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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Lomborg: Kyoto feels good, but ineffective

In Global warming's dirty secret in today's National Post, Bjorn Lomborg comments on the EU's new global warming agreement to cut greenhouse gases 20% by 2020 and refers to these efforts as an ineffective but "feel good approach" to climate change...

This seems to be why we focus on feel good approaches like the Kyoto Protocol, whose fundamental problem has always been that it is simultaneously impossibly ambitious, environmentally inconsequential and inordinately expensive. It required such big reductions that only a few countries could live up to it.

Some countries, like the United States and Australia, chose to opt out of its stringent demands; others, like Canada, Japan and a raft of European states, pay lip service to its requirements but will essentially miss its targets. Yet, even if everyone had participated and continued to stick to Kyoto's ever more stringent commitments, it would have had virtually no environmental effect. The treaty's effect on temperature would be immeasurable by mid-century and only postpone warming by five years in 2100. Nonetheless, the cost would have been anything but trivial -- an estimated US$180-billion per year.
Emphasis added. As far as the new highly touted agreement for 2020 targets, Lomborg says,
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% will postpone warming in 2100 by just two years, yet the cost will be about US$90- billion annually. It will be costly because Europe is a costly place to cut CO2, and it will be inconsequential because the EU will account for only about 6% of all emissions in the twenty-first century. So the new treaty will be an even less efficient use of our resources than the old Kyoto Protocol.
The fact that the "cure" being offered for the current climate change hysteria promises to be about as effective as screen doors on a submarine is just more proof that this is nothing more than a political agenda.

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