On September 5, in a landslide election, Tony Abbot became Australia's new Prime Minister -- restoring the center-right Liberal-National coalition after six years of leftward economic polices.
Forbes reports: the Anglosphere is now "post progressive." The English speaking nations of the world are now governed by conservatives. "America stands apart from them as the sole remaining major leftist-governed power in the Anglo world." History shows that English-speaking peoples "tend to move in a sort of partial political sync with one another."
While this should sound alarms for liberals, the real panic is with the global warming alarmists.
Abbott is said to have run a "tight campaign"-- though he was "remarkably vague over his economic plans." The Financial Times reports: "Abbott was much clearer on his intention to scrap a carbon tax and a levy on miners' profits."
Add to the Abbot story, the news about the soon-to-be-published Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's "fifth assessment report," which "dials back on the alarm," and you've got bad news for alarmists.
Everyone who has bought into, as the Wall Street Journal calls them, "the faddish politics of climate change" -- those who believe we can power the world on rainbows, butterflies, and fairy dust are panicked. Their entire world view is being threatened.
This was clearly evident at last week's hearing in Santa Fe, New Mexico, regarding the proposed change in compensation for electricity generated by rooftop solar installation. In the overflow crowd, the majority were there in support of solar. They were organized, rabid in their support, and intimidating to anyone who dared disagree. In public comment in opposition to the proposed changes, several referenced Germany's success with renewable energy. Three of us spoke in favor of the proposed change. I brought up those who'd held up Germany as a model to follow and posited that they didn't know the full story.
Australia's election was early this month. Germany's is later -- September 22. As climate change played a central role in Australia's outcome, green policies are expected to be front and center in Germany's election.
In an article titled: "Ballooning costs threaten Merkel's bold energy overhaul," Reuters points out that Merkel's priority, assuming she wins a third term, "will be finding a way to cap the rising cost of energy."
"In the current election campaign," Der Spiegel reports, "the federal government would prefer to avoid discussing its energy policies entirely." Later, addressing Germany's renewable energy policy it states: "all of Germany's political parties are pushing for change. … If the government sticks to its plans, the price of electricity will literally explode in the coming years."
German consumers pay the highest electricity prices in Europe. "Surveys show people are concerned that the costs of the energy transformation will drive down living standards." Spiegel claims: "Today, more than 300,000 households a year are seeing their power shut off because of unpaid bills." Stefan Becker, with the Catholic charity Caritas, wants to prevent his clients from having their electricity cut off. He says: "After sending out a few warning notices, the power company typically sends someone to the apartment to shut off the power. … Unless they happen to have a camping stove, they can't even boil water for a cup of tea. It's like living in the Stone Age." This is known as Germany's "energy poverty."
While the solar supporters in Santa Fe touted the German success story, Germany's energy producers in 2012 actually released more climate-damaging carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than in 2011.
Because of "aggressive and reckless expansion of wind and solar power," as Der Spiegel calls it, "Government advisors are calling for a completely new start."
Interestingly, one of the proposed solutions for Germany's chaotic energy system is much like what has been proposed in New Mexico and Arizona. Reuters writes: "instead of benefiting from a rise in green energy, they are straining under the subsidies' cost and from surcharges." The experts propose a system more like Sweden's, in which "the government defines the objective but not the method." Der Spiegel explains: "The municipal utilities would seek the lowest possible price for their clean electricity."
"It is only gradually becoming apparent," writes Der Spiegel, "how the renewable energy subsidies redistribute money from the poor to the more affluent, like when someone living in small rental apartment subsidizes a homeowner's roof-mounted solar panels through his electricity bill." Sounds just like what I said in my public comment at the PRC hearing in Santa Fe.
Australia's election changed leaders. Germany's election will likely keep the same leader, but Merkel "has promised to change but not abolish the incentive system right after the election."
While other countries are changing course and shedding the unsustainable policies, America stands apart from them by continuing to push, as the Washington Post editorial board encourages, building "the cost of pollution into the price of energy through a simple carbon tax or other market-based mechanism."
In a September 5 press release with the headline: "Administration should learn from Australia's carbon tax failure before committing US to Same," Senator Vitter, R-La., says: "We can add Australia as an example to the growing list of failed carbon policies that are becoming so abundant in Europe."
It is said: "The wise man learns from the mistakes of others, the fool has to learn from his own." Sadly, it appears that the US has not learned to beware of the foolish politics of climate change.
The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens' Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE).