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Friday, March 11, 2005

Potemkin Global Village

From the National Center for Policy Analysis:

E-Team News
Release Date: February 15, 2005
NCPA E-Team Scholar Says Treaty Isn’t the Solution to Global Warming
DALLAS (February 14, 2005) – As the Kyoto Protocol goes into effect there has been little or no discussion about the causes of global warming, the implications of implementing the treaty or whether the treaty is an appropriate response, according to NCPA Senior Fellow H. Sterling Burnett.
“Whether or not human actions are causing the current warming trend,” Dr. Burnett said. “The greenhouse gas reductions required under the Kyoto Protocol will not prevent it.” Why won’t Kyoto work?
Even if all signatories meet greenhouse gas emission targets, the effect on global temperature would be insignificant.
Fast growing, non-developed countries, such as China, India, South Korea and Indonesia, are exempt from emission reductions.
According to the International Energy Agency, as much as 85 percent of the projected increase in CO2 emissions over the next 20 years will be produced in exempt countries.
Signatory countries, such as Canada and Japan, are not likely to meet Kyoto’s emission cuts, and the European Union is on a path to exceed its commitments.
The Bush Administration has been severely criticized for not signing the treaty even though economic forecasts show that compliance would hurt the U.S. economy. During the Clinton Administration the Energy Information Administration, the official forecasting arm of the Department of Energy, issued a report predicting that meeting Kyoto greenhouse gas limits would:
Increase gasoline prices by 52 percent and electricity prices by 86 percent.
Decrease gross domestic product (GDP) by 4.2 percent and reduce disposable income by 2.5 percent.
Furthermore, an NCPA study written by Dr. Stephen Brown of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank determined that compliance would reduce GDP by as much as 4.3 percent in 2010, representing a loss of up to $394.4 billion, or $1,320 per person.
“Rather than spending time and resources slowing the increase in greenhouse gases, which may not be the cause of global warming, we should prepare for a warmer world and all its effects, regardless of the cause,” Dr. Burnett added.

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