The events around Ukraine and some new activities of the climate fearmongers in the EU are worrisome but at least, they allow us to see the politicians from new angles. And these new angles show e.g. the new Czech social democratic prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka in a more positive light than what your humble correspondent would expect based on the old angles.
First, he and the bulk of the government seem to realize that a trade war against Russia would be an insanity. In fact, the populist billionaire Mr Andrej Babiš' coalition party "ANO" is a more typical anti-Russian element of the coalition (as we are often assured by anti-Russian proclamations by the actor and current defense minister Mr Martin Stropnický). Still, Babiš seems to realize very well that some of the proposed (and even adopted) EU policies might be counterproductive.
In particular, the EU has decided to allow tariff-free imports of the Ukrainian goods, in order to help these "new friends" of ours in their costly, indefensible, and doomed attempts to hurt their Eastern neighbor. A not-quite-negligible portion of these goods are chickens and Babiš' Agrofert Corporation itself is the Czechia's most important producer of chickens (Chickens of Vodňany, "Vodňanské kuře") so it is pretty clear that he is not thrilled by these policies. ;-)
But the supernatural efforts to "fight the climate change" keep on going on the Old Continent, despite the 17-year-long "hiatus" and the pretty much complete discrediting of the scientific theories behind the climate alarm.
The previous EU goals for 2020 have largely evaporated. Just like the communist five-year plans were almost never fulfilled, the climate alarmist EU six-year plans for 2020 turned out to be pretty impossible and everyone starts to see that no significant reduction in CO2 emission may be achieved by 2020.
So the next number that these people talk about is 2030, of course.
Jens Stoltenberg was a climate envoy sent by the U.N.'s Ban Ki-Moon to convince Europe to become a leader in the 2030 climate targets and to promise 40% CO2 reduction by that time, among similar insane things. Yvo de Boer, a former U.N. climate boss, also wanted the EU to promise new crazy things for 2030 as soon as possible.
But the post-socialist Europe comes to the rescue. Fortunately, the self-described pro-EU and pro-PC new Czech government continues to be an important warrior against the climate insanity:
Czech prime minister to take cautious stand on climate, energy, goals as EU countries clash (Czech radio)The new government could have become completely unreasonable and it could have adopted some "anti-Klaus" attitudes, if you allow me to personify them in this way. Fortunately, this thing didn't take place. They still control the same economy and for this economy, it is totally obvious that a forced significant reduction of the CO2 emissions would mean to start a brutal economic depression. It is particularly obvious to the Czech manufacturers. Another Czech radio article starts by saying:
East-West split over EU's long-term climate goals (European Voice)
"If you want to get a Czech industrialist really inflamed, just mention the word renewables and you should succeed. Manufacturers and the Czech government are now preparing for a fight over European proposals..."The second article ("East-West...") makes it clear that the former non-Soviet Warsaw Pact countries which all belong to the EU now – Czechia, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania (well, I omitted East Germany because it no longer has any separate voice) – are pretty much approaching the topic similarly although, unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be too much coordination in their negotiation strategies.
One modest result is here, however. The attempts to promise some 2030 targets immediately have failed – the decision was postponed at least until October 2014:
EU delays 2030 climate package decision until October (Responding to AGW)Let's hope that in October, the issue will be sufficiently "stale" so that these targets may be canceled permanently.
EU leaders delay decision on climate targets (European Voice)
Even if there were some climate threat, and there is demonstrably none, it would be utterly unfair to demand the uniform per-country reductions and "percentage of renewable energy" targets. Such "one size fits all" targets clearly influence poorer countries more intensely than they damage the richer countries. Moreover, smaller countries may be affected more dramatically than large countries because large countries may still reach the targets by non-uniform changes across their territory. Smaller countries don't have this freedom.
Quite generally, any form of this "egalitarianism" is counter-productive and intrinsically unfair. Even if there existed any "global problems" or "tragedies of the commons", it would be extremely inhuman and economically irrational to demand that everyone – and every nation – achieves the same reductions, the same percentage of wind farms, and so on. Countries and nations are not created equal. A carbon tax would still be a fairer method to define the rules of the game. Of course, I hope that there won't be any carbon tax at all.
The post-socialist EU countries would be hurt more than the traditional Western countries that have avoided communism. That's why they may easily see that the climate targets and similar insane plans would be a serious problem. However, these policies would undoubtedly be a serious problem for the always-capitalist Western EU countries, too. Those Western EU nations should be extremely grateful to the newer EU members that are helping to protect the whole European Union from some high-level climate lunatics such as Connie Hedegaard.
If the politicians from the post-socialist countries managed to delay the targets by half a year, they have already saved something like 100 billion euros.