The Week That Was
November 11, 2000


SEPP will conduct science briefings at The Hague during the week of Nov 20 during COP-6, the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Climate Treaty. We bring you the announcement, listing the international panel members and our conclusion: THE CLIMATE IS NOT WARMING.

The Week That Was November 11, 2000 brought to you by SEPP

With COP-6 about to begin, we bring you two views about Kyoto: one soft, the other hard. Kind of makes us look reasonable.


Protests against fuel taxes have shown the need to rethink policy on global warming, say William Antholis and Daniel Benjamin.

In London, Paris and Berlin, governments have been licking the wounds inflicted by the recent oil protests. The governments survived the demonstrations but efforts to stop global warming - in particular the Kyoto Protocol, keystone of the inter-national community's efforts - may not.

The reason should be obvious: European Union negotiators have got themselves into a corner by banking on future reductions in greenhouse gas emissions achieved by escalating energy taxes. Occupying the moral high ground, the EU has used these policies as a cudgel, accusing the US of evading its global responsibility by proposing open trading of emissions allowances, whereby countries that do not use up their quota of emissions can sell the remainder to others.

With negotiators set to reconvene at The Hague next week to decide rules for administering and enforcing the Kyoto pact, this greener- than-thou pose can no longer mask the lack of deep public support for the EU's position. The oil protests have made it embarrassingly clear that the EU has overestimated the mandate from its citizens to fight global warming by means of higher energy taxes.

Consider what leading EU countries have in mind: will Gerhard Schroeder, German chancellor, really fulfill his pledges to nearly double the price of diesel and petrol over the next decade? Will Tony Blair, UK prime minister, stand by the "climate change levy" on electricity, due to go into effect in April during the run-up to a general election?

Unless the EU reconsiders its position, a pyrrhic victory awaits: the EU will get the treaty sought at Kyoto, ratify it, but be unable to implement it. The EU will also ensure that a sceptical US Senate washes its hands of this diplomatic exercise: what the EU has never understood is that the heavily restricted trading it advocates is not a bitter pill for the US to swallow; it is impossible to swallow.

The Europeans can still save the protocol but they need to swallow their pride on the issue of restricting emissions trading. Two recent studies by the Pew Centre on Climate Change underscore this conclusion. One shows that four out of five EU countries studied - Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Spain - cannot meet their Kyoto commitments without unrestricted emissions trading. The other demonstrates that trading can help the EU cut costs associated with emissions reductions by as much as half. This may not satisfy green hardliners but it will give EU countries a chance to comply with Kyoto. It will also make cutting emissions more cost-effective.

If no agreement is reached, and both the US and the EU fail to meet their Kyoto obligations, other countries will draw the inevitable conclusions about their responsibility to cut emissions. If the EU and the US can find common ground, each side may learn vital lessons for future action on global issues.

But the Clinton administration and any successor have a long way to go before the treaty can be submitted for ratification. The US is the world's largest greenhouse gas producer. Its executive branch must continue to develop backing for domestic reductions, even if Congress refuses to do so. The next administration must also have the courage to confront head on the most damaging demand of a unanimous Senate resolution on the climate treaty: the unfair insistence that all developing countries take on immediate binding commitments.

The US is right to suggest that both industrial and developing countries have much to gain from emissions trading, since reductions are significantly less expensive in less developed nations. But demanding immediate commitments from poor countries is myopic at best.

The larger lesson is that both the US and the EU need to prevent global negotiations from becoming exercises in political gamesmanship. Europe has often cast the US as irredeemably wasteful, for example. The US and the EU will be better off if they resist the temptation of easy grandstanding. The road to the future is paved with such negotiations, whether in talks over agricultural subsidies or over genetically modified organisms. Leaders may even reap the quieter benefits of strengthened legitimacy if they use such negotiations to deliver results instead of political theatre.

Mr. Antholis is a resident fellow at the German Marshall Fund. Mr. Benjamin is a senior fellow at The US Institute of Peace. Both served on the US National Security Council staff until last year.

SEPP Comment: With fuzzy thinkers like these on the White House NSC, one fears for our national security. They don't seem to realize that trading may reduce cost but allows more GH gases into the atmosphere as unused permits are exercized. The next US President should immediately submit the Kyoto Protocol to the US Senate for "advice and consent" so it can be killed once and for all. A lot of European politicians will breathe easier, we can assure you.

And now , for a different view:

The Free Congress Commentary
By E. Ralph Hostetter

The debate over global warming is reaching its most dangerous stage and it has nothing to do with the Earth's temperature. The Greens will soon be faced with a rebellion without a cause and Hell hath no fury, as the saying goes, like a rebellion scorned. Desperate times demand desperate acts and the Greens, in their desperation, will act desperately. All legal by the way.

The Green's Great Ice Age Ididerod of the 1970s melted down before their very eyes. The Greens global warming hoax, the cause that followed the Ice Age fiasco, will do likewise. The answer is simple. The Greens bet all their marbles and reputation (whatever there could be after the Ice Age) on carbon dioxide being the culprit and the principal cause of global warming. They relied on a monopoly press and the confusion that could be created within America's populace because the words carbon dioxide sound similar to the deadly poisonous gas, carbon monoxide. With the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declaring carbon dioxide a pollutant (pollutants and poisons are related in the minds of people), the Greens felt secure in their position.

Two things happened which have been carefully concealed by the nation's monopoly media. 

1. 98% of automobile carbon monoxide had been eliminated by the catalytic converter muffler, made mandatory on all new automobiles in the 1980s.

 2. A claim in 1896 by Swedish professor Dr. Svante Arrhenius, the father of the concept of global warming, that increases in carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere would bring about substantial increases in the earth's atmospheric temperatures was shown to be false.

The Greens' predictions that carbon dioxide is the cause of today's global warming are equally wrong and we don't need another 100 years to prove it. In addition, many of the "2000 scientists" who supported global warming initially have jumped ship. Vice President Gore's star witness for the global warming hoax, NASA's Dr. James Hansen, stated on June 23, 1988, "There is a strong cause and effect relationship between temperature changes in the atmosphere caused by the combustion of fossil fuels."

Hansen now says, in August 2000, "Little or maybe none of this warming of the last half of the 20th Century was caused by carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuels." This admission by Hansen is a deadly blow to Vice President Gore's case. Gore had said in 1988 that he would "start World War III if Hansen was not permitted to be heard."

Pressures, threats, political machinations of all kinds will be brought into play to bind the United States to the Kyoto Treaty, signed by more than 100 nations, all of which are exempt from the treaty's provisions.

{The US State Department] signed the treaty in defiance of a 95-0 vote in the U.S. Senate recommending otherwise. However, we have also witnessed President Clinton's deceitful ways that he has used to skirt the law. We don't know how it could happen, but we know with President Clinton anything can happen. (Internet sources reveal that Vice President Al Gore and other spokespersons for the Clinton Administration have said they will attempt to implement the treaty even if the Senate does not approve it.)

The Endangered Species Act was brought about in large measure by the book "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson. This is an excellent example of legislation passed to protect our national symbol, the Bald Eagle (who could be against that?) ---only later, through promulgation, to be used in fraudulent ways to destroy the property rights of American citizens. It is the best example of which we are aware in which well-intended policies led to unintended consequences.

So serious is this Endangered Species Act to our constitutional rights, that the Constitution's Preamble, "We the People," could well be changed to read: "We the insects, reptiles, rodents do hereby….."

Anything that could, by any stretch of the imagination, be put into law with respect to the present global warming hoax will prove disastrous to America's economy, its liberty and, indeed, its future.

The Greens have come a long way since their anti-war and "peace" initiatives of the 1960s and 1970s, through an Ice Age, a color change from red to green, to their most heated debate, global warming.

The Greens will not give up easily this time. The coming rebellions without a cause could spell serious trouble for America.

Ralph Hostetter serves on the Board of Directors of the Free Congress Foundation.



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