and even sub-Saharan Africa may overtake us, and keep their distinct identities too.
        PS. The UK needs profound reform, and should probably be dissolved, but that is in no way relevant to the faults of the EU. In the UK, the same elites that defend the failing EU defend the failing UK.

  4. You can kill this nonsense stone dead very easily. Buy yourself a paint stripping gun and fire the heated gas at the surface of the water. You will find that no heat enters the water.
    You can not put heat through the surface of water due to surface tension. the sun’s rays penetrate, no problem but you can not put heat through the surface by convection. For this reason there is no ability to build up heat in addition to the sun’s radiated energy nor is there any ability to store additional heat. There is in fact NO AGW and you cannot boil the oceans away. One heat gun, one bucket of water.

    • I will admit to being a high school drop out. But I find this does not make any sense. If you were to fill the bottom of a room with water, and heat the room to a hundred degrees, are you telling me that the water will never heat up?
      The atmosphere has to heat the ocean, very slowly mind you, but over time if the average temperature of the air goes up, the ocean must warm as well. There may be a big lag and it might take decades of constant temperature increase but it will happen. It is the lag that allows the ocean to smooth out the temperature we experience. I think.

      • What RMB is saying is that radiation that eminates from CO2 reflections, which is what makes CO2 a greenhouse gas, are of a wavelength that cannot penetrate the ocean waters, unlike plain old solar radiation that can penetrate several meters and thereby warm the waters. Those CO2 radiations CAN warm solid stuff, like land. But not water, which composes 3/4th of the Earth’s surface. Of course oceans are warmed by contact with warmer air, but that is merely a redistribution of heat, which is not a net gain of Earth’s warmth : i.e. it doesn’t cause the Earth to warm overall.

      • No, the sun heats the ocean, the ocean gets warm and heats the atmosphere.
        As for your model, the water surface is 800 times more dense than the air above. Also, liquid water has 4 times the heat capacity of the same mass of air above. That means that the amount of energy to heat the water one degree would be 3200 times the amount in the same volume of air.
        In a two cubic meter space with one cubic meter of ocean and one cubic meter of atmosphere, the amount of heat energy needed to change the air one degree is one kilojoule. For the water its 3200 kilojoules.
        On Earth, the atmosphere never heats the ocean. The ocean (above the thermocline) has all the energy.
        The thousand year long movements of ocean mass are determining the minor shifts if regional climates.

      • Here is something to ponder regardless of lag or the water in a hot room heating up. Is global average sea surface temperature higher than the global average surface air temperature? If yes, then what does that mean?

      • mpcraig October 27, 2014 at 10:24 am
        Here is something to ponder regardless of lag or the water in a hot room heating up. Is global average sea surface temperature higher than the global average surface air temperature? If yes, then what does that mean?
        I think the average Earth Temperature near the surface is something like 288K which is 15C. The average ocean surface temperature is 17C. But it’s more complex than that which the colder and warm water below due to ocean overturning from ENSO and cold upwelling. But if average surface waters are indeed warmer than average air, one could certainly see how the oceans affect air temperature.

    • peter
      October 27, 2014 at 9:46 am
      I will admit to being a high school drop out. But I find this does not make any sense. If you were to fill the bottom of a room with water, and heat the room to a hundred degrees, are you telling me that the water will never heat up?
      The atmosphere has to heat the ocean, very slowly mind you, but over time if the average temperature of the air goes up, the ocean must warm as well.

      October 27, 2014 at 10:24 am
      Here is something to ponder regardless of lag or the water in a hot room heating up. Is global average sea surface temperature higher than the global average surface air temperature? If yes, then what does that mean?

      No. The atmosphere will always cycle many times faster than the sea surface and sea mid-body and sea-lowest-level temperatures because each equal volume of seawater, ocean water, or pool water has 1000 TIMES the heat capacity of the air above it.
      Thus, on a very hot day, and on almost every normal day across the summer, spring, and fall, the water will be colder than the air in the sunlit hours, and may, or may not become hotter than the air at night.
      Each winter, the air will also cycle in temperatures from +20 to +15 to 0.0 to -15 or -30 or -40 C. Top of water (even in the Arctic ll lower to +2 degrees or so, then freeze. Then top of water is still about 2 degrees, but it is under 1 or 2 meters of ice whose upper surface is very near to air temperature.
      Obola’s government-paid catastrophysists now are insisting that the world’s ocean waters are heating up, and thus the air is no longer heating itself up as it did between 1976 and 1998, but is instead, heating up the lower ocean somehow. Instead of heating the atmosphere, the same excess energy is claimed (without measurements nor evidence!) to have suddenly world’s deep oceans to be hotter by 0.02 degrees.
      IF they were correct with this assumption, and IF all of the world’s ocean did actually heat up by that assumed 0.02 degrees in ANY time period, then AT MOST, the world’s atmosphere could not heat up by ANY MORE than 0.0199 degrees! Heat CANNOT flow from a colder surface to a warmer substance. Ever! Given an infinite amount of time and perfect mixing between ocean and air, the two “might” become almost the same, but never greater.

      • Thermal heat for equal volumes is 3200 times. Water is 800 times the mass for equal volumes. Equal mass for water is 4 times. 800 x 4 is 3200.
        Your 1000 times is correct for the total ocean over the total atmosphere.

    • You’ve posted this surface tension bu****** repeatedly with no proof whatsoever. How about a link to a journal publication which establishes what you allege? How about some equations? Some data. Graphs. An experiment. Anything. Anything, that is, except another regurgitation of this same silly comment.

  5. I tried to stick with this piece. I read it many times. But the early appearance of the ‘…castling-Queen’s side [trick]’ was a metaphor too far – and meaningless to me. The thing is, when it comes to the EU and UN talking CC I just know I’m gonna get shafted: if this article had been through a decent sub-editor it might have shown that that was the case in a more elegant way.
    BTW: Manoeuvre, n’est pas?

      • Rud, thanks for that. I play chess and know the switch. I was unable to see how the metaphor applied. My dim.

      • The facade of the EU being willing to lead the way is the Queen. The reality of the hidden back door is the rook that would be presented to the other (non-EU) nations should an EU member state prove unwilling to pursue the EU commissars vaunted target—even if those non-EU nations had followed the EU’s lead (gone for the Queen). The analogy worked for me, and I haven’t played chess in 30 years.

  6. So it appears that TPTB in the UN and the IPCC want society to decarbonize itself. Imposing Carbon tariffs at national levels, vilifying the noble gas that makes the world green, and making energy greater than twice as expensive.
    Perhaps the Green Subsidies placed into trying to make Solar/Wind more economical would be better spent in R&D of cheaper alternative energies so that when Fossil Fuels DO naturally begin to decline in availability (and they eventually will), Society is poised with a viable replacement that isn’t economically disastrous

  7. Should Europe pursue their self-righteous goal of a 40% reduction of all man-made CO2 emissions by 2030, do not be at all surprised if they begin looking at the many other ways we make the stuff.
    To ‘save the planet’, Europe has already forced us to buy low-energy ugly looking ‘warmy-warmy-glow’ light bulbs and now they’re attacking 1,500w vacuum cleaners. Because they know that they cannot close any more carbon emitting power plants (because the lights will go out), what’s left to ban? Expect more ridiculous European legislation to be introduced during the next decade along the lines of:
    Domestic ‘limescale remover’ products are now banned.
    All fire extinguisher propellants must be CO2 free.
    European large-scale bakeries found using fermented yeast will be penalized.
    All deceased people must decay naturally rather than be cremated.
    The list is endless. Now where did I leave my beer?

    • >>All fire extinguisher propellants must be CO2 free.
      And in a similar fashion, aircraft windscreen water repellants have all been banned. So you will be pleased to know that when it rains, pilots cannot see a thing while landing – courtesy of the Green lobby.
      Happy landings……..

    • Yup, like those people with lower wattage vacuum cleaner won’t just run them longer to make up for the loss of vacuuming power !

    • I thought that the point of CO2 was to remove the HEAT from the Fire Equation
      As far as the Deceased People goes, the simple solution would be to irradiate them to kill all internal and external bacterium then encase them in Acrylic Resin. Perfectly Preserved and no dacay or release of Carbon

      • No, CO2 actually removes the O2 from the fire triangle. No residue when used, so it’s safe for electronic components (this server rooms or EE bays on aircraft). It is *extremely* cold when coming out of the extinguisher (compressed/liquid state to expanded state), but absorbs heat very quickly so the chill doesn’t really help that much.

  8. I expect other nations to follow Germany’s lead on CO2 reductions – and France’s lead on a 3% or less budget deficit.

  9. Hey, it’s not just climate policy: almost everything within the EU is an illusion, not least the pretence of democracy. France, Netherlands and Ireland have all voted ‘No’ in national referenda, but were forced to vote again to get the ‘right’ answer!
    The sooner the UK regains its sanity by leaving, the better.

  10. An IPCC official says the 40 percent reduction target is not enough…….
    “A recent analysis predicted that even if the international community hammered out an agreement based the commitments most nations are likely to make or have been gesturing towards, it would not be enough to keep the world under 2°C of global warming. An official with the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also recently described the 40 percent target for 2030 “too little too late.””
    We’re all doomed I tell you! Doomed I say! /sarc

    • Maybe I am misinterpreting things, but given current track records, reducing CO2 is very difficult. Setting unrealistic goals like 30-40% in 15 years has nothing to do with a desire to reach these goals. Rather the higher the goals the higher the shortfall. Carbon credits and carbon taxes will reap ever higher dollar values as society fails to reach the targets. The Chicago Carbon Exchange will be viable – and some folks very wealthy!

      • French grid (mostly nuclear/hydro) is 6 times less carbon intensive than Germany…
        Ditto Switzerland.
        We have the answers, but no one wants to believe the facts.

    • That’s simply not true. If the USA refuses to pay its UN contributions for 3 years, the organisation is toast and with it the IPCC.
      So all you Yanks need to do is to elect a real right wing Republican who tells the climate floozies to take a hike and they’ll all be on the dole…….so long as the Russians, the Chinese and the Indians stick to their current lines of self-interest…….

  11. The EU’s own “Trends in Global CO2 Emissions 2013 Report” illustrates the fairy-tale quality of the new emissions targets.
    On page 9 it acknowledges that the EU’s 1.6% CO2 emissions reduction in 2012 was largely due to poor economic conditions while the United State’s 4% reduction was due to greater use of natural gas fuel for power plants. In both cases it was the private market (bad economy, inexpensive natural gas) that caused the emissions reductions, not government regulations or increased use of “renewables” which has made a negligible contribution at best.
    Unfortunately the ruling class of western countries (EU, U.S., Canada, etc.) is overwhelmingly populated with progressive do-gooders who live in a fantasy where their fairy tale edicts will solve imaginary problems like CO2 emissions. Ernest Benn had it right when he said “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.”

    • Lauren R. wrote:
      Ernest Benn had it right when he said “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.”
      Thanks for the Benn quote. I have not seen it before. I’m familiar with similar observations of politics, but I particularly like that version. Thanks again.

    • 1. Colder than normal Great Lakes temperatures, hinting at colder or earlier winter conditions in NE North America.
      2. Bardarbunga still going strong, still with the possibility of sub-glacial eruption and stratospheric ash.
      3. UK unplanned electric generation reductions, reducing generation reserves below critical levels.
      4. A lame-duck US President disliked by his own party instead of a newly minted Nobel Peace Prize winner.
      5. Given the volatility of the stock markets, one should not discount a coming world-wide recession.
      Paris in late 2015 is sizing up to be a greater CAGW disaster than Copenhagen 2009.

  12. So in a nutshell, Europe has set the stage for a political swindle of enormous proportions, aimed at fooling other big powers to adopt “climate-saving” commitments the European countries themselves are in reality neither able nor willing to fulfill themselves.

    You do know that the “other big powers” are every bit as dishonest as the EU and are and have been perfectly willing “victims” of this fraud. It is a disservice to describe the process as a “fooling”. It is no such thing. This is the progressive agenda – truth is not in the room as it is not only unnecessary, it is a distraction.

  13. You forgot the end run around the greens that the serious businesses are already planning. They are going to develop a huge amount of hydro mostly in the Balkans where it is mostly still untapped. 15 years is about right to plan and build some major hydro projects.
    Unless of course someone would define hydro as non-renewable … but who in their right mind would do that? California you say? I did say “who in their right mind” 🙂

    • I am no expert on hydro, but I doubt very much if dams in the Balkans can be of more than local importance. They will certainly not be able to replace the coal power of Germany or Poland.

  14. “…the big spider mom has decided the time is right to perform a castling queen’s side by tricking other big nations – with the main focus on the US and China – to accept massive CO2 reduction objectives defined in a binding UN agreement.”
    No. No. No. It’s the other way round. The EU is giving itself an escape route, covered by -or cowering behind- the other great emissonaries (how about that, for a new climate-phrase? A pun on “missionaries”, if you don’t folllow my drift), who will not put up such a hypocritical attitude.
    It is all hot air. No substance.

  15. Curious George
    October 27, 2014 at 10:18 am
    I expect other nations to follow Germany’s lead on CO2 reductions – and France’s lead on a 3% or less budget deficit
    That’s a bit too subtle, George. Most people may not know that france has been granted a waiver for 2 years to bring their deficit down from ~3.6% to 3% and that it is going very well at the moment. The socialists have managed to increase it to 4.4% next year and, with the closure of a few nuclear power stations and the installation of 7.000.000 electricity points at the roadside, they should be able to get it to the EU industrial standard of 10% within 5 years. 🙂

  16. Belgian newspaper “Hetr Laatste Nieuws” report that electricity price in 2015 can increase up to 30 % due to subsidies in the past. Is reality taking its toll?!

  17. “So in a nutshell, Europe has set the stage for a political swindle of enormous proportions, aimed at fooling other big powers to adopt “climate-saving” commitments the European countries themselves are in reality neither able nor willing to fulfill themselves.”
    They are not setting up any swindle, no nations would in any case fail to see through this joke, the EU is only making a safety valve for themselves.
    Any swindle would be against their own electorate, but who cares, when the same electorate has let itself be conned and bullied into climate hysterics. When the bill arrives, they balk at it, and their politicians take duly note, hence the present situation.

  18. The author is a little too clever an illusionist or allusionist for me to bother trying to unravel meaning from this essay. Is he saying that the EU set impossible targets that require the rest of the world to also take them on or the EU will back out of it? – a way perhaps to pay lip service to saving the planet and having everyone else to blame for its failure? Man this is politicking at its finest if it is so. Perhaps choosing December 2015, when their own met offices have unplugged their 100million-euro computers and thrown in the towel predicting 20 years of cold weather.

    • What has happening in reality is that very ‘exciting’ and ‘green’ policies have been announced that are not binding on any member country in the EU, and not binding on the EU at all if other nations (e.g. India or China) fail to adopt similar.
      It keeps the greens happy, and changes nothing.

  19. this will be a fascinating time period to look back upon in 50 years. Global jihad is right in our face and the western world is still focused on reducing carbon for something that may happen in 2100. time will tell

  20. The Euro Zone is on the edge of a drop into deflation. “Why?” escapes them. Deflation is where the value of a currency rises, instead of falls (which it does in inflation). Now why is that? The news would lead you to believe it is due to the unwillingness of the Central Bank to print enough money and those nasty Austere Germans. But what causes deflation?
    Folks not willing to spend. Lack of demand.
    Now what might cause a lack of demand? That seems lost on the 1%. They have never heard of having a fixed amount of money to spend. The rest of us, though, know that we are spending all we have (and in many cases spent more than we had, and are still tapped out). “We” are not ‘buying more’ for the simple reason that we can not. No money. Not going to happen. Too many unemployed and too many only buying what they must and still being a bit short when the ’30s’ roll around… and sometimes even when the month is just a 28…
    So having electricity ‘skyrocket’ and forcing folks to ‘decarbonize’ by taking more (paid) transit and buying yet more expensive electricity (to replace the wood or coal or gas stove) just means there is that much LESS left over to buy, oh, I don’t know, maybe cars and shoes and bread… that causes demand to drop…
    It will not matter if the ECB prints a few Billion more Euros and gives them to folks who own local banks to loan to folks who don’t need a loan and folks who own car dealers and shoe stores. Unless those Euros end up in the hands of folks who need to spend them, they do NOT stimulate demand. You just end up in what is euphemistically called “Stagflation”. The economy is still stagnant, but with a currency surplus causing money value to shrink. Sure, it isn’t deflation; but it is still broken.
    That is the logical box the EU is in (and the USA is rapidly approaching). They have pushed the Keynesian Money Supply lever to the wall. And, thanks to all their OTHER policies, have not gotten any growth juice out of it. Now, puzzled, they wonder “Why?”. Perhaps because things like “necessarily skyrocketing” electricity prices move shoe makers to China and because out of work coal miners can’t buy new shoes anyway. At any price.
    See, the basic problem is that there is only so much net improvement in total productivity per year (about 3% in good times with great progress, 1% in times of less R&D and improvement). That’s the total “extra take” available to The Power Elite. Period. Full Stop. But they want more than that (and the simple fact is that those ‘at the top’ have the position to get more than that). This works for a while, until those at the bottom are just too tapped out. But TPTB are none too bright about it, and figure if they got 6% last year, they can get it next year. Reality of a 3% max economic growth rate be damned. So they start to flail around for levers of power to move to “fix it”. ONE of them just MUST work!
    But they can’t change reality. Postpone it for a year or three, sure… but “Reality just is. -E.M.Smith” and that reality comes home to roost.
    Now Keynesian Policy has great attraction here. Just print up some money and that makes it all better. But just like real heroin, this monetary ‘feel good’ only works for a while; then you need more of it. IFF you used that bit of time for real productivity improvements, you can start a beneficial cycle of virtue that gets real growth going and you can start back up that 3% / year improvement line.
    HOWEVER: If you use that “stimulus” so that your friends and cronies get the money and benefit, and it does not go into real productivity improvements; you just wasted about 3 years and all the “juice” that was available from temporarily increasing the velocity of money. But, you see, here’s the hard part: It is NOT easy to identify things that are real productivity improvements. Whole industries try to do this. Some go out of business entirely in the process. At the end of the year (or decade) about 3% is the BEST you can average. Suck that up in hair brained stupidity like windmills, Solindra and Carbon Credits and you end up with net economic shrink, not growth.
    Then more of that Keynesian Stimulus just gets you nothing (trending into deflation if low) or stagflation (if large). Since there is NO real increase in goods, services, and “stuff”, there just isn’t any more to share around between all the well connected and Friends Of Da Boss. Any that ends up there had to come from “the little guys” who just have to suck it up and buy less stuff. That, then, results in demand slide and eventually in that deflation / stagflation axis as the productivity trap bites.
    FWIW, I think even Keynes knew this. He stated that such ‘stimulus’ could only work in the short term and that in good times money supply had to be shrunk back. Nobody in power pays attention to that part of his work…
    At any rate, what must happen in the EU if they follow these productivity reducing policies is a net reduction in production, net reduction in buying power, and net reduction in demand. The only economic choice then is horrific StagFlation, or with anything like a sane stable money supply, Deflation. Either one really really sucks. Essentially the Keynesian Fix has worn off and the junkie can’t get enough to feel high again. It’s either withdrawl symptoms or pay a lot for enough dope to feel a bit better, but still be kind of strung out and getting sicker with each shot. (There’s a well developed Economic theory on this with lots of complicated names and all… but the idea is really that simple and giving it funny names of old Economists doesn’t make it clearer…)
    So while TPTB slowly figure out they have all the chips and the other guys can’t cough up any more, the EU will stagnate at best and economically decay most likely. These climate polices can only make it far worse.
    Also, FWIW, once things are bad enough, the usual outcome is some kind of war, strife, and social collapse. One hopes that Europe can avoid that this time. (Though the history of European wars makes that doubtful). There’s a reason Economics is called “The Dismal Science”…
    BTW, don’t expect your leaders nor your neighbors to choose the path that works. It is uncomfortable and requires discipline. Taking more drugs until you hit bottom is the only path that sells…

    • What a dismal post, rooted in social economic realities. The sad part is that the “war, strife and social collapse” often serves to obscure the causative principles of the collapse, leading to an eventual rinse , wash, and repeat cycle.

    • Pretty good post. The lack of productivity increase is one of the fundamental problems, and that got me to thinking how productivity can increase anyway.
      To my simple mind, looking back through the 20th century, we had productivity increasing by first electrification and automation of production then computerisation, first the mainframes speeding up payroll and stock control tasks, then computers in production lines, then the pc and office suites empowering office workers to greater work output per man hour. You then got internet – email and all the rest. But internet’s been around a while now, and our good friend MS office dates to the millenium, as do all those small scale database applications. Sure, pc power doubles every 2 years or so, but does that double a persons output?
      Think about it. The pc may get faster but does that make you enter data faster in your spreadsheet? Of course not. Indeed, I can’t honestly say that my pc responds any faster to my demands now than the one I had 20 years ago. My best guess is that there can’t be any increase in productivity because there haven’t been any significant improvement in the tools that we use.

      • Yes, I was actually calling EM Smiths post excellent, as the “rooted in realties ” I hope made clear. The dismal was a play on the “dismal science” of economics, and the sad realties of our current economic condition.
        [Thank you for the note. .mod]

  21. It’s a political scheme of pressure and hidden moves, but China and the US aren’t fooled. In fact, the party in power in the US is on board with the scheme and issues its own misinformation and schemes. They’re just hoping to show Chinese rulers some potential benefits to their rule and fool enough people into going along for “the good of the planet.”

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