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CONTRIBUTOR >Let’s hope for a big freeze on political environmentalism

SOPHİE QUİNTİN ADALI

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As if the debt crisis weren’t bad enough news, the climate freeze sweeping across Europe is wreaking havoc by severely disrupting travel, business and people’s lives. Local authorities, indeed whole countries, are caught poorly prepared. This lack of readiness should come as no surprise because for decades the sensationalist message of global warming Armageddon has dominated the public arena.

Inconvenient truth be told, politicians and decades of political environmentalism have a lot to answer for. Indeed, environmental and climate change issues have been embraced by politicians, bureaucrats and NGOs with an enthusiasm commensurate with the tsunami of public funds associated with it. With the concurrent growth of green policies and laws, member states have had to allocate budgets to all manners of environmentally correct projects.

One can only hope that the icy misery gripping Europe is bringing decision-makers to their senses. Another sobering factor is the revelations by leading scientists that in the past decade the earth has stubbornly refused to warm. The work of climate “skeptics” questioning the climate consensus is being vindicated. It is now official: The earth is cooling. The anthropogenic climate change theory upon which so much of the green bureaucratic edifice is based, and public money spending-sprees justified, may have been a big mistake.

An honest debate must be launched and financial resources re-prioritized. The man-made climate theory may be melting faster than polar ice caps but it is still supported by a mighty EU bureaucracy and a green network addicted to public funds.

Reason must be restored economically sustainable solutions to be found. For instance, in the light of the new scientific evidence and scandals associated with the UN IPCC, why is the bloc still fervently supporting the Green Climate Fund through which millions of taxpayers’ money will soon be disbursed? With serious issues of effectiveness and accountability associated with its own foreign aid, it’s time to cool it on climate funding.

Is anyone seriously expecting bankrupt Club Med countries to sink further into sovereign debt to fulfill their green obligations by borrowing more to protect bio-diversity and de-carbonize their economies when rising poverty threatens the fabric of their own societies?

The point here is that the EU environmental policy with the choices it binds nation states to make comes with a hefty price tag with social, political and economic consequences. It is therefore baffling that bureaucrats and green MEPs continue to call for more action. In debt-ridden, less competitive and now frozen Europe, the idea of taxation may divide more than it unites, but lawmakers are never short of bad ideas. If European citizens can’t be taxed for fear of a popular backlash, why not tax the rest of the world?

Enters the mother-earth-of-all-climate swindles! To comply with the Emissions Trading System – a project marred by fraud scandals – all airlines flying in and out of Europe will have to buy pollution permits. China is resisting this unilateral decision. One can only hope that other nations follow suit for evidently this latest levy has nothing to do with saving the planet. In dangerous economic times, the serious question is whether the bloc can afford a new trade war. But if it must be so, then perhaps the rest of the world should consider a no-flight ban over the EU cuckoo’s nest.

As Czech President Vaklav Klaus noted, “Political environmentalism is an ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology.”

Sophie Quintin Adalı LL.M is an analyst for www.unmondelibre.org, the Francophone project of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.

February/13/2012

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