From across the pond — which is drying up now, and will soon be a puddle — our Dutch correspondent H. Numan sends a digest of the overlapping crises that current bedevil the political class in the Netherlands.
by H. Numan
Summertime, and the livin’ ain’t easy.
Fish are jumpin’ and the water is low…
I paraphrased George Gershwin’s song to fit our modern times. It’s summertime, and life behind the dikes is worrisome. I’ve got two news stories for you this time. Let’s start with the summertime scare.
We have to be scared into the desired global warming behavior. What used to be normal, a fun time, is now presented as a horror, evidence of global warming. Well, it’s just summer. A bit hot, that’s all. Nothing unusual. However, that is not how the Dutch media present it. Worry! Be afraid! The sky is falling!
The weather maps — you may have noticed it elsewhere, too — are intentionally rigged. In the past a weather map showed sea in blue and land in green. The weather was shown with symbols, plus the temperature. Nothing scary about it. That won’t do in our global warming times. So the weather map today is different. The map is red with temperatures as gradients of red, from light red to black. That’s better! Now people will be worried sick.
Next, a lot of attention is given to the Rhine River. It’s going to run dry, we’re told. Sorry to disappoint. Remember geography in 6th grade? Allow me to refresh your memory. “There are two types of rivers: glacier- and rain-fed rivers. Glacier-fed rivers tend to have less fluctuations. Whereas rain-fed rivers run highest in spring and autumn, after the melt and rains. During summer and winter they tend to have much less volume. Examples are the Rhine (glacier-fed) and Meuse (rain-fed) rivers.”
In other words: nothing to worry about. It’s completely normal for rivers to run low or dry during a warm summer. There is nothing unusual with the unusual. During summer, the Rhine always runs lower. The Meuse occasionally runs dry, or close to it. That’s not a sure sign of global warming. Just a hot summer.
The media also acts as an overly protective mother. People are warned to stay indoors. Which is fun, because Dutch houses are not designed for really hot weather and don’t have airco. Relax, take it easy. As long as you stay indoors. You’ve been locked up during Covid, you know the drill by now. Wear insanely strong sun blockers, if you have to go outside. Don’t forget to hydrate. Because global warming!
I’ve got (real) news for you, folks. Yes, the climate is changing. Nothing usual, it always does. But not as globalists tell you. The KNMI (Dutch weather bureau) keeps weather data religiously. Nothing will ever be deleted. But… they are more than happy to exclude what they don’t like, and sanitize the remainder so it fits the desired narrative. For example, they exclude temperature readings before 1890 in their calculations ‘as they are irrelevant’, that sort of thing. They don’t delete it, they merely ignore it. What’s left is data that proves global warming.
A Dutch scientist, Syp Wynia, had a look at KNMI data, but from a different angle. He looked at the prevailing wind direction over the last century and the consequences. His conclusion? The prevailing wind direction is now south-west most of the year. It used to be the prevalent direction during spring-summer-autumn. In autumn-winter, the wind changed to the northeast, bringing cold fronts from Russia.
Over the last 40 years, he found much less wind comes from the northeast. What are the consequences? Northeasterly winds bring cold dry weather. Southwesterly winds bring warm wet weather. During summer not much changed, but our winters are about 20% wetter than 40 years ago, and not as cold. Cold winters with snow and ice are now rare. Temperatures hover around freezing or a few degrees above zero. And it rains a lot more in winter. That raises the annual temperature considerably in coastal Europe. As you can see, no carbon emissions are involved. Actually, we have no idea why this happened. Even if we eventually discover why, that doesn’t mean we can change anything about it.
The next piece of news is our very wobbly cabinet. There isn’t just one crisis they have to survive. A plethora of crises has to be managed, right now. Tossing money at it or looking the other way won’t work this time. I doubt prime minister Rutte and his cabinet can do that. Here’s a selection of the most urgent problems. Not all of them, mind you. That list would be way too long:
1. Inflation is sky high and consumer trust at a record low.
Inflation is at the highest level in four decades, and consumer trust is completely gone. Everybody now realizes the worst is yet to come. Winter is coming!
2. Gas prizes are crazy high.
Not for the reason you think. Gas prizes are high everywhere; that’s not it. The reason is how the Dutch government charges for it. The Dutch natural gas rates are the highest in the world. But for Dutch consumers only. Belgians pay half the price the Dutch pay for natural gas. Where do they buy that cheaper gas? In Holland! The government hitched the prices for natural gas to the international oil prices. For Dutch only. Internationally they’re more than happy to give a very steep discount. That worked when the prices were low and we had plenty of gas. Now that we’re running out of it, and prices are higher than the Eiffel tower, it doesn’t. More than a million Dutch are staring at real poverty.
3. Not enough houses.
The previous governments have passed highly restrictive environmental legislation and privatized social housing. The inevitable result is that nobody can afford a house, unless you have a well above-average income. Renting is also unaffordable. The result is that people have to stay with their parents until they are over 30, whether they like it or not.
Unless you are a refugee, that is. The city of Utrecht (GL or communist council) houses refugees only. If you’re Dutch, you’re out of luck. Don’t complain; that makes you a racist. Only racists want poor refugees to sleep in the cold. Surely you’re not a racist, right? Go sleep on the streets; you’re not a refugee!
4. The farmer crisis.
I reported about that recently. Nothing has been solved; negotiations have yet to begin. The government wants the former agricultural minister Remkes to be the negotiator. That sounds reasonable, until you realize he is the man who started the crisis. Under his tenure the sloppy nitrogen regulations became law. That’s akin to sending Reinhart Heydrich to Prague to negotiate with the unruly Czechs there. It clearly shows the desire by the government to eradicate the farming industry.
This crisis is probably the biggest one, and most likely to cause the cabinet to fall. The Christian Democrats are — finally — seriously worried about their very existence. They are the first coalition partner to try to ease the situation, but D66 (progressives) and the prime minister absolutely refuse to give in, not even an inch. This causes real friction in the cabinet.
5. Refugee crisis.
They are coming in in ever-increasing numbers. The official refugee center in Ter Apel is overloaded. People have to sleep in the fields. Riots among the refugees happen daily. They complain just about everything. Even the food is not good enough. The government is forcing smaller cities and villages to accept the overflow, but there are no takers.
This is particularly worrisome for PM Rutte, as his own party elite is now withdrawing support. Local party bosses started to complain openly, a sure sign Rutte is loosing their support.
Progressive (read: communist) cities are especially eager to give refugees preferential treatment, but that doesn’t sit well with most less progressive Dutch. However, the PVV (Geert Wilders) has been defused, so don’t expect a lot from them. Not supporting refugees is racism. Nobody wants that stigma.
The cabinet has another problem: they are effectively a minority cabinet. Yes, any legislation they want they can pass, just like Biden does. Unlike America we don’t have midterm elections. In theory that means Rutte can do whatever he wants until 2025. In reality, they poll consistently under 55 seats, and going down. (A majority is 76 seats.) Not that much has to go wrong to force them into resignation.
Also remember that severe shortages and price hikes are usually the precursors of serious turmoil, if not outright revolution. Pim Fortuyn was relatively unknown before he went into politics. The reason for his sudden rise was the loss of value of the guilder against the euro. That created some hardship, but nothing remotely compared with now. Back then we’re talking two percent, today we’re lucky if it stays below 25%. That’s an order of magnitude worse.
It’s the French Revolution all over again. Nobody minded having to buckle up a bit. What really pissed off the population was that they had to pay for everything when they had nothing, while the nobility partied like always. Some things never change.
— H. Numan
Key to Dutch parties:
|FvD||Forum for Democracy|
|Forum voor Democratie|
|Conservative, populist, Euroskeptic
|VVD||People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy|
|Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie|
|Partij van de Arbeid|
|PVV||Party for Freedom|
|Partij voor de Vrijheid|
|Classical liberal, Islam-critical
|Left-wing populists, former Maoists, to the left of communists
|CDA||Christian Democratic Appeal|
|Christian democrats, center-right
|Politieke Partij Democraten 66|
|Centrist social liberals
|Christian Democrats, left-wing, only “conservative” in being ostensibly religious
|Environmentalism plus hard left
|SGP||Reformed Political Party|
|Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij|
|Christian right, advocates a Christian theocracy
|PvdD||Party for Animals|
|Partij voor de Dieren|
|For The Netherlands|
|Classical liberal party
|PPNL||Pirate Party of the Netherlands|
|Anti-copyright, transparent governance
|JA21||Right Answer 21|
|Juiste Antwoord 21|