As the “unseasonal” cold snaps and blizzards continue in parts of the US—and as other parts experience unseasonal warmth—the evidence keeps coming in that global warming is real. And largely a result of our burning fossil fuels.
To celebrate this clear trend the European Union, once a leader in the struggle to reduce greenhouse emissions, is having second thoughts. It seems that the fight against global warming is bad for business; Europe may be losing its competitiveness, according to the Financial Times. The EU has been strongly supporting renewable energy technology but now, because of the costs thereof—and pressure from the power and heavy manufacturing industries, it is relaxing the rate of replacement of fossil fuel resources by wind and solar energy. On January 22nd, according to the FT, the EU announced a set of climate and energy measures that “instead of producing another legally binding target for renewable generation—such as the 20 per cent goal in the 2020 climate deal—Brussels has set a 27 per cent target for 2030 that individual countries will effectively decide how to meet.” Pardon my skepticism for thinking that this step will not do much to slow the increase in global warming.
Meanwhile, in the US, the production of oil and gas from shale increases apace. To add to the gloom of environmentalists the State Department (not the Environmental Protection Administration) on January 31st reiterated its position that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada through the US would have no serious environmental effects.
Clearly the policy makers and the scientific community are at opposite poles of global warming; the scientists going for cooler and the politicians making it hotter. The politicians are more concerned about the future of business while the scientists are worried about the future of us all.
It seems that most politicians of the world closely resemble those “caring parents” who, harassed by rambunctious children, say to them: “Go out and play in the traffic for a while! There are no cars in sight at the moment.”
As I have said in the past, Ma Nature couldn’t care less about what we do. She’ll adjust the world to equilibrium one way or another. Even if it takes thousands of years and the disappearance of one or more of those pesky species. So if we want us and our progeny to survive in some sort of comfort we’d better decide very soon to take the matter upon ourselves.
Definitely don’t depend on the politicians to act decisively. Except for business as usual heading for the beach. In Alaska.