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The backlash lashes on

14 Feb 2024 | News Roundup

Meanwhile outside the courtroom, there is something of a political rout of climate alarmists underway. Including “Victory for Europe’s farmers as Brussels caves in on emissions targets and eating less meat” from The Telegraph. Politico fretted that “Europe’s Greens are on the ropes/ Farmers’ ire and a right-wing surge is testing the EU’s climate goals. And the Greens that backed them are teetering.” Bloomberg warned that “Germany’s Budget Chaos Leaves Green-Energy Projects in Limbo”. The Wall Street Journal writes “Europe’s Green Agenda Collides With Geopolitical, Economic Reality”. And even Reuters, under the nest of headings “Climate & Energy/ Environment/ Climate Change” conceded that “Green backlash looms over EU elections”. As we ourselves have warned, people frequently tell pollsters what they know they’re supposed to think, poll answers costing you only a bit of time. But they also often supported climate policies because they were promised, and believed, that they would cost very little or even make us all better off. There was never mass buy-in to mass impoverishment to prevent tiny changes in temperature. And to the extent that those in charge of public policy really believed they could improve the weather at minimal cost they are in a hole they dug themselves. As they also are if they knew it was untrue but figured by the time the public noticed it would be too late.

It is unfortunate that disruptive protests drive much public policy. It doesn’t matter whether we agree with the goal of the protest or not. It’s much better to set policy by calm deliberation then a show of hands than by angry demonstration then a show of fists. But in this case we do agree with the goal. The amazing desire of European governments, as manufacturing withers and citizens suffer cold due to high energy prices driven by Net Zero obsessions, to demolish agriculture at the same time and then say you didn’t really want that food anyway really does testify to their lack of realism. The critical components of survival are food, clothing and shelter and they’re taking aim at two. Or three if you understand how much modern fabric depends on petrochemicals for its manufacture and even feedstocks.

Reuters noticed that something happened. But it is not impressed by the proles:

“During the last European Union elections in 2019, hundreds of thousands across the 27-nation bloc staged protests to fight climate change. Ahead of this year’s EU vote, farmers are in the streets demanding fewer green rules, and politicians cannot afford to ignore them. A shift in political tone around how to protect the planet is looming over EU Parliament elections in June, even as climate change unleashes more severe and costly extreme weather.”

Partly those in charge, and far too many of those in charge of informing the public, suffer from a lack of scientific realism. Most of them have no idea what the real state even of the IPCC’s science is on warming, extreme weather and so on, let alone less zealous outfits and individuals. But partly it’s economic. They do often seem to feel that everyone can work in government bureaucracies, a lot of them in the DEI department, because they actually think governments create wealth rather than, ideally, creating the conditions under which it can be created by others.

Such people also suffer from a more general disconnect between means and ends. As The Telegraph noted:

“The European Union has caved in to angry protests from farmers, cutting its target to scrap specific agricultural emissions which formed part of the bloc’s net zero drive. A demand to reduce nitrogen, methane and other emissions linked to farming by almost a third has been removed from a wider Brussels plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 90 per cent by 2040.”

So the high and mighty in Brussels, and elsewhere in European government, still intend to cut emissions by 90 percent in 16 years, having essentially failed to cut them at all in the last 25. They just won’t do it using the methods they claimed were essential until last week.

It might seem odd to criticize them for lack of attention to methods when half the time they’re in full attack mode across the entire front. Thus:

“On Tuesday, Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, offered a further concession to demonstrating farmers by dropping her controversial proposal to halve pesticide use within six years.”

Which she’s only in a position to do because she had been pushing it even while trying to take away their fertilizer and their cows. What’s more, a possible hat tip to public opinion:

“A recommendation urging EU citizens to eat less meat was also removed from the plan.”

Since it was only a recommendation one assumes the main point was to avoid ridicule and anger over being seen as snobby control freaks. Better still, we advise, not to be snobby control freaks. But still, one thing at a time. Including in the retreat. Reuters wrote that:

“‘There is a clear backlash on the agriculture part of the Green Deal,’ said French EU lawmaker Pascal Canfin. ‘But there is no backlash for the rest,’ he said.”

Give it time. Meanwhile it’s full steam ahead until um the next serious protest.

Or not. As The Times observed, in Britain:

“The energy secretary is planning to scrap the so-called boiler tax in a move that will be welcomed by homeowners facing the prospect of having to spend money to replace an old appliance. Under the government’s “clean heat” strategy, targets had been drawn up to help phase out gas boilers and deliver 600,000 eco-friendly heat pump installations a year by 2028…. Even though the target had not come into force, manufacturers were already increasing prices on their gas boilers to counter the impact of the fines, with prices set to increase by up to £120 this year.”

And the Guardian, in horror, wrote:

“Labour to ditch £28bn annual green investment pledge, party sources say/ Exclusive: Party will keep plan to invest in green infrastructure but will in effect cut green ambitions by about two-thirds…. The sources said the party would keep the core mission of investing in green infrastructure… But it will in effect cut its green ambitions by about two-thirds”.

In a way it’s an odd anti-pledge, given that the British government spends over £1 trillion a year. What’s £28 billion? But when it’s all unraveling, it all tends to unravel. As for instance when Carscoops writes that “Porsche Exec Says Europe’s ICE Ban Could Be Delayed/ A slowdown in demand for battery-electric vehicles could force the EU to rethink the ban”.

Bloomberg chimes in with “As political paralysis grips Berlin, the energy crisis was the final blow for a growing number of manufacturers… its days as an industrial superpower may be coming to an end.” Those who remember the Cold War and the only partly tongue-in-cheek explanation for East Germany’s status as its economic engine that “The system has not been invented under which the German people cannot work” will understand the scale of this achievement… in a bad way.

Even Climate Home News noticed the scale of the problem:

“Changes of mind and broken promises. That’s been the tune of the week. In the European Union, the Commission caved in to furious protests by farmers and backed away from putting forward specific emission-cutting targets for agriculture. The reason is simple: amid a rising green backlash, incumbents fear hemorrhaging support from rural voters when they go to the polls in June.”

What they still don’t seem to grasp is that rural voters have a point about policies that hurt far more than we were promised and do far less good than we were promised.

Rather than admit the costs, Canada’s government plans even sneakier measures. A Toronto Star story notes “What are Canadians willing to sacrifice in the fight against climate change? The Canadian government’s team of behavioural scientists is turning its attention from the pandemic to climate change.” Yes, mass hypnosis is what we need. But will it work? David Gelles in the New York Times “Climate Forward” reports:

“When I caught up with Jane Goodall in 2019, she was calling on consumers and businesses to make responsible choices and protect the natural world. Now she is telling people something much more simple: vote. The celebrated primatologist thinks governments around the globe are not working hard enough to combat climate change. And in a year when more than 40 countries — including the United States, India and South Africa — will be electing their leaders, Goodall is telling anyone who will listen that the health of Earth itself is on the ballot. ‘Half of the population of the planet is going to be voting,’ she said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos last week. ‘This year could be the most consequential voting year in terms of the fate of our planet.’”

They are voting. Just not for green fantasies and empty plates in cold dining rooms.

How strange. Especially to the Davos crowd. Whom Gelles somehow managed to accuse in another “Climate Forward” piece of not being very committed to fighting climate change, while Manuela Andreoni also in “Climate Forward” claimed “Climate is on the ballot around the world”. Yes. And there is an option to vote no if you’ve been misled by your betters.

5 comments on “The backlash lashes on”

  1. People usually change their minds politically over pocketbook issues.One thing to naively cheer on green policies until it starts affecting the amount
    of disposible green cabbage in your wallet or purse.Or being asked not to charge your EV or use your AC because the windmills or solar panels can't
    handle too many people doing it at once.(unless you're really woke and live in a place like California).What "sacrifice am I willing to make to fight
    climate change" to paraphrase The Red Star?Absolutely nothing!Why would I try to fight nature?It's normal,natural,and variable,and is affected by
    so many other things than just human activities,we are likely an insignificant part of a very complicated phenomenon.Now if you ask what I'm willing
    to do to reduce true pollution(not CO2),you'll get a completely different answer.

  2. Plus ca change: Paris 1789; the French Revolution over food. Paris 2024; the French Revolution over food. Vive la France.

  3. The rebellion against the woke climate/insane continues to build. Trudeau circling the bowl, our female Trudeau mayor in calgary facing a recall, people are sick to death of virtue signalling moronic politicians. It’s too bad we cannot force a federal election here as it would be epic slaughter.

  4. I remain astonished that any sane person can believe the "global warming" nonsense, ot the claim that the global; temperature is rising, or that natural disasters are increasing in number and intensity, or that the global tenperature was never so high as right now, or that walruses and polar bears are dying because polar ice is melting, or that coral reefs are dying because of hot water, or that ocean water levels are rising, or that we should kill off all the beef, or... One day this too shall pass, but the expense is fearful. Keep your ICE car, as the next ice age is coming.

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