United Nations Meeting in The Hague Will See Demise of Kyoto Global Warming Treaty; Economic Costs and Growing Scientific Uncertainty About Validity of Global Warming Theory Make Treaty Politically Unacceptable

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 supposed to be the forum where the world’s nations would finalize 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."

The Environmental Policy Task Force is a project of The National Center For Public Policy Research, a non-partisan, non-profit education foundation. For more information on the "Friend of American Freedom Award," contact John Carlisle at The National Center For Public Policy Research at 202-507-6398 or [email protected].

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.