Tags: The | Emperor's | New | Climate: | Global | Warming | Real?

The Emperor's New Climate: Is Global Warming Real? Part III

Wednesday, 18 February 2004 12:00 AM

The agreement called the Kyoto Treaty, proposed through the UN in 1997 to limit CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, is likewise seen by Michaels and many other critics as a vehicle for economic self-interest rather than for the environment.

Long in the works at previous international meetings, Kyoto would have been a ticket to a second Great Depression. Its provisions assume the truth of the CO2–global warming hypothesis and obligate the wealthy industrial countries to reorder their nations to cut CO2 emissions to their 1990 levels by 2010.

Since that in effect puts commerce under tighter state control, it pleased the anticapitalist environmentalists of the West. “Developing” states favor the treaty because it puts no limitations on their CO2 emissions—even though countries like China burn increasing amounts of high-carbon fuel such as coal.

The UN and European Union (EU) support the treaty because it establishes their authority to set CO2 standards, collect fees, and regulate transportation. For the EU, there’s also the chance to entangle the powerful U.S. economy in a web of regulation sufficient to bring it to the 17th-century level of innovation and efficiency that Europe now enjoys.

Meanwhile, even scientists in the global-warming camp deride the treaty as ineffective. As Mahlman put it, “If Kyoto were successful, it would produce a small decrease in the rate of increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. It would take 40 Kyotos to actually stop the increase.” Even after President Clinton, Vice President Gore, and the environmentalist lobbies urged the Senate to ratify the treaty, the Senate passed a resolution 95-0 against it, and Clinton dropped the matter. President Bush opposes the treaty.

To see how profligate a CO2 offender I might be, I took an audit of my household’s “carbon footprint” at www.climatestar.org, which is run by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Earth Communications Office (ECO).

The Anderson cars drive around 2,500 miles per month, and we burn about 140 gallons of heating oil in the same period. That made us “average,” according to the animated key. When I typed the answers in, a little pawn-shaped creature set in a desert landscape came to life. He emitted a little cloud from his hindquarters, propelling him briefly into the air. Nearby, in response, a flower wilted and a flying bird fell down and died.

This is how the progressives see humanity: a collection of gas-producers. But their concerns don’t end there. On the site’s news feed, I read how New Zealand farmers are chafing at their government’s restrictions on—no, I’m not kidding—cow farts. Methane is one of the greenhouse gases, after all, though I don’t know how they aim to make Bessy more continent—put Rolaids in her salt lick?

I also read that the European Parliament has decided that each country will give out CO2 credits to each business in that country, which entitles it to emit so much CO2. If they come out under their limit, they can sell their credits to other, more…flatulent businesses.

The Web site features pictures of Hollywood actors and actresses supporting the war against warming. Kevin Bacon says, “Global warming isn’t cool. Stopping it is,” while Jacqueline Obradors of NYPD Blue assures us that stopping global warming is “as easy as changing a light bulb or hanging laundry.”

The site also features private individuals—global warming saints, if you will—who are held up for emulation.

Here’s Mike Tidwell: “For Catherine and me, last January’s bombshell findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change motivated us strongly to plot our home energy revolution. Planetary warming of 10.4 degrees by 2100 is doubly horrifying each time you look down at your innocent son playing with building blocks on the carpet.”

This is Mike Totten, who brings out an important theme, which is that normal life looks innocent on the surface but is actually desperately evil: “If everyone in the world adopted what appears to be a relatively benign U.S. lifestyle, this would in fact lead to certain disaster for the planet…. Thus I’ve spent the past several decades trying to shrink my carbon and ecological footprints, to ‘live simply so others may simply live.’”

Here’s one way he does it: “For the past quarter-century I have largely eliminated meat, fish, fowl, cheese, eggs, and most milk products from my diet....”

He goes on: "Stabilizing world population as rapidly as possible is the single biggest long-term, footprint-reducing action humanity can promote. I have joined the growing ranks of families who adopt children rather than have their own biological offspring. I have become the father of a wonderful stepdaughter and stepson, both of whom have accepted me as part of their family since the early 1980s."

And a female Episcopalian minister, Rev. Sally Bingham, is the “Environmental Minister” of Grace Cathedral in (surprise!) San Francisco. She is cofounder of Episcopal Power and Light, which markets “green” electricity (20 percent generated from non-fossil fuel sources) to churches.

There are links to all the usual suspects here, of course, including www.vegan.org, where you’ll see a picture of a blond actress kissing an albino turkey. (You can never make this stuff up.)

Global-warming people are trying to be good stewards and plan for the future; the only problem is that their future doesn’t include people. Or if it does, the people are living in mud huts and dying very young, so as not to hurt the earth. Their virtues have run amok.

Reprinted with special permission from Crisis Magazine.

Duncan Maxwell Anderson writes on science, religion, and politics when he is not splitting firewood to heat his house in upstate New York.

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The agreement called the Kyoto Treaty, proposed through the UN in 1997 to limit CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, is likewise seen by Michaels and many other critics as a vehicle for economic self-interest rather than for the environment. Long in the works at previous...
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