Issue 213 * November 13, 2000
The National Center for Public Policy Research
777 N. Capitol St., NE, Suite 803 * Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 543-4110 * Fax (202) 543-5975
E-Mail: [email protected]
The meeting of the Sixth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in The Hague, Netherlands from November 13-24 was designed to be the forum where the world's nations would complete the details on how each nation would implement the Kyoto Protocol, the treaty negotiated by the Clinton Administration that would require the United States and major industrialized nations to make economically-drastic cuts in carbon dioxide emissions to combat the alleged threat of man-made global warming. Instead, the Hague meeting will probably mark the end of serious efforts to implement the treaty due to deepening scientific skepticism about the seriousness of human-induced warming and the huge economic costs it would incur on the U.S.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, the Kyoto treaty would cost the U.S. economy $400 billion per year, raise electric utility bills by 86 percent and impose a permanent "Kyoto gasoline tax" of 66 cents per gallon. WEFA, an economic information and consulting firm, reports that 2.4 million jobs would be lost and manufacturing wages reduced by 2.1 percent if the treaty is ratified. Because the economy is so energy dependent , Kyoto would also impose a 14.5 percent tax increase for basic goods. Minorities would be especially hard-hit. A report commissioned by six African-American and Hispanic organizations concludes that the treaty would reduce the earnings of black and Hispanic workers by 10 percent and throw 864,000 blacks and 511,000 Hispanics out of work.
An equally important argument against the Kyoto treaty is the mounting scientific evidence questioning the impact of human behavior on climate change. NASA weather satellites, the most accurate measurement of global temperature, indicate that the Earth stopped warming more than 20 years ago. This contradicts the prediction of global warming theory proponents that global warming would cause the temperature to increase by 0.6 F° between 1979 and 2000. In addition, several European and American scientists say that data from the European Space Agency's (ESA) Soho satellite show that the Sun, not Man's burning of fossil fuels, is the main cause of the global warming that occurred between 1850 and the mid-20th century. Paul Brekke, Soho's deputy project scientist, says that whatever merits there may be in taxing fuel, advocated by Kyoto treaty proponents to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, "our evidence suggests it will not be much help in keeping the Earth cool."
Many environmentalists now agree that the Kyoto treaty is simply unrealistic. Eileen Claussen, President of the Pew Center on Climate Change, a proponent of the global warming theory, says that it would be "very difficult, if not impossible" to implement the treaty. Instead, Claussen says that delegates "should correct the flaws in the Kyoto framework."
John Carlisle, director of the Environmental Policy Task Force, says: "The Kyoto treaty is a dead letter because it would reduce the American people's standard of living based on a global warming threat that many scientists believe may not even exist. Some environmentalists are conceding that the treaty is unacceptable for those very reasons."
Contact John Carlisle at The National Center For Public Policy Research at 202-543-4110 x107 or [email protected].
The Reverend Jesse Jackson calls it "classic apartheid." The NAACP's Kweisi Mfume decries "technological segregation." To President Clinton, it's the digital divide, the alleged chasm between the information haves and have-nots.
So says a new Project 21 New Visions Commentary by New York-based opinion writer Deroy Murdock.
Murdock reports that President Clinton, earlier this year, unveiled plans to give free computers to poor Americans, calling for for $2.38 billion in taxpayer money to finance "1,000 community centers with computers serving the adults of America who otherwise would not have access to them." Clinton, says Murdock, also rhapsodized about the web's wonders. "I come from a small town in rural Arkansas," Clinton said, "and I've got a cousin that plays chess once or twice a week with a guy in Australia. I mean, it's unbelievable."
The President's words sound nice, says Murdock, but his program is unncessary: The free market is already accomplishing the goals the President wants to meet with taxpayer funds.
Mudock cites researcher Adam Thierer, who believes Americans should celebrate today's "digital deluge of opportunity." Thierer's Heritage Foundation study shows that the private sector is slashing prices for computer hardware, software, Internet access and even online data storage, often free of charge.
Murdock also reviews inexpensive ways for low income Americans to access the Internet, and describes programs by American Airlines, Delta Airlines and the Ford Motor Company to give free computers to employees. He also describes large gifts of computers and computer technology to the poor by such companies as Microsoft, US West, Visa and others.
"Bill Clinton," concludes Murdock, "arrives in cyberspace as a Johnny-come-needlessly." For a copy of Murdock's paper, visit http://www.nationalcenter.org/P21NVMurdockDDivide1100.html or contact David Almasi at 202/543-4110 ext. 106 or [email protected].