Er global-oppvarming-hysteriet over?

I Norge har vi i det siste hatt det relativt kaldt, bla. med to kalde vintre, og noe tilsvarende har store deler av Europa, USA og Asia hatt. Også i Sør-Amerika finner vi tilsvarende kulde. Vi siterer fra Aftenposten i dag:

«Etter en av de kaldeste vintrene på flere tiår har regjeringen i Peru innført unntakstilstand i mer enn halve landet ... Over 400 mennesker har mistet livet som følge av kulden .. i hovedstaden Lima har innbygerne frosset og hutret med temperaturer på 8 grader, det laveste som er målt på 46 år.» (NTB-melding i Aftenposten 26/7)

Newsweek skrev nylig under tittelen «A Green Retreat» at politiske tiltak for å bekjeme global oppvarming var høyt prioritert, men nå er det annerledes:

«Now, almost everywhere, green politics has fallen from its lofty heights.
Following two of the harshest winters on record in the Northern Hemisphere—not to mention an epic economic crisis—voters no longer consider global warming a priority. Just 42 percent of Germans now worry about climate change, down from 62 percent in 2006. In Australia, only 53 percent still consider it a pressing issue, down from 75 percent in 2007. Americans rank climate change dead last of 21 problems that concern them most, according to a January Pew poll.

Last month Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, blasting climate change as a “sideshow” to global economic issues, canceled the meeting of environment ministers that has preceded the G8 or G20 summit every year but one since 1994. Merkel has slashed green-development aid in the latest round of budget cuts, while in Washington, Barack Obama seems to have cooled on his plan to cap emissions. In perhaps the most striking momentum reversal for environmental politicians, last month [Australian prime minsiter Kevin] Rudd became the first leader to be destroyed by his green policies. Flip-flopping over planned emissions cuts as the opposition exploited Australian voters’ flagging support for climate measures, he was finally ousted by party rebels.

What has turned the fight against global warming from vote getter to political hot potato in so many places at once? Each country has its own brute politics at play. Rudd was just as much a victim of infighting between factions in Australia’s Labor Party as of shifting public attitudes on global warming. Coming off a battle to push through landmark health-care-reform legislation through Congress, Obama has likely exhausted his political capital for another controversial and far-reaching bill. In Europe, bailouts first of banks and now entire countries have sucked up decision-making bandwidth and given an opening to those who argue that climate legislation is an unaffordable economic burden.

Cynics (and some frustrated environmentalists) say this is all just the usual cycle in media and politics, with the public tiring of the issue and moving on. Yet above all, it is climate politics itself that has turned murky and double-edged. No longer does it lend itself to the easy categories of good and bad that Rudd so successfully exploited in 2007. And controlling the global climate turned out to be a lot more complicated than the advocates of fierce and fast CO2 cuts would have us believe. Back in 2007, it was easy and popular—and cost nothing—to announce ever-tougher but faraway targets. The snag was that once in place, those lofty goals would require countries to get on with the harsh and costly business of reengineering entire economies, without which the numbers could never be reached.

Rudd was the first green leader to fall because he was the first one to be hit by the tough reality of having to translate goals into practice, says Oliver Geden, a climate-policy expert at SWP, a think tank in Berlin. Not only is Australia the world’s biggest exporter of CO2-spewing coal, but its citizens and businesses also gobble up energy at one of the world’s highest per capita rates. The changes required of Australians would be immense.

Increasingly, the whole concept of radical, top-down global targets is coming under scrutiny as citizens and governments face tougher choices over costs and benefits. Green policies can be popular when they mean subsidizing renewable fuels or going after unpopular power companies, but can quickly hit a wall when they force lifestyle change, such as less driving and fewer swimming pools—fears Rudd’s opponents have exploited. Policies that push trendy green fuels also cost much more than other options, such as replacing dirty coal with cleaner gas or emissions-free nuclear power. Some schemes, such as America’s corn ethanol and Europe’s biodiesel made from rapeseed, have virtually zero net emissions savings, but any petroleum they displace is quickly bought up by China. Even in the ideal case that the United Nations’ goal of 80 percent emissions reduction by 2050 is technologically and politically feasible, economists disagree widely on whether the cost of the current set of policies, such as carbon caps and green-fuel subsidies, is justified by the avoided damage from warmer temperatures.

What’s more, hitting emissions targets remains an elusive quest. The world’s most ambitiously green region, Europe, has already clocked an 11.3 percent decrease in emissions since 1990—except much of it has little to do with climate policy. Instead, a large part of the decrease is attributable to economic forces such as the collapse of communist-era industry in Eastern Europe (much of which has shifted to China), British utilities’ switch from coal to North Sea gas, as well as the recent recession. “It’s hard to believe that we can regulate the global temperature in 2050 when politicians cannot even get a handle on health expenditures next year,” says Geden.

There are other ways green policies have lost their innocence since 2007. In many ways, green projects have become just another flavor of grubby interest politics. Biofuels have become a new label for old-style agricultural subsidies that funnel some $20 billion annually to landowners with little effect on emissions (only Brazilian sugar-cane ethanol produces any significant savings; America’s corn ethanol and Europe’s biodiesel do not). Germany’s solar subsidies, a signature project in the country’s battle against climate change, are perhaps the most wasteful green scheme on earth, producing a mere 0.25 percent of the country’s energy at a cost to consumers of as much as $125 billion. A leading member of Merkel’s Christian Democrats in the German Parliament says there is growing unease both in his party and in the Bundestag “about the scary monster we’ve created that is sucking up ever larger amounts of money for a negligible effect.”

On top of all this unease came last November’s “climategate” affair over irregularities in the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations body whose findings are the basis of all climate policy. Though a review panel has since cleared the researchers of most allegations [slik går det når man blir satt til å granske seg selv!], the lingering controversy could further undermine the IPCC’s longstanding push for massive CO2 reduction targets as the only viable option to deal with global warming.

With green politics losing its moral high ground, there is a growing realization that climate change is just one policy priority among many that compete for limited resources and attention. That means, first, that climate politics will likely fall off its pedestal of being the Western world’s overarching priority. Second, the new sobriety could give more space to a third stream of climate politics between those who see warming as an unmitigated catastrophe that must be stopped at any cost, and those who reject global warming as a hoax.»

Vi avslutter sitatet her (link til den fullstendige artikkelen er nedenfor), men vil for egen del kommentere at påstandene om mennneskeskapt global oppvarming er en bløff, at påstandene ikke har videnskapelig holdbarhet, at påstandene er hausset opp og utnyttet for at politikere skal få makt, og at de tiltak som er iverksatt har vært svært skadelige da de har redusert frihet og velstand.

Vi vil dog ta for gitt at at ingen av de andre partiene i noe land vil fjerne de tiltakene – CO2-avgift, kvotehandlel, subsidier av grønn energi, etc. – som er innført for å bekjempe den påståtte menneskeskapte globale oppvarmingen.

DLF er selvsagt imot alle politiske klimatiltak som er innført, og vi vil ikke støtte noen nye. Klimaforandringer er et naturlig fenomen, og individuell frihet er det beste system til å handskes med alle typer probemer, også dette: Hvis man ikke liker det klima som er det hvor man bor bør man kunne flytte til et kaldere eller varmere klima.

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