NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


December 11, 2008

China has now destroyed Western hopes for a new global warming agreement, just weeks before global talks in Poland aimed at writing a successor for the Kyoto Protocol -- which expires in 2012, says Dennis Avery, a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute and Director for the Center for Global Food Issues. 

China has attached a ransom note to its Polish meeting RSVP: They might go along with a new warming pact if the rich countries agree to hand over 1 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) -- about $300 billion per year -- to finance the required non-fossil, higher-cost energy systems the West wants the developing countries to use.

"Climate change policies need a lot of money to be invested.  However, developed countries have not made any substantive promises about how much they are going to spend on this," said Gua Guangsheng, head of China's Climate Change Office on Oct. 28.

Don't spend much of your "worry time" on a new climate treaty however, says Avery.  Global temperatures are doing their best to tell us that CO2 isn't very important after all:

  • Global thermometers stubbornly refused to rise after 1998, and have plummeted in the past two years by more than 0.5 degree C.
  • The world is now colder than in 1940, when the Post-WWOII Industrial Revolution started spewing lots of man-made CO 2 in the first place.
  • On October 29, the United States beat or tied 115 low-temperature records for the date; Alaska, which was unusually warm last year, recorded 25 degrees below zero Fahrenheit that night -- beating the previous low by 4 degrees F.
  • London had snow in October for the first time in more than 70 years.

The 2007-08 temperature drop wasn't predicted by the global climate models, but it had been predicted by the sunspots since 2000.  Both the absent sunspots and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation now predict a 25-30-year global cooling.  After that, the remaining enthusiasm for global warming agreements will presumably have vanished -- without any big payoff to the Chinese government, says Avery.

Source: Dennis Avery, "China Sinks New Kyoto," American Conservative Union Foundation, December 3, 2008.


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