Thursday, July 28, 2005

Fresh air on global warming

The other day the Financial Times ran an excellent editorial (full text can be found here) by John Kay about global warming. Given the level of obfuscation that generally characterizes the discussion on this topic, particularly in Europe, it was a welcome breath of fresh air.
In the recent Group of Eight Gleneagles discussions on climate change, US President George W. Bush made four assertions: there are large uncertainties about the science and the economics; the Kyoto agreement would involve large costs and negligible benefits for the US; proposals to deal with greenhouse gas emissions that exclude developing countries are ineffective; and that research and development on new technologies should take priority over expenditure for meeting emissions reduction targets. It pains me to say it but on all points Mr Bush is right.
Do read the whole thing. In related developments:
A new agreement between the U.S., Australia, China, India, and South Korea seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, believed to fuel global warming, through technological approaches to the problem. This includes the development and transfer of energy efficiency and pollution reducing technologies to the developing countries of the world. Since these countries have not yet achieved the efficiencies of scale and technological advances that make the industrialized west so productive, their emissions per dollar of productivity currently average twice those of the U.S.
This seems to be excellent news. If you also consider the total inability of those countries who did sign up to the Kyoto Protocol to maintain their commitments, it seems clear that the people who actually care about the environment (and not the politics), who are capable of looking at the current evidence objectively and are willing to propose rational and realistic solutions, are gaining the upper hand over the monks of the Kyoto sect.

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