Wednesday, September 18, 2019

GWPF Newsletter: Politicians Are Going Cold On Climate

Europe’s Climate Hypocrisy Exposed

In this newsletter:

1) Politicians Are Going Cold On Climate, Despite The Hype
Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 17 September 2019 
2) Europes Climate Hypocrisy Exposed
Balkan Green Energy News, 10 September 2019

3) Future Of Frankfurt Motor Show In Doubt After Climate Protests
Financial Times, 16 September 2019 
4) Britons Turn Away From Solar Panels As Subsidies End
The Times, 16 September 2019 
5) Trump Says Green New Deal Would Turn US Into Hermit Nation
New York Post, 17 September 2019 
6) Kathy Gyngell: The BBC And A Climate Of Hysteria
The Conservative Woman, 17 September 2019 
7) Apocalyptic Parents And Teachers Are Driving Their Children Into Depression & ‘Eco-Anxiety’
The Daily Telegraph, 15 September 2019
8) Andrew Montford: The Elusive Climate
Global Warming Policy Forum, 17 September 2019
9) And Finally: Corn & Cotton Output Push Brazil Harvest To Record High
Argus, 10 September 2019

Full details:

1) Politicians Are Going Cold On Climate, Despite The Hype
Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 17 September 2019 

Despite a global push for more action on climate change, momentum has drained away.

Swedish environment activist Greta Thunberg speaks at a climate protest outside the White House in Washington, DC last week.

This month was supposed to be the one in which a global push for higher ambition on climate change took flight.

Child prophet Greta Thunberg set sail for New York by luxury yacht to save petrol, a climate emergency was declared around the world, and workers were given permission to join students in a climate strike.

Despite this, momentum behind real action by government has been steadily drained away.

In Australia, the Labor Party’s proposal to dump the targets that cost it dearly at the federal election effectively has let the Morrison government off the hook.

Few world leaders are lining up to deliver what UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had in mind when he called them together for a New York conference to boost ambition. The New York meeting, scheduled for September 23, was conceived as a show of global defiance at US President Donald Trump’s decision to ditch the Paris Agreement.

Rather than a competition for more robust action, as was intended, the New York agenda looks deflated.

Key world leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, will not be attending. Instead China will send a lower-ranking official, and there are mixed signals about whether the world’s biggest carbon dioxide emissions nation will offer to do more.

As things stand China, which is responsible for 26.83 per cent of global emissions, has pledged to keep increasing them until about 2030.

The EU has been unable to agree on a uniform position for 2050, with a split between the coal-dependent east and more progressive west.

A pushback is building in Germany against higher energy prices and the impact of strict new emissions regulations on a struggling car industry. Renewable energy investment across much of Europe has stalled.

The EU admits it is not on track to meet its 2030 target of a 40 per cent emissions cut on 1990 levels.

Relations with Brazil have fractured following the election of development-focused President Jair Bolsonaro and a resurgence of clearing in the Amazon.

The US, with 14 per cent of global emissions, is showing no signs of pulling back from its threat to quit the Paris Agreement next year despite achieving greenhouse gas emissions cuts from a switch from coal to gas.

In Australia there is little mood politically for greater action.

The federal opposition has all but surrendered its pre-election target to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

As it takes stock of its unexpected election loss, Labor looks likely instead to focus on a 2050 target of being carbon neutral.

The backdown was first moot­ed by opposition assistant climate change spokesman Pat Conroy in The Australian last week when he said a net zero target by 2050 had to be “the overriding objective”.

Anthony Albanese said Labor “will examine our short and medium and long-term commitments on where we go on climate change but we won’t re-examine our principles. We want to work towards zero emissions by the middle of this century.” […]

Labor’s capitulation has given the Morrison government a free pass on what could otherwise have been an uncomfortable time. The Prime Minister will not be attending the New York climate conference despite being in Washington for a state reception with Trump.

Instead Australia will by represented by Foreign Minister Marise Payne and climate change ambassador Patrick Suckling.

Australia is not expected to speak at the conference or offer anything above the existing Paris Agreement pledge of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 26 per cent to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. The federal government has yet to make a call on whether to join the growing global push to declare a target to become “carbon neutral” by 2050. […]

The latest, and unexpected, shot against fearmongering was issued by World Meteorological Organisation secretary-general Petteri Taalas to Finnish newspaper Talouselama.

Taalas told the paper while climate scepticism had become less of an issue, the challenge was now coming from “doomsters and extremists”.

“Climate experts have been attacked by these people and they claim that we should be much more radical,” Taalas said.

He said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports had been “read in a similar way to the Bible: you try to find certain pieces or sections from which you try to justify your extreme views”.

“This resembles religious extremism,” Taalas told Talouselama.

Following publication of his comments, Taalas issued a clarifying statement that he was not questioning the need for robust action.

“In my interview, I made clear that a science-based approach underpins climate action and that our best science shows the climate is changing, driven in large part by human action.

“However, I pointed out that the science-based approach is undermined when facts are taken out of context to justify extreme measures in the name of climate action,” he said.

“Action should be based on a balanced view of the science available to us and not on a biased reading of reports by the Inter­governmental Panel on Climate Change, of which WMO is one of the parent organisations.”

Taalas said the challenges were immense.

The lesson from Labor in Australia and the UN in New York is that the political challenges remain equally large.

Full story 

2) Europe’s Climate Hypocrisy Exposed
Balkan Green Energy News, 10 September 2019

Five EU countries including the UK, Germany, Greece, Poland, and Slovenia are looking to introduce new fossil fuel subsidies by 2030, an analysis of the 28 Member States’ draft energy and climate plans (NECPs) has revealed.

In a new report, “Fossil fuel subsidies in draft EU National Energy and Climate Plans: Shortcomings and final call for action,” experts from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), Friends of the Earth (FoE) Netherlands, and Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe have analyzed the EU Member States’ draft NECPs, which require governments to report on their fossil fuel subsidies and plans to phase them out, the CAN has said in a press release.

Despite long-standing commitments to ending fossil fuel subsidies, none of the EU Member States comprehensively report on their fossil fuel subsidies nor provide plans to phase them out.

The UK, Germany, Greece, Poland, and Slovenia even plan to introduce new fossil fuel subsidies, at a time of heightened awareness of the climate crisis and despite committing ten years ago to end such support, the CAN said.

Greece mentions that it will introduce a subsidy aimed at replacing diesel boilers with fossil gas-fired ones
For instance, Greece mentions that it will introduce a subsidy aimed at replacing diesel boilers with fossil gas-fired ones, and Poland intends to provide subsidies for underground gas storage and the use of liquified natural gas (LNG) for transport.

The authors of the report found that several of the NECPs made no mention of fossil fuel subsidies at all, despite previous research showing all EU governments are continuing to provide support to oil, gas or coal.

The report finds that six Member States – Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Hungary, the Netherlands and the UK – claim no such subsidies exist in the country.

This is despite the European Commission previously finding all EU countries continue to provide some support to fossil fuels, with the UK providing EUR 12 billion each year through tax breaks and budgetary transfers alone, more than any other EU state, the CAN said.

Full story

3) Future Of Frankfurt Motor Show In Doubt After Climate Protests
Financial Times, 16 September 2019 

The future of the world’s biggest motor show in Frankfurt has been thrown into doubt after a weekend of environmental protests disrupted the industry’s gala event.

Thousands of demonstrators brought Frankfurt to a standstill on the opening day of the show © AFP

Bernhard Mattes, the outgoing chief of the German car lobby the VDA, which organises the gathering, refused to commit to a return to the city, which has hosted the event since 1951.

Mr Mattes hinted that the current format, where brands promote their new car models, might soon become obsolete amid calls from local politicians for the show to be transformed into an event that focuses solely on eco-friendly transport.

Full story (£)

4) Britons Turn Away From Solar Panels As Subsidies End
The Times, 16 September 2019 

Solar panel installations have slumped as suppliers struggle to cope with the end of subsidies and a damaging mis-selling scandal.

European Union rules forcing the government to quadruple VAT on certain installations from next month is expected to further damage the industry considered crucial to the UK meeting its ambitious carbon reduction targets.

Installations last year were down more than 75 per cent than those of 2015 as generous subsidies guaranteeing homeowners an income from selling power back to the grid have been eroded. From March this year, those subsidies, paid through a levy on everyone’s energy bills, were removed.

One million British homes — about one in 25 — have solar panels and they collectively generate the same amount of energy as Britain’s biggest power station. However, that number is now expected to stagnate despite growing awareness of the threat of climate change. Confidence in the industry has also been hit by a mis-selling scandal that has seen thousands of homeowners given false promises about the income their panels would generate to encourage them to take out high-cost loans to pay for them.

The Financial Ombudsman Service is dealing with more than 2,000 complaints from disgruntled consumers who feel they have been lied to by salesmen. Barclays Bank, which supplied many of the loans, has already put aside £38 million to pay compensation. Most of the companies accused of the mis-selling have now gone into liquidation.

Environmentalists and green energy providers are also concerned about the impact of government policy on the growth of solar power in the UK.

Full story (£)

5) Trump Says Green New Deal Would Turn US Into ‘Hermit Nation
New York Post, 17 September 2019 

President Trump warned a rally crowd in New Mexico on Monday that the Green New Deal would turn the United States into a “hermit nation.”

Touting the country’s energy production in Albuquerque, the president threatened that “under the Green New Deal that all goes away.”

“You can forget it,” he said. “No more cows, no more airplanes, no more trips.”

Americans would only be able to have a “single car,” he said. “Make it electric.”

“You’re not allowed to drive more than 162 miles,” Trump continued.

“They’ll call us the hermit nation. We’ll never leave our house,” he added.

The “hermit kingdom” is often used as a nickname for North Korea, since the ruling Kim family has cut off most of the country’s people from the world.

Trump hinted that he planned to continue to use the Green New Deal to attack Democrats in the 2020 election.

“No it’s crazy, but that’s OK. I don’t want to do it too early because maybe they’ll change,” he said of using it as an attack line. “They want to get rid of your energy. Explain that one,” Trump said.

The president has made attacking the Green New Deal — and climate change prevention — one of his favorite refrains at his campaign rallies.

Full story

6) Kathy Gyngell: The BBC And A Climate Of Hysteria
The Conservative Woman, 17 September 2019 

In what you’d be forgiven for thinking was a parody of itself, BBC’s Radio Four Today programme yesterday produced a synergy of scaremongering from Broadcasting House to Bournemouth.

It started with thrilled reporting of the former government chief scientist’s latest climate alarm speech. Professor Sir David King is frightened, very frightened and if you don’t believe me you can hear him here at 37 minutes in. He’s has been predicting the end of the habitable world for quite some time now. Now it is imminent.

He certainly managed to agitate the motherly Martha Kearney. She could not of course question any of his assertions, since ‘denial’ as they call any questioning of their climate stories is banned by the BBC. She managed however to express her worry that these extreme predictions were getting a bit too much for our brainwashed teenagers (my description not hers) beset, as a result, by a new mental health syndrome – eco-anxiety. I kid you not.

The woke BBC found itself in somewhat of a dilemma. What mattered most, climate or children’s mental health, the matter reported elsewhere of parents instructed to stop terrifying their kids with talk of climate catastrophe. Given the rising numbers of anxious  children seeking therapy was it necessary for scientists to frighten them quite so much, she asked, forgetting the BBC’s own role to the fore and centre of this. The Ministry of Truth’s messenger of environmental woe was on hand to tell her it was.

Quite necessary said Roger Harrabin, taking the opportunity to repeat King’s dire warnings.

The increase in extreme weather conditions though as yet unproven (he muttered) we would be stupid not to see as a result of climate change.*

Yes there was concern about the impact on young people’s mental health of ‘the end of the world as we know it’. But sorry Martha, it had to be. Scientists he had personally surveyed said they indeed did have to use this sort of emotional language.  Because, you see, we’ve been talking in ‘dry scientific terms’ for years and ‘nobody’s been taking much notice’.


Not the BBC, the government’s climate change committees, the schools and every other part of the establishment and business now aboard the new zero carbon bandwagon?

Full post

7) Apocalyptic Parents And Teachers Are Driving Their Children Into Depression & ‘Eco-Anxiety’
The Daily Telegraph, 15 September 2019

Rising numbers of children are being treated for “eco-anxiety”, experts have said, as they warn parents against “terrifying” their youngsters with talk of climate catastrophe. “Their fear is of environmental doom – that we’re all going to die.”

Protests by groups such as Extinction Rebellion, the recent fires in the Amazon and apocalyptic warnings by the teenage activist Greta Thunberg have prompted a “tsunami” of young people seeking help.

A group of psychologists working with the University of Bath says it is receiving a growing volume of enquiries from teachers, doctors and therapists unable to cope.

The Climate Psychology Alliance (CPA) told The Daily Telegraph some children complaining of eco-anxiety have even been given psychiatric drugs.

The body is campaigning for anxiety specifically caused by fear for the future of the planet to be recognised as a psychological phenomenon.

However, they do not want it classed as a mental illness because, unlike standard anxiety, the cause of the worry is “rational” (sic!).

“A lot of parents are coming into therapy asking for help with the children and it has escalated a lot this summer,” said Caroline Hickman, a teaching fellow at Bath and a CPA executive.

“The symptoms are the same [as clinical anxiety], the feelings are the same, but the cause is different.

“The fear is of environmental doom – that we’re all going to die.”

Full story (£)

8) Andrew Montford: The Elusive Climate
Global Warming Policy Forum, 17 September 2019

Predicting the temperature is hard

For the last year or two, we have invited our readers to forecast how the global temperature will change over the coming 12 months. The person who best predicts the HadCRUT4 annual average for 2019 will receive a bottle of whisky and their choice of a book from the list of GWPF publications.

To add spice to the event, readers get to compare their own figure to the prognostications of the Met Office, who publish their own prediction each year.

The 2018 competition saw the boys (and girls) from Exeter take one hell of a beating, with the mean and median prediction from GWPF readers being almost spot on the outturn figure of 0.6°C, while the central value of the Met Office’s predicted range was 0.71°C.

So how are things going so far this year? It’s fair to say that the climate has been the winner, with the Met Office prediction still far too hot, but with GWPF readers much too cool. The mean and median for the GWPF contestants were dragged down by a mass of predictions of rapid cooling (perhaps from the “It’s the sun” community?). Some predictions were for the anomaly to be negative this year! If the anomaly stays put at the end of the year, then it will level the score between the sceptics and the Met Office.

But it’s also fair to say that predicting the annual temperature is very hard. At the moment there is just one reader on the correct value of 0.72°C. You know who you are. Maybe time to make sure you have some ice cubes ready? Just a few months to go.
9) And Finally: Corn & Cotton Output Push Brazil Harvest To Record High
Argus, 10 September 2019

Brazil’s grains and oilseeds crop rose by 6.4pc to a record 242mn metric tonnes (t) in the 2018-2019 harvest, boosted by increased corn and cotton output.

The total compared with 227.7mn t from last year’s crop, the country’s agricultural statistics agency Conab said in its final report on the season ended 30 June.

The corn harvest rose by 24pc to a record 100mn t in 2018-19 from the prior year. The final number was pulled higher by favorable weather conditions for winter corn, which accounts for nearly two thirds of all the country’s cereal production.

Cotton lint output rose by 36pc to 2.7mn t, also a record, from the 2017-18 harvest. Conab cited attractive currency exchange rates and commodity prices as key factors for the acreage expansion, especially in the states of Bahia and Mato Grosso.

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

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