NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

DESPITE THE PUSH FOR KYOTO, GREENS ADMIT IT WON'T WORK

December 23, 2004

Russia recently ratified the Kyoto treaty, but environmentalists aren't too thrilled. The reason? Kyoto, they say, simply won't make too much difference in controlling greenhouse gases, and will not reduce warming in the Arctic.

Obviously, the fact that Kyoto is an exercise in futility is no surprise to skeptics of global warming. Steve Milloy of the Cato Institute argues that graphs depicting near-surface air temperatures in arctic regions debunk the case for blaming man-made activities on warming trends:

  • Arctic temperatures have fluctuated for decades in cycles roughly 40 years long.
  • Between 1920 and 1950, Arctic temperatures following a warming trend; in 1940, Arctic temperatures were even warmer than they are now.
  • Furthermore, Petr Chylek and researchers at Los Alamos Laboratories show that the average temperature in Greenland has fallen by 2.2 degrees Celsius since 1987.
  • The melting rates of Greenland's ice sheets have not persistently increased over the last 50 years.

One reason Kyoto won't work in reducing greenhouse gases is that it ignores the biggest emitters, China and India, as well as 100 other developing countries that are currently exempt.

Bjorn Lomborg, author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist," argues that money going toward compliance with Kyoto would be better spent on fighting AIDS, improving sanitation and providing clean drinking water in developing countries.

Source: Editorial, "Kyoto as Tip of the Iceberg," Investor's Business Daily, December 21, 2004.

 

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