Saturday, December 06, 2008


She needs the USA to say "no deal" so she can save German industry without losing face. Once again blaming America would be useful

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday the European Union's efforts to lead the way on climate change would fail without a "sensible" global deal in 2009 that involved the United States. "Europe accounts for 15 percent of the world's CO2 emissions," Merkel told parliament in a speech that was also a warning shot ahead of what she said would be an "exciting and tough" EU summit next week. "If the United States does not participate, if we don't agree next year on a sensible international deal, then our efforts in Europe to lead the way will of course fail."

Her remarks came part way through United Nations climate talks in Poland, where representatives from around the world were attempting to lay the groundwork for a new global climate pact to be signed in Copenhagen in December 2009. The forum of the 192-member UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Poznan, Poland, which runs until December 12, comes halfway through a two-year process launched in Bali, Indonesia a year ago.

Merkel said she "welcomes emphatically" indications from US president-elect Barack Obama that he would "engage more strongly" in global efforts on climate change than his predecessor. Obama, who takes office January 20, has set a goal of reducing US emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and by 80 percent by 2050, using a cap-and-trade system and a 10-year programme worth 150 billion dollars in renewable energy.

Efforts by the European Union to agree on a joint climate strategy were due to come to a head at a summit of leaders on December 11-12 in Brussels. The EU has fixed a triple objective for 2020: cutting greenhouse gases 20 percent from 1990 levels, lowering energy use by 20 percent, and generating 20 percent of its energy needs with renewable sources like solar and wind power.

But many EU members, including Germany, are keen to protect their national industries from the costs the targets would involve, and the economic crisis has complicated the chances of an agreement. The package narrowly avoided falling apart in October. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi only withdrew their vetoes when some decisions were put off to this month's summit.

Merkel called Thursday for energy-intensive industries to be exempt from a proposed scheme involving the auctioning of emissions quotas from 2013 that is part of the package, in order to stop firms moving jobs out of Europe. "We must ... ensure that our energy-intensive industry, which is driven by exports, is of course excluded from the trading of (emissions quotas) in order to make sure they are not disadvantaged on the global market... "The way things stand, we cannot spoil our export chances and stand by while jobs in the chemicals, steel and other industries move to regions of the world where climate protection is less stringent than here."

She said that Germany had "few allies" on this issue because its economy was by far the most dependent among the 27 members of the EU on heavy industry, accounting for around 15 percent of the country's output. But if these countries wanted Germany "to remain the locomotive of the European economy" then the EU needed to ensure that German firms had "tolerable conditions and that firms do not relocate elsewhere," Merkel warned.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy was due to hold talks in Gdansk, Poland on Saturday in an effort to win support for the climate package from sceptical eastern European leaders.



Despite marathon negotiations, the EU remains deadlocked over its disputed climate package. At their meeting in Brussels yesterday, the EU environment ministers were unable to agree on new compromises. The emissions trading scheme is the biggest problem they faced. Nightlong marathon sessions by European ambassadors, regular telephone calls between the federal Chancellery in Berlin and the Elysee Palace in Paris, secret meetings of the most important negotiators - only the 27 European environment ministers who are technically responsible for climate policy making have nothing to decide anymore. Although the climate package is the EU's most expensive legislation of all time, the corridors of the Council of Ministers and the European Commission buildings in Brussels have been thrust in total chaos....

EU officials have been stressing repeatedly that there is no plan B. Not only does the EU want to set a good example with respect to the UNFCCC negotiations in Poland of a new climate deal, running in parallel, in order to encourage climate sinners like the USA or China to join the treaty. Next spring, new elections to the EU Parliament will be held. Thus, the election campaign will start in earnest in early 2009 - which is why no more time remains after December.

More here. [transl. BJP]


Roger Helmer MEP, Chairman of The Freedom Association, has led the growing opposition to the EU's plans to destroy jobs through its draconian attempts to reduce CO2 emissions. Here is the speech he made in the European Parliament today: "I have no doubt that we are facing the greatest threat we have seen in my lifetime. That threat is posed not by global warming, but our policy responses to it.

The world has certainly been warming, slightly and intermittently, for the last 150 years. But that warming is entirely consistent with well established, natural, long-term climate cycles established over thousands of years. We have seen the Holocene Maxima, the Roman Optimum, the Mediaeval Warm Period. We now seem to be entering a new 21st Century Climate Optimum.

The fact is that sea level is rising no faster than it has done for centuries. The fact is that total global ice mass is broadly constant. The fact is that extreme weather events are no more common now than they were a century ago. The Polar Bear, far from facing extinction, has seen a massive population increase in recent decades.

It is true that CO2 is a greenhouse gas - but a less important greenhouse gas than water vapour. The climate forcing effect of CO2 is not linear. It is a law of diminishing returns. From current level of around 380 ppm, further CO2 increases will have a trivial effect.

Meantime our emissions policies are having a devastating effect. They are doing vast economic damage. Our unachievable renewables targets, especially with regard to wind power, threaten widespread black-outs and power shortages. These measures will fail, just as Kyoto has failed. Even if the West cuts emissions, China and India will not. CO2 levels will keep rising for at least half a century.

The fact is that 1998 was the hottest year in living memory. Since then, we have seen ten years of global cooling. In that context, the climate policies we are debating today represent an unprecedented collective flight from reality."



This morning I awoke to a truly hilarious (if inadvertent) moment on BBC Radio 4's 'Today' programme ['Listen Again' from 07.17 am onwards]. There was good old Roger Harrabin sounding like some doleful Eeyore braying on about how terrible it was that Italy, Poland, France, and all the rest were likely to scupper the EU's efforts to save us all from "dangerous climate change", only to be followed by an item from a poor soul who was stuck up North somewhere because of heavy and unseasonal snow. The cognitive dissonance was deafening, yet none of the presenters flinched, nor had the wit to make a comment, such is the BBC's increasing deafness on the subject of climate change.

Here is what the 'Today' programme website says about Roger's item: "Environment analyst Roger Harrabin reports on the threat from Italy, Poland and other East European nations to veto the climate package because, they say, it would cost too much." The choice of the word "threat" speaks volumes; it never crosses the mind of the BBC that Italy, Poland, and the rest may actually be correct. I for one believe that they are, and so do millions of other people.

Sadly, I thus think that the situation at the BBC is now a serious one with respect to their uncritical reporting of climate change. Around the world, the grand narrative of 'global warming' is dying, strangled by the cold realities of the economic crisis, by world politics, by the fact that an increasing number of people are seeing through the exaggerations and distortions of much of the Green movement, but, above all, because of climate itself.

We now know that the world's average surface temperature has flat-lined, and then fallen, since at least 2001, but possibly since 1998. Indeed, during the last two years, the curve has plummeted, leading to severe winters in many countries. It is further arguable that we are about to enter a significant cooling phase, partly driven by two specific phenomena, the Pacific Multidecadal Oscillation (PMO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), coupled with the lateness and the weakness of Solar Cycle 24, leading to low sunspot activity.

What is worse, climate models have failed to predict these trends, a fact which is hardly surprising, because we know so little about 80% of the variables - from cosmic rays to clouds and water vapour - driving climate. Belief in 'global warming' is a little like crossing a bridge for which the engineers have understood about 20% (if that) of the forces involved. Moreover, modelling is essentially 'soft' science, dependent on the choice of factors inputted. Models are thus less subject to rigorous falsification, and they can only be judged with respect to historical contingency and real-world outcomes - like heavy snow in Yorkshire!

This would indeed all be hilarious, if the impacts of our ridiculous climate-change policies in the UK were not so potentially damaging economically. In these most straightened of times, they could well undermine our economy yet further, and thus our future capacity to adapt to climate change, whatever its direction, hot, wet, cold, or dry. If this happens, we must hold both the BBC and our bandwagon politicians fully accountable.

Worldwide, 'global warming' as a trope is on its way out [this is partly why I have moved to this more general blog from my old blog, 'Global Warming Politics' - it was becoming so old hat and boring]. Furthermore, we should not be kidded by Obama's team on this; although America will surely 'talk-the-talk', their prime interest is always going to be in energy security (and rightly so).

The BBC really does need to chill out over its coverage of 'global warming', and quickly. Regrettably, however, I suspect that the 'global warming' corpse will still be twitching in the UK when the stake has gone through its heart in pretty well every other country.


A real problem in the atmosphere

Representatives from more than 192 countries have gathered at a UN climate change conference in Poznan, Poland, to find a way to stop global warming. But a delegation from the [British] Met Office said it is just as important for the world to stop pollution, which is set to kill 800 more people every year by 2020 in the UK alone.

Dr Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office, said new scientific evidence shows pollution is a bigger problem in terms of human health than previously thought. She says that it can exacerbate the effects of climate change with deadly consequences. This is because increased pollution not only heats the planet through the greenhouse effect but stops plants from absorbing carbon, which in turn increases pollution again.

She pointed out that polluting gases are already killing 1,500 people in the UK every year and that is expected to increase to around 2,391 deaths a year by 2020. By the 2090s close to one-fifth of the world's population will be exposed to pollution well above the World Health Organization recommended safe-health level. This is expected to cause deaths from respiratory problems on top of the destruction caused by climate change.

Dr Pope will be lobbying the conference to try to reduce pollution as well as climate change at the conference. She said: "It is not just a question of climate change and rainfall change and the impact of that. A lot more people suffer from air quality problems than suffer from heat. It is an additional problem that people have not really taken into consideration that now needs to be looked at as part of climate change negotiations."


Bed bugs rife in Australia again -- thanks to the Greenies

Banning DDT has brought them back. And killing them is very difficult without DDT

BLAME everything from council clean-up scabs to dirt cheap airfares, Sydney's bed bug problem has exploded with a 4500 per cent increase in treatments for the tiny pests. It has become so bad Westmead Hospital will, for the first time, run courses on how to detect and control the blood suckers next year.

Summer's warmth kicks the creatures into active mode and yesterday Australia's top bed bug expert, Westmead Hospital entomologist Stephen Doggett, said: "In the past few weeks I've had a lot of calls and I expect an explosion of calls now it's getting warmer. Everywhere from five-star hotels to family homes can be infested. Between 2000 and 2006 there was a 4500 per cent increase in calls."

Mr Doggett said the bugs were now resistant to common insecticides after being wiped out in Australia during the 1950s with the aid of the now banned chemical DDT.

Cheap airfares had fueled a big increase in travel, including to poorer countries. "Bed bugs can travel in luggage and what do people do when they first get to a hotel, they put their luggage on the hotel bed infecting it too," Mr Doggett said. He said Westmead's entomology unit had calculated the bugs cost $100million in lost hotel revenue and eradication costs in Australia between 2000 and 2006. "The accommodation industry does not want to admit the scale of the problem," he said.

Bed bug killers San Souci's Pink Pest Services said pleas for help had doubled in recent years as the bug invasion spread. "Worst areas in homes are Bondi, Surry Hills and Redfern," a spokesman said.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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