My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Europe's Dirty Little Secret on Climate Change...

Bjorn Lomborg's article was also in the National Post today. He's a clear thinker on the costs of Kyoto.
With the EU's high-pitched rhetoric, you would be forgiven for believing that it has now single-handedly taken the major step toward solving the problem. Barroso called the agreement "historic." British Prime Minister Tony Blair extolled its "groundbreaking, bold, ambitious targets." German Chancellor Angela Merkel even ventured that Europe's promises could "avoid what could well be a human calamity."

But nobody sees fit to reveal the agreement's dirty little secret: It will do next to no good - and again at very high cost. According to one well-established and peer-reviewed model, the effect of the EU cutting emissions by 20 percent will postpone warming in the 21st century by just two years, yet the cost will be about $90 billion annually. It will be costly, because Europe is a costly place to cut carbon-dioxide, and it will be inconsequential, because the EU will account for only about 6 percent of all emissions in the 21st century. So the new treaty will be an even less efficient use of our resources than the old Kyoto Protocol.

It is important to learn from the past. We have often been promised dramatic cuts in carbon-dioxide emissions far into the future, only to see the promises vanish when we got there. In Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the West promised to stabilize emissions, but overshot this by 12 percent. In Kyoto, we were promised a 7 percent reduction in world emissions, but will probably achieve only 0.4 percent. Of course, such promises are made by politicians who in all likelihood are no longer in office when the time comes to fulfil them.

We will not be able to solve global warming over the next decades, but only over the next half or full century. We need to find a viable, long-term strategy that is smart, equitable, and doesn't require inordinate sacrifice for trivial benefits. Fortunately, there is such a strategy: research and development. Investing in the research and development of non-carbon-emitting energy technologies would leave future generations able to make serious and yet economically feasible and advantageous cuts. A new global warming treaty should mandate spending 0.05 percent of GDP on research and development in the future. It would be much cheaper, yet do much more good in the long run.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meaningless gestures make for a couple of nice photo ops anyhow, very Liberal of them...

1:10 AM  

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