Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Rethinking Kyoto? Kyoto should be completely gassed

I'm always interested in the online presence of environmental activists. For a while now, I've noticed that every time Q or I write about climate change, global warming or Kyoto, someone comes out of nowhere and attempts to refute our thoughts or opinions.

The latest comes from new visitor Mound of Sound, who dismissed Q's view that without China as a signatory, Kyoto is essentially useless. Here is the comment from Mound:

"You also misunderstand Kyoto. It was never intended to fix global warming, merely to get the developed industrialized world committed to taking the first concrete steps to curbing emissions."

Wow. There is so much that is wrong with that statement, but it is quite insightful in giving us a view on where the so-called "green" movement is going. You know that people are finally waking up to the huge costs and very small benefits of Kyoto when they are saying that Kyoto was "never intended to fix global warming."

Further, that statement is intellectually dishonest. For years, Kyoto has been sold to the west precisely as one big solution to ending global warming. While I agree wholeheartedly that that is not what Kyoto does, it has absolutely been sold that way. Don't believe me? Here's a quote from none other than the sainted Internet-inventor Al Gore, in a July 1, 2007 editorial in the NY Times:

"To this end, we should demand that the United States join an international treaty within the next two years that cuts global warming pollution by 90 percent in developed countries and by more than half worldwide in time for the next generation to inherit a healthy Earth."

Yeah, Mound - with quotes like that, no one could EVER think that Kyoto means the end to global warming. What Al MEANT to say was that it was "merely a first step." Guess its all about the fine print.

Secondly, I give Mound his due on one thing: Kyoto definitely won't stop climate change. In fact, many economic models predict thatKyoto will have virtually no effect on global temperature. If we were to fully implement Kyoto (and that means, the US as well) over the next century (which, as people like Mound know that it will be harder and harder as the years go by), the global temperature would only be approximately 0.1 degrees F cooler by 2050. By the year 2100, there would only be a decrease of 0.3 degrees F. It is important to note that these figures come from the IPCC's foremost modelers.

So, given that Kyoto will essentially do nothing to halt global warming, why on earth would anyone sign up for it? Symbolism? Why would the West handcuff itself to the tune of $5 to $10 TRILLION in order to allow China, Russia and other developing or transitory economies from polluting essentially at will? Q is right: China is key. That nation is building two medium-sized coal plants a week. They will invest $128 billion in coal production between 2007 and 2020. Without them, we might as well shooting ice cubes into the atmosphere.

Dumb idea? No, Kyoto is the dumbest response to climate change going. It does nothing, but has an immense cost. But the fascist nature of the current environmental movement does not allow discussion, especially dissent. As we keep hearing, time and again "the debate is over." No, folks, it isn't. Its just beginning.

Those in the "green community" have long wanted environmental issues to be at the forefront of the agenda. Now that it is, they want it to be on their terms - with no discussion on the validity of their arguments or their data. They just want all of the unenlightened to put up, shut up and do what they say. Namely, spend billions of public and corporate dollars on phantom programs that do nothing to advance the goals of reversing climate change.

Well, guess what? Now that the world is paying attention to your issues, they are calling you out on your assumptions and recommendations. After all, as you keep telling us, there's lots at stake right now. Did you actually think you'd be getting a blank cheque?

Kyoto is a very expensive sham, which targets western "eco-guilt" just like carbon trading, offset and other stupid programs that allow people to spend money to keep doing what they are doing.

I have always believed that the faster a trend comes onto the scene, the faster it burns out. Everything right now is green, green, green. Its all just another fad. I just hope, like the Atkins diet, that this new fad will soon crest and fade away. Then we can have a real discussion on what to do, instead of listening to garbage about ethanol production and McDonald's new "carbon neutral sandwich."

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