Wednesday, May 29, 2019

GWPF Newsletter: Climate Policies Threaten To Kill Europe’s Steel Industry

Tories & Labour Face Existential Crisis After Brexit Party Surges To Crushing Victory

In this newsletter:

1) Climate Policies Threaten To Kill Europe’s Steel Industry
Steel Guru, 28 May 2019 

2) Steel Makers Blame Tory Government For Uncompetitive Energy Prices
The Daily Telegraph, 28 May 2019

3) Tories & Labour Face Existential Crisis After Brexit Party Surges To Crushing Victory
The Daily Telegraph, 27 May 2018

4) Will Climate Hysteria Bring Down Germany's Coalition Government? 
Clean Energy Wire, 28 May 2019 

5) EU Election: AfD Surge In Eastern Germany Sets Up Clash Of Cultures
Deutsche Welle, 28 May 2019 

6) Why Germany’s Green Party Is So Strong: A Wake-Up Call
Rainer Zitelmann, Tichys Einblick, 27 May 2019 

7) An “Attack On Climate Science”? It’s Nothing Of The Sort
Andrew Montford, GWPF, 28 May 2019 

8) And Finally: Blimey - An Oil Industry Exec With Balls! (Or Not)
The Australian, 28 May 2019 

Full details:

1) Climate Policies Threaten To Kill Europe’s Steel Industry
Steel Guru, 28 May 2019 

European steel industry calls on policymakers to end steel crisis and to save hundreds of thousands of jobs

Against the backdrop of the EU elections the European Steel Association calls for urgent action by EU policy makers to help the sector as it faces down the flood of steel exports deflected to the EU because of the US’ imposition of steel import tariffs in 2018.

EUROFER also calls on EU policy makers to meet with them urgently to discuss how to end the crisis. Mr Axel Eggert, Director General of EUROFER said that

“There has been a sudden and markedly negative shift in the prospects of the European steel industry in recent months – and the terrible consequences are plain to see. We have seen announcements of actual or potential plant closures in several EU member states over the past few weeks. The bill of direct jobs immediately at risk exceeds 10,000. Given the EU steel industry’s multiplier effect, the loss of indirect employment in the supply chain could top 100,000.”

Global overcapacity is the principle underlying factor of the present crisis but the direct cause is the vast flood of exports targeting the EU market. Imports rose 12% to nearly 30 million tonnes in 2018 in the wake of the imposition of the US’ section 232 steel tariffs. High and volatile raw material prices, slowing demand in downstream sectors, sharply higher carbon costs five times higher than at the beginning of 2018 and borne by EU steel producers but not by imports of steel into the EU and faltering EU economic performance have also increasingly squeezed the sector in recent months.

Full story

2) Steel Makers Blame Tory Government For Uncompetitive Energy Prices
The Daily Telegraph, 28 May 2019

Steel makers are calling on the Government to deliver on promises of “remorseless” support for the sector by cutting power prices for the energy-intensive industry.

The demands come as 25,000 jobs hang in the balance with British Steel last week being placed in compulsory liquidation and put in the hands of the Official Receiver.

Energy costs faced by Britain’s steel makers are some of the highest in Europe, with the industry paying twice as much for power as competitors in France and 50pc more than those in Germany.

According to data from trade body UK Steel, British steel companies pay £65.07 per megawatt/hour (MWh) for power, compared with £30.92 for rivals in France and £43.11 in Germany.

Speaking as British Steel collapsed, Greg Clark, the Business Secretary, pledged to “pursue remorselessly every possible step to secure the future” of the company.

Now major players in the sector are challenging Government to come good on these promises by reducing power costs, which are driven up by policies such as decarbonisation initiatives.

Full story

see also GWPF coverage of the UK & EU steel & energy crisis

3) Tories & Labour Face ‘Existential Crisis’ After Brexit Party Surges To Crushing Victory
The Daily Telegraph, 27 May 2018

The Brexit Party has surged to a crushing victory in the European Parliament elections as the Tories suffered their worst ever results and Labour was punished by the Liberal Democrats.  

Nigel Farage’s new party won more than 30 per cent of the national vote and secured a stunning 28 seats from a standing start having only launched in April.

The Conservative Party was almost wiped out as it came in fifth place with just nine per cent of the vote and three seats – down 15 on 2014 – with Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, saying the Tories now faced an “existential risk”.

Meanwhile, the resurgent Lib Dems came second, securing more than 20 per cent of the vote and 15 MEPs, after campaigning on a stop Brexit ticket as pro-Remain voters appeared to send a brutal message to Labour.

Jeremy Corbyn’s party slipped to third place with 14 per cent of the vote as it lost eight of its seats, finishing with 10 MEPs after 371 of 373 counts had declared.

The results prompted Mr Corbyn to hint that Labour could now move to calling for a second Brexit referendum in all circumstances while senior party figures said it must campaign to remain.

It was a grim night for Labour and the Tories and the results suggested both must now take urgent action if they want to retain their status as the UK’s two main political parties.

Full story

4) Will Climate Hysteria Bring Down Germany's Coalition Government? 
Clean Energy Wire, 28 May 2019 

As German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s climate cabinet is set to meet for the second time this week, her conservative CDU/CSU alliance has criticised Social Democratic (SPD) environment minister Svenja Schulze for sending the draft of her controversial Climate Action Law to other ministers for coordination without the chancellery’s consent, reports Tagesschau. 

The CDU/CSU’s deputy parliamentary group leader Georg Nüßlein called the surprise move “a transparent, panic-driven manoeuvre and clear foul play,“ a hasty reaction to the SPD’s poor results in this weekend’s European elections. He said Schulze’s draft opens the door to “a climate planning economy. We will not support this.”

Full post

5) EU Election: AfD Surge In Eastern Germany Sets Up Clash Of Cultures
Deutsche Welle, 28 May 2019 

The far-right AfD has emerged as the strongest political party in Germany's formerly communist East. With the Greens winning big among young, urban voters though, the East-West divide looks set to deepen further.

In Sunday's European Parliament elections, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) won 11% of the vote in Germany — almost 2% less than the right-wing populists scored in federal elections in 2017.

Although the party finished in fourth place nationally, it fared far better in Germany's formerly communist eastern states.

In Saxony and Brandenburg, the AfD beat Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) into second place. In Thuringia, it was only 2% behind.

Worryingly for Merkel, all three states go to the polls once more in regional elections in autumn.

Despite huge investments since German reunification in 1990, former East German states still suffer from higher unemployment, lower living standards and lower wages than the rest of the country.

The AfD tapped into voter frustration by branding mass migration to Germany and the nation's transition to renewable energies as clear economic threats in a region where coal is king and the vast majority of citizens are ethnically German.

"Eastern Germans are wired differently, first and foremost because the classic social setup of the [former] West is nonexistent in the [former] East," Alexander Gauland, co-leader of the AfD, told reporters on Monday. 

The party's hand had been strengthened, he said, in "freedom-loving" parts of the country.

Divided nation

Gauland noted that the result showed a "divided Germany." Indeed, the party's anti-immigration stance did not resonate in western regions.

Young, urban voters plumped for the climate-friendly promises of the Green Party, which secured 20.5% of the vote. That meant the Greens finished in second place [behind the CDU] in a nationwide vote for the first time in their history, overtaking the Social Democrats (SPD), the junior partners in Merkel's coalition government.

"This was a vote for protecting the climate," said Greens MEP Sven Giegold.

Climate change is shaping up to be the main battleground as Gauland declared the Greens to be his party's "main enemy."

"The Greens will destroy this country and our job must and will be to fight the Greens," he said.

Full story

6) Why Germany’s Green Party Is So Strong: A Wake-Up Call
Rainer Zitelmann, Tichys Einblick, 27 May 2019 

The Greens have long been defining the cultural and political agenda in Germany. The more the other parties have been currying favour with them, the stronger the Green Party has become: voters now choose the original, not the imitators.

“On many issues today, the Greens are setting the direction, then the SPD follows and finally the Christian Democrats follow, lagging behind with a clear delaying effect … The Green Party’s impact goes far beyond their involvement at state government level and their successes documented in elections.

More importantly, the Green Party succeeds time and time again in determining the political agenda and assuming opinion leadership in public debate. This can only happen, however, because they have an above-average number of sympathizers in the media and because the ranks of their natural challengers, i.e. the Christian Democrats (CDU), have softened and leading CDU politicians have adopted key positions of the Greens.”

I wrote these sentences not one or two years ago, but in 1995, 24 years ago (!), in my book “Where is our Republic drifting?” In this book, I tried to predict longer-term trajectories of political developments in the German Federal Republic. My findings from 1995 show that the developments that have led to the election success of 20.7 percent for the Green Party yesterday is the result of long developments. Of course, this result was not straightforward – in between the Green Party was sometimes so weak that some already predicted its demise.

People choose the original and not the copy

In response to the European elections we will see the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) claiming that they now need to do more about climate change. This, they will claim, is the real lesson of the European elections. This, of course, is rather absurd: It’s as if someone who took the wrong direction thinks he has to go faster now to reach the finish.

For years, both CDU/CSU and SPD have been implementing the Greens’ manifesto: shutting down nuclear power plants, phasing out coal, transforming Germany’s energy sector into a command and control economy, etc. Recently, they have begun to restructure the automotive industry in line with a planned economy – so-called “fleet targets” are imposed throughout the EU, defining which cars may be produced and which not. This strategy of cozying up to the Greens and taking over their key agenda, however, has not led to the weakening but to the strengthening of the Green Party: after all, voters prefer to pick the original, rather than the copy.

It’s never enough

The logic of the Green Party, on the other hand, is always: “It’s never enough”. Once you shut down all nuclear power plants coal-fired power plants become the next target. Like a doomsday sect, the imminent end of the world is being propagated. And despite the set phrase that “fear is not a good guide in politics” (which is the standard mantra in the immigration debate), scare-mongering about the end of the world is now their dominant sensation. It’s just like the “social justice” mantra which the Greens also propagate now: no matter what’s been done, it’s never enough and it always has to be much more and more radical.

The mainstream media, especially television, have long been in green hands, which we know from surveys about the party affinity of journalists. In the meantime, however, the Greens are also succeeding in cleverly using social media, as the video by Rezo and the initiative by 70 Youtubers recently showed.

The self-destruction of the economy

Germany’s social institutions have long been dominated by champions of the Greens – especially news media and education institutions, but also the main churches. That 36 percent of first-time voters meanwhile voted for the Green Party (in this electoral group the CDU is only two percentage points ahead of the left-wing comedy PARTY) is also a consequence of the fact that in schools green doctrines are propagated as certainties of modern school education.

This, however, only works because Germany’s industry and business community is opportunistic and does not oppose the green Zeitgeist. Big business has adapted cunningly, as it has always done. I still remember how Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche disguised himself as green campaigner to curry favour with the Green Party at their party conference. Or how VW CEO Herbert Diess explained how he intends to transform Volkswagen into a green company.

In the United States, there are still free marketeers among successful businesses and entrepreneurs who are opposed to the left-wing takeover in universities and the news media, especially by supporting libertarian and conservative think tanks. In Germany, there is hardly any of this: If you look at topics and programmes of the liberal Friedrich Naumann Foundation, you will realise that the dominant dogma is not challenged by anything appealing.

The development of the left always begins in the ideological realm. Anyone who wants to challenge and reverse it – which will require significant staying power – can do so only by opposing the green dogma and offering compelling alternatives. Instead, any knowledge of what a market economy is and should be has almost completely disappeared in Germany.

Wake-up call?

Ultimately, the Greens are just one specific form in which anti-capitalism today articulates itself. The panic-mongering about the imminent end of the world is simply a pretext for reorganizing the economy into a control and command system. This would, of course, lead to severe economic upheavals – mass unemployment and economic decline.

Should these consequences occur, the anti-capitalists will then claim that all this is the consequence of “unbridled markets” and now it is time to finally overcome capitalism in order to avert “social injustice” and “climate catastrophe” at the same time. I hope will be proven wrong with these grim scenarios – unlike my 1995 cited sentences – and that reasonable entrepreneurs that may still exist understand that the Green Party’s 20.7% election result is a wake up call.

Full post (in German)

7) An “Attack On Climate Science”? It’s Nothing Of The Sort
Andrew Montford, GWPF, 28 May 2019 

The Trump administration is not attacking climate science, it’s recognising its shortcomings.

Yesterday, the New York Times got rather upset over changes to President Trump’s climate policy, which it represented a hardening of his “attack on climate science”.

Interestingly though, you have to read quite a lot of words before you actually get to the point – usually a sure sign that there is actually nothing much by way of news and quite a lot by way of hand waving. It turns out that Trump’s attempt to “undermine the very science on which climate change policy rests” is down to this:

[Director of the US Geological Survey,] James Reilly, a former astronaut and petroleum geologist, has ordered that scientific assessments … use only computer-generated climate models that project the impact of climate change through 2040, rather than through the end of the century, as had been done previously.

To describe this as an “attack” is obviously absurd. Reasonable people can question the ability of climate models to give us useful information about the climate in 20 years’ time, let alone 80.

In a GWPF paper published last week, it was pointed out that climate models are overestimating warming in the tropical troposphere by a factor of three. With errors of that magnitude, how much trust can we really put in projections for the end of the century? You would have to be quite an innocent to take them at face value.

In another GWPF paper Professor Judith Curry points out that the climate may be fundamentally beyond our ability to predict it:

Arguably the most fundamental challenge with [climate models] lies in the coupling of two chaotic fluids: the ocean and the atmosphere. Weather has been characterised as being in state of deterministic chaos, owing to the sensitivity of weather forecast models to small perturbations in initial conditions of the atmosphere…A consequence of sensitivity to initial conditions is that beyond a certain time the system will no longer be predictable; for weather this predictability timescale is a matter of weeks.

To describe the Trump administration as “attacking” climate science when it doubts projections out to the end of the century is therefore clearly nonsense. Indeed, it should probably be congratulated for recognising the powerlessness of the field in the face of an overwhelmingly complex climate system.

8) And Finally: Blimey - An Oil Industry Exec With Balls! (Or Not)
The Australian, 28 May 2019 

Activists ‘Waging A Virtual War With Religious Zealotry’ Against Oil And Gas Industry

One of Australia’s biggest foreign investors has warned the energy sector faces a battle with a new breed of well-funded professional activists and armies of ideologically driven volunteers aiming to destroy the oil and gas industry.

Shell — owner of the $20 billion Queensland LNG export facility and $US12bn ($17.3bn) Prelude floating gas project off the northwest coast — said energy companies face strong ideological opposition in Australian cities and called for the industry to band together and fight for its role in the energy mix.

“Our opponents are well orchestrated, well-funded and well drilled on tactics aiming to destroy an industry that has been an overwhelming force for good,” said Zoe Yujnovich, head of Shell Australia and chair of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association. 


Head of Shell Australia and chair of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association, Zoe Yujnovich. Picture: AAP 

“Armed with megaphones or iPhones, an increasing number of professional activists and huge armies of ideologically driven volunteers are waging a virtual war with religious zealotry.”

Ms Zujnovich cautioned energy producers to avoid being drawn into a ‘trap’ of pitting oil and gas against renewables or domestic gas against export opportunities.

Full story

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

No comments: