Thursday, March 14, 2019

GWPF Newsletter: Climate Wars May Bring Down Yet Another Australian Prime Minister








Ireland: Parties At War Over Carbon Tax Increases

In this newsletter:

1) Climate Wars May Bring Down Yet Another Australian Prime Minister
The Australian, 12 March 2019
 
2) Ireland: Parties At War Over Carbon Tax Increases
The Independent, 11 March 2019 


 
3) U.S. Unions Split With Democrats Over ‘Green New Deal’
The Washington Examiner, 12 March 2019 
 
4) Fracking Could Cut Britain’s Gas Imports To Zero By Early 2030s
Reuters, 11 March 2019 
 
5) Russia’s Pipe Dreams Are Europe’s Nightmare
Dimitar Bechev, Foreign Policy, 12 March 2019
 
6) U.S. Preparing to Take a Tougher Stance on German-Russian Gas Pipeline
Fortune, 11 March 2019 
 
7) Ignore Climate Hysteria: India Forecast To Harvest Record Rice Crop
World Gain, 13 March 2019 

8) On Climate, The Kids Are All Wrong
Paul H. Tice, The Wall Street Journal, 13 March 2019


Full details:

1) Climate Wars May Bring Down Yet Another Australian Prime Minister
The Australian, 12 March 2019

Barnaby Joyce and senior Nationals MPs have warned that the Coalition agreement could be severed over energy policy, setting up a showdown with city-based Liberal MPs fearing a voter backlash over coal in affluent blue-ribbon seats in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.



After Scott Morrison yesterday rejected a push to fund new coal-fired power plants in central Queensland, Mr Joyce, the Prime Minister’s hand-picked drought envoy, told The Australian the termination of the Coalition was an option on the table.

Mr Joyce, who would stand for the Nationals leadership if a spill were called, openly defied the Prime Minister, declaring there was “no law saying the Nationals and Liberals must be together”.

“It is misleading to tell people that we are bound by covenant to always be together,” Mr Joyce said. “The only thing we are bound by is that we must represent our people to the best of our abilities.”

Mr Joyce, who lost the Nationals’ leadership last year after revelations he had an affair with a staffer, described the Coalition as a “business arrangement, not a marriage”.

Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Michael McCormack responded with what appeared to be a veiled swipe at the breakdown of Mr Joyce’s marriage.

“I understand what it takes to have a successful marriage, to make sure that we work together to build a better Australia — that’s what I do with the Liberals,” Mr McCormack said.

Rejecting any threat to his leadership, he said: “There is no coal war. There is no war absolutely whatsoever.”

While no move is expected against Mr McCormack’s leadership before the election, Nationals MPs said the future of the Coalition was under pressure and they would defy the Prime Minister by campaigning on a pro-coal platform.

The warning from Mr Joyce — who said he was hurt by Mr McCormack’s comment about marriage — came after Mr Morrison stoked Coalition tensions by talking up renewables and slapping down the push by some Nationals MPs for a new clean coal plant in Queensland. The Prime Minister argued that the Queensland Labor government had “no intention of approving any such projects at all”.

Full story (subscription required)

2) Ireland: Parties At War Over Carbon Tax Increases
The Independent, 11 March 2019 

Tensions between the “big two” parties over continuing Government co-operation have again surfaced – this time on the key issue of climate change and major hikes in the carbon tax.

Fine Gael TDs and senators on a special all-party committee considering actions against climate change, whose report has been repeatedly delayed, say they suspect Fianna Fáil is trying to delay necessary tough decisions.

Some Fine Gael members fear the effort may be to push the issue beyond local council and European Parliament elections on May 24 next.

But Fianna Fáil climate change spokesman Timmy Dooley has utterly rejected the Fine Gael claims. Mr Dooley said his party, Labour and Green Party were making common cause on the issue and he believed Fine Gael was actually behind the delays.

The climate change action pressure group ‘Stop Climate Chaos’ has noted that the all-party committee has been operating and considering recommendations from the Citizens’ Assembly since the middle of last year.

The group said a report with strong recommendations is now urgently required, especially given the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which warned that rapid, unprecedented and far-reaching action across all aspects of society is needed.

“The outcome of the committee is a litmus test on whether our political representatives are up to the task of responding to the crisis. The committee must deliver clear recommendations for specific new actions the State should take,” said Cliona Sharkey, policy adviser with Trócaire, adding that these must be enacted by Climate Change Minister Richard Bruton.

The TDs and senators are contemplating a fourfold increase in carbon tax in belated efforts to put Ireland back on track to meet its 2030 climate change targets, bringing the levy to €80 per tonne.

Full story

see also: Sinn Féin to reject higher carbon tax


















3) U.S. Unions Split With Democrats Over ‘Green New Deal’
The Washington Examiner, 12 March 2019 

Trade unions are firing back against the progressive “Green New Deal” agenda and, in doing so, are revealing a split between left-leaning labor and climate advocates in the House and Senate.

The “Green New Deal” is “not achievable or realistic,” read a letter from AFL-CIO energy committee heads Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers of America, and Lonnie Stephenson, president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

The letter was sent last week to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Ed Markey, D-Mass., the two leaders of the “Green New Deal” agenda. The letter has been trickling out on social media this week.

The Green New Deal was released by the two Democrats as a broad call to action on climate change, and has since become the policy platform for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. It calls for radical action to reduce the threat of climate change by switching out the nation’s entire energy grid to renewables in just 10 years. It offers few particulars and has raised many feasibility questions by both Democrats and Republicans.

The unions want to be part of the climate change discussion but concede that their members need assurances that the infrastructure development required to meet the nation’s climate and energy goals will be part of the discussion.

The investments needed to meet the clean energy and climate goals, including increased natural gas use, must be paired with “strong labor and procurement standards to grow family-sustaining, middle-class union jobs,” the letter added.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, tweeted out the letter on Monday and said he agrees with the union bosses.

Full story

4) Fracking Could Cut Britain’s Gas Imports To Zero By Early 2030s
Reuters, 11 March 2019 

LONDON (Reuters) – Fracking Britain’s shale gas reserves could cut the country’s imports of gas to zero by the early 2030s, an industry group said on Monday.

Britain currently imports more than half of its gas via pipelines from continental Europe and Norway and through shipments of liquefied natural gas from countries such as Russia, the United States and Qatar.

Environmental groups strongly oppose the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which involves extracting gas from rocks by breaking them up with water and chemicals at high pressure.

But the British government, keen to cut Britain’s reliance on imports as North Sea gas supplies dry up, last year gave Cuadrilla permission to frack two wells at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire.

Industry group United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas on Monday published updated forecasts for the county’s shale gas potential in the wake of recent data from Cuadrilla’s sites.

The forecasts for well productivity were increased by 72 percent to 5.5 billion cubic feet (bcf) per lateral well, compared with estimates made in 2013 by Britain’s Institute of Directors.

One hundred fracking well pad sites, each with 40 lateral wells could produce almost 1,400 bcf a year by the early 2030s, equivalent to the gas use of 35 million homes, the industry association report said. This would be more than the country needs as it has around 27 million households.

But fracking companies say the industry is unlikely to take off in Britain under current regulations, which halt fracking activity if a seismic event of magnitude 0.5 or above is detected.

Full story

5) Russia’s Pipe Dreams Are Europe’s Nightmare
Dimitar Bechev, Foreign Policy, 12 March 2019

Putin’s plans to run the TurkStream pipeline through the Balkans won’t end well.



In the ongoing showdown between Russia and the West, Russia has a trump card: natural gas exports. Despite chilly relations, in 2018, gas shipments from Russia to Europe and Turkey hit an all-time high of 201.8 billion cubic meters (bcm). And even as the EU sticks to its guns on Russia sanctions, many of its members happily press ahead with their pet energy projects. Germany, for example, continues to back the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will bring natural gas from Russia to the north German coast.

Now Russia may be using another major project—TurkStream—to deepen its influence in Europe’s backyard. The pipeline, which traverses the Black Sea between Russia and Turkey, was inaugurated last year, and the first shipments of gas are expected toward the end of this year.

TurkStream is a commercial and geopolitical coup for the Russians. On the commercial front, the pipeline helps cement Gazprom’s position in Turkey, its second-largest customer after Germany. From a geopolitical perspective, the pipeline bypasses Ukraine and deepens Russia’s strategic partnership with Turkey at a time when Ankara’s ties to long-standing allies on both sides of the Atlantic are fraying.

TurkStream may strengthen Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hand in the Balkans too. In its second phase, if Putin gets his way, the pipeline will transport 15.75 bcm of gas through Bulgaria and then on to Serbia, Hungary, and Austria.

It is no secret that the Kremlin has been throwing its weight around in the EU’s backyard. But its frequently discussed methods—propaganda, disinformation, and intelligence ops—pale in comparison to its activities in the energy sector. The Kremlin has failed spectacularly in its efforts to stop countries like Montenegro and newly renamed North Macedonia from joining NATO.

But its ability to co-opt politicians and businesspeople by dangling lucrative infrastructure contracts and hydrocarbon profits in front of them is unparalleled.
Europe is fighting back hard. Because TurkStream will terminate in the EU, Gazprom needs to bring it into conformity with European anti-monopoly rules.

These rules, largely crafted after Russia shut off gas shipments to Ukraine in 2009, are geared toward diversifying energy supplies to avoid dependence on Russia. One such rule—that energy companies can’t simultaneously own transit infrastructure and sell gas through it—presents a particular challenge for Moscow, which would otherwise allow Gazprom to both build the pipeline and then supply it.

Full post

6) U.S. Preparing to Take a Tougher Stance on German-Russian Gas Pipeline
Fortune, 11 March 2019 

The Trump administration is readying a tough stance against a Russian gas pipeline with sanctions, according to the Wall Street Journal. The move is driving tensions between the U.S., Germany, and other parts of the EU. The reason is a combination of geopolitics and competition in selling natural gas.

At the center of the current controversy is the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a joint project between Germany and Russia, according to Deutsche Welle. The 746-mile pipeline from wells near St. Petersburg to Greifswald in northeastern Germany would run under the Baltic Sea. Germany could double the amount of natural gas it imports from Russia, which already supplies 40% of the country’s gas consumption.

The geopolitics are complicated. The EU wants to move away from Russia as a supplier of energy and the EU Commission explicitly has refused to back Nord Stream 2. The underwater route also bypasses central and eastern European countries that are accustomed to collecting gas transit fees. Ukraine is concerned because it, too, makes $2 billion a year on gas transit fees, a key source of income.

Then there’s the U.S., which views purchases from Russia as support for the country while 2014 sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine are still technically in force. After a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in July 2018, Donald Trump tweeted, “What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy?” and “The U.S. is paying for Europe’s protection, then loses billions on Trade.”

Full story

7) Ignore Climate Hysteria: India Forecast To Harvest Record Rice Crop
World Gain, 13 March 2019 

NEW DELHI, INDIA – Despite a weak monsoon season, India’s Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare is forecasting record production of rice and near record production of wheat in 2018-19.



However, it predicts significantly lower output of corn and other coarse grains, which means overall grain production is expected to fall 2 million tonnes short of last year’s record crop.

India’s rice production is forecast to reach 115.6 million tonnes, while wheat output has been revised higher to 99.1 million tonnes.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department, the 2018 Southwest Monsoon (June through September 2018) precipitation was 9% below the 50-year average across the country.

It noted that while weak monsoon rains in September affected planting of rabi crops, extended winter conditions and scattered rains during January and February are likely to support good yields of the upcoming crops, including wheat, barley, and other coarse grains.

Full story


8) On Climate, The Kids Are All Wrong
Paul H. Tice, The Wall Street Journal, 13 March 2019

And a band of ignorant brats shall lead them: Some things have hardly changed since 1212.
















In the summer of 1212, thousands of divinely inspired young people from across Catholic France and Germany took off to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslims. None made it to the Holy Land. Many died along the way or were sold into slavery. As military campaigns go, the Children’s Crusade was a disaster. Yet environmental activists and politicians are adopting the same “a child shall lead them” strategy to push their climate change agenda and its latest incarnation, the Green New Deal.

Youth-oriented climate groups have proliferated in the past few years, helped by logistical support from the United Nations. With earnest names such as iMatter Youth Movement, Zero Hour and Youth vs. Apocalypse, these outfits publicly lecture world leaders and march for the cause. This Friday has been designated “a global day of action” on which thousands of students world-wide are expected to strike—otherwise known as cutting class.

A few of these youth groups are highly litigious, bringing lawsuits on the novel theory of “intergenerational equity.” Most cases have been dismissed, although some continue to work their way through the courts, including Juliana v. U.S., filed in 2015 by Our Children’s Trust.

Meanwhile, the Green New Deal has been introduced, appropriately enough, by the youngest member of Congress, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It reads more like a progressive letter to Santa Claus than a serious piece of legislation.

Members of Congress not yet on board—Democrats and Republicans alike—are targets of adolescent Alinskys. Sen. Dianne Feinstein was recently ambushed in her San Francisco office by middle- and high-school students from the Sunrise Movement. To her credit, Mrs. Feinstein tried to explain to the youngsters that the Green New Deal would cost too much and would never pass into law. The exchange called to mind a grandparent laying down the law when the parents can’t or won’t do their job.

The Feinstein fiasco should give pause to the adult climate-change activists hiding behind—and exploiting—all of these doubtless sincere young people whose heads have been filled for years with frightening tales of climate disaster. Children are innocent, but innocence goes with inexperience, naiveté and unwisdom. From following the Pied Piper into a medieval forest to sailing off with Pinocchio to Pleasure Island to shoplifting candy from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, children tend to make bad choices, which is why we don’t let them run things—or vote, consume alcohol, drive cars or enter into contracts.

Anthropogenic global warming is a highly politicized, scientifically complex issue that still requires debate despite the purported consensus. Given the strategic importance of the nation’s energy sector, any mitigation efforts would have wide-reaching economic and geopolitical ramifications.

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 www.thegwpf.com.

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