NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Kyoto's Bad Science, Big Cost

November 16, 1998

Kyoto global warming treaty critics are bemoaning what they call the Clinton administration's unconstitutional symbolic treaty signing last week. The treaty only goes into effect if the Senate ratifies the measure, which now seems in doubt. It would require the U.S. to cut greenhouse gas emissions to seven percent below 1990 levels in the next 10 to 14 years. Opponents' object to the plan on economic and scientific grounds. First, the numbers.

  • By the government's own estimates, the treaty would cost the U.S. $397 billion in 2010 alone -- reducing gross domestic product by four percent below what it would be without the treaty.
  • Electricity could cost as much as 86 percent more.
  • A gallon of gas could go up 66 cents.
  • More than 2.5 million jobs could be lost.

As for the science, critics note that two decades ago environmentalists were predicting a new ice age; now it's global warming. But the science is shaky. Satellites show the earth's temperature hasn't gone up in 20 years. And most of the warming occurred in the first half of the century when carbon monoxide emissions were lower.

Source: Editorial, "Kyoto Mania," Investor's Business Daily, November 16, 1998.


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