Europe: Tangled Up In Green

Opinion polls indicate that the vast majority of Europeans have drunk the global warming kool-aid, at least in theory. But things change when they are confronted with “green” realities. The Wall Street Journal reports:

For years, Europe has been at the forefront of the global drive to curb carbon emissions and slow climate change, pledging to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Overwhelming numbers of Europeans say they like the idea.

Now, however, a small but growing backlash suggests a more complicated truth: Voters may like the idea more than the reality.

Because the reality is ridiculously expensive and represents a degradation in quality of life. In Britain, the Conservative Party has been sinking in the polls, largely because of Boris Johnson’s foolish “green” policies. Now Rishi Sunak is backing off, and as a result, the Tories are again looking competitive:

This week, the U.K. said it would delay a planned ban on the sale of new gasoline-powered cars and vans to 2035 from 2030, and ease plans to force households to scrap their gas-powered boilers for pricier but cleaner heat pumps. It also promised never to impose a carbon tax on meat or aviation, two other sources of emissions.

A carbon tax on meat? Try to sell that to Americans! Crickets and meal worms just aren’t the same.

Germany has been the “leader” in the rush to adopt bad energy policies. Its policies have caused Germans’ standard of living to plummet.

Germany has passed a new piece of legislation mandating energy savings measures across every sector of the economy.

“The new law, called The Energy Efficiency Act, would regulate energy savings in public buildings, industry, and data centers in hopes of reducing energy consumption by 26.5% by 2030 compared to 2008,” reports “In August of last year, Germany banned swimming and bathing pool heat, and capped heating above 66F in office buildings, and banned heating in certain public areas. Hot water was turned down for handwashing in restrooms, and monument and advertisement lighting was mostly prohibited.”

According to Oilprice, Germany’s energy consumption fell to its lowest level since 1990 last year, but the country is unlikely to meet its goal of cutting emissions by 35% compared to 1990.

Declining energy consumption = declining standard of living. So now, even the German government sees how the wind is blowing:

Germany, run by a coalition that includes the Green Party, also recently watered down its plans to ban new gas heaters for homes after a backlash from homeowners and opposition politicians.

“Green” policies include inflicting electric vehicles on the people, by bribing and requiring manufacturers to build them, and consumers to buy them. But this, too, is not going well. In England, electric vehicle sales are pretty much limited to heavily-bribed companies:

The vast majority of new BEV registrations this year — more than 75 per cent — were with fleets and business owners, which can take advantage of company car tax breaks, the benefits-in-kind regime and salary-sacrifice schemes that mean running an electric car attracts dramatically less tax.

In the first half of this year, 37,000 new electric cars were registered to private retail-buying motorists, or just 24.2 per cent of all BEVs. That is down from the 41,800 BEVs sold to private motorists in the first half of last year when retail buyers accounted for 36.3 per cent of all electric car sales.

The fall coincides not only with the cost of living crisis but also with the scrapping of the “plug-in car grant”, which at one stage was worth up to £5,000 off a new electric car.

People only buy electric vehicles if you pay them to.

The entire “green” enterprise is one of the most corrupt phenomena of world history. The goal is to use the coercive power of government to shift trillions of dollars in wealth from disfavored industries and people to favored industries and people. Naturally, the governments engaged in this effort receive lots of support from the people and industries that expect to receive the trillions of dollars. If the beneficiaries don’t get their subsidies, they get impatient. Thus, when the U.K. pushed back its ban on gas-powered cars to 2035:

Ford Motor sharply criticized the move, saying the company and industry were investing billions in making their cars fully electric. “Our business needs three things from the U.K. government: ambition, commitment and consistency. A relaxation of 2030 would undermine all three,” Ford U.K. chair Lisa Brankin said.

To paraphrase, they need cash plus mandates, so that consumers don’t have a choice. Until now, governments have been happy to make those promises. But now, voters are starting to get their turn.

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.