Free Markets, Free People

G-8 Climate Change Agreement A Bust

From a story in the NY Times:

The world’s major industrial nations and emerging powers failed to agree Wednesday on significant cuts in heat-trapping gases by 2050, unraveling an effort to build a global consensus to fight climate change, according to people following the talks.

As President Obama arrived for three days of meetings with other international leaders, negotiators dropped a proposal that would have committed the world to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by midcentury and industrialized countries to slashing their emissions by 80 percent.

Essentially that means that even with the House passing cap-and-trade’s economy crippling taxes, the rest of the world, especially the “emerging nations” (such as China, India, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico), are refusing to do the same.

This was the most interesting part of the story:

The breakdown on climate change underscored the difficulty in bridging divisions between the most developed countries like the United States and developing nations like China and India. In the end, people close to the talks said, the emerging powers refused to agree to the limits because they wanted industrial countries to commit to midterm goals in 2020 and to follow through on promises of financial and technological help.

“They’re saying, ‘We just don’t trust you guys,’” said Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists, an advocacy group based in the United States. “It’s the same gridlock we had last year when Bush was president.”

You don’t say? Perhaps it is because the idea is the same stupid idea that was put forward during the Bush era and it isn’t selling any better while Obama is president. The “emerging nations” have seen the opportunity here to play a little economic catch-up. They get the Western economies to hobble themselves and they get a bonus wealth transfer too boot:

Mr. Meyer estimated that the United States, Europe and other industrial nations need to come up with $150 billion a year in assistance by 2020 to help develop clean energy technology for developing countries, reduce deforestation that contributes to rising temperatures, and help vulnerable nations adapt to changes attributed to greenhouse gases.

That’s $150 billion a year plus cap-and-trade. And we all know who will pick up the lion’s share of that tab. We should also remember that you can safely double any government estimate and probably be closer to reality than what you read initially.

So in a recessionary period in which the rest of the world seems to be understanding the folly of economically crippling legislation to curb CO2 emissions (as witnessed by the G8’s failure to agree to such curbs and the promise of further failure in Copenhagen), we choose to embrace them.

Ideology and bad science win the day in the US, while the rest of the world moves away from real emissions curbs or recognize the opportunity to exploit them for cash.



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3 Responses to G-8 Climate Change Agreement A Bust

  • Come on Erbie!  I mean even if the deniers HERE  in the US tried to derail this, you’d think the consensus science in the rest of the SANE world would have jumped on this like a duck on a Junebug.
    Not so much, but that will tell you nothing, whereas the rest of us recognize exactly what it means.

    • Ah, I see you make the mistake of assuming that the tentacles of Big Oil and Karl Rove do not reach beyond the shores of the United States. How wrong you are! The plot to undermine the consensus behind the threat posed by global warming, though centered in Crawford, extends all over the world. You’ve read how India and Red China are refusing to limit their carbon emissions? Well, Karl Rove put ’em up to it because he, Dick Cheney, and George Bush WANT the planet to get hotter so as to repeat on a global scale of their efforts to drown the poor minorities in New Orleans when they created hurricane Katrina and dynamited the levies.

      And even if it wasn’t for the malignant, omnipresent influence of Rove (the greatest eeeevil genius the world has ever seen), corrupt and cowardly politicians everywhere are wedded to the idea of encouraging CONSUMERISM! Yes, they don’t understand the destruction cause not only to the environment but also to the world economy by common people buying things that they want. Indeed, people all over the world just don’t get the sane, obvious concept that a simple, frugal, carbon-free lifestyle is good for everybody. Didn’t you read the recent report that indicated that Costa Rica is the happiest country on earth because its people live an environmentally-friendly lifestyle?

      / sarc

      Global warming is like a religion: its adherents take it on faith and view people who don’t believe as ignorant wretches waiting for enlightenment at best and as heretics who must be stamped out at worst. That countries around the world are backing away from Kyoto and similar agreements is NOT evidence that global warming is horsesh*t, but rather merely (as Algore says) an indication that enough people just DON’T UNDERSTAND.

  • “They’re saying, ‘We just don’t trust you guys,’”

    Gee, why would they not trust those guys?  Maybe because after Kyoto, it’s pretty clear that any commitment to lowering CO2 isn’t worth the paper it’s written on?  Maybe because the goal of reducing emissions as outlined in those proposals has only one minor obstacle in its way… REALITY?