Monday, April 26, 2021

GWPF Newsletter: Why Biden's climate policy is almost certain to flop


Not a single G20 country is hitting Paris climate targets

In this newsletter:

1) Tracking progress towards President Biden's 2030 emissions reduction target
Roger Pielke Jr, 22 April 2021
2) Not a single G20 country is hitting Paris climate targets
BloombergNEF, 1 February 2021

3) Global warming trend is only half of what climate modellers have predicted
Roy Spencer, 22 April 2021

4) Boris’s Net Zero gamble risks fuelling a new Brexit-style revolt against the elite
Allister Heath, The Daily Telegraph, 22 April 2021
5) Xi promises Greta that China will be good  ... as of 2026
Reuters, 23 April 2021
6) China, India (& the rest of the developing world) complicate Biden’s climate ambitions
The Wall Street Journal, 23 April 2021

7) Joel Kotkin: The Green New Deal will impoverish America
Spiked, 23 April 2021
8) Why did the EU invite Greta Thunberg and not Nobel Prize winner William Nordhaus?
CLINTEL, 21 April 2021

Full details:

1) Tracking Progress Towards President Biden's 2030 Emissions Reduction Target
Roger Pielke Jr, 22 April 2021
The US will need to close >10 natural gas or coal power plants every month, starting now, to hit President Biden’s ambitious climate policy targets.
President Biden has announced ambitious goals for climate policy, here is how we can track policy progress on a monthly basis

Today, President Biden announced “a new target for the United States to achieve a 50-52 percent reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution in 2030.” This commitment represents the most ambitions emissions reduction target in U.S. history and, if successful, a major step forward in climate policy.
Tracking progress on climate policy commitments can be challenging because of the complexity of the targets and their indicators. Here, I provide a very simple and intuitive metric for tracking policy progress on a monthly basis.
First, it is important to understand the target. The focus is not just on carbon dioxide emissions, which according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the main factor driving climate change. The focus in on “greenhouse gas pollution” which includes other pollutants, such as methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases.
Typically, the effects of non-carbon dioxide gases are converted into “carbon dioxide equivalents” based on their projected future impact on climate change. The associated emissions reduction target is based on the collection of gases, not just carbon dioxide. In 2019, carbon dioxide was responsible for about 80% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Second, in the United States the year 2005 is usually chosen as a baseline for measuring emissions reductions, because it is near peak U.S. emissions. So any emissions reduction target will look a lot better with a peak year as a baseline. An emissions reduction target of 50% from 2005 levels is about the same as an emissions reduction target of about 35% from 2020 emissions.
Third, the Biden emissions reduction target is focused on “net” emissions. To achieve the target emissions are expected to be reduced from “electricity, transportation, buildings, industry, and lands.” The land is a part of the carbon cycle and can be a source of or sink for carbon. In the United States, land has been a sink, so in a “net” calculation the land offsets other emissions, such as from power plants or cars.

The figure below from the US Environmental Protection Agency summarizes the three paragraphs above in a single graph, showing carbon dioxide emissions (blue), other greenhouse gases (red and green above the blue) and the land sink (purple below the zero line) with the net emissions shown as the black line.

Net greenhouse gas emissions were 6.635 gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2005, so a 50% reduction target is 3.318 Gt in 2030. In 2019, there were 5.769 Gt of net emissions, meaning that by 2030, the U.S. will have to reduce its emissions by about 2.450 Gt, or more than 270 Gt per year. That equates to an annual rate of emissions reductions of about 6.3% to 2030. As the figure below shows, prior to Covid-19, such a rapid rate of annual decrease in emissions has only occurred in 2009, the year of the global financial crisis.

The calculation of greenhouse gas emissions is highly technical, involving a basket of gases, land use estimates and various conversions. That can make tracking progress difficult. It also creates opportunities for creative accounting.
Here I provide a simple, intuitive way to track the Biden Administration’s progress with respect to its climate target that can be updated monthly as new data comes in.
President Biden’s net greenhouse gas reduction target is supported by his commitment “to create a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035.” According to EPA, in 2019 electric power produced about 29% of US greenhouse gas emissions. Crucially, reducing electric power to zero emissions achieves well over half of the overall greenhouse gas reduction target.

In January 2021, according to the US Energy Information Agency in the United States there were 1,852 coal and natural gas power plants that generated electricity. By 2035, to hit President Biden’s target all of these power plants will have to be either shut down or converted into zero-emissions power plants (using carbon capture and storage technologies that presently do not exist).

There are 164 months until 2035. That means that more than 11 of the fossil fuel power plants operational in January 2021 will need to be closed every month, on average, starting today until 2035. Tracking progress on the closure (or conversion to carbon-free) of power plants can provide a very useful marker of progress toward achieving the Biden Administration’s overall climate targets. The figure below shows a linear trajectory for power plant closures, necessary to hit the 2035 net-zero.


By Earth Day 2022 the US will have needed to close more than 100 power plants that were producing electricity in January, 2021 in order to be close to the trajectory set forth by the new emissions targets. EIA reports these data monthly so a more frequent accounting is possible. A strength of this approach is that it allows for independent verification of reports of progress, and in particular, an assessment of whether methodological changes to GHG equivalencies or land use are used to game the results.

I’ll update these data periodically, stay tuned!
2) Not a single G20 country is hitting Paris climate targets
BloombergNEF, 1 February 2021

Of the top 20 global CO2 emitters, not a single one is hitting its climate goals as outlined under the Paris Agreement, according to data from the Climate Action Tracker.

G20 countries’ climate policies fail to comply with Paris Agreement promises

With just nine months to go until the critical next round of international climate talks, the world’s largest economies are far from having the right policy plans in place to meet the green pledges made at the COP21 climate conference in Paris in 2015, let alone bolder new promises to decarbonize, according to new research from BloombergNEF (BNEF).
BNEF’s G20 Zero-Carbon Policy Scoreboard evaluates the G20 countries’ decarbonization policies to measure which governments have implemented regimes to realize the goals of the Paris Agreement, or more substantial decarbonization. It highlights examples of what works and could be replicated elsewhere, and flags where more progress is needed.
“The high-level pledges over the last year, in particular, have been impressive with major economies such as the European Union, Japan, South Korea and China all promising to get to ‘net-zero’ emissions or carbon neutrality at some future date,” said Victoria Cuming, head of global policy analysis for BNEF. “But the reality is that countries simply haven’t done enough at home with follow-through policies to meet even the promises made more than five years ago.”

Full story
3) Global warming trend is only half of what climate modellers have predicted
Roy Spencer, 22 April 2021

42 years of satellite observations show that warming is occurring much more slowly than the average climate model has predicted. 

The claim by the Biden Administration that climate change has placed us in a moment of “profound crisis” ignores the fact that the energy policy changes being promoted are based upon computer model simulations which have produced average warming rates at least DOUBLE those observed in the last 40+ years.

Just about every climate claim made by politicians, and even many vocal scientists, has been either an exaggeration or a lie.
While it is easy for detractors of what I will show to claim I am in the scientific minority (true), or that I am a climate denier (not true; I do not deny some level of human-caused warming), the fact is that the “official” observations in recent decades are in disagreement with the “official” climate models being promoted for the purposes of implementing expensive, economically-damaging, and poverty-worsening energy policies.

Global Ocean Temperatures are Warming at Only ~50% the Rate of Climate Model Projections
Today’s example comes from global-average sea surface temperatures. The oceans provide our best gauge of how fast extra energy is accumulating in the climate system. Since John Christy and I are working on a project that explains global ocean temperatures since the late 1800s with a 1D climate model, I thought I would show you just how the observations are comparing to climate models simulations.
The plot below (Fig. 1) shows the monthly global (60N-60S) average ocean surface temperature variations since 1979 for 68 model simulations from 13 different climate models. The 42 years of observations we now have since 1979 (bold black line) shows that warming is occurring much more slowly than the average climate model says it should have.


Fig. 1. 68 CMIP6 climate model simulations of global average sea surface temperature (relative to the 5 year average, 1979-1983), and compared to observations from the ERSSTv5 dataset.
In terms of the linear temperature trends since 1979, Fig. 2 shows that 2 of the top-cited ocean temperature datasets have warming trends near the bottom of the range of climate model simulations.


Fig. 2. Linear temperature trends, 1979-2020, for the various model and observational datasets in Fig. 1, plus the HadSST3 observational record.
Deep Ocean Warming Could Be Mostly Natural
A related issue is how much the deep oceans are warming. As I have mentioned before, the (inarguable) energy imbalance associated with deep-ocean warming in recent decades is only about 1 part (less than 1 Watt per sq. m) in 300 of the natural energy flows in the climate system.

This is a very tiny energy imbalance in the climate system. We know NONE of the natural energy flows to that level of accuracy.
What that means is that global warming could be mostly natural, and we would not even know it.
I’m not claiming that is the case. I am merely pointing out the level of faith that is involved in the adjustments made to climate models, which necessarily produce warming due to increasing CO2 because those models simply assume that there is no other source of warming.
Yes, more CO2 must produce some warming. But the amount of warming makes all the difference to global energy policies.
Seldom is the public ever informed of these glaring discrepancies between basic science and what politicians and pop-scientists tell us.
Why does it matter?
It matters because there is no Climate Crisis. There is no Climate Emergency.

Yes, irregular warming is occurring. Yes, it is at least partly due to human greenhouse gas emissions. But seldom are the benefits of a somewhat warmer climate system mentioned, or the benefits of more CO2 in the atmosphere (which is required for life on Earth to exist).

But if we waste trillions of dollars (that’s just here in the U.S. — meanwhile, China will always do what is in the best interests of China) then that is trillions of dollars not available for the real necessities of life.
Prosperity will suffer, and for no good reason.
4) Boris’s Net Zero gamble risks fuelling a new Brexit-style revolt against the elite
Allister Heath, The Daily Telegraph, 22 April 2021
Green utopianism is Boris Johnson’s Achilles’ Heel. A botched anti-consumer Net Zero agenda will infuriate the very voters that propelled Johnson to No 10 and create space for a Brexit-style party focusing on a new set of issues.

Like Saturn, revolutions have a habit of devouring their children. Boris Johnson should beware: the biggest danger to his historic project to rebuild Britain in his image comes not from the useless Left, but from another potential populist insurrection from the culturally conservative Right.
So far, of course, he is safe: the Government is supernaturally popular, Nigel Farage has retired, the public believes that immigration is under control and anti-lockdown activists have made little impact. The PM has plenty of opposition from the Left – from Labour, cultural institutions, the blob – but little from the Right.

Yet some early hints of the sort of Brexit-style revolt he could eventually face can be spotted in the most unlikely of places: in London and other cities, large numbers of residents are up in arms against so-called Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. Invented by No 10 and backed by Sadiq Khan and other hopeless technocrats, these idiotic schemes have shut certain streets to cars without consultation in the name of reducing emissions, with the predictable consequence of ruining residents’ lives and horribly increasing traffic (and pollution) on other roads.

The fury is off the scale: one suburban Labour council, Harrow, has become the first to ditch these plans in their entirety, as well as its shockingly under-used cycle lanes, after it discovered that they were opposed by up to 91 per cent of residents. More councils will follow suit: passions are running even higher than Brexit.

For some reason, No 10 is tone deaf on this issue. It shouldn’t be. If Johnson mismanages his broader plans to decarbonise Britain, and sacrifices aspiration, consumerism, choice and mobility on the altar of greenery, the suburban, car-driving, jet-setting, home-owning, meat-eating coalition he spent so many years painstakingly assembling will quickly and pitilessly turn against him.

A few years ago, Johnson, with the help of Dominic Cummings, did something remarkable. He bothered to listen to the suburbs, to the lower middle and working class voters who voted for Churchill, for Macmillan and Thatcher. He visited new build estates in the North, with their open plan kitchens, trampolines in the garden and Nissan Qashqai mini-SUVs on the driveway. He fashioned an agenda that reflects their aspirations, their fears, their love of nation, their instincts, their interests. When it comes to vetoing the football Super League, cracking down on crime, spending more on the NHS, focusing on Northern cities and of course pulling out of the EU, Johnson is their man, their defender, their Prime Minister.

There is one glaring exception to all of this, and that is Johnson’s greenery: he wants to slash carbon emissions by 78 per cent by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. They had fallen 44 per cent by 2019, driven by a two-thirds reduction in the power sector and the decline of manufacturing, in a shift all but invisible to the public. In the next phase, however, consumers’ lives will have to change drastically. There is no political upside here for the Tories and a massive potential downside.

The Conservative base wants a cleaner environment – who doesn’t? – and is moderately worried about climate change but those issues are low down their list of priorities. They certainly don’t want their lifestyles to suffer for it. It is equally true that a green agenda, however extreme, will not convert metropolitan Remainers or woke agitators to the Tory cause. But a botched anti-consumer green agenda will infuriate the very voters that propelled Johnson to No 10, and, paradoxically, create space for a late 2020s Ukip or Brexit-style Party focusing on a new set of issues.

The hair-shirt, hard-Left, anti-materialistic, anti-progress version of environmentalism would be toxic to the Johnson coalition. The real Tory version should be to electrify cars, not ban them; to greenify fuel, not restrict flights; to decarbonise central heating, not to force the public to freeze. But it is a gamble as to whether these technologies will be ready in time, and at what cost.

Which Boris will triumph? Will it be the techno-optimist who understands all of this, the pro-aviation but anti-Heathrow mayor who backed a gigantic new island airport, the supporter of electric cars and of having your cake and eating it? Or will it be the LTN Boris? Will he allow his Government to turn into a controlling, authoritarian nightmare intent on restricting how much people can travel and what they can eat? Will he trash the economy and Global Britain? [….]

Who will pay for insulating 30 million homes? Who will stump up for converting gas boilers to electric heating or to heat pumps? Consumers won’t tolerate a green poll tax of £20,000 per home. If the Red Wall is Johnson’s River Styx, and Brexit his ambrosia, green utopianism is our Prime Minister’s Achilles’ Heel.

Full post
5) Xi promises Greta that China will be good ... as of 2026
Reuters, 23 April 2021
China will start phasing down coal use from 2026 as part of its efforts to slash greenhouse gas emissions, President Xi Jinping said at a summit of global leaders on Thursday, a move that disappointed campaigners hoping for more ambitious pledges.


Xi, speaking via video link to the Leaders Summit on Climate convened by U.S. President Joe Biden, said China was committed to green development and upgrading its coal-dependent energy system, a major source of climate-warming emissions.
"We will strictly limit the increase in coal consumption over the 14th five-year plan period (2021-2025) and phase it down in the 15th five-year plan period (2026-2030)," he said.
Xi's comments mean that China's coal consumption, by far the highest in the world, will reach a peak in 2025 and start to fall thereafter.
6) China, India [and the rest of the developing world] complicate Biden’s climate ambitions
The Wall Street Journal, 23 April 2021
India and China’s appetite for coal poses a challenge to President Biden’s climate targets. 

China and India, both with huge and growing appetites for energy, will play outsize roles in efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions as the world seeks to come up with more ambitious targets on climate change.
The two countries are similar in many ways. They have massive populations topping 1.3 billion, and both are heavy users of coal, the worst fossil fuel in terms of carbon emissions. China alone consumed more than half of the world’s coal in 2019, according to the International Energy Agency. India is currently a distant No. 2 with 11% of the global share, but its share is expected to rise to around 14% by 2030.

Both countries’ leaders, who have signaled they don’t want to be seen as acting at the behest of the U.S., argued at the virtual two-day climate summit hosted by the White House, which began Thursday, that their nations should shoulder different responsibilities than developed nations in the fight against climate change.

But there are also significant differences in their approaches. While India defines itself as a developing country with a longer timeline for reducing emissions and as a potential recipient of money and technology to help, China increasingly wants to position itself as a climate leader and a provider of technological and financial support.

“China and India are among the world’s biggest emitters, so without them it will be impossible to achieve the Paris Agreement,” said Byford Tsang, a London-based senior policy adviser at E3G, a think tank that advocates for strategies to reduce carbon emissions.

In China’s case, he said, the question isn’t whether the country can reach its own goals but whether it can do what is needed to keep the temperature rise at 1.5 degree Celsius, a goal set by the Paris Climate Agreement.
China will reduce coal consumption starting in 2026, Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the summit. He also reiterated his pledge from September that China would reach peak carbon emissions before 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality—net-zero carbon-dioxide emissions—by 2060 [yeah, right ...].

But he stopped short of promising a carbon-emissions cap, as some climate campaigners had hoped. Mr. Xi “obviously did not want to make any big announcement under U.S. pressure,” said Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a new partnership with the U.S. to expand renewable energy. He didn’t add another climate goal or upgrade India’s existing ones. “We in India are doing our part,” said Mr. Modi.

Climate negotiators are seeking to set more aggressive climate targets to reach the goals agreed to in the Paris Agreement by building momentum ahead of a United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.
Developing countries want richer countries to make good on pledges from the Paris climate negotiations to mobilize $100 billion a year in public and private financing to aid the effort. Top Indian officials made financial support among their top requests to John Kerry, the Biden administration’s climate envoy, when he visited this month.

India has already reduced its carbon intensity—or how much carbon dioxide is emitted per unit of gross domestic product—by 26% versus 2005 levels, India’s environment minister, Prakash Javadekar, said at an April speech sponsored by the French Embassy in India. “We all have to act,” he said. “But those who have polluted have to act more.”
Under its current policies, India’s carbon emissions will rise 50% by 2040, the IEA forecasts. That is more than any other country for which the IEA did projections, and is enough to cancel out the forecast fall in emissions from all of Europe.

In 2019, China had 9.8 billion tons of carbon emissions. The country’s climate scientists expect emissions to plateau at 10.5 billion tons, based on China’s current policies.
Mr. Xi also said that China would “strictly control coal-fired power generation projects” as well as “strictly limit the increase in coal consumption” through 2025 before starting to reduce it over the following five years.

This leaves room for China to further increase coal consumption in the next four years. China proposed 73.5 gigawatts of new coal-fired power last year, more than five times as much as the rest of the world combined. In 2020, coal supplied nearly 57% of China’s energy, according to China’s statistics bureau. [...]
India has already greenlighted around 100 gigawatts of new coal-fired power plants, although fewer than two-thirds are under construction and some may never get off the ground, analysts say, since they increasingly have to compete with cheaper solar.
Mr. Modi also repeated India’s target to build 450 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030—around 60% of its power-generation capacity. The government is also encouraging companies to push into electric vehicles and battery production.
China, too, plans to increase its solar and wind power to over 1,200 gigawatts by 2030, more than double the amount presently in place.

Mr. Xi also stressed on Thursday that China had helped developing countries build capacity against climate change. A joint statement by Mr. Kerry and his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, after the two met for talks last week, for the first time didn’t contain the phrase “common but differentiated responsibilities,” a reference to China’s status as a developing country.

“For China, it’s important to emphasize the difference between developing and developed countries,” said climate researcher Mr. Myllyvirta, and to cast itself as a defender of the former.

Full story

7) Joel Kotkin: The Green New Deal will impoverish America
Spiked, 23 April 2021
This corporate-backed plan will come at the cost of people's jobs and living standards. 

The real conflict will come to the surface when taxes need to be raised to pay for environmental virtue. Democrats could undermine their electoral appeal if the money has to come from the already beleaguered middle and working classes. Yet any attempt to take wealth and power from tech and Wall Street oligarchs, including such figures as Bill Gates, threatens those who are now the party’s most influential allies.

‘The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all… Do you guys think of it as a climate thing? Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.’ So said Saikat Chakrabarti, former chief of staff for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and generally acknowledged author of the Green New Deal.

Sometimes it is wise to find out what ideas’ originators actually think. That is true for documents that have lit up our lives, such as the US Constitution, as well as for those that have darkened them, such as Mein Kampf.
This is true as well for the nascent Green New Deal, which President Joe Biden has essentially adopted as his own. Even if Congress fails to pass it entirely, Biden will seek to impose many of its goals through administrative diktats on gas-powered cars, land use, airplanes, any form of fossil fuel and nuclear power. Green New Dealers will also extend the welfare state, including to those who choose not to work.

As Chakrabarti indicated, the Green New Deal is not another environmental ameliorative, but something far more fundamentally transformative. The Biden administration’s embrace of it is somewhat surprising given that the likely economic fallout of this plan – particularly for the working class – made both Biden and House speaker Nancy Pelosi distance themselves from it during the fall campaign. But now the Green New Deal has resurfaced, having made the metamorphosis from a leftist fantasy into a serious political initiative.

Environmental puritanism and its consequences
The deep-seated sense of pending apocalypse that grips Western elites is driving the shift to draconian and radical policies. Some politicians, like Oregon’s Earl Blumenauer, have called on Biden to declare ‘a climate emergency’, which would essentially give the White House a blank cheque and unlimited power to impose its vision.

For environmental puritans like Blumenauer, climate sin is equivalent to sex and gluttony in the original Massachusetts version. For a generation, environmentalist advocates have prophesied an imminent climate disaster that would, if not met with extreme action, threaten the very future of humanity. Such catastrophism, as a 2021 paper by two Carnegie Mellon professors demonstrates, undermines the climate-change movement’s credibility. This assertion is also made in environmentalist Michael Shellenberger’s devastating Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.

Remarkably, despite this record of distortion, climate hysteria has become the abiding faith of the dominant media, universities and a large swath of the corporate establishment, particularly on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley. Some have even embraced the hardly capitalist notion of degrowth, an ideology which suggests, in essence, the Western working and middle classes must sacrifice comfort and aspiration to save the planet. (Often at the urging of the world’s wealthiest people, with their grand estates and private jets!)

Although most industrial unions backed Biden, the first clear victims of his embrace of the Green New Deal are obvious: people working in energy and fields that depend on reliable and affordable energy, such as oil workers, truck drivers, factory and logistics workers. For example, a move to ban fracking – which vice-president Kamala Harris has supported – would, according to a US Chamber of Commerce report, cost several million jobs. This will be made much worse by the green turn against nuclear power and natural gas, notes long-time environmentalist Ted Nordhaus.

Under the Green New Deal, displaced workers will be placed on the dole, or encouraged to take a job in the ‘green economy’. Yet these jobs, notes a recent Building Trades Union study, pay far worse, and are less likely to last long or be unionised, than those in the conventional energy industry. ‘It’s pie-in-the-sky bullshit about these green jobs being good middle-class jobs, because they’re not’, said Terry O’Sullivan, general president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, in conversation with Politico. ‘I’m concerned about union members and union families being left behind… and I think they’ve already been left behind.’ [...]
Killing the Dream
Cost and efficiency may be of marginal interest to ideologues seeking to alter how Americans live. But automobile-dominated suburbs and exurbs are home to a majority of Americans and 85 per cent of people in our largest metropolitan areas. These Americans’ habits will now be targeted, transport secretary Pete Buttigieg suggests, by such measures as ‘road diets’, which seek to limit or even eliminate roads, and even a proposal for taxing cars by miles travelled. These measures seem certain to spark a strong reaction from people in auto-dependent suburbs, exurbs and smaller municipalities. Higher taxes on motorists sparked the gilets jaune protests in France last year, which brought about massive disruption and eventually a government delay in new gas levies and boosts in electricity prices.

Biden’s agenda also includes support for measures to force suburban areas to densify. It is likely few suburbanites, the majority of all Americans, would welcome federal overseers determining the ideal makeup of their communities, which are already rapidly and increasingly integrated....
A redder shade of green?

In America, at least, such an agenda is not driven by the concerns of the broad public. A recent Gallup poll showed 26 per cent of Americans are focussed on the pandemic, 16 per cent on economic problems, and 10 per cent on race – just three per cent mentioned climate and environment as their key concern.

So who benefits from the political focus on climate? Ironically, right now, it would be the Wall Street and Silicon Valley oligarchs who, under Obama, used his green-energy programmes to add to their already bloated bank accounts. The Green New Deal would widen this opportunity for profiteering dramatically. This clearly is not the kind of ‘change the economy thing’ the Green New Deal’s designers had in mind when they dreamt of derailing the entire free-market system. After all, capitalism remains the prime villain in their tale of planetary devastation. They did not want to green it; they wanted to transform or destroy it.

The real conflict will come to the surface when taxes need to be raised to pay for environmental virtue. Democrats could undermine their electoral appeal if the money has to come from the already beleaguered middle and working classes. Yet any attempt to take wealth and power from tech and Wall Street oligarchs, including such figures as Bill Gates, threatens those who are now the party’s most influential allies.
Eventually a conflict between red-leaning greens and the plutocratic ‘green’ oligarchy seems likely. If this divide opens widely, there may be an opportunity for a more reasoned, gradual and less socially regressive environmental approach – one focused on preserving the health not only of the Earth, but society as well.
Full post
8) Why did the EU invite Greta Thunberg and not Nobel Prize winner William Nordhaus?
CLINTEL, 21 April 2021

Why did the EU invite the young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to speak in Brussels instead of the Nobel Prize winning climate economist William Nordhaus? That question is answered in an essay entitled 'Undue Climate Haste,' which the CLINTEL Foundation is publishing today.
The essay concludes: “The main message of this essay is that we are in no hurry and that panic is unwarranted. Climate change always deserves our attention, but the idea that we need to turn our energy supply upside down right now appears to be driven by emotion rather than reason.”

The EU has decided it wants to achieve net zero carbon emission by 2050. If they succeed, Europe will become the first ‘climate neutral’ continent. The media have mainly welcomed this ambition. Politicians claim that there will be many benefits of this policy: they say it will make the economy stronger and create jobs. But are these claims justified, by a cost-benefit analysis for example?

They are not, states the essay Undue Climate Haste. Remarkably the Nobel Prize (2018) winning climate economist William Nordhaus showed in his Nobel lecture in Stockholm that the ‘economic optimum’ for climate policy is to allow 3.5 degrees Celsius of warming in 2100. Economically, it is better to accept a certain amount of climate damage and to limit the cost of mitigation than the other way round: ambitious goals such as staying below 2 degrees or even 1.5 degrees are extremely costly.
Full post

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

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