As the UN climate summit in Katowice, Poland gears up, the message from Paris is clear — no carbon taxes! The riotous message is so clear that even the UN negotiators should get it. The colossal irony is that it is the anti-carbon Paris Accord that the global negotiations are working on. Paris scheme meets Paris reality.
There is a direct connection between the Paris Accord and the Paris riots. French President Macron is hell bent on becoming the de facto leader of the Accord campaign to “decarbonization” the global economy. That the world gets about 80% of its energy from carbon fuels means nothing to him. That decarbonization means hardship means less. The people of France disagree.
So to show his zeal, Macron foolishly began imposing hefty taxes on gasoline and diesel. Zealous green leaders in other countries had wisely just taxed the use of carbon to produce electricity, where the tax is pretty well hidden. But everyone sees the unit price on the pump going up, often on giant signs.
The result has been nationwide riots, pure and simple. People know what they are rioting against and they have rejected forced lifestyle changes in the name of climate change, in the clearest possible terms. Macron’s days as President may well be numbered.
The people elsewhere in Europe are surely getting this message as well. Especially in places like Poland, which is far more dependent on carbon fuels than France. Macron probably had to target transportation, because France gets most of its juice from nuclear power. Poland gets most of it from carbon-rich coal, as do many other countries.
The left wing press has done its best to keep the Paris message away from Americans. Reportedly the riots are said to be due to rising fuel prices, with no hint that carbon taxes are the well known cause. Happily, conservative voices on the radio, the Web, in social media, etc., are simply bypassing the left wing news channels.
It is likely that political parties around the world have been watching and analyzing the French firestorm. They read the message loud and clear. In the U.S. I now doubt that the Democrats in the House will introduce a carbon tax bill anytime soon. Not long ago it seemed likely they would. National riots can change political thinking pretty fast.
The same is true for hyper-alarmist studies like the recent National Climate Assessment and the IPCC’s 1.5 degree “We are doomed” report. These are political gimmicks that fade to nothing compared to real riots against carbon taxes.
The Paris Accord summit begins December 2, so the clear message from the Paris riots will be waiting when the doors open in Katowice. Any talk of global carbon taxes is likely to be very quiet.
The stark failure of French carbon taxes will make it difficult to discuss how the developed countries will come up with the $100 billion a year they are supposed to pay the developing countries, in the mythical name of fighting climate change. The same is true for the push on developed countries like France to get even tougher on decarbonization.
As we say in the country, what goes around comes around. The Paris riots are a warning shot across the bow of the Paris Accord. Time to slow down or stop the UN war on carbon altogether. Take notice, Kawotice.