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Views From the Nation’s Press: Europe’s lead role fighting climate change falls victim to a massive heat wave


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Europe’s lead role fighting climate change falls victim to a massive heat wave:

Europeans’ resolve to combat climate change is melting under the summer heat as they endure the kinds of temperatures and fire conditions that the American West has dealt with for years. Long protected from American-style heat catastrophes because of consistently cool weather patterns, Europe is now living the nightmare.

And that poses a conundrum for the world, because the hotter it gets, the more Europeans react in ways they’ve long criticized Americans for: cranking up the air conditioners and consuming even more carbon-heavy energy resources. Or, more accurately, Europeans are going out and buying air conditioners that they’ve never even needed before because their summer temperatures have been so predictably moderate.

Despite Europe’s leading role in efforts to cut back on carbon-producing coal, gas and oil in favor of carbon-neutral wind, solar and geothermal, that response has been too late and too inadequate to fend off these global warming trends. For people’s survival as well as comfort, their only choice is to draw their energy from currently available fossil fuel sources. And the more those fuels are burned, the more carbon is pumped […]

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