Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Global Warming Hysteria

"Climate advocates are brainless parrots and short term politicians" - Peter Foster

In recent days and weeks, owing to extraordinarily warm and sometimes stormy winter weather, climate change alarmism has been ramped up considerably. The alarmists take the warm weather to be proof positive of man-made global warming and use the opportunity to warn of the need for immediate action. And seemingly on-cue, Prime Minister Stephen Harper shuffled his cabinet, primarily to appoint a new more powerful environment minister, John Baird, who instantly declared (quoting from memory) "The science is settled. The time for study is over. It is time to take strong action."

But against the army of climate Chicken Littles there are, thankfully, a few level heads. Peter Foster, in his column in today’s National Post reminds us of "...three unavoidable facts about the pretensions of climate policy":

(1) Canada cannot meet its Kyoto obligations without wrecking its economy.

(2) If Canada did meet its Kyoto commitment the effect on climate would be zero.

(3) Even if ALL Kyoto signatories met their Kyoto targets the effect on global climate would be minimal [probably unmeasurable].

In an excellent companion piece U.K. researcher Benny Peiser documents the damage being done to the European Union’s economy through its unilateral efforts to meet its Kyoto targets. For example:

- energy-intensive companies are forced to close down, cut jobs, or pass on costs to consumers.

- Europe’s policy threatens to redirect energy-intensive production to parts of the world that reject mandatory carbon cuts.

- it has led to a significant slowdown in European R&D budgets, a sliding trend that is hampering the development of low-carbon technologies.

So, if the climate alarmists prevail and our government takes immediate radical steps to cut emissions we’ll ruin our economy with a net effect on global warming of .... ZERO. And in the process of ruining the economy we’ll kill our ability to develop new technologies for reducing emissions and otherwise adapting.

If every nation were to sign on to this approach, the cost of fighting global warming would be global depression, or worse. The rich would suffer least; the middle class would be poor; and many of the poor would be dead. Would any of this human suffering concern the environmentalists and the radical activists. Not likely. After all, the poor are happiest being poor and there would just be that many more ‘happy’ people. And who will hear complaints from the dead.

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