'Paradox' of carbon cap and trade dawns on German warmists

Thomas Lifson
Once again, the adverse consequences of poorly-conceived environmental policies dawns on mush-headed greenies. Germany's Spiegel posts an article puzzling over the consequences of that nation's sweeping carbon emissions legislation, conceding that it has not reduced carbon emissions one gram. To Spiegel and the warmists, this is somehow a "paradox"

The EU-wide emissions trading system determines the total amount of CO2 that can be emitted by power companies and industries. And this amount doesn't change -- no matter how many wind turbines are erected.

Experts have known about this situation for some time, but it still isn't widely known to the public. Even Germany's government officials mention it only under their breath. No one wants to discuss the political ramifications.

They are correct to be worried. Never mind the flaws in warmist consensus-based "science" targeting CO2, part of the life cycle, as a pollutant supposedly causing global warming. Even within the closed circle of warmist thinking, these policies are not working. The Germans have been conned into a lot of expense, and don't accomplish their stated goal.

In the worst case scenario, sustainable energy plants might even have a detrimental effect on the climate. As more wind turbines go online, coal plants will be able to reduce their output. This in itself is desirable -- but the problem is that the total number of available CO2 emission certificates remains the same. In other words, there will suddenly be more certificates per kilowatt of coal energy. That means the price per ton of CO2 emitted will fall. ...

Germany was able to sell unused certificates across Europe -- to coal companies in countries like Poland or Slovakia, for example. Thanks to Germany's wind turbines, these companies were then able to emit more greenhouse gases than originally planned. Given the often lower efficiency of Eastern European power plants, this is anything but environmentally beneficial.

This is not exactly shocking news to anyone who thinks through the carbon trading scheme. But evidently nobody bothered to think when proposing, passing, and implementing this legislation.

Incidentally, nowhere in the Spiegel article is any consideration given to the carbon footprint of producing all the cement that is necessary to construct a wind turbine tower. Cement production uses lots of energy. The turbines themselves, and their blades, also need considerable energy inputs to manufacture. Wind farms tend to need a lot of maintenance, and require the construction of extra power transmission lines, since the power production is dispersed over a larger area than would be the case with one large coal-fired (or nuclear) generating station. All of this extra construction and maintenance generates its own large carbon footprint.

But hey, the intentions are good, so only mean conservatives would carp about the actual results.
Once again, the adverse consequences of poorly-conceived environmental policies dawns on mush-headed greenies. Germany's Spiegel posts an article puzzling over the consequences of that nation's sweeping carbon emissions legislation, conceding that it has not reduced carbon emissions one gram. To Spiegel and the warmists, this is somehow a "paradox"

The EU-wide emissions trading system determines the total amount of CO2 that can be emitted by power companies and industries. And this amount doesn't change -- no matter how many wind turbines are erected.

Experts have known about this situation for some time, but it still isn't widely known to the public. Even Germany's government officials mention it only under their breath. No one wants to discuss the political ramifications.

They are correct to be worried. Never mind the flaws in warmist consensus-based "science" targeting CO2, part of the life cycle, as a pollutant supposedly causing global warming. Even within the closed circle of warmist thinking, these policies are not working. The Germans have been conned into a lot of expense, and don't accomplish their stated goal.

In the worst case scenario, sustainable energy plants might even have a detrimental effect on the climate. As more wind turbines go online, coal plants will be able to reduce their output. This in itself is desirable -- but the problem is that the total number of available CO2 emission certificates remains the same. In other words, there will suddenly be more certificates per kilowatt of coal energy. That means the price per ton of CO2 emitted will fall. ...

Germany was able to sell unused certificates across Europe -- to coal companies in countries like Poland or Slovakia, for example. Thanks to Germany's wind turbines, these companies were then able to emit more greenhouse gases than originally planned. Given the often lower efficiency of Eastern European power plants, this is anything but environmentally beneficial.

This is not exactly shocking news to anyone who thinks through the carbon trading scheme. But evidently nobody bothered to think when proposing, passing, and implementing this legislation.

Incidentally, nowhere in the Spiegel article is any consideration given to the carbon footprint of producing all the cement that is necessary to construct a wind turbine tower. Cement production uses lots of energy. The turbines themselves, and their blades, also need considerable energy inputs to manufacture. Wind farms tend to need a lot of maintenance, and require the construction of extra power transmission lines, since the power production is dispersed over a larger area than would be the case with one large coal-fired (or nuclear) generating station. All of this extra construction and maintenance generates its own large carbon footprint.

But hey, the intentions are good, so only mean conservatives would carp about the actual results.