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  • lewis_whokeyser lewis_whokeyser Apr 23, 2013 12:49 PM Flag

    Europe is becoming a green-energy basket case

    From the Wash Post
    FOR YEARS, European leaders have flaunted their unwavering commitment to fighting climate change — and chastised the United States for lagging behind. But last week brought yet more confirmation that the continent has become a green-energy basket case. Instead of a model for the world to emulate, Europe has become a model of what not to do.

    The centerpiece of the European Union’s climate plan — indeed, the only major climate policy that acts across all member countries — is a slowly declining continent-wide cap on emissions. By allowing companies to buy, sell and bank permits to pollute under that cap, the program puts a price on European carbon dioxide emissions. Designed properly, the scheme should encourage companies and consumers to reduce the carbon-intensity of the goods they purchase and invest in cleaner alternatives.

    Germany is irrationally shutting its nuclear power plants — which produce lots of steady, reliable electricity and no carbon dioxide emissions — and promising that renewables will somehow pick up the slack. Perversely, that approach has led power companies to ramp up coal burning, the dirtiest fossil fuel, in a country that has also lavished its public money on the solar industry. Spain, too, has over-invested in expensive renewables. To its credit, France hasn’t decided to shutter its nuclear plants, but it is one of many countries that refuse to open up natural gas reserves, a resource that could help wean the continent off coal.

    Britain is comparatively better, developing its own carbon-pricing program and permitting gas development. But that hasn’t kept Europe’s carbon emissions from notching up in the last few years — even as those of the United States have decreased.

    Only a few years ago, it would have been outrageous to claim that the United States would ever be on a better emissions trajectory than Europe. Yet it is now burning less coal even as Europe burns more.

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    • Thanks Lewis...Writer is not much for data eh? Has interesting conclusions. Was there any facts? Is Germany nuke industry starting back up under review? Japan is flipping switches on slowly. I think 2 are starting up this summer.

      • 1 Reply to tiger850
      • I'm not a fan of the current energy policies in Europe or in America, but the European energy policy doesn't affect me directly.

        If CO2 is bad, then nuclear power is the answer. Unfortunatly, the most rabid former anti-nukes are now the most strident believers in the anthropogenic global watming theory. What used to be science has been replaced by political-science and a phoney political "consensus"...

        •Why was the Medieval Warm Period, a thousand years ago, warmer than today even though the CO2 level was 38 percent lower than today?
        •Why did many of Earth’s major glaciers in the Alps. Asia, New Zealand and Patagonia begin to retreat nearly half a century before the Industrial Revolution and man’s CO2 emissions?
        •Of the last five interglacials, going back 400,000 years, why is our current interglacial the coolest of the five even though Earth’s CO2 level is about 35 percent higher?

        There are more questions than answers and declaring that the science is "settled" is infuriating to people who understand the scientific method.