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Canada Abandons Kyoto Treaty. The U.S.( Not a Member!) Should Abandon It Also.
Canada withdrew as a party to the Kyoto treaty on December 12, 2011, a few days ago. It appears likely that other countries will soon follow. The U.S., which is not a party to the Kyoto treaty has been behaving under Clinton, Bush, and Obama as though it were. Although the Senate of the United States refused to approve becoming a party of the treaty, the U.S. government has been cooperating and acting as a full party to the treaty without authorization from the American people. It has been foolishly wasting billions of dollars—no, hundreds of billions—costing American workers hundreds of thousands of jobs and delaying the recovery of the U.S. economy from the recession. Moreover, the billions spent by the federal and state governments have had no effect on climate change. The money spent was completely wasted and succeeded only in reducing the living standards of American worker.
The actions taken under the treaty, the huge subsidies to inefficient wind and solar power, and biofuels have cost American workers hundreds of thousands of jobs and reduced their standards of living all in the name of a doubtful theory of man-made global warming (AGW). Dissenting scientists are convinced that global warming is a natural phenomenon and that man-made emissions play a very small role. But even if the theory were valid, the costs of the measures taken in its name were totally unjustified because they exceeded any possible benefits. And it is a fact, acknowledged by every responsible authority, that the expenditures have not contributed anything of benefit to humanity. The vast sums spent would have been better spent on weather problems we can do something about: hurricanes, tornadoes, cyclones, droughts, and a myriad of other climate problems needing our attention.
China calls Canada's decision 'preposterous'. It is only a coincidence that China is the leading exporter of solar panels and parts for windmills and is the world’s largest emitter of carbon gases. It was exempted by the Kyoto treaty from its obligations as an emerging country! Canadian Greenpeace joined China’s criticism and a spokesman said the country is protecting polluters instead of people. To the contrary, the windmills are noisy, unreliable, and kill migrating birds. They have to be shut down when the winds are too strong and do not generate enough electricity when there are no winds. So fossil fuel plants must be built to back them up. When not built on public lands, neighboring farmers have to be paid thousands of dollars to accept the noise. And they all need to be subsidized because they cannot compete on their own. They require huge subsidies from both the states and the federal government for any entrepreneur to undertake their construction. In addition, the federal government obliges the electric utilities to buy electricity from them and they are permitted to pass the higher cost on to consumers in the form of higher prices. Not only do they not contribute to economic growth but they hamper economic growth.
The Canadian environment minister, Peter Kent, said meeting the country's Kyoto treaty obligations would cost each family $1,600. In our view that is a gross understatement. But he is right that it would impose on Canadian workers and on Canadian companies an intolerable burden. More than that, economic studies have shown that Canada would benefit and the U.S. would suffer little harm from global warming.
Larry Bell in a Forbes article, August 23, 2011, entitled “The Alarming Cost Of Climate Change Hysteria” calculated some of the costs. These do not include the billions in subsidies granted by the states and the burdens borne by workers and consumers. He writes: “ The U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) can't figure out what benefits, if any, taxpayers are getting from the many billions of dollars spent each year on policies that are purportedly aimed at addressing climate change.” Neither can we. Here are some of the costs he reported :
1. Annual federal climate spending amounted to $106.7 billion over that period from 2003 to 2010. This doesn't count about $79 billion more spent for climate change technology research, foreign aid and tax breaks for "green energy."
2. Special deductions and tax credits intended to encourage greenhouse gas emission reductions amounted to $16.1 billion since 1993. This is just for vehicles and insulating houses, and such.
3. This does not include the $26.1 billion earmarked for climate change programs and related activities in the 2009 economic stimulus bill.
4. Although not a party to the treaty, the administration has proposed $1,328 million in its FY 2012 budget to donate to developing countries, which label includes China, India, Brazil, and Russia, under the theory that the global warming we caused harmed those countries.. In FY 2008, the amount was $202 million). The Kyoto treaty anticipates that the compensation to the least developed countries will amount to $100 billion annually by 2020. We believe the justification to be nonsense.
5. We should count the climate-premised EPA regulations “that are killing businesses and jobs under cover of the Clean Air Act. …The Small Business Administration estimates that compliance with such regulations costs the U.S. economy more than $1.75 trillion per year -- about 12%-14% of GDP.” In addition, it is estimated that the regulations cost corporations in 2008 pretax profits of $1.436 trillion.”
This does not include the impediments EPA regulations has made to mining coal, producing oil and natural gas, and generating electricity from fossil fuels which are estimated to have cost as much as 3 million jobs and reduced average household income by more than $4,000 a year. And who knows what the cost will be if the EPA gets away with its proposed rule to reduce coal-fired mercury emissions which would close down perhaps a dozen or more coal-fired power plants. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, a usual White House ally, says it will directly destroy 50,000 jobs, and 200,000 more down the supply line.”
Bell writes, “The EPA has also recently announced new environmental guidelines that will essentially end surface "mountaintop" mining in a six-state region centered on Appalachia that produced more than 10% of U.S. coal in 2008, and employed nearly 20,000 people. And just how much consideration does the EPA give to the severe economic and employment impacts of its initiatives? The unambiguous answer is -- none.” And he cites correspondence between members of Congress and the EPA.
Wikiipedia reports that the World Bank (2010, p. 233) commented on how the Kyoto Protocol had only had a slight effect on curbing global emissions growth.[“The treaty was negotiated in 1997, but by 2005, energy-related emissions had grown 24%.” It also reported that, in May 2010 the Hartwell Paper was published by the London School of Economics. The authors argued that after what they regard as the failure of the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Summit, the Kyoto Protocol "has failed to produce any discernable real world reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases in fifteen years"
It is time for Congress to inform the Kyoto parties that we shall no longer continue to act as though we were a party to the treaty. Congratulations to the Canadian government for finally recognizing the Kyoto treaty for what it is, a suicide pact by the world’s industrial countries.
Journal of Economic Literature:
Atlantic Economic Journal: