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Will Paris riots scuttle climate accord?

Will Paris riots scuttle climate accord?


The trade minister, Simon Birmingham, recently claimed Australia will honour its Paris climate agreement commitments but failed to name a mechanism for emissions reduction in government policy. He said that Morrison “has made very clear we will continue to honour our commitments” as Australia had done for the first and second round of Kyoto targets. “We continually see, in terms of that abatement target required to meet the 2030 targets, that gap is closing with each update and we’ll continue to work on the policy settings to make sure that is achieved
.” Asked if this would include emissions reduction in the electricity, agriculture or transport industry, Birmingham said the government would “encourage adoption of new technologies and new practices, all of which have played a big role meeting targets to date”. “We will continue to watch closely in terms of the projections around the abatement task and work hard to make sure Australia meets and fulfills our obligations.” Which to the average Joe sounds as we will do bugger all.
True, but what a splendid example of Party Propaganda, it doesn’t quite convince supporters and doesn’t quite deceive enemies.

And, it may be the case where it all collapses anyway as Pat Buchanan explains:

In Katowice, Poland, all the signers of the 2015 Paris climate accord are gathered to assess how the world’s nations are meeting their goals to cut carbon emissions.

Certainly, the communications strategy in the run-up was impressive.

In October came that apocalyptic U.N. report warning that the world is warming faster than we thought and the disasters coming sooner than we thought.

What disasters? More and worse hurricanes, uncontrollable fires, floods, the erosion of coastlines, typhoons, drought, tsunamis, the sinking of islands into the sea.

In November, a scientific report issued by 13 U.S. agencies warned that if greater measures are not taken to reduce global warming, the damage could knock 10 percent off the size of the U.S. economy by century’s end.

At the G-20 meeting in Buenos Aires, 19 of the attending nations recommitted to the Paris accord. Only President Trump’s America did not.

Yet, though confidence may abound in Katowice that the world will meet the goals set down in Paris in 2015, the global environmentalists seem to be losing momentum and losing ground.

Consider what happened this weekend in France.

Saturday, rage over a fuel tax President Emmanuel Macron has proposed to cut carbon emissions brought mobs into the heart of Paris, where they battled police, burned cars, looted, smashed show windows of elite stores such as Dior and Chanel, and desecrated the Arc de Triomphe.

In solidarity with the Paris rioters, protests in other French cities erupted.

Virulently anti-elite, the protesters say they cannot make ends meet with the present burdens on the working and middle class.

Specifically, what the rioters seem to be saying is this:
We cannot see the benefits you are promising to future generations from cutting carbon emissions. And we cannot survive the taxes you are imposing on us in the here and now.

What is happening in Paris carries a message for all Western countries.

Democracies, which rely on the sustained support of electorates, have to impose rising costs on those electorates, if they are to deeply cut carbon emissions.

But when the electorates cannot see the benefits of these painful price hikes, the greater the likelihood the people will rise up and repudiate those whom progressives regard as far-sighted leaders — such as Macron.

Paris shows that Western elites may be reaching the limits of their political capacity to impose major sacrifices upon their constituents, who are turning to populists of the left and right to dethrone those elites.

Trump has been using tariffs to cut the trade deficits America has been running in recent decades, to bring manufacturing back to the USA, and to restore America’s economic independence.

Excellent goals all. But the immediate impact of those tariffs is rising prices at the mall and retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports. Before the long-term benefits can be realized, the pain comes and the protests begin.

No one wins a trade war, we are told. But an America willing to endure lost access to British imports in the 19th century emerged in the 20th as the greatest manufacturing power history had ever seen, a nation independent of all others, and able to stay out of the great wars of that century.

Are the American people willing to make the sacrifices to restore that independence? Are the British people willing to pay the price that the restoration of their national independence, via Brexit, entails?

Authoritarians have it easier. Morally revolting and socially ruinous as its hellish policy was, China was able to impose, for decades, a one-couple, one-child mandate on the most populous nation on earth.

According to the Paris agreement, poorer nations were promised $100 billion a year, starting in 2020, to cut carbon emissions. Anyone think that the newly nationalistic peoples of the West will tolerate that kind of wealth transfer to the Third World indefinitely?

In the Paris climate accord, China and India were given a pass to produce carbon emissions, while reductions were mandated for the Western powers.

How long will the West go along with that, while paying ever-rising prices to cut their own carbon emissions?
China, according to The New York Times, “consumes half the world’s coal. More than 4.3 million Chinese are employed in the country’s coal mines. China has added 40 percent of the world’s coal capacity since 2002.”

Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, is planning new coal-fired power plants and financing them across Asia.
What we are witnessing is an irrepressible conflict between democratic governments committed to cutting carbon emissions “to save the planet,” and their constituents who can refuse to bear those sacrifices by throwing out politicians like Macron.

Perhaps it says something about the future that the host city for this meeting of Paris climate accord signatories, Katowice, is in Silesia, a region that is home to some 90,000 coal workers — around half of all the coal workers in the EU.

 

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Penguinite 16/12/2018, 7:40 am

    New word for the Logophiles; Macronic. Meaning ; a person that pretends to care with useless gestures and phrases like “let them eat cake”. Last supposedly uttered by Marie Antoinette as “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”, and she was executed.

  • Graham Richards 16/12/2018, 7:47 am

    I will continue my commitment not to return to the Coalition until I see a real changes in policies. Simply claiming the Accord & other BS will remain in name only rings of the ALP saying that once in power they’ll change their policies to whatever they feel like changing.
    In other words Mr Morrison, Labor may as well be in control. At least we know it’ll be a total balls up, unlike you, where we know it’ll be a Turnbull fiasco all over again.

  • DT 16/12/2018, 8:25 am

    The Paris Agreement related electricity supply crisis of pricing and reliability makes no sense unless it is all about profiteering on the hoax.

    If there was a reason to move to a new system of generators then wind and solar are not the solution. Unreliable intermittent supply, wind and solar, cannot maintain a large electricity grid, and when used to supply around 30% cause destabilisation leading to power failure.

    Therefore as the Howard Government commissioned report recommended build nuclear power stations, replacing coal to provide steam to drive steam turbine powered generators.

    • Penguinite 16/12/2018, 9:50 am

      Reckon Hydrogen is closer DT?

      • Neville 16/12/2018, 5:12 pm

        Hydrogen – probably not for baseload electricity, Peng. Problem is getting the hydrogen – has to be made, generally with electricity. Hydrogen is really more of a sort of a “battery”, in that it stores the electricity used to crack it from water, then more or less gives up that electricity when burned.

    • DT 16/12/2018, 11:38 am

      I read a while ago that in the UK there is the world’s first nuclear fission reactor now operating and the technology will be soon made available.

      Thorium molten salt reactors are another possibility.

      I am not well informed on Hydrogen as a fuel.

      But this is interesting;

      https://www.mpoweruk.com/hydrogen_fuel.htm

      • Biking Voter 16/12/2018, 4:26 pm

        I think that Chicago’s Pile-1 was the worlds first nuclear fission reactor in 1942. Perhaps maybe you meant fusion rather than fission.

        At the moment the worlds first and only nuclear fusion reactor is 50% complete in Southern France.

  • Penguinite 16/12/2018, 9:48 am

    What Accord?

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