Just keep reminding yourself that things need to get worse before they get better.
Norway – a grand profiteer from blood carbon, according to the puritanical wing of the climate church – has come up with a very old and very bad answer to Europe’s energy price crisis.
According to the Times, the government is going to help pay Norwegians’ electricity bills:
“Each household is expected to save hundreds of pounds through state subsidies to cover half of power costs above a price floor over the coming months.”
Continue reading “Isn’t it good, Norwegian soot”
Wolfgang Munchau is a favourite European political commentator. You have to love a guy who ran the argument that Germany and Britain should team up to run the European Union.
Naturally you’d like to know his views on the new German governing coalition, which has just published its 178-page policy agreement.
The most interesting thing about the coalition is that it brings together the enviro-statist Green party with the right-liberal Free Democrats, who, as Munchau says “can’t stand the sight of each other”.
Continue reading “There is an alternative to Trump. It looks like this”
Now, a substantive contribution to the post-COP26 debate.
Ted Nordhaus is the nephew of Nobel prize winner William Nordhaus (who got his “for integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis”). But it’s fair to say they don’t agree on everything.
You wonder what uncle might think about his surprisingly angry but nonetheless coolly rational attack on ‘big climate’ in the Economist.
Continue reading “Maybe Judith Curry will be more famous than Greta Thunberg …”
The world climate revival meeting in Glasgow ended with Alok Sharma (the UK’s minister to COP26, as well as the presiding chief priest) in tears over a last minute word change. The countries which have built more coal fired capacity, more quickly, than just about anyone else in history (that’s you China and India) would only agree to phase its use “down”, rather than “out”.
Despite the (quite literal) imprecations of hellfire, the only truly substantive outcome of the conference may be the Chinese government’s practical suggestion that the world should aim for a global temperature increase of 2°. (Bill Gates also chipped in some climate realism, noting that 1.5° was probably unachievable.)
Continue reading “It will be a good day when Judith Curry is better known than Greta Thunberg”
So COP26 kicked off in Glasgow during the weekend. But it’s hard to get too enthused about an international jamboree if you’ve been involved in organising one.
The striving by the in-group to pre-cook an outcome which can be pitched as ‘successful’; the breathless blow-by-blow media coverage; the travelling circus of groupies, civil society and protesters. The Times reports on those making the pilgrimage to Scotland’s famously tough city, including “a Greek actor … on the final leg of a 2,000-mile run from Athens to Glasgow”. Which certainly sounds more attractive than the journey from Germany in a “human-sized hamster ball” – although the latter may have protection and shelter benefits.
Continue reading “Planes, trains and automobiles – and also by foot, sail, cycle – and metal ball”
The clock is ticking on global warming, the Dominion-Post warned this week ahead of the Climate Change Summit in Glasgow.
The opening paragraph of the report was ominous:
“Even after countries — excluding NZ — unveiled ambitious new pledges to cut emissions, it’s still not enough to achieve the global of 1.5 degrees Celsius of climate warming, a new report found.”
The article points out that NZ has been notably absent from the burst of announcements that have been made, but suggests we may make our declaration in Glasgow.
It argues that, as a small economy, NZ’s nationally determined contributions (NDCs) will not sway the dial much.
But Green co-leader James Shaw, who is representing NZ at the conference, may find anything he says is not greeted with applause. NZ, like Australia, is regarded as a laggard on climate change. Continue reading “NZ has yet to announce climate-warming pledge for Glasgow summit but RBNZ is developing guidance for our finance sector”
The best editorials in The Economist are timeless. Traditionally they germinate in a Monday morning editorial conference run on the lines of an Oxbridge tutorial; Tuesday for a sometimes leisurely write up; Wednesday for editing; last minute tweaks on Thursday; giving a quality product with a life span longer than yesterday’s fish.
The latest on the global energy shock fits the bill. Structured on the classical editorial tripos of “ … three problems loom[ing] large”. Magisterial, incisive, combining sound economics with a global sweep of history.
But perhaps ten years too late.
Continue reading “Economist is always right”
In Germany that is.
Age before beauty they say. But after last week’s inconclusive election in Germany it’s the forty-something leader of the Green party, Annalena Baerbock, and her generational compatriot, Christian Lindner of the market liberal Free Democrats (FDP), who are making the running in coalition negotiations, leaving the sexagenarians who head the Christian and Social Democrats out in the cold – for now.
Continue reading “The Greens may never have a better opportunity to tackle climate change”
Remember the 1970s? We were going to run out of oil and everything revolved around energy prices.
America got into wars because of it and built an enormous strategic stockpile; NZ had carless days and the hydrocarbon developments of Think Big, the last of the great state-directed development projects (well … until the renewables project, national fibre broadband and the distortions of the Resource Management Act that is).
Europe’s natural gas crisis has the potential to head in a similarly dominating direction.
Continue reading “Correction: Britain’s gas crisis means Europe’s gas crisis”
If the great Russian novelist, Leo Tolstoy, had been an economist he might have written: “All happy market outcomes are alike, but each policy error is disastrous in its own way”.
Certainly the implosion of the UK’s energy market manages to combine many familiar bad policy interventions, while nonetheless contriving its own unique set of outcomes.
Continue reading “Energy chaos – coming to a market near you”