As energy analyst Ben Lieberman -- no relation to the author of the bill -- noted, “It is hard to think of any economic activity that does not involve energy, and there is not one that would not be made more expensive by Lieberman-Warner.” An assessment of the bill by Heritage Foundation experts showed it would slash our national GDP by at least $1.7 trillion by the year 2030.
Killing the economy for an -- at best -- 0.07 degrees Celsius reduction in global temperatures by 2050 (what Kyoto promises) makes no sense. Economic growth has lifted millions of people out of poverty. That’s why developing countries, including China and India, are scrambling to increase their growth rates, not diminish them. The U.S. can’t afford to cut our growth, either.
The United Nations is pressing all countries to approve a new Kyoto agreement. That pact is supposed to be signed in Denmark next year. But what’s the point of a new Kyoto, when the old one is useless?
Instead of making vague promises, we should focus on proven policies.
We can reduce pollution by generating growth. No one wants to live on a dirty planet, but only people with high enough standards of living have the leisure time to worry about the environment. We also need to build more nuclear power plants, to generate electricity with zero CO2 emissions.
The world doesn’t need a new Kyoto -- the treaty that accomplished nothing but takes the gold medal for uselessness and hypocrisy.