The Climate Enforcers

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) struggled a long time with how best to present the ´good news´. Global warming has been stagnating for 15 years.
In fact, this is bad news for the IPCC, because in 2007 they hit the alarm button on dramatic global warming. Politicians, civil servants, activists and journalists surfaced to cover the theme.
The former American Vice-President Al Gore crowned himself a climate prophet. He won the Nobel Peace Prize, as did the IPCC. The British Prime Minister Gordon Brown stated: ´We have less than 50 days to save our planet´. The end seemed near. Science was 'solid' as a rock. Those who didn’t believe in the doomsday scenario were depicted as climate-deniers, just as bad as holocaust-deniers.

I also believe that the climate is changing. That’s how it has been for as long as there has been a climate. According to the IPCC report, global sea levels were 5-10 meters higher around 120.000 years ago than they are today. The report also says that ice in Greenland will melt in 1000 years, bringing with it a sea level increase of 7 meters. But why was the IPCC wrong in its predictions about the period of 1998-2013? The reason is that climate science lacks maturity. The German climatologist, Hans von Storch, is a prominent scientist who believes in climate change. He said in Der Spiegel: ´The biggest mistake of climate scientists is that they give the impression that they have a monopoly for the final truth about climate change. Some of them behave like preachers.´ Furthermore: ´If the lull in global warming lasts around 5 years, we need to admit that there is something fundamentally wrong with our climate models.´

The scaremongering of the IPCC in 2007 inspired a thoughtless climate policy within Europe. The EU demanded a leadership position in the global battle against climate change. A special European Commissioner of Climate policy with a new Directorate-General was introduced. The Commission provided extra subsidies to NGOs screaming that Europe should do more. This is how a political-bureaucratic complex of European climate enforcers arises.

It immediately went wrong. The EU established the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). Polluting companies had to buy emission rights and could subsequently trade these rights. According to the EU, this policy ought to encourage polluters to pursue cleaner production methods. The ETS had to come online quickly to save the earth, because of the huge time pressure. This way, emission rights were spread for free. It was a huge mistake to do this, as it further ruined the market, which collapsed totally due to the financial and economic crisis. CO2 emissions did decrease, though not because of climate policy, but rather because of economic stagnation.

Thereon the Commission launched the ETS as a ‘global system.’ All airline companies were to pay emission rights for the entire flight route. It was an obstacle for non-European airline companies. As soon as the pilot starts the engines of an American company’s plane at JFK airport, New York, the counter starts running in Brussels. America was furious, just like Russia and China. The EU legislation was extra territorial, but ok, the EU was simply the world’s ecological guide. Russia killed the plan by announcing a counter-charge on European companies operating flights over Siberia to the Far East.

In the meantime, the EU was aiming for more legislation on fuel quality, especially on Canadian tar sands oil, which is extracted in the province of Alberta, 7279 km away from Brussels. The EU thinks that oil sand excavation damages Alberta’s environment and that oil sands are too dirty. Canada, however, is environmentally conscious and is completely restoring nature in Alberta. Oil from tar sands is in the same quality category like oil from Nigeria, Venezuela and Iraq, all countries from which the EU imports. Remarkably, the EU does not import one single drop of Canadian oil. All tar sand oil goes to the US. The European Commission pretends to know it all within their ecological mission, dictating how environmental policy should look in Alberta, Canada.

The panic that the IPCC spread in 2007 completely derailed European policy makers. The ETS failed; the US, China and Russia form one big environmental rejection front and the EU is locked in a conflict with Canada, our valued ally and liberator. In the EU, the energy mix is out of balance. Heavily subsidised wind mills make electricity a luxurious article, while cheap shale gas is the new devil. The environment tax burden in the Netherlands is the highest in the EU. Rising energy prices, double those of the US, undermine European competitiveness and eventually end up costing jobs.

All thanks to science that was 'established' and the EU, which put itself in the spotlights as the ecological world guide.