The anti-Bush brigade in the United States and abroad has coalesced around the Kyoto Protocol, thinking it is a neat hammer with which to hit our president. They are bragging that his strong stand against this fraudulent treaty is the principal factor in his slight drop in the polls, which the media were glad to feature as front-page news.
Here are some of the groups, all of which enjoy wide access to the media, that are riding the Kyoto bandwagon for their own purposes.
- The anti-growth socialists, particularly the European countries that have moved left in recent years. The socialist mindset opposes economic growth and instead welcomes scarcity of resources so that big government can apportion or ration the scarce resources.
The private enterprise system, on the other hand, produces abundance so that a rising tide lifts all boats. It is clear that the Kyoto restrictions would restrict economic growth.
- The foreign dictators in the United Nations who look upon the U.N. as a forum where they can demand that the United States redistribute our wealth to them. Our foreign aid never gets to the poor people who need it; it is gobbled up by the ruling tyrants.
- The cult of radical environmentalists who believe we should subordinate our standard of living to the supremacy of global ecology or, as Al Gore said in the title of his book, force us to put "Earth in the Balance." These groups have great sums of money available through the U.N. NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and tax-exempt foundations.
But there's nothing balanced about the ideology or the treaty. The ideology is the new religion of worshipping Mother Earth.
- The leftist radicals who formerly demonstrated for the Communists, but are now using their street skills for the radical environmentalists.
- The Democrats who will use any available issue to attack George W. Bush. Minority Leader Dick Gephardt just made headlines with his endorsement of Kyoto.
This issue is so attractive to the Democrats because big media chatter about it all the time. Furthermore, the Kyoto goals demand more federal regulations and higher taxes, both favorite Democratic Party goals.
- The left-wing scientists who distort science for political purposes. Political science used to mean the science of politics, but Kyoto has taught us a new definition: the politics of science. The rationale for the Kyoto Protocol is the fear of a monster called global warming: The earth is getting warmer, the ice will melt, the oceans will rise and flood our cities. The advocates of the Kyoto Protocol are using the new June report of the National Academy of Sciences to sell this thesis and clobber George W. Bush.
But the Kyoto propagandists have maliciously misrepresented this report. The full report makes clear that there is no scientific consensus about long-term climate trends or what causes them. Yes, climate is constantly changing and the earth is warmer than it used to be, 0.5 degrees Celsius higher than a century ago. We are grateful we don't live in the Ice Age.
But scientists do not agree that past climate change was caused by CO2 and they cannot forecast what the climate will be in the future. They don't agree on how much change can be attributed to greenhouse gases and how much to water vapor, clouds and storms.
Some 17,000 American scientists have signed a petition that reads as follows: "We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind."
Continuing, this petition reads: "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the earth's atmosphere and disruption of the earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the earth."
The Kyoto Protocol, agreed to by Al Gore in 1997, would require the United States to reduce our emissions to 7 percent below our 1990 levels. Yet, as Bush pointed out, China is wholly exempted from Kyoto's restrictions even though it is the world's second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
Bush agreed to continue to pursue climate research. But he pointed out that the United States has spent $18 billion on climate research since 1990, more than Japan and all 15 nations of the European Union combined.
Science has become politics in disguise. Global controls will be hurtful to both our ecology and our economy.