NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Climate Change and The U.N.

October 24, 2002

The United Nations is determined to browbeat the United States into signing the Kyoto protocol on global warming, and is employing some pretty suspect means to achieve that end, critics say.

  • The U.N.'s Climate Change Working Group has issued a new report demanding additional Kyoto pacts.
  • The Working Group finally admits that the first Kyoto protocols won't do much about planet's climate; Clinton administration scientists estimated the equivalent of 19 more Kyotos would be needed to actually stop the projected increase in average temperatures worldwide.
  • But critics ask, if one such pact costs 2 percent of gross domestic product per year, what would 19 more cost?

Another U.N. ploy is to alarm the insurance industry over an increase in hurricanes. Indeed, the biggest producer of weather-related damage is the hurricane. And the largest exposure, in terms of insured property value, is the U.S. East Coast.

  • The report projects that, as a result of climate change, worldwide insurance losses will mount to an additional $150 billion in the next decade.
  • But that figure includes damages from all "natural causes" -- and most of the recent increase is from two big earthquakes.
  • No one, not even pro-Kyoto environmentalists, would suggest that global warming causes earthquakes -- moreover, if the U.N. is right, the number and severity of hurricanes should be increasing dramatically.
  • In fact, the 1990s appear to have been especially hurricane-poor -- and the average maximum recorded winds have been declining for the last half-century.

Source: Patrick J. Michaels (Cato Institute), "U.S. Facts vs. U.N. 'Science'," Washington Times, October 24, 2002.


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