Can Kyoto pass this test?: Implementing Kyoto could do serious damage to the Canadian economy. So before Parliament ploughs ahead, here are four simple questions that must be answered
Thu 12 Sep 2002
Section: Financial Post: Editorial
Before Parliament ploughs ahead with ratification of the Kyoto accord, the deal should have to pass four simple tests. That's not too much to ask. After all, the price of implementing the international climate treaty could be as high as $4,000 in lost income per Canadian family, perhaps more. Hundreds of thousands stand to lose their jobs and businesses. A Kyoto-induced recession is a real possibility. Besides, its defenders insist the treaty is incontrovertible. Surely, then, it can withstand mere human tests.
Here are the four: Is the globe really warming? If it is, will the warming be harmful? Is human activity causing the warming? Can Kyoto stop it?
Is the globe really warming?
From 1860 to 1940, the Earth warmed about 0.6 degrees C, long before the widespread industrialization and SUVs that are today blamed for global warming. There's little evidence it's warmed much since. If anything, from the '40s to the '70s, it cooled. Indeed, so confident were the majority of scientists then that the cooling was an irreversible trend -- just as global warming is said to be today -- many predicted an Ice Age was on its way.
Oh sure, some official scientific body or other has declared each year for the past five or 10 to be "the hottest on record." We've even been told the 1990s were the hottest decade of the past 1,000 years. Tuesday, the summer of 2002 was proclaimed Canada's "hottest ever." But such pronouncements are based on the less reliable of the principal methods used to measure temperature -- thermometers on the Earth's surface. NASA's eight, far more accurate, weather satellites, have shown no appreciable warming since 1979 when they were placed in polar orbit.
Even Earthbound thermometers don't show much warming in the past 70 years -- perhaps another half-degree Celsius. Most of the catastrophic warming we hear about from environmentalists exists only in models on supercomputers. It is not warming that has happened, or is happening, but rather warming that software predicts will happen -- if the programmers have all the inputs right, which they probably don't. The environmentalists are happy, though, to let media reports about record heat feed the public's misconception that disastrous warming is already upon us. It helps fatten their donations and grants, and makes it easier to sell their political demands for more regulation and central planning.
There are several weaknesses in the surface readings. For one, they cover just under half of the Earth's surface. Warming -- or cooling -- going on over vast areas of wilderness or oceans is never detected. For another, a large number of weather stations that were constructed out in the country, have since become surrounded by metropolises. Large cities produce their own "heat islands," which cause surface readings to show artificial and misleading warming. Then there is the human factor; not all those who gather temperature information are as diligent and precise as they ought to be. Even the thermometers themselves may be off by as much half a degree, up or down.
NASA's "birds," on the other hand, take more than 300,000 readings daily (versus 7,000 surface readings), and they take them over the entire surface of planet, as often and as accurately in the middle of the Pacific, the Gobi and the Nahani as in the centre of Vancouver or Hong Kong. There was some glee among environmentalists two years ago when they detected a glitch in the satellites' methods. Initially, the scientists in charge of them had failed to account fully for the fractions of millimetres of downward drift that occur in their orbits each year. But even after correcting for this decay, the satellites have detected no appreciable warming during their 23 years in service.
Will warming be harmful?
It's likely any warming in the past 150 years is a return to more normal temperatures rather then a harbinger of coming disaster. Before the mid-19th century, the Earth was in the grasp of a Little Ice Age, five centuries of unusually cold temperatures. Just as there is no reason to fear the thaw that follows winter, there is no reason to wring our hands over this warming, either.
Moreover, the Little Ice Age followed what is known as the Medieval Warm Period. Indeed, before it became politically incorrect to suggest warming might be good for humankind, the warm period was referred to as the Medieval Optimal -- the implication being that warmer is better.
From 900AD to 1300AD, the Earth was about 4 degrees C warmer than it is now. That's substantially warmer, as much warmer as environmentalists warn us it will become again if we don't start driving pedal-powered cars and permitting them to design our economy.
Yet the Medieval Warm Period was a time of great human advancement and stable climates, rather than the era of pestilence and suffering our environmental high priests predict is in store for us. The early cathedrals and castles of Europe went up at this time. Harvest abounded, wars were few. Thanks to a lack of disease, the population grew. In Asia, the Mongols took advantage of the centuries of warmth to advance their empire halfway across the world. Trade flourished. Silk and spice routes opened.
Only after the climate began to cool were the settlements on Greenland abandoned, after 350 years of habitation. The native civilizations of Central America also began to disappear, along with southern England's vineyards. The Black Plague devastated Europe. And wars of conquest and succession became commonplace.
Moreover, for all the talk about the severity of this summer's drought in Western Canada, it was a piker by historical standards. The worst droughts of the past 2,000 years have occurred during downturns in temperature, not upswings. The worst, between 1680 and 1720, corresponded precisely with the coldest period of the Little Ice Age.
Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the vaunted UN body of scientists that has declared global warming to be real, man-made and bad, in its last official report in 2001, admitted warming might actually boost Canadian agriculture, rather than wipe it out.
Far from being a bane, warming could well be a boon.
Is human activity causing the warming?
Assuming for a moment that global warming is actually occurring and that it will be bad (Otherwise, why would we try to stop it?), is human activity the cause?
Not likely. The warming and brightening of the sun over the past century or so could account for all of the warming -- all of it -- since the end of the Little Ice Age. The trough of the Little Ice Age, the coldest period in the past millennium, occurred during what is known as the Maunder Minimum, a decades-long phase when nearly no sunspot or solar flare activity was recorded. The sun makes day warmer than night, clear days warmer than cloudy and summer warmer than winter. Increased solar radiation in the Pacific causes that ocean to heat and spawn El Ninos. So why is it so outrageous to think the sun is behind warming, and not smokestacks?
Indeed, it's hard to believe man-made carbon dioxide is the cause. Humans produce no more than 5% of all the CO2 released into the atmosphere in a year, and very likely no more than 2%. Rotting vegetation in the rainforest, gas released from oceans, even the natural nocturnal respiration of most living plants together account for 20 to 50 times as much C02 emissions. It's unlikely our tiny fraction is the thumb on the environment's scale.
Can Kyoto stop the warming?
In a word: No.
Kyoto makes no reduction in the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere. At most, it slows the rate at which the concentration grows. Between now and 2020, worldwide CO2 concentrations will increase by 60%, even with Kyoto. Without it, they will rise by perhaps 67 or 68%.
The supercomputer models that the environmentalists rely on for their predictions of a coming climate cataclysm show less than one-tenth of one degree less warming if Kyoto is fully implemented. Without the United States on board (and the United States will not ratify Kyoto), some models show as little as 0.02 degreesC less warming by 2100, even if all the other signatories ratify and implement. That's a rise of, say, 2.98 degreesC over the next century instead of 3.0 degreesC, a difference of just two-one-hundredths of a degree. Whoopee!
Even if the United States were to reverse itself, the effect on temperature would be less the five-one-hundredths of a degree.
Kyoto also doesn't apply to developing countries, only to developed ones. Environmentalists have recently begun to claim the developing world is obliged to live by Kyoto's restrictions. But this is false. Developing countries have signed on to a codicil of the accord that obliges them only to begin cleaning up their emissions after 2012. They don't even have to set targets for reductions until then. By 2012, China, India and perhaps Indonesia will all have outpaced the United States in CO2 and other greenhouse emissions. They are already seven to 10 times greater polluters on a per-dollar-of-GDP-produced basis. By then, they'll just be bigger polluters, period.
If Kyoto's purpose was to save the environment, rather than to also act as a sort of hidden wealth redistribution plan from industrialized countries to developing ones, it would be necessary to make its constrictions apply to all nations.
Besides, there have been many periods in our climatic history in which CO2 levels have been as much as 10 times higher than they are now, and the Earth has been no warmer. Carbon dioxide levels follow temperature increases, they don't cause them.
So why are the Liberals so intent on bullying ahead with Kyoto, if it fails all four of these tests? Why do all the opposition parties, except the Canadian Alliance, agree, as well as most of the provinces?
Politics. Being "green" attracts votes.
But mostly, support for Kyoto is ideological, even among scientists. The current generation of decisionmakers and thinkers is suspicious of free markets and industry. It worships government and the "public good." Increase the role of government in the equation, and they are instantly placated. That's why the imposition of worldwide regulation of Kyoto calms their fears for the environment even though Kyoto does nothing scientifically. That's why politicians and government-funded scientists like it and why they are sure it will made the world a safer place.
Columnist, The Edmonton Journal
Editorial Board Member, The National Post
Index to some of Lorne Gunter's articles
On global warming
On other issues
- Global Warming A collection of information by reputable scientists from around the world who disagree with the David Suzuki crowd and the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change], and who provide irrefutable evidence that debunks the global warming hype.
At the United Nations, the
Curious Career of Maurice Strong
Fox News, Thursday, February 08, 2007
by Ezra Levant
Ezra Levant, author of the new book Fight Kyoto, transcript by J. L. Jackson,
broadcast December 9, 2002 on the Cat Country Radio show Agritalk with Jim Fisher.
Make sure you do not miss the excerpt that deals
with Maurice Strong, the real power behind Kyoto: "Maurice Strong: A Dr.
Evil-style strategist. Owner of a 200,000-acre New Age Zen colony [in Colorado]. Designer
of a proposal to "consider" requiring licences to have babies. The architect of
the Kyoto Protocol." It is an eye-opener, especially the strong ties to the powers in
Canadian politics. For example: Maurice Strong gave Paul Martin his first job during
university break "and made him and his family unimaginably rich."
At Ezra Levant's website there are more links to articles that are based on
excerpts from his book.
International Man of
Mystery: Who Is Maurice Strong?
The adventures of Maurice Strong & Co. illustrate the fact that nowadays you don't
have to be a household name to wield global power. ...
Maurice Strong: The new guy in your future! By Henry Lamb January, 1997....
Maurice Strong, "Stockholm to Rio: A Journey Down a Generation."
Maurice Strong, Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Earth Council
Earth Council Alliance
Maurice F., 1929- . Papers, 1948-2000: Guide
Harvard University Library
... Policy Research. Maurice Strong. Maurice Strong is a senior advisor to United Nations'
Secretary General Kofi Anan.
Charter's Unholy Ark
With today's emphasis on "honoring the past
and imagining the future," many see nothing wrong with redesigning the
"memories" of the past to reflect their vision of the future. Many environmental
visionaries have called for "new stories" that replace the old truths and
redirect our values. The message in this new ark serves the purpose well. It puts new
meaning into old memories and usurps the honor inherent in the original. But that's part
of the UN plan. There is little appreciation for God's law and His treasured covenant (the
binding agreement He made with His people long ago) in our pluralistic, postmodern age.
To fill the vacuum, even staunch Communists such as Mikhail Gorbachev call
for spiritual revival. They envision a union of religions, all molded and conformed to a
global, earth-centered spirituality. The gods, spirits and pantheistic forces of
indigenous religions fit right in. Long a promoter of the Earth Charter and its socialist
regulations, the former Soviet ruler knows well that strategic visual images inspire the
masses and speed transformation. [See The State of the World
according to Gorbachev]
So does Maurice Strong, the powerful founder and leader of the Earth Council. Though
usually hidden behind the scenes, Strong is no minor player in this global contest for the
minds of the masses. He led the UN Environmental Programme, directed the 1972 and 1992 UN
Conferences on the Environment and Development, founded Planetary Citizens, directed the
World Future Society and founded and co-chaired the World Economic Forum. He is a member
of the Club of Rome, trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation and Aspen Institute, a member of
the UN Commission on Global Governance, and Senior Advisor to the World Bank as well as to
UN Secretary General Kofi Anan [See Towards A Rapid Reaction
Capability for the UN].
The Earth Charter and the Ark of the Gaia Covenant. Copyright © Terry Melanson.
"The real goal of the Earth Charter is that it will in fact become like
the Ten Commandments."
Charter displayed at United Nations
In 1987, the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development
issued a call for creation of a new charter that would set forth fundamental principles
for sustainable development. The drafting of an Earth Charter was part of the unfinished
business of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.
In 1994 Maurice Strong, the secretary general of the Earth Summit and chair of the Earth
Council, and Mikhail Gorbachev, president of Green Cross International, launched a new
Earth Charter initiative with support from the Dutch government. An Earth Charter
Commission was formed in 1997 to oversee the project and an Earth Charter Secretariat was
established at the Earth Council in Costa Rica.
Update 2005 06 17:
2. Is the right to water a new concept within human
The right to water is explicitly enshrined in two UN human rights
treaties - the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of
Discrimination against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the
Child, as well in one regional treaty – the African Charter on the
Rights and Welfare of the Child. The Geneva Conventions guarantee the
protection of this right during armed conflict.
In addition, the right to water is an implicit part of the right to an
adequate standard of living and the right to the highest attainable
standard of physical and mental health, both of which are protected by
the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
However, some states continue to deny the legitimacy of this right. In
light of this fact and because of the widespread non-compliance of
States with their obligations regarding the right to water, the UN
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights confirmed and
further defined the right to water in its General Comment No. 15.
Adopted on 26 November 2002, this document provides guidelines for
States Parties on the interpretation of this right under two articles
of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- Article 11 (the right to an adequate standard of living) and Article
12 (the right to health). [Source]
It makes one wonder. Do only women and children have
a right to water and to clean water? But then CEDAW is not about
it is about disfranchising men,
and the Conventions on the Rights of the Child are not about the rights
they are about
disfranchising parents, with both of those objectives serving to
international agenda for the planned
destruction of the family, so that out of the resulting rubble of
civilization a global socialist totalitarian state can be constructed.
Canada's Commitment to Earth
Worship at the Roots of Rapid Change to Canadian Law
An exploration of the history of the relationship between
Maurice Strong and Paul Martin.
Maurice Strong gave Paul Martin
his his first job during summer vacation in university, hired him for
Power Corporation Canada Ltd. after Martin finished university, and
offered Martin a sweetheart deal, the purchase of Canada Steamship
Lines, that made the Martin family unbelievably rich.
Importantly, the article identifies Paul Martin's commitment to
support the plan by Maurice Strong, Michael Gorbachev, Kofi Anan and Stephen
Rockefeller to impose a universal religion of Earth worship on the world
population. The new-age religion is to replace all others.
The Canadian government provided millions
of dollars in funding for
the development and goals of Maurice Strong's new-age religion. The Canadian federal
government also provided a
in contracts to Canadian Steamship Lines,
a corporation that has most of its fleet of about 50 ships registered in
Barbados and Liberia and that uses shoddy labour practices.
Maurice Strong was recently appointed as senior advisor to the
Prime Minister's Office. Will he remain in that position during Stephen
*"Last year ,
the federal government insisted it had done only $137,000 in business with
Martin's Canada Steamship Lines in the previous 10 years. This week [end of
Jan. 2004], of course, it was revealed that that $137,000 had actually
been $161 million, including $46 million during Martin's tenure as finance
(Source: "There's rot in the
ship of state", Edmonton Journal, Sunday 1 February 2004, p. A14)
It did work. The Liberal Party of Canada won that federal election.
Canada will be red for a while longer.
Posted 2002 01 05
The White Rose
Thoughts are Free