Op-Ed: The EU Faces a Big Energy Problem - Will the US Learn Its Lesson?
“Economically, this agreement is the equivalent of a one-way street.” — Bill Clinton, October 2000
The Industrial Revolution began in England in the late 18th century with the advent of new manufacturing materials (iron and steel), new energy sources (coal, petroleum and electricity), the invention of new machinery and the factory system. It spread to Belgium, then France and later to Germany and the rest of Europe. It created a new paradigm for economic growth, prosperity for the populace, and the creation of wealth for nations.
Now, almost 300 years later, it appears that there could be a counter-revolution: the deindustrialization of Europe.
With few exceptions (the Benelux and oil-rich countries come to mind), the standard of living of any nation is directly related to its per capita energy consumption and the size of the manufacturing sector. President Bill Clinton signed the U.S.-China Relations Act in October 2000, granting Beijing permanent normal trade relations with the United States and paving the way for China to join the World Trade Organization in 2001.
At the time that he signed the agreement, Clinton stated, “Economically, this agreement is the equivalent of a one-way street.” He was right, but I don’t think that street ran in the direction he expected.
Between 2000 and 2010, U.S.-China trade rose from $100 billion to $350 billion. It is estimated that one-third of all U.S. manufacturing jobs vanished between 2001 and 2009. Some argue that the 2001 to 2009 period was worse for U.S. manufacturing than the Great Depression.
However, to a great degree, we, the American people, are responsible for the demise of our domestic manufacturing sector. We traded our long-term economic prosperity for short-term economic gratification. We bought cheap goods from China at the expense of our economy, our balance of trade and our manufacturing sector.
Now it appears that the European Union is about to see a similar impact on its manufacturing sector as did the U.S. in the first decade of the 21st century, albeit for different reasons. The EU traded long-term economic prosperity for short-term political gain to satisfy its Green political parties. It bought into the fraudulent global warming hypothesis and reconfigured its electric power grid to eliminate coal-fired power plants.
For 30 years, the EU depended on the supply of a critical energy component, natural gas, from an adversary — Russia. It was used to fuel its economies and the electric power grid as well as to heat homes, businesses, schools and hospitals.
Then, politicians placated Green parties and eco-terrorists who demanded a reduction in carbon emissions from electric power plants by shutting down coal-fired plants and increasing the percentage of natural gas and “renewables” powering the electric grid. While it is too early to tell the exact toll these actions will take, the effects will be devastating for all the EU countries’ economies and the standard of living of every EU resident.
The 2022 EU embargo on Russian oil and gas and Vladimir Putin’s subsequent decision to shut down the Nord Stream 1 pipeline supplying the EU with 40 percent of its natural gas supply have wreaked havoc on energy prices throughout the EU.
It does not take a rocket scientist, or even a climate scientist, to see the impact that the rapid rise in energy costs, primarily electricity costs, is having on manufacturers in the EU. That impact ranges from reduced production at many facilities to lay-offs or plant closures, involving virtually every manufacturing industry. The long-term result will be increased unemployment, a recession, staggering inflation and a cratering of the manufacturing GDP for the EU.
In December, the EU reached an agreement on the implementation of the world’s first “carbon border tax.” While it is billed as a central part of the EU’s strategy to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, it is nothing more than a protectionist tariff.
In theory, it is designed to make importers pay for the cost of the carbon emissions that were produced in their home country during the manufacturing operations. In actuality, it is nothing more than an attempt to shield domestic manufacturers from the adverse competitive impacts of the rapidly escalating costs of energy resulting from the reconfiguration of the power grid to eliminate coal and increase renewables.
I find it sadly ironic that the continent that gave us some of the greatest scientific minds in history, such as Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Maxwell, Planck and Einstein, would allow the pseudoscience of the fraudulent global warming hypothesis to wreck its way of life. If those in the EU had paid attention to the real science regarding man-made global warming, they would not have attempted economic suicide and endangered their national security.
In my book, “Global Warming: The Great Deception — The Triumph of Dollars and Politics Over Science and Why You Should Care,” I cite published, peer-reviewed scientific research, employing the first principles of the relevant scientific fields of thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, atmospheric physics and spectroscopy to prove that CO2 does not cause global warming.
I use publicly available data from the world’s temperature databases to prove that there has been no significant global warming of the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans or land mass, thereby falsifying the hypothesis.
I use publicly available information to demonstrate that the motivation of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, certain world politicians and global investment firms is to gain financially by promoting the fraudulent hypothesis. Science has been sacrificed on the altar of political opportunism for financial gain. It is all about the money.
Now, many countries in the EU are turning back to coal to fuel their electric power plants. However, mines have been closed and coal-fired power plants shuttered over decades. The transition will not be easy or quick. Green parties and eco-terrorists will violently protest these actions. Civil unrest throughout the EU will occur as high inflation, high energy bills and high unemployment rock the economies and the standard of living for all citizens of the EU.
There are many respected scientists in Europe and around the world who refute the claims of the fraudulent man-made global warming hypothesis. Will the U.S. and the rest of the world learn from the EU’s mistakes?
It is time for the world to stop the war on the carbon atom and the hydrocarbon bond.
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