Opinion

Was Poland’s COP-24 Climate Change Conference the End?

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Posted: Dec 10, 2018 11:32 AM
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Was Poland’s COP-24 Climate Change Conference the End?

I’m just back from Katowice, Poland—site of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest climate change conference. The UN had been threatening to inflict such meetings on the world every year until we surrendered to their carbon taxes. Today, however, I wonder if Katowice - - the 24th - - will turn out to be the last such IPCC climate get-together? 

The global outlook for Green Energy has suddenly gone from weak to bleak as international revolts against carbon taxes go viral.   

In France, President Macron retreated from view as truck drivers, farmers, and students joined the Yellow Vest movement in the fourth straight weekend of riots. They’re protesting Macron’s promises to keep raising French fuel taxes ever-higher—to force coal, gasoline, and fuel oil out of French daily life. (Without France’s many nuclear plants - - which produce no CO2 – the electric costs in France would be vastly higher.)   

Further broadening the French protests, a major police union also called for an ‘unlimited strike’ in solidarity with the Yellow Vests. The union complained that the French government wanted the police to “take the blows” instead of its policymakers. 

The Washington Post said, “The sight of one of Europe’s most climate-ambitious countries beating a hasty retreat over a proposal that would have hiked gasoline tax by 4 cents, or just under 3 percent, high-lighted the difficulty of imposing any economic pain in the name of tackling climate change.” But the Post is being disingenuous. The 4-cent tax hike was clearly billed as just the first step in Macron’s “whatever it takes to kill fossil fuels” taxation regime.  

In Germany, the fabulous electrical cost overruns from Germany’s solar panels and wind turbines are driving long-time Chancellor Angela Merkel out of office. However, she is trying to leave the ever-costlier renewables policy in place, and even leaving her mandate to close Germany’s remaining nuclear plants. (That was issued after the tsunami hit Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plants in 2011, though tsunamis are unknown on Germany’s Baltic seacoast.)  

Germany’s powerful chemical and auto companies now fear they’ll have to build their future plants in lower-cost energy markets such as China, India, and the United States. 

In Canada, Premier Justin Trudeau’s government was dumped due to his nationwide carbon tax plan. New Premier Doug Ford and his conservative coalition promise to reject carbon taxes. Australian lawmakers voted to repeal their country’s carbon tax in 2014.

In Katowice, my Heartland Institute team was approached Wednesday by Solidarity, the Polish ship-builders union that brought down Poland’s Communist Government in the 1980s. Solidarity immediately signed a working agreement with Heartland, aimed at helping protect Poland’s continued use of coal. The EU has threatened massive fines if the Poles keep mining the coal that is their only major energy source.   

In Katowice, Heartland offered speakers who explained that the sun, not CO2, was the real source of the Modern Warming. They noted that Earth’s temperatures have trended upward since the depths of the Little Ice Age. In 1715, the new telescopes saw a weak sun with only 1.5 sunspots per day. Three hundred years later, in 2001, a much stronger sun created 170 sunspots per day. The correlation between atmospheric CO2 and Earth’s temperature over the last century is a weak 19 percent. The correlation between sunspots and Earth’s temperatures is a powerful 79 percent. 

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The world’s top particle physics laboratory, the Geneva-based CERN, found in 2016 that the Modern Warming is just the next phase of the long, natural Dansgaard-Oeschger Cycle. That cycle since 600 AD has brought us successively the Dark Ages, the Medieval Warming, the Little Ice Age and the Modern Warming.  

It’s also noteworthy that a recent study of cornfield temperatures in Illinois over the past 60 years found no increase in field temperatures. In the locations where there was significant temperature change, it was to lower temperatures rather than higher. What does that tell us about the litany of “hottest year ever” claims from NOAA and NASA? 

At this point, only a minority of Americans believe they are seriously threatened by man-made warming.  They are unwilling to give the U.S. government the power that Germany gave to its government - - to triple and quadruple their energy costs. Four-dollar gasoline is still too fresh a memory. If Katowice, Poland, turns out to be the last UN IPCC climate conference, they’re likely to applaud.