Germany’s biggest car manufacturers shares plunged in early trading as investors digested allegations about decades of collusion between Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler. Investors dumped the shares after reports claiming the companies may have secretly worked together on technology, forming a cartel that could have led to the “dieselgate” emission scandal. Between them, the three car giants have had about €10bn wiped off their value since the news first broke. According to Spiegel, the car makers began working together in the 1990s in an attempt to stay ahead of foreign rivals, with engineers meeting “regularly several times a year” to discuss technology. —The Daily Telegraph, 24 July 2017
The Trump administration is in the beginning stages of forming an adversarial “red team” to play devil’s advocate in a plan to debate the facts behind global warming and take on what skeptics call climate alarmism. The White House and the Environmental Protection Agency are recruiting scientists by enlisting the help of the Heartland Institute, considered to be the lead think tank for challenging the majority of scientists on climate change. The Institute has its own red team, which is the antithesis to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which it calls, unabashedly, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change. –John Siciliano, Washington Examiner, 24 July 2017
A report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration indicated that coal exports have increased by 58 percent from Q1 of 2016 to Q1 of 2017. Steam coal exports were bound largely for European markets — which consumed approximately 50 percent of the U.S.’ total steam coal exports in Q1, 2017. —Oil Price, 22 July 2017
Cabinet split over whether to allow the import of controversial “chlorine washed” chicken could cause a major stumbling block in Liam Fox’s trade talks with the US today. Dr. Fox, who has the support of Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, wants agriculture to be included in free trade discussions and believes chlorine-washed chicken is safe to eat and should be included in any deal. But Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, has insisted that British food standards will not be downgraded in any way, and Andrea Leadsom, the Leader of the House and former environment secretary, is opposed to the move, saying cheap, poor quality imports could damage British farming. —The Daily Telegraph, 24 July 2017
The decision by US President Donald Trump to remove the US from the Paris Agreement on climate change was met with both derision and applause. Such is climate politics in the United States in the 21st century. This talk focuses on climate politics as “Manichean paranoia,” a term used by the late US statesman Zbigniew Brzezinski to describe a worldview in which your opponent is considered to be malign and willfully ignorant, whereas your own side is noble and uniquely enlightened. –Roger Pielke Jr., Global Warming Policy Foundation, July 2017
Poor Bill Nye. He thinks somehow most people are as religious about climate change as he is, and will keep their naively unscientific beliefs into their old age. Instead, skeptics are not dying out at all — there is a never ending source of skeptics, as young gullible believers grow up to be old and wise. —Jo Nova, 21 July 2017
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