Green Taxes and Yellow Vests: Global Awakening amid Climate Fearmongering

Guest opinion by Vijay Jayaraj

The Yellow Vest protests in France, now in their third week, have grabbed global attention. Though the French government suspended its fuel tax increase, the unrest continues.

France is not the only country to introduce taxes on fossil fuels and carbon emissions. Germany, Canada, and others have their own versions. To make matters worse, the Paris climate agreement threatens to prevent developing countries from using fossil fuels to lift themselves out of poverty. Are such actions justified in the name of the war against climate change?

Up to 30 years ago, no one would have predicted that developed countries would impose taxes on fossil fuel use, the source of energy that made them prosperous.

Now, taxes on carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels have not only become reality but also inspired widespread outrage from citizens. The Yellow Vest protests have spread to neighboring countries, echoing consumers’ unwillingness to pay exorbitant energy taxes to fight climate change.

Macron’s France, Trudeau’s Canada, and Merkel’s Germany have imposed taxes on carbon dioxide emissions and the use of fossil fuel. They argue that the taxes are necessary to curtail climate change.

Their reasoning is rooted in the United Nations-led collective climate alarmism movement, which aims to replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy sources—mostly wind and solar.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—which purports to be, and the mainstream media and most governments accept as, the most authoritative body on climate science and climate policy—recommends the course of action for world leaders on climate change.

Scientists associated with the IPCC contribute to its reports and recommendations. But most of their global temperature predictions—used to justify the taxes—have failed miserably in the past two decades.

Staunch climate alarmists like Michael Mann and senior climatologists like John Christy pointed out that belief in a rapidly, and dangerously, warming world rested largely on IPCC’s faulty computer climate models.

The computer climate models exaggerate the impact of carbon dioxide emissions on temperatures, making the warming appear dangerous. Yet, contradicting the models, global temperature has been in what scientists call a “warming hiatus” for at least 18 years now. There has been no significant warming in this time period, despite a steep increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

Real-world temperatures have shattered the widespread belief that the earth is turning into a fireball. The model errors prove that assumptions regarding the relationship between anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and temperatures were wrong.

This discrepancy between carbon dioxide and temperature is no surprise to those who understand climatic history. During the past hundred years, although both carbon dioxide emissions and global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration have increased steadily,  the global temperature has risen, fallen, and plateaued repeatedly, refusing to follow the pattern of carbon dioxide concentrations.

Similarly, the proponents of climate doomsday conveniently ignore the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period in the 1st and 10th century respectively. Those were remarkably similar to the present and occurred when there were relatively no anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions.

This astounding climate reality is reflected in the health of our planet. Despite the rhetoric concerning melting ice caps and dying polar bears, the reality remains starkly different.

Antarctic ice mass volume is on a continuous increase, and Arctic ice mass volume is at the highest level in 10,000 years, barring the severely cold Little Ice Age during the 16th century. In fact, the Antarctic ice sheet gained 112 billion tons a year from 1992 to 2001. NASA’s official page concludes that this addition of ice mass outweighed losses and states that the conclusions of the IPCC are wrong.

Unsurprisingly, the polar bear populations remain healthy and, in some cases—as in Nunavut, Canada—even require seasonal culling.

Real-world climate differs dramatically from that portrayed by the UN, globalist leaders, and the liberal mainstream media. Every year, numerous peer reviewed scientific journals confirm the healthy state of our environment and strongly object to the climate doomsday theories the UN wants us to believe.

There is no reason why countries should adopt restrictive energy policies that burden their middle classes and slow the conquest of poverty in developing nations.

Thankfully, not all countries are like France.

The U.S. and Philippines have pulled out of the Paris agreement, China and India are continuing to build their coal empires, Japan is on a mission to increase the export of coal technology, Russia is upgrading its coal infrastructure, Germany has continuously failed to keep up with its emission reduction targets, and Brazil’s new President is likely to steer the country away from anti-coal policies.

People are no longer in the dark about the bankruptcy of globalist climate policies and taxes. Climate change is no longer a scientific issue but a political one.

The Yellow Vest protests are the first large-scale democratic uprising against globalist green policies based on climate fearmongering. We can expect more backlash as the public becomes aware of the truth about the state of climate change.


Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), Research Associate for Developing Countries for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, lives in Chennai, India.

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130 thoughts on “Green Taxes and Yellow Vests: Global Awakening amid Climate Fearmongering

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  2. How do we get a yellow vest movement started in Canada? Trudeau’s carbon taxes are set to start in 3 weeks.

    • I think we start one person at a time. Buy a yellow vest and start wearing it. I think it will spread quickly because people are sick of the crap being put out by Trudeau and Climate Barbie and the environmental terrorists that are trying to destroy our economy.

      • “Buy a yellow vest and start wearing it”. Yep. That works. (Here in Oz, $A6.95 at Bunnings, less with trade discount.) Keep it up. A strong association has been created. (I know one person who has changed over to wearing the orange version because they sense the association and feel uncomfortable.)
        I usually wear a yellow vest, partly because I go on construction sites, need to photograph building frontages from the street etc, but also because walking across the medical centre car park is hazardous (olds without 20/20 vision in 4x4s).
        People who know my history (I was in Paris in May 1968) have started to ask “you going to start rioting again?” “Not today ….. maybe tomorrow”.

        • I call it my “Cloak of Invisibility”. Put on a yellow vest and a hard hat and carry a clipboard, walk into an office and people will look up at you and turn right back to their computer screens again without even saying a word!

      • David,Great idea.
        However in most cities that wont stand out on its own

        Write on the back – orfront
        No Carbon Taxes
        No Carbon Funds to UN.

        A bright yellow tee shirt would also suffice.
        Regards

        • I am ordering 20 yellow Tee shirts to take to the screen printers, all up cost $12 each.
          Just in time for Christmas presents.
          Regards

          • I reckon a green fluorescent vest would suffice.

            Theme song by Fleetwood Mac – The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)

            While there are several theories about the meaning of the title “Green Manalishi”, Peter Green (composer) has always maintained the song is about money, as represented by the devil.

    • The problem is protesting in the streets of Canada is a summer-time activity. Winter is not a good time to protest in Canada.

  3. You are way overdoing the climate angle. No one cares about the climate.

    The real story is that ordinary people are struggling to survive. They don’t want to end up living in an American style, neoliberal hell hole with massive inequality because that’s exactly why Macron was created by the political elite. They never have and they are digging their heels in.

    It’s not a rejection of global warming but of right wing American values.

      • That isn’t what the people say in interviews. No one cares about the climate, the carbon tax was the straw that broke the camel’s back, that’s all. Macron has offered to raise the minimum wage. That’s a left wing move.

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-46480867

        Claude Rigolet tells the BBC his income has dropped by almost a fifth since 2000, and has stopped him from eating out or going on holiday in the summer.

        “Everything is more expensive,” the retiree from Reims says. “Taxes are going up – housing, heating costs, cars. Everything is going up.”

        Natacha Perchat agrees. The cleaner from Reims says that the fuel tax was “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.

        “They [the government] are hitting the little people hard. My husband works for a transport company. We’re not wealthy. We’re already in the red at the beginning of the month,” she says.

        “Mid-month we have to use gift vouchers for our children to buy food. This can’t go on. We don’t live, we survive. It’s a scandal.”

        Polls suggest a majority of French people still back the movement
        Delphine Notelet, 45, from Honfleur in Normandy told French magazine Marianne she earns €1200 a month after tax for her job caring for the elderly.

        After bills, that leaves her with €50 a week. She wants a better life for children, who can see the difficulties for themselves.

        “Emmanuel Macron didn’t want to listen to us?” she says. “We’re proving to him that we are not puppets swallowed under an avalanche of taxes, but citizens..

        • > Macron has offered to raise the minimum wage. That’s a left wing move.

          On the other hand, people protesting against high taxes are considered a typical right-wing movement.

          • That’s very true but Macron is a uniquely evil, little rat who is squeezing the population from both ends. He is a committed proponent of the free market and that is his role. To turn France in the direction of America and Britain.

            “Macron has advocated in favour of the free market and reducing the public-finances deficit”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmanuel_Macron#Economy~

            See also

            Macron founded an independent political party, En marche, in Amiens on 6 April 2016

            He ran against fascist Marine Le Pen, probably the only candidate/party he could have beaten. Very much like the unelectable (corrupt) Jacques Chirac in 2002 who ran against her father.

          • People have forgotten that the TEA Party was an acronym for Taxed Enough Already. Hardly a left wing organization.

          • Twould seem to me that, If Macron were trying to make France more like America, like you suggest, he would begin by scrapping the Paris Accord as President Trump has done and not overtly taxing the prosperity out of his populace

          • Fascinating.
            Anyone who doesn’t think government should grow as fast as it is, instantly becomes a staunch free market advocate.

          • sorry Eric, but Le Pen is a fascist?

            You keep using that word.

            Somehow I don’t think it means what you think it means.

            (spoiler – Fascism comes from the Left. It is a variation on the standard ‘Everything would be better if only *I* was in charge’. Bring in enough rules, regulations, restrictions and nationalise enough industry and FINALLY the system will work. It’s Big Government. The Right want small Government that basically empties the bins, maintains the roads and keeps the borders the way we like them. Everything else should be left to those who actually know what they are doing (ie – Private Industry))

            (It’s not black and white, and go too far to the Right and you are left with literal anarchy with literally no rules. Successful societies and cultures exist in a constantly evolving balance between freedoms, rules and mutual understandings. Bring in too many rules and you remove freedoms. The left believe in rules because the left believe enough rules will make the world ‘fair’. Fascism, Marxism, Socialism, National Socialism? They are all rule based societies where the ‘correct’ people believe they should be in charge. Only the excuses they use to justify their oppression differ so that you can tell them apart.)

          • For way to many on the left, there’s pure communism (which would work if only we would try it) and everything else is some form of right wing free market capitalism.

        • Eric,
          I cannot be the only person who has work colleagues who regard a good month as when something is left in their bank account from last months pay packet when they get paid.
          On BBC Parliament today a debate was broadcast on fuel and energy poverty, a debate that didn’t have any mention of the 10% green subsidies that inflate utility bills.
          Strange how no political entities raise calls to leave Saudi oil in the ground…….I mean how could the House of Saud buy those lovely weapons of war otherwise. People don’t think in a vacuum, and they are finding out more everyday, pennies are dropping.

          I do feel that the downfall of the subsidised global co2n will be when the deplorables and the squeezed middle class find their pocket books don’t buy the basics…_

          • DiggerUK

            Evidently, most people in the UK are £500 away from bankruptcy at any given moment in time.

            I suspect there wont be a battleground of climate change and, particularly, renewable energy policy in the UK. Australia with their insane policies are looking a good bet for a mass reaction shortly when the lights literally go out. Australians are paying so much for their energy they will be incensed when it happens again and questions will be asked globally.

            Nor am I convinced there will be anything but a begrudging but quiet movement within the UK government away from climate change dogma. Indeed, I somehow think it’s already happening. There’s a reason we are the 5th wealthiest nation in the world, despite our small geographical footprint, there are an awful lot of clever people in the country.

            When the lights come on eventually, there will of course be the usual knee jerk reaction from our politicians and renewables will be basically outlawed.

            It might not happen too soon but when it does I fear for my home country, Scotland where the SNP has swallowed the entire climate change meme hook, line and sinker.

        • Macron has offered to raise the minimum wage. That’s a left wing move.

          A left wing solution…to a right wing complaint
          …that only shows that Macron is left wing

        • People thought everything was great as we outsourced all our jobs to China. Chickens are coming home to roost. We need to bring back unions ( but balanced reasonable non corrupt unions ). And need to get the corporate lobbyists out. Also stop encouraging single parent homes.

          • The unions are the reason why the jobs left for China.
            Bring back unions and the exodus will only accelerate.
            BTW, there is no such thing as a non-corrupt union.

          • Don’t exaggerate, Mark. However, Steve, I will say that even when they operate properly, unions are a big pain to work with. The problem is the non-compete and not-my-job clauses. In a union plant, an operator won’t even carry a wrench. That’s maintenance’s job. So, a simple leak-fix, which would take 30 seconds in a normal plant to tighten bolts, takes two man-hours in a union plant. Everything works in that fashion. In a normal plant, managers are interactive and are often in the field with shovels themselves. In a Union plant, they’d better not be anywhere near a shovel. There’s a “boots vs suits” mentality that is at best cold and easily becomes dysfunctional.

            Could it be done right? Yes. It could. However, it cannot be done with standard contracts with unions that we currently use

          • Stevek, Back in the day (decades ago) unions served a useful purpose. Working conditions were terrible (and not very safe) and the hours were long. But the Unions successfully changed that and helped get those changes codified into law. Ever since the only purpose unions serve is their own power at the expense of the workers they are supposedly helping. It’s the Unions greed that helped send jobs out of the country in the first place. As MarkW points out more unions would only accelerate that job exodus.

        • Eric McCoo

          People react against the immediate effects of bad policy decisions. They might not actively care about climate change but many are aware of the reasons for the rise in energy prices. Like many countries, the French pay lip service to climate change but refuse to pay anything towards what they don’t actually believe in.

          The demonstrations in France over fuel prices are a proxy vote against unnecessary climate change taxes.

          France is to a great extent nuclear powered as far as energy goes. They might suffer carbon taxes if it were environmentally meaningful, but they aint daft. The French know damn fine increased fuel taxes are a political virtue flag run up the mast of global politics for numerous reasons. And they are far more complex than simply green issues.

          Nor does the term ‘green’ resonate particularly well with the French because they are, and always have been a big agricultural country. So imposing a green tax on an already green country with green energy production is a step too far.

          The French coined the term Laissez-faire for a reason, they don’t care for too much government intervention in their lives. Indeed, the protests against the fuel tax rise was merely the blue touchpaper that ignited a series of protests about intrusive government interventions.

        • Yeah, here come liberals to claim the outrage…

          The movement started because of redistribution of wealth. Namely, taking money from energy companies and giving to some socialist at best fund/iniative, communist in theory, and totalitarian in practice.

          The everyday people do not belong to the left. In America, it was those people who rejected globalist, socialist policies and voted for a nationalist. The French are doing the same. Perhaos they can finally realize that the state will never take care of them and further push away from taxes that go nowhere they are pledged but only to protect and create power structures for a few. All social programs end up in this rut.

    • American style, neoliberal hell hole with massive inequality

      You’re living on another planet, Eric.

      Poverty Rate US: 12.3%

      Poverty Rate EU: 23.5%

      Poverty Rate France: 14.1%

      Poverty Rate Germany: 15.7%

      Poverty Rate UK: 16%

      Poverty Rate Canada: 13.9%

      Poverty Rate Japan: 15%

      Poverty South Korea: 17.9%

      Look at the numbers and guess which advanced country has the most prosperous population, Eric.

      America: land of low poverty.

      An interesting subtext: income inequality means little when the general population is prosperous.

      • Not the same numbers/ methodology/measurement. Also EU is made up now of (membership of EU American promoted) Eastern European countries

      • Pat Frank doesn’t know the difference between “income inequality” and “prosperity.” Posting poverty rates does not show income inequality.

        • Eric’s reference was to “massive inequality,” David, not to income inequality.

          I was the one who first mentioned income inequality, but only as a side note.

          Eric’s rejection of “right wing American values.” appears to imply his American “massive inequality” also purports to racism/sexism. If so, he’d be wrong about that, too.

        • Income equality is NewSpeak for income envy. Even those of us in the US who live on the lower end of the income ladder live better than millionaires (with the exception of the size of our houses) 150 years ago. I have been to Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, Australia, Africa in my lifetime. I have central heat and air conditioning. I have three bedrooms in my house. Heck, even the poorest in this country has something that only the emperor of Rome had 2,000 years ago and that is ice. Go to places like India, and the Phillippines and see what the rest of the world lives in and then count your blessings. Income Inequality is just Marxist propaganda. Income equality means that everyone is equally poor. You are just spoiled!!!

          • Being born in the US at this time puts a person in the top 1% of income/wealth of all the people who have ever existed.

          • The worldwide top 10% of income starts at $44,000 annual earnings and you are in the global top 5% if you earn more than $100,000

          • True. But if you include all of the amenities, technology, appliances, cars, etc. of our modern world, kings and queens just 150 years ago would be quite envious.

            The median household income in the US is $61K. The average household is 2600 sf with 2 automobiles, 2.5 TVs, microwave oven, dishwasher, air-conditioning, washer/dryer, subscription TV service, cell phones, computers, etc. Heck, even our poor have most of these amenities.

            Considering the billions currently on the Earth and the billions who came before us, the average American falls into the top 1% all-time.

          • There are 42 people in the world who own as much in dollar value as the poorest 90% of humanity (World bank). That is obscene. That is gross inequality. The ability of the super rich to avoid taxes with impunity is an indicator of global scale corruption.

            This cannot continue. Gross inequality inevitably leads to insurrection, which is what the Yellow Jacket protest is. Replacing a military industrial complex with a green industrial complex will not change anything. Global changes require global coordination in favour of everyone, not to benefit a few with enough clout to create laws that pay them with money taken from the poor. No taxation without representation. This has to sink in at the highest level. Arbitrary bureaucracy is not working.

          • Again you are arguing from they-have I don’t have. Pare envy. Look at what you have, not what you don’t have.

          • Crispin, your figures are BS on stilts as you would know if you spent a few seconds thinking about it rather than reacting emotionally.

            The richest person in the world, if I remember right just broke the trillion dollar mark. Which means that the next 41 are worth less than 1 Trillion. Even if all of them were worth the same, that would still be only $42T for the lot.
            In all likelihood, if you added up the total wealth of the top 42 people in the world, it wouldn’t even make it to $20T. The US alone, total wealth was over $86T (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_in_the_United_States) back in 2015. With all the economic activity of the last 3 years, it’s well above that point by now.

            So the worst case is that the top 42 only own about 1/2 of the wealth of the US alone.

            Regardless, why is it wrong for someone to enjoy the fruits of their labors?

          • Crispin,
            Do you know why those 42 people have that much money and you don’t?
            Most likely, Because they know how to make it and keep it and you don’t.

          • MarkW December 11, 2018 at 7:58 pm

            You’re confusing the valuation of his company with the richest man’s personal wealth. Bezos was around $150 billion (less now), but AMZN (and APPL) were worth in the ballpark of a trillion.

            And if he were to try to cash out his stake, the value of AMZN shares would tank.

            We’re a long way from having a trillionaire. Not that your point isn’t valid anyway.

          • True Mark, But even if his data was even 10% right I still have to call out ‘income equality’ for what it is-envy and covetousness.

          • There are 42 people in the world who own as much in dollar value as the poorest 90% of humanity (World bank). That is obscene. That is gross inequality. The ability of the super rich to avoid taxes with impunity is an indicator of global scale corruption.

            I see lots of envy there, but very little reason.
            First off the rich (super or otherwise) will always be able to avoid as many taxes as they want because they basically have infinite mobility. Absent a one world government, they can just move to a lower tax locale should taxes in any one country/state/city get too high (and most any country/state/city will welcome them and the money they bring to their economies). The poor don’t have that kind of mobility, they are limited in where they can move to (and not many countries are eager to take in additional resource drains on their social services programs).

            Second, it doesn’t matter how much of the money someone has, what matters is what they do with it. Do you honestly think those “super rich” got to be Super rich by stuffing all their money into their mattresses and sitting on it? Those “42 people” that you envy so much, invest their money and help drive the world’s economy making jobs available that enable the 90% to work and provide for their families. I bet you’ve never had a job working for a poor person and every job you’ve ever had (assuming you haven’t just been living in your parents basement all you life) was the result of a rich person, possibly even one of those 42 “super rich” people you envy so much. And even if you never worked for those 42, I bet you own products that those 42 helped bring to the world.

          • I agree with you but you didn’t respond to Crispin. My name is Rich

            I’m pretty sure he was responding to Crispin (the hint is in the opening sentence where he says “Crispin, your figures are BS …” and goes on to discuss the 42. Crispin is the one who mentioned the 42 richest people in the world, not you as far as I can see)

            While his post appeared after yours that began “Again you are arguing from they-have I don’t have” don’t let that fool you into thinking he was replying to you. At this level deep into the conversation, there is no reply button on each post, you have to go back up a level to find the nearest reply button (which coincidentally also happens to be one of your posts) since that button is used to reply to any of the replies below it that don’t have their own reply button, don’t think that any post below it is directly in reply to it.

          • I knew that. My e-mail said he was replying to my comment, so I felt I had to tweak him a little bit. I’m a bit onrey that way 😋

        • Dave,

          Without using any wanky formal EU/UN approved definitions;

          Poverty – your income is so low that your standard of living is total rubbish. You can’t afford nice things. Feeding your family is difficult. You are one of life’s victims.

          Lowish Income – You have a nice house, nice car, nice things. You have never not been able to afford basics but maybe have to save up for the big holidays and new iPhone.

          Highish Income – You have a nicer house, nicer cars, nicer things and go on nicer holidays at nicer times. Your life is – possession wise at least – nicer than Lowish Income types.

          Highish and Lowish are not equal. In fact people do not want them to be equal. Part of the reward for being more successful is being able to afford better things. Luxury goods exist because people with higher incomes want nicer things to remind them that they have succeeded.

          So… is this fair?

          Well kids, life is not fair. Deal with it.

          The questions are deeper. Did the Higher people get their because they were harder working, smarter and applied themselves better? Did they exploit the Lowers? Are the Lowers in that position because they have reached their comfort zone? Or because they have been held back? If there is no ‘reward’ for being better then is their a reason to push yourself to greater success?

          Deeper questions there, Dave. To play the ‘Wealthy’ = Evil card is just basic jealously and the sort of thing Marxists use to oppress the workers for their own gain.

          (remember kids – The Right want to exploit the worker by paying them as little as possible. The Left want to oppress the worker so they can use them as a platform for their own power. The Centre? They are the worker. And most importantly, In a Worker’s Paradise you are still JUST a Worker.)

      • Pat Frank,

        I agree with your point as it generally applies to the U. S. Certainly, the U. S. is the favored destination of immigrants for a reson. However, Victor Davis Hanson is pointing out a radical shift in demographics in California that does suggest “neoliberal hell holes” are being created. Hanson reminds us that California receives about 30% of all welfare payments, and about 20% of its population lives in what is defined as poverty. Much of the eastern portion of the Central Valley has immigrant housing that is far below standard. Much like true third world slums. The residents of these places have little money, no car insurance. The authorities are reluctant to enforce laws and housing regulations with this segment of California’s society, because they lose money with every conviction. Better for the county budget to ignore them. At the same time, the middle class is fleeing in droves. They are the target of endlessly increasing taxes and revenue driven enforcement of traffic laws. They have, or had, sufficient assets that it is worth the county’s efforts to enforce the regulations, laws, and thus collect the resultant fines that so characterize a neoliberal society. Hanson also points out that California collects half its income tax from just 40,000 individuals. This group, living in exclusive and horribly expensive coastal enclaves, has been able to shield themselves from the chaos that progressive policies have created. Their children do not attend California’s public schools, which are ranked in the lower decile nationwide. But with taxes ever increasing, and with the change in the IRS rules that no longer allow the deduction of local taxes from income taxes owed, this group may well find the grass greener in some other state. If just 4,000 move out of California, the state would see a shortfall in their income tax revenue of 5%.

        Like so much of the progressive agenda, the damage done by the unintended consequences of their delusional policies far outweigh what little good they purportedly achieve. The assertion that taxing the working class’ use of petroleum to fuel their vehicles will somehow improve our environment is just one example of that phenomena.

        • I agree with VDH about California, Robert.

          If you think things are bad now in CA, wait until Gavin Newsom assumes the mantle. He’ll make Jerry Brown look sober-sided.

          • Pat Frank,

            We are almost a decade ahead of California in electing scalawags and schemers. Jay Inslee became our Governor in 2012. Progressive delusions run rampant in King County. The County is the locale that gives Democrats like Inslee a plus 460,000 vote margin. Which is difficult to overcome statewide. Our political elite will shortly double down on stupid. Seattle is about to close the waterfront viaduct that carries 20% of the north/south traffic thru and into the city. The replacement will be a small tunnel, running deep beneath the city, with only a fraction of the capacity of viaduct. The chickens are coming home to roost …

      • BTW, those U.S. “poverty” stats include cable TV and WiFi, smartphones, Nikes and cars. They DON’T include all the various forms of g’ment assistance most of these so-called “poor” collect. Zero relationship to what is measured as “poverty” in developing countries.

        • Agreed.

          The govt measures “relative poverty” and not absolute poverty. Given that the measured poverty is relative, there will never be an instance where the poverty level will decrease in any significant way. A certain portion of the population will always be “relatively” poor.

    • Eric
      So let me get this straight:
      The French protestors associate the climate-fuel-tax with … Donald Trump and the USA??!

      The protesters whose voices I heard in several interviews were unanimous that this was a tax too far.

      No basis whatever to bolt on your racist anti-American agenda to the revolution of les gilets jaunes. Nice try but transparent.

      • No, they associate Macron with free market American style economics. The carbon tax was simply the last straw. This is a very long standing issue in France. They don’t want to be privatised and be subject to free market economics.

          • I know that but it isn’t the reason for the massive, destructive riots. I am happy to admit that a carbon tax was more likely to set people off than a normal fuel tax rise because no one really cares about global warming.

          • Eric,

            CACA might not matter to the protestors, but Macron’s globalist elitism does, of which CACA is a major symptom.

        • If they associate Macron with American style free market economics (not that the US has seen American style free market economics in decades) then they are quite delusional.

        • Eric
          I appreciate your contrarian view here, but seriously? There is nothing capitalist about a carbon tax. There is no willing buyer in the equation. I think your best argument here is to just say “Death to America, I want socialism”.

        • For the non-French audience the fuel taxes are just a couple of the 56 new taxes that Macron ordered.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdnlMcZ2vQ4

          Here are some of the taxes and the percentage increases:

          12% Carburant (fuel)
          15% Frais bancaire (bank charges)
          130% PV de stationnement (parking tickets)
          3-5% Assurances (insurance)
          5% Mutuelle (French benefit insurance system)
          10% Timbres poste (postage stamps)
          15% Carte grise (license fee)
          10% Tabac (tobacco)
          3% Abonnement bus (bus pass)
          1.3% Peage routier (road toll)
          7% Gaz (natural gas)
          15% Forfait Hospitalier (hospital deductable)
          30% Abonnement velib (bicycle rentals)
          23% Control technique automobile (auto inspection cost)
          1-3% Cantine scolaire (school lunches)
          36% Fioul domestique (heating fuel)
          17% Electricite (Electricity)
          21.7% CSG (General social contribution to finance social programs)

      • In Washington state (USA) many classes (rich and poor) have fossil-fuel vehicles. I have lived in the state six decades. THE ATLANTIC: “Will Washington State Voters Make History on Climate Change? The state could be the first in the union to adopt a carbon price by ballot” published AUGUST 2018 https://www.theatlantic.com/…/washington-state…/567523/ This November, voters in Washington State may do what no group of people—IN OR OUTSIDE the United States—has done before.They will vote on whether to adopt a carbon fee, an aggressive policy to combat climate change that charges polluters for the right to emit carbon dioxide and other potent greenhouse gases.Their decision will reverberate far beyond the Olympic Peninsula. If the measure passes, Washington will make history, becoming not only the first state in the union to adopt a type of policy called a carbon tax—but also the first government anywhere to do so by ballot referendum. ”

        MY COMMENT ON OUTCOME OF FAILURE OF INITIATIVE 1631 IN MY STATE: MOST of our Washington State Government won’t stop trying every way possible (with mass propaganda using Environmental Elite=clean energy angel investors money for ad-campaigns ) to pass
        [ a.] Ballot Initiative (ONE MENTIONED ABOVE failed in November election) OR
        {b} STATE LEGISLATION.
        [c.} An unconstitutional Executive Rule-making called the “Clean Air Rule” was was thrown out in state court in 2017, in between the Initiatives foe a popular vote on an “eco-tax”. State policy-makers (some in the Legislature & Gov. Inslee) and their CO2 environmental activist-proxies want to LEAD THE WORLS!! Th are hell-bent create an “eco-tax” here, one way or another.

        When the buck-stops-here,(FORCED UPON, likely by the state legislature ) hitting state citizen’s wallets, citizens in Washington may react MUCH as the French suburban middle-class with cars did over the “ECO-TAX” on their fossil-fuel purchases.

        WASHINGTON POLITICAL ECO-STRANGLE SUMMARY:
        In 2016, the voters of the state of Washington voted on a carbon tax, Initiative 732. It secured only 41 percent of the vote. This was a “revenue neutral” tax, meaning the revenue raised by the carbon tax would be returned to citizens in the form of reductions in other taxes. This approach could have appealed to conservatives who worried that a carbon tax might become a pretext for new taxation and a larger government. I-732 attempted to build a bipartisan coalition by attracting the pro-environment conservative vote. But it failed to draw in sufficient numbers of conservative voters and, at the same time, lost a sizable liberal vote, given the intense opposition from mainstream environmental and social justice groups…

        On the rejection of I-732, Governor Inslee had his Department of Ecology promulgate a “Clean Air Rule” and adopt it (after inadequate hearings and submitted written comments) by publication in the State Register. The new “Rule” was quickly challenged in court (state) and found unconstitutional by a Superior Court judge

        Not to be over-ruled, LOL!! , Governor Inslee used mainstream environmental, labor and social justice groups (not to forget to mention the liberal-green Seattle big media) as his “popular” proxies to file a revised version of the prior carbon tax Initiative. The :Son of 732″ was born, being Initiative 1631. This was estimated (by state analysts) to likely generate roughly a billion dollars of new revenue!! Which would ,allegedly, then be used to fund new ‘climate-change mitigation’ projects The vagueness of how those would be chosen was ASTOUNDING < crony capitalism screamed all over the opaqueness of the lengthy Initiative 1631 small-print of state law code to be changed). Allegedly, the $$ could be used to mitigate climate change by mass transit and renewable energy funding, along with (alleged) assistance to poor communities hurt (if proven!) by increased energy costs. OF COURSE: Gov. Jay Inslee VERY actively campaigned for the Initiative.His biggest political supporters are clean energy & green technology investors and building trades unions, etc., unsurprisingly.

    • Eric, you could be so right, that the ‘people’ don’t give a fig about ‘climate’.
      That’s not the problem. It’s the fact that those who control the people do care: they need the ‘climate’ to give them control over the people who don’t care.
      You will have no say over carbon taxes: they will be forced on you by people who seek power – without the responsibility of providing power.

    • It’s liberalism that creates massive wealth inequality. Just look around the world if you doubt this. The bigger government gets the more inequality grows.

      Right wing values are for each person to earn based on their ability and desire. If you disagree with that, no wonder you like socialism.

    • Exactly! It’s a rejection of neo-con, neo-lib finance and economics. But they sense it’s not “USA” as such. Macron represents the financial elite in the EU.

      Now the irony in all this is the London School of Economics is the source of the Adam Smith neo-babble from von Hayek/Friedman to Keynes. This “school” Mrs May is trying to protect with its City square mile of financial looting. Just look at the incredible mess of Brexit!

      What is needed is for France to remember its Carnot economic policies of the revolution before Robespierre, Danton, and Marat (trained in London) subverted a repeat of the successful US revolution.
      Lazare Carnot : l’organisateur de la victoire
      L’Ecole polytechnique et la science de l’éducation républicaine
      It’s all about economics. As Trump says he wants to bring back the American System of Political Economics, anathema for London. What escapes most today with the constant British neo-babble, the US is an economic system not a political one.

    • Indeed. I noticed that and wondered why he was not infected like the others.
      I’m going to dig out my yellow vest and wear it to a few gatherings – a conversation starter!

      • Yes,it made me wonder about the subject of his MSc thesis . Presumably it was on a topic approved by the Dept Head and reached a conclusion acceptable to that University’s political and scientific views.
        Perhaps he had a “road to Damascus” enlightenment , on the way back to India, where he could see the benefit that cheap and reliable energy (from fossil fuel and nuclear) can make to a society where so many live in a state of poverty not seen in the fenlands of East Anglia since the days of Hereward the Wake.

        • My MSc thesis was on ‘Bird Mortality from Electric wires’ and thankfully had nothing to do with climate change. But the locals and ecologists in my Thesis research location (undisclosed) were vehemently opposed to the Windmills, which they claimed killed more birds.
          About the enlightenment, I had my first awakening when reading ‘Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism’ in 2011. later, during my research work at University of British Columbia, Canada, I realized the deeper truths regarding climate change and its impact on life forms. But you are right, the poor in India have no hope if Energy is cut off. We are no different from the West – the West developed because of coal and oil. Both the major political parties in India are Pro-coal, so we are safe for now. No matter what, India and China will not stop using coal or expanding their coal sectors.
          About the Road to Damascus – Paul’s experience is not very different to mine.

          • Thank you for the article Vijay.
            I would remind those alleging guilt by association (with UAE) that the climate-gate emails were likely revealed by an insider. Not every academic at UAE has subscribed to the CAGW story.

      • Mike, I had a Vaccine that protected from the Climate Alarmists. My brain graduated in ‘one-piece’, diagnosed unaffected by the Climategate scandal that broke out when I was studying there.

  4. At least partially, the election of Trump was a reaction to the announced policies of the Democrats on energy and climate change. So, arguably, it was first.
    However, the Giletes Jaunes movement is almost entirely motivated by the climate change policies of Macron and the EU.

      • Duuh! They are protesting the fuel price increases, which are part of Macron’s attempt to meet the Paris Accords CO2 reductions.

        • I thought you would say that, but probably only Macron and his few know that, for the rest it is just an ordinary tax increase. Any indication of a sudden spike in the visits from France on WUWT?

          • Why would there be a sudden spike in visits to an English language web site by a French speaking populace?

            As for the tax being protested, it’s no secret that the tax is climate policy related. You have a link for your claim that the protesters are ignorant of the purpose of the tax increase (ie that only Macron and his few know about it)?

  5. Judith Curry, (testimony)on “Data or Dogma”: There is enormous pressure for climate scientists to conform to the so-called consensus. This pressure comes not only from politicians, but from federal funding agencies, universities and professional societies, and scientists themselves who are green activists and advocates. Reinforcing this consensus are strong monetary, reputational, and authority interests.
    As a result, I have become very concerned about the integrity of climate science. In the last 5 years, I
    have published a series of papers that address the inadequacies that I see in how climate scientists address
    the issue of uncertainty, and provide ways forward for improved reasoning about the complex problems in
    climate science:
    • Climate science and the uncertainty monster2
    • Reasoning about climate uncertainty3
    • Nullifying the climate null hypothesis4
    • Climate science: no consensus on consensus5
    How to deal with the politicization of climate science is less obvious, but I regard it as highly important to
    shine some light on these problems. On my blog Climate Etc. at judithcurry.com, under the tags of‘Ethics6
    ’, ‘Consensus7’ and ‘Sociology of Science8’, I have written a series of essays on biases, the problems of advocacy and partisanship among climate scientists, conflicts of interest, and suppressions of
    climate inquiry. SOURCE: https://www.heartland.org/_template-assets/documents/publications/curry_climate_data_testimony.pdf

  6. Some French people I know couldn’t give a Spanish fig for the climate change or no change, what bothers them it’s taxes they have to pay.
    An update is required to number of article’s statements due to developments in the last 24 hours.

    • It’s always about taxes, from both directions. Smart politicians know to keep taxes at levels as high as the populace will tolerate even if they bitch about them. Stupid politicians think they can tax and tax and tax and ignore the ever growing discontent.

      • In France there is ‘taxe habitation’, sort of local tax, after Macron came to power he made very popular decision to abolish it in 3 stages, first year already took effect. That meant that the budget would be short by billion or two of euros.
        Money had to come from somewhere, the fuel tax looked as good alternative.
        Most of poor and country residencies (tax is based on a ‘possible’ rental value, with a discounts for low income etc) were either excluded or had discounts but fuel tax is uniform and hits low paid hardest.
        Ex Rotschild banker and ex-socialist minister of economy just forgot simple rule: overtax the rich they emigrate, overtax poor they revolt, and revolting French arn’t to polite about it.

          • That’s why the socialists are so eager to create a single world government. Eliminate the ability of their victims to leave.

        • overtax the rich they emigrate, overtax poor they revolt

          More seriously though, you are correct. The Rich have the means to transport themselves (and their money) to more hospitable climes. The poor do not. As such they bear the burden until it gets too great, then they lash out (revolt). And with France’s history, I wouldn’t want to be in Macron’s shoes.

  7. So wit the real evidence against all of the Global warming come climate change myth, why is it that a lot of the politicians still push it.

    Most appear to be reasonably intelligent, so the only conclusion is a desire for something to frighten us with, plus a strong desire to form a world government, i.e. of a Communest type, with them in charge.

    When I was young and very inmature, I thought that a World Government was a good idea, but sadly as one grows up you realise that at this moment there is no hope of such a organisation.

    But if such a thing were too one day happen I would suspect that it would end up just like the EU in Europe, with the unelected burrocrats running the show, an getting very cross with the UK for daring to want to leave.

    MJE

    • “So wit the real evidence against all of the Global warming come climate change myth, why is it that a lot of the politicians still push it. ”

      Power. And money.

      And because they’re being paid to follow the plan, no matter how absurd it may look to the people of their countries. They expect to be one of the Commissars after the Watermelons take power, not a body in a ditch.

  8. What’s the difference between the Middle Ages and today?

    Energy.

    Take that away and where are you back to?

    • Tasfay Martinov:

      “What’s the difference between the Middle Ages and today? … Energy.”

      Indeed! Fossil fuels freed the human intellect from the labors of providing food, shelter and transportation
      to pursue advances in civilization like technology, vaccines, food storage and distribution, etc. – and, the chance to concoct erroneous arguments against the use of fossil fuels.

      • I’ve studied Italy at the beginning of the renaissance.

        Cities had walls and gates for a reason. Smelters were located in the mountains near where the ore was located. They built mills along streams with paddle wheals to blow the furnaces to melt the ore. They were often subject to invasion by thieves. Highway robbers were a constant problem. All produce was hauled along the roads by droving animals on wagons.

        Yea, the good old days of no electricity.

    • … and population, how many trees would survive 7 billion people looking for something to burn for cooking and heating?

      • Hmmmm… could that be what led humans to settle such beastly cold places as Scandinavia? In pursuit of the remaining firewood? I don’t think that fits the facts, but who knows what was really going on 20,000 years ago.

  9. “Their reasoning is rooted in the United Nations-led collective climate alarmism movement, which aims to replacing (replace)? fossil fuel with renewable energy sources—mostly wind and solar.

  10. In the US, working people and even the rich simply protest high taxes by moving to another state.
    Florida and Texas are favorite destinations.

    A local U-Haul vendor here in Tucson, Arizona has a sign up that says:
    “Truck and Trailer combo Special
    $79 One-Way to Cali”

    Any guesses why?
    (hint: people are leaving California now in droves, far above what official statistics from Cals government will admit.)

    • Citizens are leaving in droves, to be replaced by illegal aliens.

      And the fleeing citizens infect their new homes with the virus of socialism which forced them to escape its clutches.

    • They’re leaving Cali in droves, unfortunately they are taking with them the mindset that lead to the Cali regulations & taxes that caused them to flee in the first place and trying to force those failed ideas onto the states they flee to. We need a wall, not only on the southern border, but also the border between California and the rest of the nation.

  11. That most French of inventions for correcting political arrogance, the guillotine, is still available duty free. Something Macron should consider.

    • As Edgar Allan Poe recounted, Marat was trained in London, as told to him by Degas.
      Today the Antifa bare their chests showing the union jack. In Dresden they chant Bomber Harris do it again.
      I hope the Gilets Jaunes are very careful about this nasty history. Some of the Unions are running protection for the demonstrators as they have no idea really about dirty tricks.

  12. It appears the fuel tax increase was just the spark that ignited an existing rage. However, Greenie policies, responsible for skyrocketing costs of energy, which means a spiraling cost of living have certainly laid the foundations for this revolt.

  13. These are some statements from a comment by “another Ian” over at Jonova .( I will just pick a few to avoid transgressing copyright rules).

    —“• French GDP hasn’t risen above 2% in 50 years. The average annual GDP growth rate between 1949-2018? 0.78%.
    • More than 50% of French people have an annual income of less than €20,150 a year (about $1,900 US per month).
    • The youth unemployment rate is 22%.
    • Astonishing but true: the French government employs 25% of the entire French workforce…and it’s impossible to fire them.
    France’s debt-GDP is now 100%.”—

    http://joannenova.com.au/2018/12/france-the-streets-belong-to-the-butchers-and-bakers-while-the-un-argues-over-a-meanginless-word/#comments- comment 18

    Now this situation did not arise overnight when Macron was elected , but over many decades of different Presidents and premiers. So one has to have some sympathy for Macron. But his decision to abandon the dream combination of nuclear and hydro for the uncertainties of renewables was a great disappointment and I still cannot understand it.

    (Note to The Moderator: better snip this comment if my comment is against copyright rules – always a mystery to everyone but lawyers . I don’t want to cause trouble between Anthony and Joanna)

  14. Let’s be clear what is actually going on with the UN’s IPCC inspired, AGW alarmism. They are actively pushing nations to accept the UN driven story of man made climate change, even though there is no evidence anywhere to support that concept. The UN is doing this to drive energy out of the economies at every level. Energy is the enabler of capitalism. Without energy available at affordable price there will be creeping poverty and creeping economic weakness of nations. The only option then left for the citizens in dire straights, is to seek support from the state. That is the objective of the UN project to drive socialism and make it the only option, i.e. state control under UN terms of engagement.
    The UN is actively pursuing power. It is using the global climate change alarm programme to achieve that power while knowing full well it is nonsense.
    The French will not be the last nation to rebel. Be aware, if the authorities in UN member nations, do not get a grip and restore national authority over UN edicts, the explosion of discontent will become revolutionary.

    • Working Draft Version 2006 Apr 20 Solar FAQs
      https://www.sandia.gov/~jytsao/Solar%20FAQs.pdf

      Title: Solar FAQs
      Edited/Compiled by:
      Jeff Tsao (U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Science)
      Nate Lewis (California Institute of Technology)
      George Crabtree (Argonne National Laboratory)
      Abstract
      We ask and answer a series of questions regarding the potential of the sun to supply energy to
      the world. The questions are drawn in large part from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of
      Basic Energy Science’s recent report on Basic Research Needs in Solar Energy Utilization (BES
      2005). The answers are given in a format suitable for a lay technical audience, and are
      supplemented by detailed calculations and comprehensive references.

      First paragraph:
      How much energy will the world need in the coming century?

      The most widely used scenarios for future world energy consumption have been those developed by technical experts brought together by the
      Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an organization jointly established by the
      World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the
      United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
      A scenario from their most recent set of scenarios is outlined in the last two columns of Table 1. Though this scenario should not be thought of as any more probable than others in their set, it is based on “moderate” assumptions, and hence can be viewed as neither overly conservative nor overly aggressive.” end excerpt

  15. Look for a tax on yellow vests. Taxes are often used to discourage use. Does that work, or is it just a money grab? The sin taxes are profitable because the demands for those sins are inelastic. Alcohol, tobacco, fuel, and all the things that produce CO2.

  16. Much as I am amused as anyone by the Gilets Jaunes movement, basically I fear it has nothing to do with Climate Change and is simply an Alexis de Tocqueville (or Alexander Tytler, if you prefer) phenomenon.
    “Democracy ends when the voters discover they can vote themselves the contents of the treasury.”
    These people want increased wages, increased pensions, lower taxes, restoration of government services. In fact, its really just another French peasant uprising like all the others.
    On the other hand, this makes Brexit quite a different phenomenon, since the Brexiteers appear to be voting for something quite bigger than more money and less taxes. This is a genuinely “nationalist”, national interest, movement not simply self-interest movement, with more similarities to the Trump, Make US, great phenomenon in the USA. – Just saying.

    • Brexit is an unutterable mess – unfortunately England never (maybe for a shot time) was a republic. Even Shakespeare to this day is villified for being Catholic, and involved in the movement against QE I, with her secret police (Dee, the base of Bond’s character) on his trail.

      “That scepter’d Isle set in a Silver’d Sea” is in big trouble.

      Today the Integrity Initiative in Scotland, funded by MI6 , were caught attacking Corbyn – Britain has it’s very own Deep State!
      Looks like exactly the same crowd after Trump with the dodgy dossier!

  17. The reason why the yellow vest has become such a symbol in France is because these vests are mandatory for commercial drivers.

      • Not hi-vis vests as far as I know, but certainly a medical kit, reflective warning triangle, spare bulbs and a fire extinguisher.

        • No, they are mandatory for ANY driver leaving his vehicle (fix a flat, for example, or move a tree branch from the roadway). Rental cars have the “kit”, for example.

          It is interesting to note that, “France is the only nation where the rioters go to work Monday to Friday to pay taxes and earn income; then riot on the weekends while wearing government-mandated safety vests to protest government regulations requiring they pay more taxes and get less income! “

  18. I think Vijay needs to study harder, we’ve had fuel taxes for decades and who can forget the 1980’s Windfall profits tax? Governments in Western economies love to tax fossil fuels, it’s the greatest tax ever, the money pours in year after year, while consumption goes up year after year. The only concern is determining how much plucking this golden goose can take before it notices.

  19. Here in Australia the MSM are portraying the French revolt as “malcontents demonstrating against tax increases”. For all the awards the journalists have won, none have discovered, or are prepared to report that Macron’s tax increases were planned in lock-step with the EU and UN’s push across the world to impose extra costs on sovereign states to limit CO2 emissions.

    Instead of troops rolling across borders, this time its legislation. The effect on ordinary people is the same: your views and your elected politicians dont matter.

    • Not quite – see the viral video of EU flagged (blue with stars) armored carriers rolling in the Champs Elisee, without the Tricoleur!
      A warning what an EU army or police force would look like!

      • The EU flagged armored vehicles indicate that Macron has called up reinforcements from the EU private army called Eurogendfor
        http://www.brujitafr.fr/2018/12/france-un-blinde-nomme-hermes.html

        I suspect the poorly dressed plainclothes “police” with red armbands were also Eurogendfor forces. The red armbands could also be symbolic of the Historical red scarfs of the French royalty that escaped the 1789 revolution. There is also a red scarf pro-Macron group in France today, not to be confused by the native people of New Caladonia who use red scarfs in their independence movement.

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