OK, here’s the question: How will significant reductions in carbon dioxide occur as China and India continue to develop? Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has an interesting answer:
“It is a fact that more and not less development is the best way for developing countries to address themselves to the issues of preserving the environment.”
Certainly he’s not suggesting that countries will be able to fight global warming more effectively as they acquire greater wealth and technology, instead of the other way around? Schwartz uses the same argument to dispute the dire warnings from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:
The IPCC itself admits its harm projections “do not take into account any changes in development in adaptive capacity.” In other words, the IPCC assumes that as the climate changes, people will not take any new steps to protect themselves, and that new, safety-enhancement technologies will not be developed…..
Surely, during the 21st Century existing technologies will continue to diffuse toward countries and people who don’t already enjoy their benefits, (as is already happening in China and India, and many other places); new marvels will continue to be developed that will improve our health and comfort; and the real incomes of the world’s people will continue to increase……
Not exactly a doomsday scenario. But here’s the real issue: As countries like China and India continue to develop, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that there is no way they will ever reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 8 percent below 1990 levels as stipulated in the Kyoto Protocol. Nor will participating countries, for that matter. In fact, attempting to keep carbon emissions at 2004 would have considerable negative impact, Schwartz says:
…….even keeping CO2 emissions at their 2004 level would require that the people of the world be restricted to a level of energy use typical of countries where average real incomes are about one-third to one-tenth that of the average American’s income.
The results of the Kyoto Protocol demonstrate the difficulty of achieving meaningful reductions in GHG emissions…… Most participating countries are on track to exceed their Kyoto caps by a large margin.
With all this in mind, here’s the way I see it: the Kyoto treaty is a fantasy. A fairy tale. And Al Gore’s proud of his role in negotiating it.
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