December 28, 2005
Kyoto: Japanese for Hypocrisy?
absolutely necessary to be a hypocrite in order to be a liberal,
but it sure helps.
first week in December, ten thousand people gathered in Montreal
for a UN-sponsored conference on global warming.
of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. thought the size of the gathering
think of the Montreal summit's ecological footprint," he
said. "Is there really a need to fly ten thousand people
from 189 countries to a cold city to exchange ideas? Is there
no email? Are the phone lines down?"
Murphy answered his own question: "I suppose...ecology is
not really different from politics. High on sermons, low on example."
topic of the conference was the future of the treaty drafted in
Kyoto, Japan in 1997, which obligates signatories in the developed
world to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
In his address,
Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin took a poke at the United
States for refusing to sign on to the Kyoto Accord.
Star columnist Richard Gwyn agreed with what Mr. Martin had
to say about the evil Bush administration, but speaking of Canada
in general and Mr. Martin's Liberal government in particular,
Mr. Gwyn noted:
done nothing about climate change and about global warming except
talk. For us to now preach at others is pure hypocrisy."
the base year for Kyoto calculations, Canadian emissions of so-called
"greenhouse gases" have increased 24.2 percent, while
those of the United States have increased by only 13.3 percent,
Mr. Gwyn noted.
speaker was former President Bill Clinton, who declared President
Bush was "flat wrong" that the Kyoto targets would damage
the U.S. economy.
failed to mention to his audience in Montreal that, as president,
he had described the Kyoto accord as a "work in progress,"
and refused to submit it to the senate for ratification. This
was chiefly because in July of 1997, the senate had voted, 95-0,
for a resolution saying the U.S. should not sign the treaty if
it would damage our economy, or if it excluded developing nations
from emissions restrictions.
A 1998 study
by the Energy Information Administration estimated trying to meet
the Kyoto standards would cost the U.S. economy about $400 billion
a year, mostly by hugely increasing the cost to consumers of electricity,
home heating oil, and gasoline.
India, expected to be the world's largest producers of greenhouse
gases by 2020, are exempt from Kyoto's restraints, as are South
Korea and other emitters in the developing world.
can't have it both ways," said Marlo Lewis of the Competitive
Enterprise Institute. "Either the lack of meaningful participation
by key developing countries justified his no ratification policy
or not. If it did, then Bush's identical policy of not seeking
ratification is equally justified. If it did not, then he should
apologize today to his fellow Kyoto supporters for not submitting
the treaty when it was in his power to do so."
the Institute for Public Policy Research, a left-leaning British
think tank, released a study which indicates that 13 of 15 European
nations which signed the Kyoto treaty will not meet the "mandatory"
emissions reductions to which they agreed.
offenders, the IPPR said, are Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy,
all falling about 20 percent short of their targets.
poorly performing nations are among the many who have criticized
the U.S. and President George Bush," noted Alison Hardie,
a reporter for the Scotsman newspaper.
Sweden are the only two European countries close to meeting their
Kyoto targets, the IPPR said. But at a news conference in September,
British Prime Minister Tony Blair -- heretofore considered a strong
Kyoto supporter -- said ordering countries to cut greenhouse gases
no signatory has met its Kyoto goals, and only a few are likely
to come close, the talk at Montreal was about a new, more restrictive
treaty to follow Kyoto when it expires in 2012. For liberals,
it is talk that matters, not action. Appearances trump reality.
Kyoto is Japanese for hypocrisy," the CBC's Mr. Murphy said.
Kelly is national security columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
and the Blade of Toledo, Ohio.