Kyoto’s Misplaced Priorities

When the Kyoto treaty enters into force on February 16, the global warming community will undoubtedly congratulate itself: to do good they have secured the most expensive worldwide treaty ever. They have succeeded in making global warming a central moral test of our time. They were wrong to do so.

Global warming is real and is caused by emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). But existing climate models show we can do little about it. Even if everyone (including the United States) applied the Kyoto rules and stuck to them throughout the century, the change would be almost immeasurable, postponing warming for a mere six years in 2100 while costing at least $150 billion a year.

Global warming will mainly harm developing countries, because they are poorer and therefore less able to handle climate changes. However, by 2100, even the most pessimistic forecasts from the UN expect the average person in the developing countries to be richer than now, and thus better able to cope.

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