Monday, July 24, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: German Carmakers’ Shares Crash On Allegations Of Diesel Collusion

Trump Administration Lining Up Climate Change ‘Red Team’

In this newsletter:

1) Europe’s Green Madness: German Carmakers’ Shares Crash On Allegations Of Diesel Collusion
The Daily Telegraph, 24 July 2017 
2) Trump Administration Lining Up Climate Change ‘Red Team’
Washington Examiner, 24 July 2017
3) U.S. Coal Boom Feeds European Markets
Oil Price, 22 July 2017
4) Chicken Little: Britain’s Green Ministers May Block UK-US Trade Deal Over Eu Food Scares
The Daily Telegraph, 24 July 2017 
5) Video: Roger Pielke Jr. On ‘Climate Politics As Manichean Paranoia’
Global Warming Policy Foundation, July 2017
6) And Finally: Bill Nye Says Climate Sceptics Will Die Out. Instead Young Gullibles Grow Up And Become Old Sceptics
Jo Nova, 21 July 2017

Full details:

1) Europe’s Green Madness: German Carmakers’ Shares Crash On Allegations Of Diesel Collusion
The Daily Telegraph, 24 July 2017 
Germany’s biggest car manufacturers shares plunged in early trading as investors digested allegations about decades of collusion between Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler.
Investors dumped the shares after reports, which first appeared in the German press late on Friday afternoon, claiming the companies may have secretly worked together on technology, forming a cartel that could have led to the “dieselgate” emission scandal.

The allegations come just days after Daimler recalled more than 3m of its Mercedes Benz cars for work to lower their emissions. The week before, Audi – which is owned by Volkswagen – recalled 850,000 vehicles.

How the Big Three German car makers shares have fallen
Over the weekend the European Commission said it was looking into the claims. If it does investigate and finds evidence of a cartel, the car makers could face multi-billion euro penalties.
German authorities are already investigating, with Spiegel magazine, which first reported the claims, saying that evidence of collusion was uncovered by chance when prosecutors raided VW offices looking into suspicions of a separate cartel involving steel.
Between them the three car giants have had about €10bn wiped off their value since the news first broke.
According Spiegel, the car makers began working together in the 1990s in an attempt to stay ahead of foreign rivals, with engineers meeting  “regularly several times a year” to discuss technology.
BMW and Daimler have been dragged into the scandal that engulfed VW after it was discovered 11m of its cars worldwide were fitted with “defeat devices”.
Full story
See also: GWPF coverage of Europe’s climate-driven Dieselgate scandal
2) Trump Administration Lining Up Climate Change ‘Red Team’
Washington Examiner, 24 July 2017
John Siciliano
The Trump administration is in the beginning stages of forming an adversarial “red team” to play devil’s advocate in a plan to debate the facts behind global warming and take on what skeptics call climate alarmism.

The White House and the Environmental Protection Agency are recruiting scientists by enlisting the help of the Heartland Institute, considered to be the lead think tank for challenging the majority of scientists on climate change.
The institute has its own red team, which is the antithesis to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which it calls, unabashedly, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change.
“The White House and the Environmental Protection Agency have reached out to the Heartland Institute to help identify scientists who could constitute a red team, and we’ve been happy to oblige,” Jim Lakely, the group’s communications director, told the Washington Examiner.
“This effort is long overdue,” he said. “The climate scientists who have dominated the deliberations and the products of the IPCC have gone almost wholly without challenge. That is a violation of the scientific method and the public’s trust.”
The Heartland Institute has been a long proponent of a red team “to critically examine what has become alarmist dogma rather than a sober evaluation of climate science for many years,” Lakely said. “In fact, Heartland has worked closely with a red team that has been examining the science for several years: the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, or NIPCC.”
What the Trump administration may pull together in creating its red team might look a little like what Heartland has created.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt “believes that we will be able to recruit the best in the fields which study climate and will organize a specific process in which these individuals … provide back-and-forth critique of specific new reports on climate science,” a senior administration official told the news service Climatewire late last month.
“We are, in fact, very excited about this initiative. Climate science, like other fields of science, is constantly changing. A new, fresh, and transparent evaluation is something everyone should support doing,” the official said.
The Heartland team continues to publish reports challenging IPCC and other climate scientists, which it began eight years ago. The group has produced four volumes of “Climate Change Reconsidered,” with a fifth coming out later this year, Lakely said.
“Hundreds of scientists have reviewed and helped produce those volumes, which have been published by the Heartland Institute,” Lakely said. The reports total more than 3,000 pages.
The irony behind the Trump administration taking up the approach is that it was suggested by a former Obama administration official, Steve Koonin, who suggested a red team-blue team approach to clear out the politics and address the science. Koonin teaches at New York University.
He suggested the idea in an April op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. The exercise would include a red team, representing climate skeptics, squaring off against a blue team, representing the majority of scientists who believe the Earth’s temperature is warming because of increased greenhouse gas emissions caused by manmade activity.
Full story
3) U.S. Coal Boom Feeds European Markets
Oil Price, 22 July 2017
A report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration reveals that coal exports have increased by 58% in 2017, with half of the coal imported by Europe.
report by the EIA indicated that coal exports—for both steam coal, used for power generation, and metallurgical coal, used for refining steel—have increased by 58 percent from Q1 of 2016 to Q1 of 2017. The majority of the increase was in steam coal, which grew by 6 million short tons (MMst).
Big U.S. coal customer: Europe
The majority of the coal was shipped from ports on the Atlantic Coast and Gulf Coast. The U.S. exported a total of 10.135 million short tons of steam coal during Q1. Steam coal exports were bound largely for European markets—which consumed approximately 50 percent of the U.S.’ total steam coal exports in Q1, 2017.

Source: EnerCom Inc., from EIA data
Out of the approximately 5.108 million short tons of steam coal exported to Europe, the Netherlands consumed approximately 2.530 million short tons—a little less than 50 percent.
Asian markets consumed approximately 31 percent of the total U.S. exports, with South Korea, India, and Japan making up the bulk of the demand.
Full post
4) Chicken Little: Britain’s Green Ministers May Block UK-US Trade Deal Over Eu Food Scares
The Daily Telegraph, 24 July 2017 
Cabinet split over whether to allow the import of controversial “chlorine washed” chicken could cause a major stumbling block in Liam Fox’s trade talks with the US today.

Dr Fox wants to allow the import of poultry treated with a chlorine wash process, which is currently banned under EU rules.
It is more than one-fifth cheaper than British chicken, and has been deemed safe by the European Food Safety Authority, despite the EU ban.
The American Farming Association has been clear that any free trade deal must include agriculture, and that chlorine-washed chicken, hormone-fed beef and genetically modified crops must be approved for export to the UK.
Dr Fox, who has the support of Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, wants agriculture to be included in free trade discussions and believes chlorine-washed chicken is safe to eat and should be included in any deal.
But Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, has insisted that British food standards will not be downgraded in any way, and Andrea Leadsom, the Leader of the House and former environment secretary, is opposed to the move, saying cheap, poor quality imports could damage British farming.
Chicken in the US is immersed in a chlorine dioxide solution to kill harmful bacteria such as salmonella. It costs American shoppers 21 per cent less than the equivalent product on UK shelves.
A spokesman for Dr Fox said he currently had “no position” on chlorine-washed chicken and said the talks were “a long way” from discussing any deal on agriculture.
But a source close to Dr Fox recently said he believed that “Americans have been eating it perfectly safely for years” and that any “meaningful” trade deal with the US would have to include agriculture, which would give giant American farms access to the UK market.
Mr Gove and Ms Leadsom have argued strongly against such a move. Ms Leadsom has “serious concerns” about the consequences for British farmers.
As well as losing market share in the UK to cheap US imports, she believes that if Britain lowers its standards to compete with US food prices, it will lose its access to EU markets as European countries will no longer accept our products.
Asked earlier this month if he was “absolutely clear” that British food standards “will not be loosened in any way”, Mr Gove said: “Yes.”
It comes as a think tank report said removing the ban on chlorinated chicken would be a “highly symbolic move”. According to the Adam Smith Institute, the average man would have to eat three whole chickens that had been washed in chlorine per day to risk harm.
Full story
5) Video: Roger Pielke Jr. On ‘Climate Politics As Manichean Paranoia’
Global Warming Policy Foundation, July 2017
Talk by Prof Roger Pielke Jr. at the GWPF, London 20 July 2017
The decision by US President Donald Trump to remove the US from the Paris Agreement on climate change was met with both derision and applause. Such is climate politics in the United States in the 21st century. This talk focuses on climate politics as “Manichean paranoia,” a term used by the late US statesman Zbigniew Brzezinski to describe an worldview in which your opponent is considered to be malign and willfully ignorant, whereas your own side is noble and uniquely enlightened.

Click on image to watch video
While the two sides of the contemporary US climate debate disagree on many things, they are firmly united in their Manichean paranoia. I will describe this pathological approach to climate politics and why it matters. There are alternatives, and I’ll recommend five specific actions to improve political debate over climate. Changing climate politics won’t be easy and isn’t possible without a demand for change. The shared commitment to partisan battle between otherwise dueling camps of the climate debate is deeply held, and the siren calls to join the ranks on one side or the other is difficult to resist. However, rethinking climate politics should matter — not just for those who care about climate policy, but more generally for achieving the broadly shared goals of economic growth and the sustainability of liberal democracy.
6) And Finally: Bill Nye Says Climate Sceptics Will Die Out. Instead Young Gullibles Grow Up And Become Old Sceptics
Jo Nova, 21 July 2017 
Poor Bill Nye. He thinks somehow most people are as religious about climate change as he is, and will keep their naively unscientific beliefs into their old age. Instead, skeptics are not dying out at all — there is a never ending source of skeptics, as young gullible believers grow up to be old and wise.

Here’s his Christmas fantasy:
LA Times, Pat Morrison  Bill Nye on the terrifying ascendancy of American ‘dingbatitude’
It just sounds like people are scared. It just sounds like people are afraid. And the people who are afraid in general — with due respect, and I am now one of them — are older. Climate change deniers, by way of example, are older. It’s generational. So we’re just going to have to wait for those people to “age out,” as they say. “Age out” is a euphemism for “die.” But it’ll happen, I guarantee you — that’ll happen.   — Bill Nye

Here’s that data. For starters, we know that Republican voters are older than Democrat voters. So consider what happened to “people identifying as “environmentalists”. If people carried their beliefs with them as they grew older, we would see the term appearing increasingly among Republican voters — converging towards the Democrats. Instead, over the last twenty five years, “environmentalist” became a dirty word for lots of people, but especially for Republican voters.

In terms of worries about Global Warming, spot the Republican transformation over the last 16 years as half a generation passed. Exactly.

The red line has flat-lined.

Gallup Poll: Partisan Gap widens on worries over Global Warming
The rise in belief as the “hottest ever El Nino year” hit the headlines came in Democrat and Independent voting groups, not in Republican voters who remain unmoved by the sensationalist repeats of yet more “records”. Older voters are more likely to recognize that it’s all been done before.
Except Bill Nye, that is.
Full post & comments
Nearly Half of Young Americans Are Climate Sceptics

Harvard Political Review, 29 April 2015
The assumption that younger US adults are more liberal when it comes to global warming does not hold up; if anything, they are even more skeptical.


At the White House Correspondents Association Dinner last Saturday night, President Obama got angry. With the help of his anger translator, Luther (played by comedian Keegan-Michael Key), the president abandoned his usual reasonable tone to condemn those who deny climate change. “The science is clear,” he began. “Every serious scientist says we need to act. The Pentagon says it’s a national security risk.” As the president continued, it became clear that he no longer needed Luther to reveal his inner anger, and he drew laughs from the crowd after letting loose. “It is crazy! What about our kids? What kind of stupid, shortsighted, irresponsible… ”
While the president’s skit might have been the highlight of the night, do Americans really need this kind of angry reminder that climate change is a problem? Some seem to think we are living in a world where climate change is widely acknowledged as an irrefutable fact. Mary Robinson, the seventh president of Ireland and founder of the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice, has argued that the generation in power now is the first to fully know about climate change, and the last with the ability to prevent its projected effects. She and others are of the opinion that, at this point, all but a few outliers understand global warming, its causes, and its dire consequences.
New data from the Harvard Public Opinion Project tell a very different story. Only 55 percent of survey participants agreed with the statement, “Global warming is a proven fact and is mostly caused by emissions from cars and industrial facilities such as power plants.” Twenty percent held the belief that “Global warming is a proven fact, and is mostly caused by natural changes that have nothing to do with emissions from cars,” and the remaining 23 percent who answered the question believe that “Global warming is a theory that has not been proven yet.”
Full post

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

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