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10 May 2023 | News Roundup
  • From Trade War III, we bring you European deployment of large tariffs: “The European Union has approved the world’s first carbon tax on imports. It’s designed to make certain products a lot more expensive if they come from manufacturers that aren’t paying for their greenhouse gas emissions.” Of course “The stated goal of these tariffs is to level the playing field.” But that’s what they all say, isn’t it? Including about the massive subsidy blasts also working overtime to beggar our neighbours and ourselves in a two-fer. Of which even Gerry Butts-affiliated GZERONorth said “Trying to compete with a policy that is the green equivalent of Micky Rourke yelling ‘drinks for all my friends’ is tricky. And expensive.”
  • From the “does it also cause gout?” file we bring you the view of “Frances Donald, chief economist at Manulife Investment Management” that “The new inflation, and in my view, the inflation that is going to permeate the system in Canada and abroad for the next several years, and probably the next few decades, is a different type of inflation that’s going to be increasingly driven by global factors, supply-side factors, climate change…” Add “policy” after “climate change” and we’re inclined to agree. Relentlessly rising carbon taxes and anti-energy regulations driving up the cost of everything and then the government handing out cash to compensate is a sure-fire recipe for inflation.
  • Then from the “satire can’t keep up” file we note that, after making the gout joke, we Googled and yes, someone is out there claiming climate change exacerbates gout. As they would be.
  • Last week we noted growing doubts about the feasibility of the green energy transition we were once told was so easy and profitable it was amazing that it needed subsidies. Now (h/t Judith Curry) Andrew Nikiforuk in The Tyee admits, with much discouraging detail, that “We are going to have to dramatically downsize the dream of a future in which we replace 150-year-old fossil fuel infrastructure with ‘clean energy’ by 2050. That’s the message in a number of recent important reports and books. They underscore a number of problems with the renewables illusion, including the complexity of the task, the toxicity of rare earth mining and the scarcity of critical minerals.” They still want us to ditch fossil fuels. But now they’re admitting that, as one put it, “we will scale back our needs and our society will simplify”. Or at least we’ll scale back our haves, and your life will “simplify”. Al Gore’s, not so much.
  • When the Canadian government declared that it would streamline the regulatory process around permits we warned Canadian hydrocarbon producers that they wouldn’t benefit even if the government somehow pulled it off. Which we said was highly unlikely anyway. And sure enough “Canada is about to lose a promising tidal power venture – one that’s already received millions in government grants in addition to investing $30 million of its own funds – because the feds either can’t or won’t get their act together issuing permits.”
  • And yes, they’re coming for your stove. Heatmap crows that “The Empire State took a big leap toward a carbon-free future this week” and Canary Media chortles “New York passes first statewide ban on gas in new buildings/ The first-in-the-nation law takes aim at a major source of carbon emissions and air pollution starting in 2026, but it doesn’t affect existing buildings.” Yet.
  • They’re also coming for your lawn mower: “Gas leaf blowers and lawn mowers are shockingly bad for the planet. Bans are beginning to spread. Advocates say using a commercial gas leaf blower for an hour produces emissions equal to driving from Denver to Los Angeles.” And when advocates say...
  • Finally, for all those climate alarmists who hate spring (as in “There’s No Stopping the Allergy Apocalypse/ Climate change is pumping the air with pollen, and it’s a problem even for people who don’t think they’re allergic”), well, Michigan had about three feet of snow in May. Children still know what it is, apparently.

3 comments on “Tidbits”

  1. Recondite as it may be to quote from Ayn Rand's 'Atlas Shrugged' in the present intellectual climate, I thought the following was worth repeating:
    ''To the extent to which a man is rational, life is the premise directing his actions. To the extent to which he is irrational, the premise directing his actions is death.''
    There is no conspiracy. What we are seeing is the logical outcome of a natural law.

  2. I don't need mandates against my gas powered lawn tools. I am totally sold on my cordless lawnmower, leaf blower and chainsaw. They are quieter, less smelly, and I don't throw my shoulder out trying to start them. I couldn't care less about CO2 emissions as I have a gut feeling that they are responsible for as much over their life cycle. Of course, I am also quite certain that increasing atmospheric CO2 is more of of a benefit than a danger. I will be difficult to replace my riding mower for those larger areas, however, and if they try to take my gas stove, well, let the chips fall where they may.

  3. Another great News Roundup. However the comment regarding small engines is true, but not in the sense that warmists think. Any four stroke cycle gasoline -fuelled lawnmower will emit as much exhaust pollution as 100 or so modern automobiles do, but the pollution doesn't include CO2. If one is measuring HC, NOx, and CO then small engines are remarkably dirty compared to a modern gasoline automobile. In fact an electric vehicle is only a marginal improvement over a modern gasoline vehicle, except for the CO2 emitted - and that is only an issue if one believes CO2 to be a pollutant. Two stroke gasoline engines have been banned in Los Angeles county for at least thirty years now, and that's a good thing - two strokes are several times worse than four strokes for emissions.

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