Saturday, November 10, 2012
Mike Butler: Pulling out of Kyoto makes sense
The New Zealand' government has shown some good sense by deciding against signing up to the legally binding second Kyoto Protocol commitment period from 2013. Climate Change Minister Tim Groser announced on Friday that the government would work on its pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the parallel and non-binding United Nation Convention Framework. (1)
The announcement came three days after the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill was passed after a late volley of Labour-Green amendments failed.
Groser’s announcement on pulling out of Kyoto brought predictable howls of outrage came from Greenpeace, with Simon Boxer saying New Zealand was ''to join an infamous club of the world's dirtiest economies and most belligerent climate wreckers''. (2)
Green climate change spokesman Kennedy Graham said the announcement meant the Government was withdrawing from global efforts under the Kyoto Protocol to fight climate change and was instead aligning with countries who will just talk about it. Labour climate change spokeswoman Moana Mackey said this country's international reputation had taken a massive hit.
Rhetoric aside, what are the facts? At 0.2 per cent of global emissions, New Zealand could not affect the climate even if it wanted to. This means we could turn everything off, remove all livestock and emit nothing with the result that there would be 0.2 per cent less global emissions.
This assumes that the theory of human-induced global warming is factual. On that front, the global warmers have sustained a few more heavy hits over the past year, even after the row about doctored data that became apparent in the “climategate” emails leaked from the University of East Anglia in 2009 faded.
Earlier this year, a book co-written by German social democrat and green activist Professor Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt titled The Cold Sun (Die kalte Sonne)confirmed that global warming stopped 12 years ago. (3)
Vahrenholt’s skepticism started when he was asked to review a United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on renewable energy. He found hundreds of errors. When he pointed them out, IPCC officials simply brushed them aside. Stunned, he asked himself, “Is this the way they approached the climate assessment reports?”
Vahrenholt decided to do some digging. His colleague geologist/paleontologist Dr. Sebastian Lüning also gave him a copy of Andrew Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion. He was horrified by the sloppiness and deception he found, so he and Lüning decided to write the book. The Cold Sun cites 800 sources and has over 80 charts and figures.
Over the last 18 months, policymakers in Canada, the United States and Japan have quietly abandoned the illusory goal of preventing global warming by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Instead, an alternative view has emerged regarding the most cost-effective way in which to deal with the undoubted hazards of climate change.
This view points toward setting a policy of preparation for, and adaptation to, climatic events and change as they occur, which is distinctly different from the former emphasis given by most Western parliaments to the mitigation of global warming by curbing carbon dioxide emissions. (4)
Groser’s announcement is really a baby step in the right direction. It would be better for the government to drop policies based on the discredited human-induced global warming theory, especially the mind-bogglingly complicated emissions trading scheme that has reintroduced subsidy farming to New Zealand.
The Kyoto Protocol is an agreement arranged by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and adopted on December 11, 1997, in Kyoto, Japan, that set binding obligations on the industrialised countries to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases. The agreement is based on the assumption that man-made greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere interfere with the climate.
As of September 2011, 191 states have signed and ratified the protocol. The only remaining signatory not to have ratified the protocol is the United States. Other United Nations member states which did not ratify the protocol are Afghanistan, Andorra and South Sudan.
In December 2011, Canada withdrew from the protocol. On the day that New Zealand opted out of the second phase of Kyoto, Australia's government said it was "ready to join" the second phase.
Sources: 1. New Zealand Commits to UN Framework Convention, November 9, 2012, http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1211/S00169/new-zealand-commits-to-un-framework-convention.htm
2. Government 'turns its back' on Kyoto commitment, November 9, 2012, http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7929764/Government-turns-its-back-on-Kyoto-commitment
3. Global Warming stopped twelve years ago, The Telegraph, February 9, 2012, http://www.fcpp.org/publication.php/4086
4. Policymakers have quietly given up trying to cut carbon dioxide emissions, Bob Carter, National Post, May 24, 2012, http://www.fcpp.org/publication.php/4210
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