Las prioridades equivocadas de Kyoto

Cuando el tratado de Kyoto entre en vigor el 16 de febrero, la comunidad del calentamiento global sin lugar a dudas se felicitará a sí misma: para hacer el bien lograron el tratado más caro del mundo en la historia. Consiguieron hacer del calentamiento global una prueba moral central de nuestra época. Hicieron mal.

El calentamiento global existe y es causado por emisiones de dióxido de carbono (CO2). Pero los modelos climáticos existentes muestran que podemos hacer poco al respecto. Aun si todos (incluido Estados Unidos) aplicaran las reglas de Kyoto y se apegaran a ellas por el resto del siglo, el cambio sería casi imperceptible, y pospondría el calentamiento por sólo seis años en 2100 mientras que el costo sería, al menos, de 150 mil millones de dólares por año.

El calentamiento global dañará principalmente a los países en desarrollo, porque son más pobres y por tanto menos capaces de afrontar los cambios climáticos. Sin embargo, para el año 2100, aún con las predicciones más pesimistas de Naciones Unidas, se espera que la persona promedio de los países en desarrollo sea más rica que ahora, y por lo tanto esté mejor preparada. Por consiguiente, Kyoto es básicamente un camino costoso para hacer poco por gente mucho más rica en el futuro lejano. Necesitamos preguntarnos si esta debe ser nuestra prioridad.

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