Environmentalist Power Trips Harm Poor Countries; Kyoto Protocol Expiration Won't Provide Reality Check

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 5, 2012 | Go to article overview

Environmentalist Power Trips Harm Poor Countries; Kyoto Protocol Expiration Won't Provide Reality Check


Byline: David Rothbard and Craig Rucker, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Last summer's Rio+20 Conference tried unsuccessfully to rivet global attention on the latest urgent problem of unsustainable development. This week, another United Nations five-star-hotel convention, in Doha, Qatar, is working overtime to revive climate alarmism as a central organizing principle for global governance.The strategies remain unchanged: There are treaties, laws, regulations and higher taxes for hydrocarbon energy, all under the direction of unelected, unaccountable fanatics who insist they are saving planet Earth from ecological collapse. The agenda is likewise the same: Slash hydrocarbon use, transfer wealth, regulate economic growth and control people's lives.With the Kyoto Protocol set to expire at the end of December, Qatar conventioneers are determined to forge new international agreements in the face of numerous harsh realities.The United States never ratified Kyoto and is not bound by its dictates, and the country's reduced economic and political stature make it harder to play a lead role in forging a new agreement. Canada, Japan and New Zealand will not participate in a new treaty. The European Union is drowning in debt and struggling under soaring renewable-energy costs that threaten families, jobs, companies and entire industries.China, Brazil, India, Indonesia and other emerging markets refuse to limit the use of fossil fuels they need to build their economies and lift millions out of poverty. They say industrialized nations must agree to further greenhouse gas reductions before they will consider doing so, and holding developing countries to developed-nation standards would be inequitable.Poor countries increasingly understand that carbon-dioxide emission restrictions will prevent them from expanding and subject them to control by environmental activists and U.N. regulators. They also realize that massive wealth transfers from formerly rich countries - for climate-change mitigation, adaptation and reparation - are increasingly unlikely and would go mostly to bureaucrats, autocrats and kleptocrats, with little trickling down to ordinary people.The scientific realities are equally bad for alarmists.Average planetary temperatures have not risen in 16 years, even as atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels have crept upward to 0.0391 percent (391 parts per million). While global-warming alarmists continue to say 2010 or, in the United States, 2012 was the hottest on record, actual data show that the difference between those and other allegedly hottest years is only a few hundredths of a degree. The 1930s still hold the record for the steamiest years in American history.NASA has conceded that Arctic sea-ice reductions during 2012 were caused mostly by enormous, long-lasting storms that broke up huge sections of the polar ice cap. Meanwhile, Antarctic sea ice continues to expand, setting new records. The rate of sea-level rise has not been accelerating and actually may be decreasing, according to recent studies. …

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Environmentalist Power Trips Harm Poor Countries; Kyoto Protocol Expiration Won't Provide Reality Check
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