August 31, 2005

Dafydd: Global Hot Air From a Different Kennedy

Continuing the political flailing and floccillation of the Democratic Party, today a renowned Kennedy eructated an astonishing blast of hot air at former Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour.

No, it wasn't Teddy; sorry. It was Robert Kennedy, jr. On Friday, RFKjr huffed into the Huffington Post a hit piece on Gov. Barbour... but psssst, really on President Bush. Bobby jr., who also broadcasts on Air America and hasn't had any heroin in, like, years, began with an escalating recitation of startling facts about Barbour -- such as the eerie coincidence that, as the chairman of the RNC, he gave George Bush advice -- all designed to prove that Barbour had more impact urging Bush not to flog the dead Kyoto Protocol horse than Christie Todd Whitman did on the other side.

That startling revelation out of the way, Bobbie descends into the sort of overheated rhetoric about global warming ("globaloney" to its pals) that he cultivated through long years at the National Resources Defense Council -- which is to environmentalism what NARAL is to abortion. The cultivation culminated with this:

Well, the science is clear. This month, a study published in the journal Nature by a renowned MIT climatologist linked the increasing prevalence of destructive hurricanes to human-induced global warming.

Now we are all learning what its like to reap the whirlwind of fossil fuel dependence which [Mississippi Gov. Haley] Barbour and his cronies have encouraged. Our destructive addiction [hm...] has given us a catastrophic war in the Middle East and--now--Katrina is giving our nation a glimpse of the climate chaos we are bequeathing our children.

Skipping lightly over question of how Lawyer Bob learned so much about "destructive addictions," he tossed off a final bon mot to the effect that God Almighty redirected Hurricane Katrina away from Louisiana (Democratic governor) towards Mississippi (Republican) in order to punish Haley Barbour for writing a memo.

So I got to thinking -- evidently unlike Mr. Kennedy -- and I poked around a bit to see what difference it might have made had Bush seized Kyoto and run around the Capitol with his hair on fire, somehow wrangling 67 [corrected] senators into ratifying a treaty that 95 rejected in a straw poll just a few years earlier. Let's suppose that as of March 2001, the U.S. had signed aboard the Protocols... and further, that the staggering reduction in carbon production occurred instantly, before the ink was even dry (rather than the more likely scenario, where it would take several years even to begin to pass the legislation necessary to cripple energy usage in the United States).

How might the climate be different?

According to Reason Magazine, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that if we do nothing, the rise in temperature over the next hundred years would average (among the various estimates) about 3.0C. Full implementation of the Kyoto Protocols would reduce expected warming over the next century down to a mere 2.86C; that is, Kyoto gives us a reduction in anticipated temperature increase of 0.14C over 100 years.

The Kyoto Protocol, which President Bush has rejected, would limit U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases to 7 percent below their 1990 levels by 2012. Given the current trajectory of energy and economic growth, meeting that target means the United States would have to cut energy consumption by as much as 30 to 35 percent below what Americans are now expected to be using in 2012. Some economists estimate that it would cost 3 percent of U.S. gross national product per year to achieve that lower level of emissions. How much would Kyoto-mandated emissions cutbacks benefit the global environment? Climatologists estimate that implementing the Kyoto Protocol would, by 2100, avoid only 0.14 degrees C of temperature rise. That means projected man-made greenhouse warming that might have been 3 degrees C by 2100 would instead be 2.86 degrees C.

Okay, that gives us something to work with. 0.14C divided by 100 gives us an expected reduction of 0.0014C per year. Thus, from March 2001 to March 2005, we could have seen a reduction in warming of as much as 0.0056C. But wait, there is more: in the five months from March 2005 to August 2005, there would have been an additional 0.0006C, which brings the grand total to 0.0062C if we had implemented that furshlugginer treaty (we're assuming the globalistas' predictions are correct).

So what K. is saying is that the extra 0.0062C (or 0.01 Fahrenheit, if that's your bag) spelled the difference between a pacific Atlantic ocean and a Force 5 hurricane that killed scores and caused tens of billions of dollars in damage, flooding vast stretches of three states and stranding hundreds of thousands. And all for the want of a ten-penny nail!

I don't often speak this way about public officials, but based upon this sample of one article, I have to say that Robert Francis Kennedy jr. is a bonehead.

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» Sit Down and Have a Nice Tall Glass of Shut the Hell Up! from The Opinionator
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