Thursday, January 30, 2014

Laws of Iron and Wealth: web round-up

some new stories and old lessons
First from Germany:
Schäuble warns green policies are harming German economy | Financial Post
Germany’s powerful finance minister said on Tuesday that Berlin may have gone too far in its attempts to protect the environment, saying his government must now “rebalance” its policies to ensure environmental regulations do not cost jobs.
Wolfgang Schäuble took issue with claims that the “green economy” will be a major driver of employment, saying Berlin’s decision two years ago to shutter its nuclear power plants and emphasise renewables needed to be re-examined.
“We did it too good and now we have to correct because otherwise we have an increasing of energy costs which will harm jobs in Germany in a serious way in the medium term...
Mr Schäuble’s remarks come amid rising concerns in European industry that the EU is losing competitiveness internationally because of its rising energy costs, particularly in comparison to the US, where exploitation of shale gas has been hailed as a source of inexpensive energy that could help reindustrialise the US economy.
Real life thus demonstrated Roger A. Peilke Jr.'s "iron law of climate policy: When policies on emissions reductions collide with policies focused on economic growth, economic growth will win out every time."

Barack Obama gave a speech the other night that did mention his success with an "all of the above" strategy; but he only specifically noted natural gas (methane) and solar ... which, in terms of energy generation in 2013, ignores most of the all (39% coal and 19% nuclear).
One who is inherently suspicious of Americans (I'm Canadian... for instance) might wonder if groundwater and methane leakage concerns are being downplayed simply because gas is cheap when fracking abounds.

Europe's Stark Renewables Lesson: Like Frankenstein, the EU has created a renewable-energy monster it does not know how to tame | Wall Street Journal
As the U.S. powers into an era of cheap, abundant energy, across the Atlantic the European Commission reckons electricity prices will rise 31% before inflation by 2030 from 2011, and will consume an increasing share of European GDP. Widening energy-price disparities may reduce production and investment and shift global trade patterns, the commission concedes. However, it adds, if other countries outside Europe agreed to cap their greenhouse-gas emissions, they would help Europe's energy-intensive industries—hardly an inducement for them to do so.
...Europe offers a stark lesson. When it comes to unilateral cuts in greenhouse emissions and aggressive incentives for renewables, this is a global race you don't want to win. As Europe shows, the winner loses—big.
The Wall Street Journal could be accused of bias - but ...
Oettinger rallies opposition to 2030 CO2 target |
The EU’s energy commissioner, Günther Oettinger, has spoken out against a planned 40% cut in CO2 emissions across the EU by 2030, just a week after he helped to launch the policy.
Speaking at an ‘Industry Matters’ conference in Brussels, Oettinger said those who expected the cut to “save the world” were “arrogant or stupid”, and publicly questioned whether the reduction was even achievable.

...“To think that with this 4.5% of global emissions you can save the world is not realistic,” Oettinger said. “It is arrogant or stupid. We need a global commitment.”
...Emma Marcegaglia the president of BusinessEurope, Europe's employers association also backed Oettinger, saying that the 40% greenhouse gas target would only be seen as realistic if a global deal was signed at the UN climate conference in Paris.
“We must make sure we are not once again a lone frontrunner without followers, as has happened before,” she said.
40% by 2030 ... if that stance leads to firm global targets in Paris, allowing European industry to compete.


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