Planet Gore

Refusing to Feel Europe’s Pain

A policy colleague from Washington state just left me a message to let me know a state official there just publicly insisted that Europe had actually suffered no costs from its failed experiment with cap-and-trade. Let’s leave it to the natives to have some fun with it, but while keeping an eye peeled for the fallout, because that’s a . . . what’s the word I’m look- . . . oh, right, a lie.
I understand that the West Coast is rather far for anyone to subscribe to European newspapers or, I dunno, check online before clicking his heels and spouting such happy talk, but someone might ask this fellow for his

sources for that claim. Good grief, even current Commission Vice President and former Environment Commissioner Margot “level the playing field” Wallstrom doesn’t stoop that far, but only dismisses the (now rather credible) claims of enormous cost as being overblown.
Planet Gore readers have seen a steady stream of quotes from industry officials, European headlines, and real-world impacts here for us (receiving the jobs from European capital flight), as well as the reality of steelworkers in Belgium not once but twice in the past few months taking to the streets demanding the madness go no further. Obviously Benny Peiser’s daily update is full of admission from Europe of how they can’t keep this up–see today’s cry for help from Germany’s economic minister–and I have also posted in this space numerous links to EEA reports with some helpful perspective. For example, the recent report showing that even though EU economy-wide emissions dipped during the ETS’s three-year run, covered emissions managed to rise, it is that distorting and subject to gaming.

So possibly this gentleman has confused that obvious “no gain” from their scheme with “no pain.” Whatever his reasons, his claim is demonstrably wrong. As both Roger Pielke Jr. and I have previously noted, at their meeting this past December the EU only managed to forge agreement on what is most likely to be a 4 percent C02 reduction by 2020. Remember, the 2008-2012 reduction was supposed to be -8 percent–so this is half that, not 4 percent more. And even this is based on a carefully selected 1990 baseline–meaning that even after banking the reductions from the post-1990 and Soviet-satellite economic collapse, and by expanding the European bubble to incorporate several economic basketcases into the broader EU-25, they still can expect an effective post-Kyoto emissions increase–and cannot find the political will to impose more pain to try and bring emissions down. He’s got it backward: it’s been all pain, no gain.
So what we have here is one more alarmist activist simply making things up to get his way. I sure understand why they believe debate is intolerable. A sign, possibly, of what we’ll hear in Washington in the coming push?

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