Wednesday, December 2, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: Will Trump send the Paris Agreement to the US Senate?


EU faces existential threat over conflict with Poland and Hungary

In this newsletter:

1) Will Trump send the Paris Agreement to the US Senate?
Benny Peiser, GWPF, 30 November 2020
2) 'Not a developing economy': Biden pressed to maintain Trump's pressure on China
Guy Taylor, The Washington Times, 29 November 2020

3) France: EU faces existential threat over conflict with Poland and Hungary 
Bloomberg, 27 November 2020 
4) Green no more: Europeans snap up old cars to avoid public transport
Reuters, 30 November 2020
5) European court of human rights takes control of EU climate policy
The Guardian, 30 November 2020 
6) John O'Sullivan: Cracks appear in the climate consensus
The Pipeline, 29 November 2020
7) Samuel Furfari: Are EU governments able to deliver the energy transition?
European Scientist, 26 November 2020
8) And finally: A handy guide to going Green
Andy Shaw, Life Spectator, 27 November 2020

Full details:

1) Will Trump send the Paris Agreement to the US Senate?
Benny Peiser, GWPF, 30 November 2020

This is the key question that will determine the future of US and international climate diplomacy for years.
The next few months will show whether the incoming Biden administration will get its way and rejoin the Paris climate accord as promised, or whether the outgoing Trump administration will try to prevent this from happening.
Ever since he ran for President, Donald Trump made leaving the Paris agreement a key part of his election platform in 2016, arguing that withdrawing from the accord would help to revitalise the US economy with booming energy production, turning the USA into the world’s leading energy superpower.

Trump’s rejection of the Paris agreement was based on his view that it was extremely unfair to the US, allowing rising Asian superpowers, in particular China, to use cheap fossil fuels to make Chinese manufacturing much more competitive and to increase its energy investments around the world, while the US was forced to curtail using its abundant cheap energy resources, while having to pay much of the $100 billion annual green transfer fund to the developing world which is part of the Paris agreement.
President Trump announced the withdrawal back in June 2017, but the Obama administration had made sure that the US couldn’t withdraw that easily. It took more than three year for that to happen. On 4 November, one day after the US Presidential elections, the US formally withdrew from the Paris climate agreement. The delay was due to the hurdles that were intentionally built into the Paris agreement to minimise the possibility that a future US president would decide to withdraw the US from the deal – just as Republican-lead US Senate leaders had promised.

Now, of course, Joe Biden has promised to reverse the reversal, pledging that his incoming administration will re-join the Paris agreement, most likely on 20 January 2021, the same day he takes office.

This widely predicted development has caused an angry response by President Trump. During the recent G20 meeting of world leaders Trump repeated his key reasons for pulling out of the UN climate agreement.
Yet, Trump has only himself to blame for a situation whereby a simple letter by President Biden to the UN can undo what he decided by the stroke of a pen. By failing to submit the Paris agreement to the US Senate for ratification or likely rejection, he has enabled the new US administration to rejoin the climate accord in the same way he withdrew, simply by sending a letter to the UN.

Today, the Wall Street Journal has published a call for Donald Trump to use his remaining time in office to finally send the Paris Accord to the US Senate.

"Joe Biden has promised to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord on day one, but President Trump could stop it from having any binding legal power.
President Obama signed on to the international agreement by executive action in 2015, which meant Mr. Trump could withdraw from it the same way, as he did in 2017. As per the terms of the accord, that withdrawal became effective on Nov. 4, 2020. Mr. Obama’s pledge to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions at least 26% by 2025 wasn’t legally binding. Only Senate consent to its ratification could have made it so—and the upper chamber would have rejected the treaty handily if Mr. Obama had submitted it.
Yet if Mr. Biden brought the U.S. back into the accord, it’s possible it will take on the weight of law. Although there is nothing about the agreement’s terms or the manner in which the U.S. entered it that make it legally binding on the U.S., some green group may find a friendly federal court to produce that result.
Example: Mr. Trump rescinded Mr. Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program, yet it remains in place. Although DACA was both created and reversed by executive action, the Supreme Court blocked its rescission in June on grounds that the Trump administration’s decision was “arbitrary and capricious” under the Administrative Procedures Act. The court’s rationale was procedural; the justices didn’t deny that the president can reverse a predecessor’s executive action. But creative lawyers and judges can find ways of blocking a new president from changing policies, with Congress never having a say.
To prevent the Paris Climate Accord from taking on such undue power, Mr. Trump should submit it to the Senate, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should schedule a quick vote. It would certainly be rejected—ratification requires a two-thirds vote—and it is unlikely any court could subsequently resurrect a legislatively tossed treaty. Without the help of judges, Mr. Biden would need a winning ratification vote to make the accord binding, which he likely couldn’t get no matter how well Democrats do in Georgia’s January runoffs and the 2022 midterm elections."
The next few months will show whether the incoming Biden administration will get its way and rejoin the Paris climate accord, as promised, or whether the outgoing Trump administration will try to prevent this from happening by sending it to the US Senate.
2) 'Not a developing economy': Biden pressed to maintain Trump's pressure on China
Guy Taylor, The Washington Times, 29 November 2020

China’s status as a “developing” nation in the eyes of multinational institutions and agreements gives Beijing a range of benefits, including less strict carbon emission standards and softer foreign trade rules, despite its emergence as an economic and military superpower challenging U.S. dominance in Asia and beyond.

It’s a situation that drew outrage from President Trump over the past four years and spurred debate among foreign policy experts well before that. Many argue that it’s long past time for China to graduate to the geopolitical grown-ups table and play by the same rules as developed countries such as the U.S., Japan, Germany and Singapore.

Although it remains to be seen how presumed President-elect Joseph R. Biden views China’s status, some are calling on the incoming administration to pick up where Mr. Trump left off by demanding that China’s status and obligations better reflect reality at the World Trade Organization and other international forums and with commitments such as the Paris climate accord.

“It is absurd and ridiculous for China to be designated as a developing country,” said Dan Blumenthal, director of Asian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. “China is one of the prime movers of global markets at this point. It distorts global trade through mass subsidization of its state-owned enterprises and through massive thefts of intellectual property. It’s a major economy, not a developing economy.”

While China’s gross domestic product, at an estimated $13.4 trillion, is just two-thirds that of the U.S., its position as a global powerhouse has been increasingly harder to deny since 2013, when President Xi Jinping announced the Belt and Road Initiative. The ambitious foreign policy program has since grown into a vast web of deals, contracts, grants and loans. China has doled out well over $100 billion in infrastructure project loans to more than 100 countries that are also considered developing nations.

As a new go-to source of loans for cash-strapped countries in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and even parts of Europe, China’s communist government has emerged as the main rival to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the Washington-based pillars of the liberal economic international system that the U.S. fostered after World War II.

China also claimed developing country status in 2001 upon joining the World Trade Organization and has resisted efforts by the Trump administration to persuade other WTO members to clarify what countries deserve the designation.

Cheating the WTO?

Mr. Trump’s frustration with China’s “developing” status boiled over on Twitter last year, with the president tweeting: “The WTO is BROKEN when the world’s RICHEST countries claim to be developing countries to avoid WTO rules and get special treatment. NO more!!!”

Administration officials have since criticized the fact that China, as a developing country, can take advantage of longer timelines for moves such as implementing tariff reductions and can claim certain special protections for its domestic trading interests.

But determining who should or should not receive such benefits is complicated.

The Geneva-based organization’s website maintains that there actually “are no WTO definitions of ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries.” It’s up to members to “announce for themselves whether they are ‘developed’ or ‘developing,’” the site says, although it adds that “other members can challenge the decision of a member to make use of provisions available to developing countries.”

The Trump administration has spent recent years trying to block China from using the developing nation perks at the WTO on grounds that Beijing is a member of the Group of 20, which includes most of the world’s largest economies.

“Virtually every current economic indicator belies China’s claim” to developing nation status, Mr. Trump wrote in a memorandum to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in July 2019.

The push has drawn fierce resistance from China.

Zhang Xiangchen, Beijing’s ambassador to the WTO, accused Washington of attacking China “without providing any cause-and-effect analysis.”

“It is hard to see how China’s development has benefited from its developing country status,” Mr. Zhang wrote in July 2018 in response to U.S. complaints to the WTO. “All countries and regions join the WTO with a view to developing their economies. … The reason why China has been able to make contribution to the global development is precisely because that we have achieved growth through developing our own economy, and more importantly, sharing the opportunities and benefits with the rest of the world.”

Chinese officials in particular point not to the size of their economy but to the hundreds of millions of Chinese who live in rural areas that are largely unconnected to the global economy. Although China now has the second-highest number of billionaires after the U.S., nominal per capital GDP is China, according to the IMF, was $10,582, putting China 59th in the world, right between Costa Rica and Malaysia.

“Like developed countries have done in the past,” he said, “today’s developing countries also need time to enhance their protection of intellectual property right, or develop their industries through strategic planning and policies.”

Communist Party stalwarts in Beijing have embraced the “developing” moniker. The party’s Global Times newspaper appeared to brag in May that “China remains the largest developing country in the world, as shown by the latest World Bank report” on such matters.

Debate at the World Bank

The World Bank is widely regarded as setting the standard when it comes to determining whether a particular nation should or should not be characterized as developing.

But China’s relationship with the bank, which was formed by the U.S. and its allies after World War II to rebuild Europe, has grown increasingly complicated in recent years.

China has had robust economic growth over the past several decades and now ranks as the World Bank’s third-largest shareholder after the United States and Japan. However, the bank, which has some $470 billion in assets, also counts China among its largest borrowers, with $14.8 billion in loans committed to Beijing since 2011, according to Reuters.

The bank’s official website paints a nuanced picture of China’s status. It explains that “today, China is an upper-middle-income country and the world’s second largest economy. But its per capita income is still only about a quarter of that of high-income countries, and about 373 million Chinese are living below the upper-middle-income poverty line of [$5.50] a day.”

“China also lags in labor productivity and human capital. Income inequality has improved over the last decade but remains relatively high,” the website says. “China’s high growth, based on resource-intensive manufacturing, exports and low-paid labor, has largely reached its limits and has led to economic, social and environmental imbalances. Reducing these imbalances requires shifts in the structure of the economy from low-end manufacturing to higher-end manufacturing and services, and from investment to consumption.”

Scott Kennedy, an authority on Chinese economic policy with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, suggested the situation could be explained in more basic terms. “China has a lot of poor people and regions,” he said, “but from the perspective of the global economy, it’s not a developing economy.”

David Malpass, appointed by President Trump last year to lead the World Bank for a term that will carry until 2024, has pushed the bank to stop its lending to China and seek increased capital contributions from Beijing. He has also pushed China to join Western nations in forgiving or rescheduling debts this year because of the global economic shutdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Malpass, who has also criticized the lack of transparency in China’s Belt and Road Initiative loans to poorer countries, told reporters in April 2019 that he seeks a “constructive relationship with China” and that Beijing’s role should be “evolving from one where it was a major borrower from the World Bank — and I hope benefited from the loans from the World Bank — to one where now it will be a much smaller borrower.”

There are indications that China’s status is a subject of intense debate inside the World Bank and other global institutions.

“This claim that the Chinese are somehow benefiting by being characterized as a ‘developing’ country is not really substantiated by data,” said one bank official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Also, there is a strong sense that China doesn’t actually want to be labeled this way. Beijing would rather rid itself of the designation, as it wants to be viewed as a global economic powerhouse, not a developing country.”


Others say the Chinese are bluntly gaming the system to expedite its rise as an economic challenger to the U.S.

“It’s outrageous that Beijing, with its ‘developing’ country status, has been allowed to borrow money from the bank at very low interest and then turn around and, through its own expanding Belt and Road Initiative, offer up its high interest Chinese loans to poorer countries in places like Africa,” said a former bank official who also spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“How is that in any way fair?” asked the former official, who envisioned a situation in which strapped countries unable to repay China would turn to the World Bank for help. Although that situation is only hypothetical, the former official said, the Chinese government would have no qualms about quietly profiting from such circumstances.

Analysts generally agree, meanwhile, that China is exploiting its “developing” country status.

“China, like any other country, wants to use the tools it has available to it to get the best deals possible in international treaties, negotiations and commitments,” said Devin T. Stewart, a senior fellow at the New York-based Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.

“China can also benefit by using the ‘developing’ country classification rhetorically,” Mr. Stewart said. Beijing can “use it as an excuse to deflect international criticism, whether it’s on health issues or intellectual property protections or other things that are consistent with the responsibilities of rich countries.”

Some argue that the incoming Biden administration would be wise to pounce on the issue.

Although the Biden transition team did not respond to a request for an on-record comment, a member of the team told The Washington Times that Mr. Biden’s national security advisers are “well aware of the debate” on China’s status at the WTO and the World Bank.

Mr. Blumenthal, meanwhile, argued that the Biden administration should use the COVID-19 crisis to make sure Beijing does not hide behind its “developing country” status to avoid helping other nations recover from the crisis.

“This is not hypothetical, but forget the official rules for a second,” Mr. Blumenthal said. “The U.S. during the coming months is going to undertake a global COVID recovery leadership program that will involve organizing countries around the world to provide debt forgiveness and debt relief stimulus to truly developing nations in need.”

“China should not be allowed to just wiggle out of that by saying, ‘Well, wait a second. We’re designated as a developing country too,’” he said. “If China starts to balk at getting together with the advanced industrial economies to provide debt relief in Africa or Southeast Asia or Latin America, the Biden administration should say, ‘Absolutely not. You, China, provided a lot of loans and a lot of credit for your own purposes, and this is something we’re going to do together — and that designation isn’t going to get you out of it.’”
3) France: EU faces existential threat over conflict with Poland and Hungary
Bloomberg, 27 November 2020

French ambassador warns that the quarrel could signal a “fundamental rupture” which raises questions about the very future of the EU

The dogged opposition of Poland and Hungary to the European Union’s budget and recovery package has turned into a dangerous stand-off with nations in deep recession in dire need of help to cope with the pandemic.

Unless these two holdouts drop their veto on the deal within days, France warned of severe and potentially existential disruption to the 27-nation bloc still coping with Brexit. The alarm came at a meeting of EU envoys in Brussels on Friday, when Polish and Hungarian ambassadors dug in. They object to the disbursement of 1.8 trillion-euros ($2.2 trillion) being tied to democratic standards they are accused of falling short of.

The European Commission’s representative said that if no breakthrough is reached by Dec. 7, then the EU will have to operate via monthly emergency budgets as of the start of 2021. That would mean financial paralysis and the progressive suspension of all but essential spending.

“I reiterated that Poland is prepared to veto the new budget unless the solution that is good for the whole EU, and not just some of its members, is found,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote in a Facebook post after speaking with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The defiant comments came as the French ambassador in the non-public meeting was warning that the quarrel could signal a “fundamental rupture,” which raises questions about the very future of the EU, according to two diplomats present in the conversation.

The spat over the strings attached to the pot of EU funds has degenerated into a game of chicken between two ideologically-committed sides. It points to a growing divide between the wealthier west and some nations in the formerly Communist east that were meant to find common cause under one European identity and instead are at odds over the nature of democracy.

Full story
4) Green no more: Europeans snap up old cars to avoid public transport
Reuters, 30 November 2020

Across Europe, people are snapping up old bangers, clunkers, Klapperkasten, tacots and catorci, desperate to avoid buses and trains but wary of splashing out on a shiny new motor in uncertain economic times.

“Public transportation is terrific here, but with the COVID and all that, it’s better to avoid it,” said Robert Perez, who recently moved to Spain’s capital Madrid from Argentina.

On the hunt for work, Perez, a 33-year-old automotive engineer, bought a red 2001 Seat Toledo for €2,000 from OcasionPlus, a Spanish used car firm that has opened four new dealerships since the lockdown due to soaring demand.

Data provided to Reuters by research firm IHS Markit and online car market AutoScout24 showed there has been a marked upward shift in registrations of older cars across Europe, as well as a spike in internet searches for ageing vehicles.

The surge in interest in used cars is neither good news for struggling mass transit networks nor the environment as dirty old cars appear to be more in demand than new electric vehicles.

In the longer term, however, the shift away from public transport towards “individual mobility” in the pandemic era is expected to help carmakers, hit by a 27% slump in new vehicle sales across Europe in the first 10 months of 2020.

Full story
5) European court of human rights takes control of EU climate policy
The Guardian, 30 November 2020

European court of human rights case could result in countries being bound to take greater action

The European court of human rights has ordered 33 European governments to respond to a landmark climate lawsuit lodged by six youth campaigners, the Guardian has learned.
The plaintiffs’ British barrister says it could be the most important case ever tried by the Strasbourg-based judges.
In a sign of the urgency of the climate crisis, the court will announce on Monday that it has green-lighted the crowdfunded case, which was filed two months ago. It has already confirmed it will be treated as a priority, which means the process will be fast-tracked.

The states – the EU27 plus Norway, Russia, Switzerland, the UK, Turkey and Ukraine – are obliged to respond by 23 February to the complaints of the plaintiffs, who say governments are moving too slowly to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are destabilising the climate.
If the defendant countries fail to convince the Strasbourg-based judges, lawyers say they will be legally bound to take more ambitious steps and to address the contribution they – and multinational companies headquartered in their jurisdictions – make to overseas emissions through trade, deforestation and extractive industries.

“It is no exaggeration to say that this could be the most important case ever tried by the European court of human rights,” said Marc Willers QC, who is representing the young plaintiffs.

He said the onus was on the 33 governments. “We know they are not yet doing enough and the court’s decision to give the case priority status will add to the ever-growing pressure on European governments to act on the science and take the necessary steps to tackle climate change.”

The plaintiffs – four children and two young adults from Portugal – argue tougher climate action is needed to safeguard their future physical and mental wellbeing, to prevent discrimination against the young and protect their rights to exercise outdoors and live without anxiety.
Full story

6) John O'Sullivan: Cracks appear in the climate consensus
The Pipeline, 29 November 2020

On the face of it, international progress towards a global consensus on reducing carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050 in order to restrain the rise in world temperature to between 1.5 and 2.00 degrees above pre-industrial levels is about to be resumed after a four-year interruption.
When President-Elect Biden overcomes the remaining legal hiccups to take office on January the 20, 2021—as I am assuming he will —his first acts will include returning America to its observance of the Paris climate accords. Since 195 other nations have already signed on to the Accords (and everyone has agreed to treat them as a treaty, even if a non-binding one), it’s full speed ahead to a net-zero carbon world.

Or so it would appear.
This global pact rests on strong support from the world‘s governments which in turn rest on a firm consensus of political parties, scientists, officials, “Green” activists, and the media that a net-zero carbon policy is essential in order to avert a global climate catastrophe. This consensus is so universal that anyone who dissents from it, even a distinguished scientist or a Nobel Prize winner, risks being treated as a dangerous eccentric and finds it hard to get a hearing in respectable forums. Demands are sometimes heard that such people be kept off the airwaves altogether or even prosecuted for “climate denialism.” Fortunately, there are very few such eccentrics.

Not that those within the consensus deny that the net-zero policy has problems. On the contrary everyone acknowledges that it will require quite heavy sacrifices from the ordinary citizens in their countries in the form of higher taxes, higher energy prices, and lower living standards. But these sacrifices will be worth it not only because they will avert a global catastrophe but also because Boris Johnson’s “green industrial revolution” or (according to taste) Joe Biden’s “Green New Deal” will create well-paying jobs in cleaner green industries such as windfarms.  And the last obstacle to this green utopia in the form of President Trump has now been removed.

Thus ends my rather bland outline of the Authorized Version of climate change politics. If we examine it critically, it surely becomes clear very quickly that it rests on two unsteady supports: the strength of the establishment consensus and the electoral popularity of a policy of transitioning to a net-zero carbon economy. Both seem strong at present.
As climate skeptics such as Allister Heath in the London Daily Telegraph have conceded, the elites on both sides of the Atlantic have committed themselves wholeheartedly to the consensus; and a poll taken before the recent U.S. election showed that America voters were greener than ever before:

"Seven in 10 voters support government action to address climate change, with three-quarters wanting the U.S. to generate all of its electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind within 15 years."
In both cases, however, there are grounds for predicting that trouble lies ahead. Take, first, the establishment consensus. That is far from being a spontaneous embrace by almost all scientists and economists (climate policy being a blend of both disciplines) of manifest truths. Nor could it be, for a variety of reasons: science itself offers only provisional truths; climate science alone covers a wide range of scientific disciplines; and even the U.N. IPCC reports offer a range of possible outcomes with varying degrees of probability attached to each.
When its tentative and uncertain conclusions disappear and re-emerge as government policy, they have become firm doctrines (e.g., outlawing the U.K. sale of petrol-driven cars after 2030) enforced by quite strong sanctions: the granting or withholding of official contracts; appointments to official boards, university posts, and the civil service; publication in scientific journals; threats to employment and promotion; and even a de facto censorship of heretics in mainstream and official media. It’s hardly surprising that few people contest the establishment consensus when there are serious risks and no practical benefits in doing so. What’s surprising is that some do.
Who are they? Usually, the first critics of the consensus are natural heretics who look at any powerful structure of ideas maintained by force and try to find cracks in it. Others join them because they may have either economic or intellectual interests in doing so—a naturalist opposes windfarms because they kill birds, for instance.

Some people working to advance the policy discover flaws or scandals in its operations and resign to oppose it from outside. Then there are journalists, natural heretics often, but looking for a good story always. Finally, there are critics who are simply very clever people who notice things and realize they don’t add up. And when all these “types” start examining climate policy and how it’s going, they find all kinds of risks being taken and mistakes being made.

Of course, there have been sharp-eyed critics of  “climate change” alarmism—and of the policies intended to ameliorate it—from the first: former U.K. finance minister Nigel Lawson who founded the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Danish academic Bjorn Lomborg who founded the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, and the late Nobel Laureate Freeman Dyson, who thought for Princeton.
But their numbers have been growing in the last year. The American environmentalist, Michael Shellenberger, announced his de facto resignation as a leading environmentalist by writing his book,  Apocalypse Never. Its theme, echoing Lomborg's, is that climate change is a serious problem but not a looming catastrophe requiring drastic emergency measures.
Full post
7) Samuel Furfari: Are EU governments able to deliver the energy transition?
European Scientist, 26 November 2020
Let’s recall again that the EU was born from the desire to provide its member states’ economies with ‘abundant and cheap’ energy (Messina resolution of June 1955). Today, the EU, because of its willingness to impose the fuel mix by EU legislation and by cherry-picking financing, is playing its very future with the slogan of energy transition [...] which is simply impossible unless the EU and its member states would decide a near-permanent lockdown.

On 4 December 2019, in her first Brussels press conference the newly appointed president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said she will lead a ‘geopolitical Commission’. One year later, we are still waiting for some ‘geopolitical’ results. Indeed, it is rather a ‘green Commission’, as even the Covid crisis – though its cause is totally unrelated to energy – is used to reinforce the ‘energy transition’, wanted by the German Chancellor.
In September 1999, arriving as president of the European Commission Mr Romano Prodi has been convinced that energy was not so important and that it did not deserve to be managed by an energy general directorate. It merged it with the transport energy directorate. What a difference twenty later: energy is now the centre of all interest, not for its own merits, but because it is at the centre of the climate change debate. But are politicians able to drive the vast, complex and multi-dependent energy system? Is their willingness’s able to master it effective?
Not surprisingly, this concept of ‘energy transition’ was invented in Germany in the early 1980s. In a book entitled ‘Energie-Wende, Wachstum und Wohlstand ohne Erdöl und Uran’ published in 1980, researchers from a German environmentalist organisation, the Öko-Institut, proposed to stop using oil and uranium. The simplified term ‘EnergieWende’ was quickly coined to refer to the fight against climate change and the abandonment of nuclear energy. Germany has firmly followed this track since the beginning of the 21st century, aiming at a radical change in its energy policy. The German population has also adhered to this concept because, after 40 years of green nuclear bashing, it has become widely opposed tonuclear energy.
The EnergieWende was progressively pushed, but the Fukushima Tsunami accident boosted its implementation. Mrs Merkel, a doctor in physics, won two elections by claiming that nuclear energy was essential for the German economy. Yet, after the hydrogen explosion[1] known as nuclear explosion, she made a U-turn and became an opponent of atomic energy, and turned out to be strongly convinced that the future of energy in the world would be 100% renewable. Massive investments promoted wind and solar renewable energy, despite the huge problems caused by their intermittency, leading to huge price increases for citizens.
Full essay

8) And finally: A handy guide to going Green
Andy Shaw, Life Spectator, 27 November 2020

The government has announced their Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. It will bring electricity to light homes, gas for cooking and cars to drive! You may think that we already have these things, but this is a Green revolution, everything that we have got used to will be re-invented. Boris Johnson’s 10 point plan includes heat pumps, hydrogen gas and batteries, but what is really going on? This is your five-point guide.

1. Green is popular!
Boris Johnson’s dad and his current girlfriend have a favourite colour and it is .. green! This shows that green policies are popular across generations and that the government is right to revolutionise our entire economy.
Sustainable living is not just popular in government circles, it is also fashionable amongst those who have a highly sustainable income. The most successful people are happy to ensure that their second car is electric and that they pay a little extra for airline tickets.

Although the general public has not been consulted about the costs of the green revolution, everyone likes trees. It is hoped that adding the word ‘green’ to the word ‘jobs’ will do the trick.
2. Jobs!
The government’s Covid lockdown policies have succeeded in decimating the hospitality, travel and retail industry, so the boost in Green jobs is welcome.

The green economy will see a boom in certain white collar jobs: Carbon Auditors, Sustainability Directors, Green Consultants, Climate Conference delegates and Subsidy Form-Completion Experts will be in high demand. Fortunes will be made by City traders dealing in the newly invented carbon credits. A new breed of carbon tax collectors could be guided by carbon regulators, based in Whitehall.

Although de-industrialisation may create mass unemployment for skilled workers, manual work will be plentiful in the burgeoning Green economy. Car mechanics can become loft insulators, steel workers will plant trees and then chop them for fire-wood. Everyone will learn to replace their own boilers and cookers. No longer will the working class enjoy the pride or wages of skilled and productive work, but we will applaud them for becoming ‘key workers’ during the coming decades of climate emergency.
3. We must act now!
Some have said that it was Carrie Symonds who persuaded Boris Johnson to act now, but it was the Covid computer modellers that helped him to fully appreciate the power of the climate message.

The Prime Minister has watched in awe, as Neil Ferguson and SAGE produced frightening graphs that gripped the nation and forced government action. We will soon see the same ‘scenarios’ deployed to show the coming waves of climate apocalypse. By simply replacing ‘Covid infection rates per 100,000’, with ‘CO2 parts per million’, the same charts can be reused to show the unfettered growth in climate catastrophe. The ‘R’ rate will be replaced by the ‘Carbon’ rate and every natural incident, from floods to heatwaves, will be shown as proof of the climate pandemic.
4. Wind power!

Boris Johnson has promised to quadruple the number of wind turbines. He sees a vision of concrete and steel spanning our oceans, in a bid to protect our beautiful natural environment. On the coldest of frost-bitten winter days, when the skies are clear and the air is still, we can admire the phalanxes of listless windmills far out at sea and know, that we did our bit to cool the globe.

Boris has announced that we could become “the Saudi Arabia of wind”. Critics have suggested that this is hot air and windy rhetoric. Cynics believe that a reliance on wind will make us “the North Korea of electricity”. Can we look forward mass rallies praising Dear Climate Leader?
Either way, jobs will be created to prevent oceanic wind turbines becoming rusting hulks and to manage the ranks of diesel generators that spring into action when the wind doesn’t blow.
5. Electric vehicles!
The government has brought forward the ban of petrol and diesel cars to 2030. For those of us who live in flats, we can look forward to the pleasure of driving to the nearest charging point in order to charge the battery long enough for the return journey. For those of us who live in houses, we can look forward to the sight of cables criss-crossing the pavements.

Boris is hoping that the UK, in 2035, will not resemble today’s Havana, where old petrol cars are maintained, for decades, by enterprising mechanics.

Environmentalists have raised the fear of mass climate migration. Although they have painted a picture of poorer people moving to western countries, it is possible that the green revolution will encourage westerners to migrate to an increasingly prosperous Asia. Boris may have unleashed a revolution that he can’t control.

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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