Thursday, 1 January 2009

Lijst Dedecker's view on climate change

Today, i want to have a closer look at the view on climate change of the Flemish party LDD.

The party Lijst DeDecker was formed a couple of years ago when party-leader Jean-Marie Dedecker (JMDD) was kicked out of the liberal party VLD.

Jean-Marie Dedecker De aarde warmt op en de geesten verhitten

Being a completely new party, LDD needed a party-program. For this, among other things, LDD depends on two thinkthanks : The first one is vzw Cassandra, lead by Boudewijn Bouckaert, which can be considered the official party thinkthank, whereas the second one, Nova Civitas was founded by the same Boudewijn Bouckaert yet is more independent and also contains members of the VLD.

At the time he founded Nova Civitas Bouckaert was a member of VLD, but when Dedecker was kicked out of that party, he made the step joining JMDD the newly found LDD-party. Bouckaert, a personal friend of Frank van Dun, often is considered to be the party-ideologist. On a libertarian website, Bouckaert is quoted claiming the Green movement has its roots in National-Socialism.

it won't be a big surprise that both the websites of Cassandra and Nova Civitas regard the climate issue with a high dosis of skepsis. Articles posted on the NC-site come from the pen of people like the notorious Heartland Institute's “expert” Hans Labohm.

The website of LDD challenges the human nature of the present changes in climate :

According to IPCC man is the cause of a climate change altering our environment. A lot of academics doubt this but have to fight against a media spur for nthe media is thriving on emotions and fear. IPCC’s conclusions have been widely accepted, yet on the causes there’s still a lot of discussion within the scientific community.
It is clear that ever since the beginning of times earth’s climate always has been changing. Mankind probably will –even if simply by its population size- have some effect, but saying man the only cause is a bridge too far.[of course nobody claims man is the only cause, J.]

(...)

Besides, the entire climate discussion doesn't mobilize too many people, because basically nobody really minds living in a warmer climate in a couple of decades anyway.

The official party program never really directly attacks climate science but sticks to circling around the idea the most important thing is protecting the economy, and around defending the use of nuclear energy (all Belgian nuclear plants have to shut down by 2025, but this decision is contested by several parties). LDD says it does support the reduction of the use of fossil fuels ‘to a strict minimum’.

Yet oddly, in other occasions it seems the party program in reality differs from the one on their website and there's a discrepancy between the written word and the deeds.
.
When Flanders’ public TV-station Canvas wanted to air the infamous “The Great Global Swindle” documentary in a program called “Terzake”, there was some protest by people opposing the fact that Durkin’s deliberately misleading piece would be aired on a public broadcasting channel.

LDD came with his press release, written by Paul Schietekat [my translation]:
People who were watching the program “TerZake” on Canvas, have seen the documentary ‘The great Global Warming Swindle’ and those viewers now know that LDD’s environmental program is supported by many scientists.
TGGS is a very convincing documentary. After its airing on (British) Channel 4 there was a flood of reactions, pro and contra. But it proofs that the arguments used by “the greens” to support their doom scenario’s by far aren’t as scientific as they want to pretend.
LDD always has been against climate hysteria and has always charged the CO2-stories with heresy. Paul Schietekat, who developed LDD’s environmental program is very delighted with the airing of the documentary in TerZake. "Science has been trying for a very long time to raise attention to the fact CO2 doesn’t cause climate changes. Few people believed our views, but the documentary gives scientific support for our viewpoint", Schietekat explains.
Several factors, like the melting of the arctic ice-sheet and rare weather events are returning phenomena’s in the planet’s history. The impact of the solar cycle en solar spots are the preliminary impact on our climate
the answer for the present warming is it's not the sun

For LDD, the effect of emissions on public health has absolute priority and should be kept separated from the other supposed effects CO2 would have.
Schietekat : “politicians try to scare the public so they can push through economic changes. In the documentary arguments like job-opportunities are used to explain why the environmental sector should receive extra funding, but this is based on false information. But yes, the government MUST act to maintain the public’s health.
The emission of carcinogenic pollutants is a major problem according to LDD and one that determines the party’s environmental vision. For LDD, technological innovation is an absolute priority, as long as its placed in the right context and is available for everyone.
But all actions on CO2 and all legislation on it, and the accompanying taxes, are nothing but excuses to make the public pay for the governmental-system and the energy-companies. The political leaders punish the people for the mistakes made by themselves. The subsidising of the energy-sector and the useless support for misguiding environmental projects for LDD is inacceptable and has to be countered.
This statement clearly is more skeptical than what the official party program is saying. To end, maybe it’s wise to look what the party-leader himself has to say.

On forum.politics.be, in the past there have been held sessions in which politicians could be asked questions on whatever subject the users wanted. Below is JMDD's reply on the question to provide his opinion on climate change (apparently it’s a passage from his book “recht(s) voor de raap”).
[my translation, and i'm the one who has put the links, J.]

Jean-Marie Dedecker klimaatverandering Lijst Dedecker
Green lethargy

Politics, just like religion, needs dogmas which not seldom become false a
xiom’s. Every dogma creates a new religion. The ozone layer gave birth to the Kyoto-protocol. This protocol against air pollution is the new Holy Cow. Such a cow gives birth to a Golden Calf. Then there’s need of a dairy cow to keep paying the offering of the Golden Calf. That’s the industry and the car.

The soot-emissions of the cough-on-wheels is the perfect alibi for the government for
shamelessly raising taxes. A sinners-tax for our polluting behavior because there’s no alternative anyway. Yearly, cars are raising 11.6 billion € for the government.
The ecological doomsday thinking creates a lot of offertory-box money for the Jehovah’s witnesses of the Green faith. Announcing the end of times then reaches the scientific level of the “Watchtower”, Jehovah’s magazine. When Greenpeace’s cash register becomes empty, they have to find something to make the eyes wet. Emotion works on the lachrymals and on command causes fear and abhorrence. One week a study is published that by Christmas time there’ll be cattle grazing on the Matterhorn, that the Zwin will flood [Belgian coastal reserve in the boundaries of the city Knokke, J.] or that Knokkes beach will expand until Sint-Anneke in Antwerp [Sint-Anneke is known as the ‘beach’ of Antwerp, located on the banks of the river Scheldt, J.]
The ink of the announcement predicting Doomsday hasn’t dried up yet, or another useful professor arrives with an opposite scenario full of disaster. The British scientist Peter Wadhams claims in a couple of years we’ll be able to go Ice-skating on the Channel because the ocean engines causing the Gulfstream to flow will shut down.Actually something IPCC considers to be "very unlikely"

Moral of the story : don’t sell your skies and fur coat, and neither sell your swimming pants. Every change is a challenge. If summertime get warmer there’ll be new fauna growing and we’ll get longer summers. This will Latinize the rural life with it’s pleasant outdoor life. It also makes a difference in the household budget on heating. "Every disadvantage ‘as an advantage", Johan Cruyff said.of course this is a clear cherry pick : one needs to look at ALL changes to be expected to decide wheter a change would be benificial or not

There’s no doubt Global Warming is a problem, but correct information is necessary. Is the cause the emission of CO2 or is it a cyclical natural phenomena caused by the sun ?
well, err, no ?

In the past century, CO2-levels in the atmosphere have risen 0,01%, which has a warming effect. The number of aerosols has risen too, which blocks sunlight and has a cooling effect. Quid ?
Of course CO2-levels have risen much more than 0,01%.

History of the Earth throughout the centuries learnt us there have been periods of warming
and cooling. At one side there were the ice-ages, of which the last one ended about 10.000 years ago and at the other side there’s the climate-optimum (with a rise in temperature) which occurred during the Middle Ages.

According to a 2005 report from Harvard University the early Middle ages were warmer than present times.
IPCC AR4 : "On the evidence of the previous and four new reconstructions that reach back more than 1 kyr, it is likely that the 20th century was the warmest in at least the past 1.3 kyr"

None of those two serious changes in temperature have been influenced by CO2, CFC’s or other modern chemicals. Indeed there wasn’t industrialization yet and certainly no cars. There wasn’t modern chemistry yet and neither was there overpopulation.

One more to raise skepticism. : 20 million French cows blow 26 million tuns of GHG’s in the atmosphere. The storage of their manure another 12 million tuns. This is 6.5% of the entire French emissions and three times as much as all oil-refineries in France combined. 'Shitaffaires', the farmer would say. If it goes on like this, we’ll all be obliged to become vegetarians.

The Dane Björn Lomborg is the president of the Environmental Assessment Institute and did a research whether all the tax-money collected for environmental actions is well spent. He concludes Kyoto is a waste of money, that our planet is ever cleaner and that economic growth eventually leads to a cleaner environment. Quickly a bureaucracy has formed around the problem which turns out to be a 'kleptocracy' of an army of scientists, NGO’s and finger-pointing politicians. If just as much energy was spent on the drinking water problems, a lot of epidemics would have disappeared. The upside down hierarchy of values.
The Kyoto-threaty answers an emotional necessity. Nothing more noble than protecting the environment, but the people have the right to hear the truth and receive correct information. They don’t need a battle between believers and non-believers.

There even has arisen a new kind of taxes : “emission-rights’ Who wants to keep manufacturing and doesn’t stay below the standards can buy clean air. This way Flanders risks having to pay Wallonia for keeping its innovative chemical industry, in return for clean air from the economical graveyard Wallonia. After the social and financial transfers, now the green ones. The (obligatory) closure
[because of economic reasons, J.] of the Steelplant of Arcelor in Liege made that Wallonia already reached its Kyoto-targets.[The supposed financial transfers from richer Flanders to poorer Wallonia are one of the arguments used by nationalists to support the idea of an independent Flanders and are a rather hot topic in Belgian politics]


The Belgian standards were negotiated by Jean-Luc Dehaene [former PM, J] and carried out by ecolo-minister Deleuze [ecolo being the Wallonian Green party / Yet the Kyoto-protocol was signed in 97 or two years before ecolo first entered the government. Above that, in that ecolo-government the PM was Verhofstadt (VLD), not Dehaene (Cd&V) - J.] and his greenpeace-adept Luc Barbé [present leader of the Flemish Green party, at the time head of Deleuze’s cabinet. I have no idea what his link with greenpeace is, J] It’s like given the mouse the right to tell where the cat can play. Belgium, Holland and Denmark need to realize half of the entire European efforts. The Russian economy uses 18th century and is one of the most polluting in the world. Russians dried out their own Lake Aral by pollution, but because of the gigantic surface of the country, they’re able to sell “clean” air to us, while the emissions of the chemical industry in Antwerp is below the worlds’ strictest emission standards.

In search of the truth, it’s always good to consult specialists. An international group of meteorologists, climate-experts, astro- and geophysicians, other physicians, atmospheric chemists, CO2-specialists, engineers etc gathered and warmed their brains and wrote their conclusions in the ‘Leipzig Declaration on Global Climate Change’. They seriously doubt the negative role which is given to CO2 in the greenhouse-controversy. Quote :
that-contrary to the conventional wisdom - there does not exist to-day a general scientific consensus about the impact of "Greenhouse warming" from rising levels of carbon dioxide. In fact most climate specialists now agree that actual observation from both weather satellites and balloon-borne radiosondes show no current warming whatsoever in direct contradictions to computer model results
And the Leipziggroup of course isn’t that stupid or dishonest to refute in advance all possible causes. They clearly write :
We must therefore remain sensitive to any and all human activities
yet finally conclude
… based on all evidence available to us, we cannot subscribe to the politically inspired world view that envisages climate catastrophes and calls for hasty actions. For this reason, we consider the drastic emission control policies deriving from the Kyoto conference lacking credible support from the underlying science to be ill-advised and premature
Translated to Dutch : if so many Noble-prize winners don’t know, then how should we ? As it goes with all religions : as long as the cash register is getting filled.
Further on the text defends the use of nuclear energy as the only possible energy source in Belgium. Something I do not necessarily disagree with. Yet as a general conclusion I think it’s safe to say LDD is not the closest way to a good climate policy, for it's clear that the subject isn't the party's natural compagnon de route.

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