KYOTO'S LONG GOODBYE

July 11, 2008

One of the mysteries of the universe is why President Bush bothers to charge the fixed bayonets of the global warming theocracy.  On the other hand, his Administration's supposed "cowboy diplomacy" is succeeding in changing the way the world addresses climate change.  Which is to say, he has forced the world to pay at least some attention to reality, says the Wall Street Journal.

That was the larger meaning of the Group of Eight summit in Japan this week, even if it didn't make the papers. The headline was that the nations pledged to cut global greenhouse emissions by half by 2050:

  • Yet for the first time, the G-8 also agreed that any meaningful climate program would have to involve industrializing nations like China and India.
  • For the first time, too, the G-8 agreed that real progress will depend on technological advancements.
  • And it agreed that the putative benefits had to justify any brakes on economic growth.

In other words, the G-8 signed on to what has been the White House approach since 2002. The United States has relied on the arc of domestic energy programs now in place, like fuel-economy standards and efficiency regulations, along with billions in subsidies for low-carbon technology. Europe threw in with the central planning of the Kyoto Protocol -- and the contrast is instructive, says the Journal:

  • Between 2000 and 2006, U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions fell 3 percent.
  • Of the 17 largest worldwide emitters, only France reduced by more.

So despite environmentalist sanctimony about the urgent need for President Bush and the United States to "take the lead" on global warming, his program has done better than most everybody else's.  That won't make the evening news.  But the fact is that the new G-8 document is best understood as a second look at the "leadership" of . . . you know who, says the Journal.

Source: Editorial, "Kyoto's Long Goodbye," Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2008.

For text:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121573566257544347.html 

 

Browse more articles on Environment Issues