Thursday, October 29, 2015

Poland May Save The West Again!

New Polish Government Opposes EU Climate Deal
Poland's New Government & The Paris Climate Conference
New Polish Government May Opt Out Of EU Climate Deal
US Congress To Investigate NOAA’s Temperature Adjustments
Climate Scares Discredited
Winemakers Will Adapt To Climate Change, International Body Says

Editor's Note: Due to Poland's geographic position Poles have been at the center of defending Europe from the Golden Horde, Muslim invasions, Nazi Germany, Communism and now Eco-Fanaticism. It's a shame they get so little credit! One more thing. Here is a complete list of all the things Global Warming - or Climate Change - is supposed to be causing.

Poland’s opposition Law and Justice party is on course for an election victory unprecedented in the country’s modern history after pledging a tougher stance on refugees and more state control over the economy. Tapping concerns among some of its conservative Catholic base that too many Muslims are being allowed into Europe, Law & Justice opposes German-led efforts forcing EU member states to take in more migrants. It’s against plans to curb CO2 emissions, which would hit the country’s unprofitable coal mining industry. It also seeks western support for a greater NATO presence on Polish soil. --Bloomberg, 26 October 2015

The likely winner of Poland's Oct. 25 parliamentary election called on Tuesday for a renegotiation of a climate deal agreed last year by the European Union, saying the country needed more coal-based power stations. The European Union agreed last year, after marathon negotiations, to cut greenhouse gases by 40 percent by 2030, pitting heavy industry against green business. The emissions goal is also the basis of the EU position for the Paris climate change talks that start on Nov. 30. "We have to fight for this in the European Union. As to the climate package renegotiation is needed. We should not have agreed to that, it could have been vetoed," PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said. --Reuters, 13 October 2015

One potential sticking point between an eventual PiS government and Berlin is climate policy. Germany has been at the forefront of tougher EU climate policies, but Lipiński said Poland under PiS would “do everything it can to reverse the current policy because they believe coal remains Poland’s energy future.” Poland has huge coal reserves and depends on it for roughly 90 percent of its electricity needs. Waszczykowski said the current government made a “big mistake” last year by accepting an EU-wide target calling for a 40 percent emissions cut by 2030 because Poland needs “more time” to reach this target. PiS suggests it would want to negotiate opt-outs from EU rules on carbon emission reductions, and says the crucial role of coal for Poland’s economy deserves “special treatment.” Such a move would likely prove contentious with Berlin. --Politico, 23 October 2015

Poland’s leading opposition party is seeking to negotiate exemptions from the European Union’s rules on reducing carbon emissions because the nation’s energy security and economic development depends on coal. Law & Justice, which opinion polls show winning October’s general election, has vowed to toughen Poland’s stance on climate issues to protect the $526 billion economy, which relies on coal for about 90 percent of its electricity. While the government has been critical of EU emissions goals, it didn’t veto last year’s move toward stricter curbs on discharging heat-trapping carbon dioxide. “The strategy that we’re planning for the economy rejects the dogma of de-carbonization,” Piotr Naimski, in charge of preparing energy policy at Law & Justice, said in an interview last week. “The role of coal in Poland’s economy fully deserves to receive special treatment.” --Maciej Martewicz, Bloomberg, 22 June 2015

Whether Poland will continue to support the EU’s 2030 package or whether it will change in light of an inadequate Paris agreement will very much depend on the parliamentary elections this October. Poland’s main opposition party, the Law and Justice Party, opposes the EU’s 2030 climate package and has called it a serious blow for Poland’s economy. A victory for the opposition could spell the end of the decarbonisation consensus in Poland and the EU. Three years ago, the Law and Justice Party proposed a referendum on the EU’s 2020 climate package which the party opposed just as much. Although it was voted down by MPs in 2012, there is clearly a case for reviving the referendum proposal if the Paris climate accord fails to become legally binding. A referendum would bring a renewed focus on just how much current climate policies are costing people both in the developed and developing worlds and just how little those policies are giving in return. --Benny Peiser, Keynote address to the Solidarność Trade Union Climate Conference, Katowice, Poland 29 May 2015
 
Questions lingered about key aspects of a draft agreement on the world’s climate, as the final scheduled round of negotiations ended Friday before a the crucial summit, which opens next month in Paris. Developed countries have said that they would commit 100 billion dollars per year to a global climate fund by 2020, but did not come to a concrete proposal for funding after 2020. A bloc of developing countries, the Group of 77, which comprises 134 countries, said the financing commitments did not go far enough. Environmentalists said there had been too little progress on moving the draft forward. --Deutsche Presse Agentur, 26 October 2015

Speculation about machinery of government changes is set to reach a fever pitch this week as MPs debate a private member’s bill on the abolition of the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The bill, introduced by the maverick Tory MP Peter Bone, is unlikely to pass — in its current form at least. Nevertheless, for the hundreds of civil servants at DECC, the debate will not be much fun because its dissolution remains a distinct possibility. If Mr Osborne does choose to wind up DECC, he might wait until the new year to do so— but I certainly wouldn’t rule out his doing so before then. --Robin Pagnamenta, The Times, 26 October 2015

The abolition of DECC would not be difficult to achieve. Energy policy could be transferred to the Department for Business and climate policy moved to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Many unnecessary green expenditure items could be phased out altogether. Moreover, the current political climate is favourable for such action. With green opposition deeply divided and ineffective, it is an ideal opportunity for the government to abolish this unnecessary arm of the state without much fuss (although, in practice, it is likely to happen after the Paris conference). Such a move would be good for cost-effective energy policy, good for consumers and good for the Exchequer. --Benny Peiser & Daniel Mahoney, City A.M. 27 August 2015

Domestic electricity prices are now the highest in the Europe and 52pc more than median prices in the Continent, surpassing both Ireland and Spain for the first time, according to official figures. Expensive policies designed to slash our reliance on fossil fuels are disproportionately driving up bills compared to other countries, experts say. --Kate Palmer, The Daily Telegraph, 24 October 2015
 
As Poland’s new government promises to be more assertive over everything from refugees to how to handle Russia, the first battle with Brussels is already looming and may prove to be just as divisive. The Law & Justice party, which is on course for an unprecedented parliamentary majority, will fight for special treatment under the European Union climate pact, according to Konrad Szymanski, the likely next minister responsible for EU affairs. As the continent’s largest producer of coal, Poland wants concessions going beyond what European leaders decided last year or it will seek an opt-out from the pact. --Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg, 27 October 2015

The head of a congressional committee on science has issued subpoenas to the Obama administration over a recent scientific study refuting claims that global warming had “paused” or slowed over the last decade. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and a prominent congressional skeptic on climate change, issued the subpoenas two weeks ago demanding e-mails and records from U.S. scientists who participated in the study, which undercut a popular argument used by critics who reject the scientific consensus that man-made pollution is behind the planet’s recent warming. --Joby Warrick, The Washington Post, 24 October 2015

One group wants wealthy countries to be beholden to an International Tribunal of Climate Justice. Another wants the final Paris agreement to reflect the rights of Mother Earth. Some countries want “free of cost” access to clean technology. Others have a counteroffer: “no text.” One thing everyone seems to agree on is that the past week of negotiations in Bonn, Germany, did little to make the decisions for a new global climate agreement any easier. While countries did make the thousands of options before them somewhat clearer, no one actually compromised. Come December, all the hard decisions will still be on the table. Finance remains the most contentious issue of the deal. Many developing nations feel that wealthy countries are trying to back out of a 2009 promise to deliver $100 billion annually by 2020, and some say the 1992 architecture of the entire climate change regime demands that industrialized nations deliver assistance in perpetuity for poorer countries. --Lisa Friedman, E and E News, 26 October 2015

A closely linked and equally contentious issue known in the talks as “loss and damage” is also shaping up to be one of the most contentious endgame decisions. Island nations and other countries deeply vulnerable to climate change are currently experiencing the impacts of extreme weather events that scientists say are worsened by the greenhouse gas emissions currently in the atmosphere. They want a provision in the main agreement out of Paris that will ultimately allow them to seek compensation. The United States and other rich countries are indeed rejecting any text that even implies their countries are liable for the impact of climate pollution. Their counteroffer to a lengthy G-77 proposal for tackling the issue is to delete the section altogether. Activists say they don’t believe that tactic will succeed. --Lisa Friedman, E&E News, 26 October 2015

India on Monday said that developed nations should come out with more ambitious climate action plans and hoped the coming climate change summit in Paris does not end up in “failure.” “We want equitable and just climate agreement in Paris. We do not want Paris to fail. We will try hard till the end that collective wisdom prevails. India is walking a sustainable path but we are on a growth trajectory. So we want more carbon space and that must be provided by those who have occupied that space for the last 150 years,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said. He said that the five-day session in Bonn recently was a “classic” example where the G-77 plus China and African grouping countries dominated and “marshalled” out “old, inequitable and very lopsided”draft agreement. --Press Trust of India, 27 October 2015

Participants in the Paris conference are expected to set up a Green Climate Fund to pay for renewable energy projects. Most of the money, $100 billion a year starting in 2020, will be provided by prosperous developed countries. President Obama intends to bypass Congress. The Obama era is winding down, however, and key Republicans are warning that Mr. Obama’s climate change agreement might not survive his departure in 2017. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent word to foreign embassies across Washington that any deal the president makes with United Nations members may not be legally binding without Senate approval. --Editorial, The Washington Times, 26 October 2015
 
Good news for wine drinkers – a leading international body says grape vines are a hardy little number and can survive climate change, at least over the medium term. Earlier harvesting, changes in grape varieties and new wine-making processes have already helped counter the impact of the harsher weather hitting vineyards across the globe, the head of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) says. “You can adapt to climate change or you can react to it,”Treasury Wine Chief Supply Officer Stuart McNab said at a Reuters Global Climate Change Summit earlier this month. --Reuters, 28 October 2015

Scientists say that there is significant disagreement about how climate change will affect the Gulf region, after one published study raised fears about high temperatures and humidity at the end of the century. The new research, by two scientists based in the United States, said that... unless greenhouse-gas emissions are cut, in the UAE’s major cities the wet-bulb temperature would, several times between 2071 and 2100, exceed the level at which humans could survive. The Global Warming Policy Foundation dismissed the latest study. The group’s director, the social anthropologist Benny Peiser, said: “These kind of scare stories crop up” whenever a UN climate-change conference is looming, a reference to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris that begins at the end of next month. “The fact of the matter is that warming over the last 50 years is much slower than most computer models predict. The models are wrong and the observations are more reliable than the models.” --Daniel Bardsley, The National, 27 October 2015

All public policies, in France, Europe and throughout the world, find their origin and inspiration in the battle against global warming. The impact on the entire field of scientific research is particularly clear and especially pernicious. There is not a single fact, figure or observation that leads us to conclude that the world‘s climate is in any way disturbed. Conclusions based on any kind of model should be disregarded. As the SCM specializes in building mathematical models, we should also be recognized as competent to criticize them. Models are useful when attempting to review our knowledge, but they should not be used as an aid to decision-making until they have been validated. --Calculation Mathematical Society, September 2015

Has anyone been wondering why we’ve been hearing so little about the Arctic lately? It turns out that the Arctic is far less ice free than many thought or expected just some years ago. So wrong can the models be. More Arctic ice and up to 1.5°C colder! The new study finds that in 2014 “more ice survived the summer as MYI than in the nine most recent years” and it was only “slightly less than during 1968–2015 on average” Also “between November 2014 and April 2015, winter air temperatures were between −0.5°C and −1.5°C colder than during 1980–2010.” --Pierre Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, 27 October 2015

For reading matter on my half-term trip away, I took Matt Ridley's latest book The Evolution of Everything. At nearly 400 pages long it's not a short book, but it turned out to be not nearly long enough to keep me occupied and by the middle of the week I had finished it. There's only one word to describe it: subversive. It's subversive of pretty much everything - religion, politics, technology, statism, central banking, education, culture. You name it and it's subverted by the book's central hypothesis. This is the idea that while we seek proximal, top-down explanations for change, in truth bottom-up forces are more powerful, more sustained, and more often than not are the true causes. So with this book, Ridley sets the philosophical cat well and truly among the pigeons, and those who make their living in the world of top-down plans are up in arms. --Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, 26 October 2015

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