June 23, 2011
Shocking! Outrageous! Unacceptable! Barroso has to fire Lewandowski, point! Such are the cries of EU environmental activists concerning recent remarks by EU Budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski. His crime? The Commissioner made certain remarks in an interview that were factually correct but counter to what NGO climate activists have been saying. And rather than engaging in rational debate, the NGOs from Greenpeace to WWF pasted Lewandowski as an enemy of the state, exaggerated his position and targeted him for elimination. How dare the Commissioner express something against the views and cleverly crafted campaigns that we all have perceived as truth, or make us think about things we are already convinced about? Such audacity!
So what did the Commissioner say that has made him into the puss of humanity? He stated that coal is not the main cause of global warming. He is completely correct in saying this and I commend his courage to stand up and try to get others to realise this. Coal emissions do have their problems and the progress of carbon capture and storage technologies are addressing these, but to isolate coal as the main source of global warming is simply naive (we all know for certain that eating meat is the main source and in any case, less than 2% of greenhouse gas emissions are anthropogenic). He also acknowledged that there is debate and doubt about climate change. NGO activists would like to have us think that the debate is over: No more time for thinking or discussing, it is time to act! But I am afraid that Commissioner Lewandowski is right again – we need to continually consider all emerging information on climate change (especially recent conclusions from solar scientists that suggest that solar cycle 25 will be non-eventful and may lead to an extended period of global cooling). To brand the commissioner as a troglodyte because he is concerned about the severity of the financial burden of present CO2 targets on poorer European citizens is not only unfair, it is uncivil. Rather than lambasting him, Commissioner Lewandowski is my EU hero of the month.
Heroes stand up for what is right against irrationality and oppression. It takes a lot of courage to stand up to the green climate lobby. The name-calling and thuggish behaviour of some activists is embarrassing and undiplomatic. A terrified Ruth Davis, chief policy adviser at Greenpeace, likened the Commissioner to a Sarah Palin Republican (for Americans who read this blog, it should be noted that such a remark is extremely insulting in Brussels). WWF’s Tony Long is shocked and confessed that he has no faith in anything the Commissioner will say or do. Barroso, when asked how long before he fires his Commissioner for speaking out of line, replied in his defence that: “The effects of climate change are – quite literally – all around us.” OK, so Barroso does not have heroic qualities.
What I respect most about Commissioner Lewandowski is that, unlike most politicians, he does not coil up and follow the flow of commonality. In a previous blog, I defined commonality as the engineered perception that we all agree on something (climate change is man-made, GMOs are bad …), and conclude therefore that there is no longer any need to research, discuss or think about facts. This I feel historically is a fascist communications technique, and quite dangerous in how it undermines democracy. Lewandowski was right and brave to stand up to the commonality of the green shirts on climate change.
The bottom line is that while it is nice to applaud ourselves for our charitable benign acts towards the planet, when it comes time to make hard decisions on the budget that may involve other people suffering, we had better be sure of the facts. I look forward now to a rational debate on the budget and the coming Polish presidency where common sense may prevail over commonality.David Zaruk