Monday, July 18, 2005

The Death of Kyoto

The Death of Kyoto

As we forge ahead into the brave new world of the twenty first century, as junk science and propaganda continues to stymie the science fiction-future many of us anticipated (a world of rational improvements in the lot of mankind) we have to be content with small victories. The confusion and political grandstanding that has accompanied the climate changes seen in the last two decades, culminating in the passage of the Kyoto Protocol, seemed to be a victory of the forces intent on the pursuit of power rather than the improvement of life on Earth. But the forces of truth and rational thought fought back, resulting in the final victory over these blatantly political, power-grabbing protocols. At least, that's what Tony Blair meant when he said, at the G8 summit, ""There's no point in going back over the Kyoto debate, that is an argument that has been, and we can't resolve that, and we're not going to negotiate some new treaty on climate change at the G-8 summit." French President Jacques Chirac said essentially the same thing.

What the leaders at the G8 meeting realized is that Kyoto has failed. The sound bite that emerged in the mainstrean media on climate change reflected the U.S. change of position, with President George W. Bush saying that climate change is man-made and important to address. The point that is receiving less attention, but that is even more important, is the consensus that the Kyoto Protocol is essentially no longer relevant to international climate-change discussions. Most signatories will not be able or willing to meet Kyoto's targets and timetables, and the G-8 leaders said they will no longer criticize Washington for not abiding by Kyoto or participating in Kyoto-based discussions.

Now, this is a minor victory, to be sure, as both sides of the debate are now free to pursue other approaches to the perceived problem. No doubt the Greens will continue to press for legislation, and the West will continue to restrict the emission of carbon into the atmosphere. But the attempt to break the back of the Western economies had failed. Washington has shown no interest in any regulation that will cost too much, instead promoting new technologies. Of course, any attempt to promote technology by government is prone to corruption by pork barrel and single issue politics, but at least that is a positive boost to an economic sector, rather than a negative drag on the economy as a whole, as carbon restrictions are. And now China and India, along with the rest of the developing world, are back in the carbon wars with the rest of us, rather than being given a pass, as was done in the Kyoto protocol.

What has not changed in all of this, is the absolute fraudulence shown by both sides. No scientist claims that carbon dioxide reductions will result in any warming reduction within the lifetime of anyone now living, yet the debate is entirely focused on carbon reduction. If indeed we want to cool, or at least to slow the warming, of the Earth's atmosphere, why would we pursue a method that all can agree will not work for at least 100 years? Why would both sides pursue the use of Hydrogen, when it would only increase the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere? And, most strongly indicative of what is really going on here, if the Greens actually believe that carbon dioxide is the culprit, how can they continue to stand against Nuclear power? Nuclear is the only technology that can reduce carbon emissions on a significant scale, and is the only way that hydrogen makes any sense at all.

Whatever. We can rail against the stupidity of the world, but can do precious little to make it better. Small minded humans will continue to mendaciously obfuscate the truth, in the pursuit of the power they crave. Single interest politics will continue to be the engine of our governance, and needless, meaningless, or even harmful legislation will continue to be produced by the sausage factory in Washington D.C. We can at least revel in this small victory over the Kyoto protocol. Kofi Annan and the undeveloped world have failed, with their fifth column allies here at home, in their attempt to impoverish us. One can only hope that we are more vigilant, and act more decisively, against their next attack on our way of life.