November 1, 2021

UN Climate Summit

“A crucial U.N. climate summit opened Sunday amid papal appeals for prayers and activists’ demands for action, kicking off two weeks of intense diplomatic negotiations by almost 200 countries aimed at slowing intensifying global warming and adapting to the climate damage already underway.” AP News

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From the Left

The left calls for significant efforts to avert the risk of climate change.

“We should be clear about how a 2.7C warming would affect the world. Droughts and heatwaves would increase in frequency, intensity and duration; the great ice sheets of Greenland and west Antarctica would destabilise and crumble; ocean acidification would worsen; and sea levels would rise by around a centimetre every three years, leading to widespread inundation of low-lying nations. Tens of millions of people would be unable to feed themselves, coastal cities would have to be abandoned and large parts of our planet would become uninhabitable.”
Editorial Board, The Observer

“In his first few days in office, Biden signed an executive order pausing ‘new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or in offshore waters.’ But just last month, the White House approved the lease of 78 million acres of offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in what’s been billed as the largest offshore oil and gas auction in U.S. history. In May, Biden’s administration defended a huge Alaskan oil project, known as Willow, set to produce more than 100,000 barrels of oil a day for the next 30 years… The president has told us we have reached ‘code red’ on the climate; now he needs to act on it.”
Ahmed Twaij, NBC News Think

“In June 2020, Pew Research found a bipartisan majority of Americans — 73 percent — support taxing corporations based on their carbon emissions… Modeling from Resources for the Future shows that a carbon fee alone could deliver 45 percent emissions reductions by 2030. If consumer gasoline were exempted, the carbon price would still deliver cuts of 44 percent below 2005 levels. By combining a rising price on pollution with other climate policy measures being discussed, such as clean energy tax credits, the package will certainly achieve the necessary emissions reductions…

“As Biden arrives in Glasgow, the world’s eyes will be on him — and there will be plenty of people watching to see whether his rhetoric matches the reality of Congress’ action. Setting Biden up to take the podium at COP26 with a framework that includes a carbon fee would give him important leverage on the world stage and ensure we’re at the table with other climate-ambitious nations.”
Mark Reynolds, The Hill

“This two-week climate gathering will mark the 26th time delegates from around the world have met to discuss climate change, and the climate crisis has kept getting worse. And yet, the Glasgow meeting really is important. If it ends in a diplomatic stalemate, that could do a lot of damage. We have finally started to achieve some international momentum to cut emissions. A perceived failure in Scotland could easily kill that spirit and set the world back by years. A successful negotiation, on the other hand, could add to the momentum, drawing us closer to the day when global emissions peak and finally begin to fall…

“If emissions can fall in dozens of countries, as they have, they can eventually fall in all countries. If Norway can get to a point where 60 percent of new cars sold are electric, so can every nation. If California can order that every new house built have solar panels on the roof, so can every American state. So let the jawboning begin. Let the world leaders make their commitments, and then return home to tackle the real work.”
Justin Gillis, New York Times

From the Right

The right opposes costly climate policies and calls for increased nuclear power.

The right opposes costly climate policies and calls for increased nuclear power.

“Joe Biden and his Democratic allies face the same problem as other would-be climate saviors throughout both the developed world and the poorer countries: There is very little popular support for radical social and economic change in pursuit of climate goals…

Americans say they care about climate change — until it comes time to pay for climate policy. Some 68 percent of Americans — more than two-thirds — say they would not be willing to pay $10 a month in order to fund measures to prevent or ameliorate climate change. They are not going to support paying more for gasoline, for heating and cooling their homes, or for food. Maybe they should. But they won’t.”
Kevin D. Williamson, National Review

“Taxpayers in rich economies will be even less willing to sacrifice their own cash for the climate when they realize who isn’t coming to COP26: Vladimir Putin of Russia and China’s Xi Jinping. Mr. Xi promised in 2020 to reduce climate emissions—but only after 2030. In the here and now, China is building more coal-powered plants because growing the economy is a far higher priority. The Kremlin’s budget floats on oil and gas production, and Mr. Putin won’t mind if Western Europe goes to net zero. He’ll then have more energy leverage…

“Leaders of other big CO2 emitters, such as world number-three India, will be in Glasgow but might as well not be. Delhi’s environment minister suggested this week that his government won’t sign up for net zero. With several hundred million Indians still living in poverty, India needs more energy from fossil fuels, as does all of Africa… The summit underscores the disconnect between the rhetoric over climate and what the world’s publics are willing to do about it.”
Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal

“Over the past decade, EU politicians have hastily embraced the idealized vision that renewable sources of energy alone, such as solar and wind, can meet their energy demands with a little subsidy help from the government… As a result, the continent faces supply shortages, record-high energy bills, power blackouts, and a problematic over-reliance on Russia for oil and gas

“While the United States used domestic natural gas as a helpful transition from much dirtier fossil fuels such as coal, the EU went the other way and actively discouraged natural gas production through carbon taxes and outright bans in some cases. America is now energy independent and enjoys the largest emissions reductions of any country, while Europe is increasingly reliant on imported fossil fuels — mainly from Russia.”
Chris Barnard, Washington Examiner

“The climate change summit in Glasgow will have one important part of the discussion missing: the role of nuclear power. It seems the British government is in no mood for a discussion with the nuclear industry — every one of its applications to exhibit at the COP26 summit has been rejected. That’s a shame… Such power has been with us long enough to prove its safety. A study was recently done by the Journal of Cleaner Production: nuclear power is shown to be safer even than renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.”
James Lovelock, Spectator World

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