Ballyhooing in Bali

The U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bali is over. So what did all the ballyhooing in Bali accomplish? After two weeks of meetings and discussions attended by over 10,000 diplomats, environmentalists, reporters, and Al Gore himself; cut out all the fluff and we only learned three things.

  • Al Gore is still a conceited, pompous fool.
  • The rest of the world can do nothing by itself unless the US agrees to it and takes the lead.
  • The best the global warmers at Bali could manage to agree upon was to agree upon more talks in a couple of years.

After accepting his Nobel Peace Prize for starting the war on global warming – the first time the Nobel Peace prize has been awarded to someone for starting a war instead of ending a war – Al Gore jettisoned his Hollywood groupies and jetted off to the warm waters and whites sands of the island resort of Bali and the world conference on climate change.

Al Gore, a defeated presidential candidate like John Kerry and Jimmy Carter, suffers from a strange syndrome that seems to afflict former Democrats with presidential aspirations. Having been rejected by the American people, they now seek comfort, solace, and approval from Europeans.

“I am not an official and I am not bound by diplomatic niceties,” announced Al Gore. “So I am going to speak an inconvenient truth: my own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali,” he said to the applause of delegates as the Bali negotiations bogged down.

“You can feel anger and frustration and direct it at the United States of America. Or you can make a second choice, you can decide to move forward and do all of the difficult work that needs to be done and save a large open blank space in our document and put a footnote by it.”

“One year and 40 days from today, there will be a new inauguration in the United States. I must tell you candidly that I cannot promise that the person who is elected will have the position I expect they will have, but I can tell you I believe it is quite likely.”

Two weeks of cocktail parties and showmanship in a conference supposedly held to be the successor of the Kyoto Protocol, all the diplomats managed to agree upon was to agree to meet again in two years.

To the bewilderment of Al Gore, his eco-environmentalist wacko minions, the drive-by media and both Time and Newsweek magazines, who 30 years ago touted global cooling with the same degree of fervor they now proclaim for global warming, the United States is the only developed nation that has not signed the agreement. We should be very, very thankful.

The American Thinker calls it “Kyoto Schmyoto.” One would think that countries that committed to the Kyoto treaty are doing a better job of curtailing carbon emissions.  One would also think that the United States, the only country that does not even intend to ratify, keeps on emitting carbon dioxide at growth levels much higher than those who signed.

And one would be wrong.

The Kyoto treaty was agreed upon in late 1997 and countries started signing and ratifying it in 1998.  A list of countries and their carbon dioxide emissions due to consumption of fossil fuels is available from the U.S. government.  If we look at that data and compare 2004 (latest year for which data is available) to 1997 (last year before the Kyoto treaty was signed), we find the following.

  • Emissions worldwide increased 18.0%.
  • Emissions from countries that signed the treaty increased 21.1%.
  • Emissions from non-signers increased 10.0%.
  • Emissions from the U.S. increased 6.6%.

In fact, emissions from the U.S. grew slower than those of over 75% of the countries that signed Kyoto.  Below are the growth rates of carbon dioxide emissions, from 1997 to 2004, for a few selected countries, all Kyoto signers.  (Remember, the comparative number for the U.S. is 6.6 %.)

  • Maldives, 252%.
  • Sudan, 142%.
  • China, 55%.
  • Luxembourg, 43%
  • Iran, 39%.
  • Iceland, 29%.
  • Norway, 24%.
  • Russia, 16%.
  • Italy, 16%.
  • Finland, 15%.
  • Mexico, 11%.
  • Japan, 11%.
  • Canada, 8.8%.

World and U.S. opinion seems to revolve around who signed Kyoto rather than actual carbon dioxide emissions.  Once again, stated intent trumps actual results.  Can even the global warming believers possibly believe this treaty has anything to do with it?”

Japan, Italy and Spain face fines of as much as $33 billion combined for failing to reduce their carbon emissions as promised under the Kyoto Protocol.

They are the three worst performers of the 36 nations that agreed to curb and reduce their carbon dioxide gasses. The Kyoto accord demands that polluting nations buy “credits” for their excess emissions.

Spain says it will pass 40% of its costs for extra emissions on to businesses and the other 60% will be paid by the citizenry. Which of course means the Spanish citizens will be paying 100% of the penalties. You didn’t think businesses wouldn’t pass the cost on to the consumer?

In Italy, 75% will be paid by the citizenry. Japanese taxpayers will pay for two-thirds of that nation’s excess.

Taxpayers in Ireland face having to fork over €270m so that Ireland can “buy its way” into meeting the Kyoto agreement they signed on to. Right now Ireland is on track to overshoot its Kyoto targets by 100%.

So what did the European signatories to the Kyoto Protocol, whose emissions actually increased 21%, over three times that of the U.S. who did not sign Kyoto, want to do at Bali? Well, they wanted to sign a pledge to reduce greenhouse gasses by 25 to 40 percent by 2020! What are they thinking? They can’t even make the 5% reduction Kyoto mandates.

The good people of Japan, Italy, Spain and Ireland should be quite pleased the U.S. nixed that proposal. They’re stuck now with paying bilions and billions of dollars in penalty taxes for not meeting a 5% reduction in emissions. I don’t think they want to contemplate what not making a 25 to 40% reduction would cost them.  

 H. L. Mencken once said, “”The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and hence clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” Al Gore must have been a student.

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