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December 26, 2005
Blowing Kyoto Smoke

Given all of the hot air that foreign politicians spew about the failure of the United States to join the Kyoto accord on greenhouse emissions, the new BBC report on their own compliance should come as shocking news. In all of Europe, only the UK has met its 2005 obligations, with Sweden being the only other European nation that has a chance of coming close:

The UK is almost alone in Europe in honouring Kyoto pledges to cut greenhouse gases, a think-tank claims.

Ten of 15 European Union signatories will miss the targets without urgent action, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) found.

The countries include Ireland, Italy and Spain.

France, Greece and Germany are given an "amber warning" and will not reach targets unless they put planned policies into action, the IPPR said.

The EU nations want the US to adopt the Kyoto limits without explaining for themselves why they haven't taken the economically painful steps it prescribes for themselves. The US Senate foresaw the problems, both economic and strategic, and unanimously told then-President Bill Clinton not to bother even presenting it to them for ratification, 95-0. Not only did the limitations promise significant recessions in the future, but Kyoto specifically exempted two major economic powerhouses under the guise of empowering industrial development. One of these nations, India, needs the assistance, but the second -- China -- not only doesn't need help but will start to challenge the US for military supremacy in the Pacific Rim. American security has allowed the Asian nations to rise up as a formidable economic force after spending most of the 20th century in poverty. And China accounts for almost as much greenhouse-gas emission as all of Europe.

Kyoto would handcuff the US while allowing China an unfettered path to sconomic and political domination of the region, the latter being especially unacceptable given China's autocratic one-party regime. Europe, of course, could hardly care less about Chinese expansionism; they care more about reflexive anti-Americanism. The entire raison d'etre of the EU has always been to provide a global economy to rival the US, and Kyoto gives them an opportunity to slow us down. And just as with their debt controls, the EU contingent has no problem breaking treaty mandates on emissions as long as they feel it necessary to do so to remain competitive, making the agreement worthless anyway.

Kyoto represents nothing more than the rhetorical equivalent of the very subject of the treaty -- hot gas with almost no substance at all.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 26, 2005 8:29 PM

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