Sunday, December 05, 2010

White Man's Burden Protocol Should Die

The Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012. It has accomplished very little and deserves to die. The problem with the Kyoto Protocol is pretty straightforward: it blames the West for climate change, or more accurately the European world for climate change. Consider the following two countries:

Country A:

Population: 48 Million
Total GDP: 1.362 Trillion USD (PPP)
Member of the OECD
G20 Member
Carbon Emissions per capita: 10 Tonnes

Country B:

Population: 2.2 Million
Total GDP: 25.93 Billion
Not a member of the OECD
Carbon Emissions per capita: 3.66 Tonnes

Objectively, country A is far more of a target for environmentalists than country B. The Kyoto Protocol doesn't think so. Country A is economic giant South Korea. Country B is tiny Latvia. Latvia is bound by Kyoto, South Korea is not. There's a lot of European guilt on climate change. The science doesn't back it up. The fumes put out by Europe and North America during the 19th century did virtually nothing to the world's climate picture. The bend in Al Gore's famous (or infamous) hockey stick graph is in the twentieth century, somewhere around the end of WWII. The West didn't have enough time to do this alone. The white man is not solely culpable for global warming. It would be easier for some progressives if it were the case. But it isn't. This makes the "Europe +" Kyoto Protocol all the more a joke. The Kyoto Protocol includes no gulf oil producing states. It includes Japan but not South Korea, Singapore or Taiwan. Oil producers Russia and Norway received sweetheart deals. Even so, Russia now wants out. If we are to do anything about CO2 emissions, it will require a global effort. The EU and a couple of friends cannot change the course of climate history. As long as the mindset of differentiated responsibilities outlined in Kyoto survive, the world will continue to fail in this fight. Real environmentalists should be cheering the death of this joke of a treaty.


Robert McClelland said...

The fumes put out by Europe and North America during the 19th century did virtually nothing to the world's climate picture.

But the fumes put out by Europe and North America during the 20th century did. Through most of that countries like South Korea were not industrialized so they didn't contribute much to the existing problem. That's why they were given a free pass in the first treaty but would not have been in the next. And that's also why the western industrialized world is expected to do more.

WesternGrit said...

Read Gwynne Dyer's "Climate Wars" - it'll shed some light and is full of cold, hard facts...

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