- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 29, 2001

When President George Bush announced a few months after his inauguration that the United States would not implement the Kyoto Protocol on global warning, his political opponents in the Democrat Party publicly deplored what he had done and privately celebrated it.

They believed they had found the heavy-duty issue that could enable them to recapture the White House. Their propaganda mills began to grind out the message that Bush and Dick Cheney are willing to pollute the air and spoil the water to protect the interests of “big oil.”

As usual, the undeclared liberals in the mainstream media cooperated fully in helping the Democrat Party make its case. According to the Media Research Center, the major networks gave almost 70 percent of their airtime on global warming to the pro-Kyoto doomsayers.

This is how CBS's John Roberts reported the story: “Global temperatures on the rise, glaciers retreating, storms more frequent and severe — a looming crisis, say many scientists, of the greenhouse effects. Yet, claiming potential harm to the economy, the White House today confirmed it will abandon the global accord to curb emissions of carbon dioxide, the No. 1 greenhouse gas.”

Doing its part, Time Magazine made this scathing assertion in a 15-page special report: “Except for nuclear war or a collision with an asteroid, no force has more potential to damage our planet's web of life than global warming.”

Given this background, I would like for you to participate in a short test, sampling your knowledge of the Kyoto Protocol. The correct answers are revealed below. No peeking allowed.

  1. Since the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, how many nations subject to its provisions have ratified it? A) 155; B) 50; C) 1.
  2. In July 1997, the U.S. Senate voted on a resolution that declared the United States would not ratify the Kyoto Treaty. How did the vote turn out? A) Most Democrats voted against this resolution, and most Republicans voted for it:
    1. There was no difference between the two parties.
  3. Some developing nations are exempted from the provisions of the Kyoto Treaty. What percent of the world's population is exempt? A) 10 percent; B) 40 percent; C) 80 percent.
  4. The Kyoto Protocol requires industrialized countries to:
    1. maintain greenhouse gases at their current level;
    2. reduce greenhouse gases from current levels by 5 percent by 2012;
    3. reduce greenhouse gases 5 percent from what they were in 1990 by 2012.
  5. There is a clear consensus among knowledgeable scientists that global warming is a dangerous reality caused by human activity, and that full compliance with the Kyoto Protocol will solve the problem. A) Yes; B) No.

Here are the answers: 1) C — Only Romania has ratified the treaty. 2) B — The vote against ratification was unanimous. 3) C — China, India, Brazil and Mexico are among the exempt nations. 4) C — However, Clinton volunteered the United States would reduce its emissions 7 percent below 1990 levels. 5) B — There is no scientific consensus.

Charli E. Coon of the Heritage Foundation writes, “Failing to include developing countries in the reduction goals will negate any reductions that industrialized countries could achieve.” For example, “World coal use will increase by 30 percent between 1999 and 2020, with China and India alone accounting for 90 percent of that increase.”

Dr. Kenneth Green, director of the environmental program at the Reason Public Policy Institute, concluded that the Kyoto Protocol is based on simplistic models that “project an appearance of certainty that is not supported by the evidence in underlying technical reports and … mainstream science journals.”

James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies concluded that entirely too much emphasis has been given to carbon dioxide. As noted by The Washington Post, Hansen's study should “remind us that climate issues are complex, far from fully understood and open to a variety of approaches. It should serve as a caution to environmentalists so sure of their position that they're willing to advocate radical solutions, no matter what the economic cost.”

John Christy, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama, speaks for many environmental scientists when he writes, “Climate models are at the infancy of being able to predict the climate future.”

Bush did the right thing. He is not willing to put his country at risk and stifle its economy based on suspect data and flawed models purporting to forecast what the climate will be like 20 years from now.

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