- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 28, 2000

On Saturday, some good news finally arrived: The "global warming" talks in The Hague collapsed after bureaucrats working on enforcement mechanisms for the 1998 Kyoto Protocol found themselves unable to reach agreement on the means by which the United States and other countries would curtail their output of carbon dioxide and other so-called "greenhouse" gasses.

The Kyoto Protocol, if adopted as law, would have vastly increased the regulatory authority of supranational bodies such as the United Nations, over which the average U.S. citizen exercises virtually no control whatever. Even U.S. regulatory bodies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, would be compelled to defer to the ukase of unaccountable officials burrowed deep within the United Nations.

Under the treaty's terms, the United States would be compelled to cut back industrial/economic activity to an extent sufficient to achieve a reduction in carbon dioxide output of 5-7 percent below 1990 levels. Since carbon dioxide is a byproduct of the combustion of petroleum in all its forms, as well as of coal, upon which the United States is massively dependent for electricity production, the only way to achieve a reduction of this magnitude would be via equally massive reductions in the production and use of energy. It is not generally understood that the economic displacements this would entail are staggering.

That the Kyoto Protocol is all based on highly speculative, unproved and embarrassingly politicized "science" is even less well-known. The average person may take at face value media reports that we are about to be inundated by rising seas generated by polar ice caps melting under the withering onslaught of global temperatures rocketing upwards by up to 12 degrees Fahrenheit.

A major flaw with the premise of man-made environmental apocalypse is that almost all of the "warming" that has been observed over the past century occurred prior to 1940 in other words, well before the worldwide industrialization that followed World War II. If "global warming" theory is correct, the so-called "warming trend" should have accelerated rapidly after 1940. It has not. Other inconvenient facts such as the disparity between satellite and ground-station-based temperature measurements are likewise ignored when they contradict the orthodoxy of "global warming" theory. Those old enough to remember the political environment of the 1970s will recall that in those days, ice age theory "global cooling" was in vogue. It was bunk then, and it is bunk now.

However, the happy events in The Hague do not mean the issue is settled. Like the multiheaded Hydra of Greek mythology, the Kyoto Protocol is far from dead. When the new administration is finally settled in office, talks may resume yet again. How those talks go will depend mightily on whether Al Gore succeeds in blocking the way of President-elect George W. Bush to the White House. Given what's at stake, the outcome of the legal wrangling in Florida becomes all the more critical.

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