Mark Steyn doth opine:
For anywhere other than Antarctica and a few sparsely inhabited islands, the first condition for a healthy environment is a strong economy. In the past third of a century, the American economy has swollen by 150 per cent, automobile traffic has increased by 143 per cent, and energy consumption has grown 45 per cent. During this same period, air pollutants have declined by 29 per cent, toxic emissions by 48.5 per cent, sulphur dioxide levels by 65.3 per cent, and airborne lead by 97.3 per cent. Despite signing on to Kyoto, European greenhouse gas emissions have increased since 2001, whereas America’s emissions have fallen by nearly one per cent, despite the Toxic Texan’s best efforts to destroy the planet.
Had America and Australia ratified Kyoto, and had the Europeans complied with it instead of just pretending to, by 2050 the treaty would have reduced global warming by 0.07C – a figure that would be statistically undectectable within annual climate variation. In return for this meaningless gesture, American GDP in 2010 would be lower by $97 billion to $397 billion – and those are the US Energy Information Administration’s somewhat optimistic models.
That Toxic Texan quip is a perfect use of irony to expose the bankruptcy of ideas suffered by the Global Warming internationale. The point to the economic argument is somewhat more pointed even than this quote indicates. If the US economy had not expanded in the last 30 years, then the money and scientific research needed to reduce pollution of all sorts in America (even while expanding the population and economy) would not have been there. The US would have had to do with intensifying the use of heavily polluting resources. And if it had foolishly signed Kyoto like Europe and Japan, it would have failed its Kyoto goals and had to pay lots of steep fines to the United Nations.
The United Nations, by the way, yesterday announced a 25% increase in its non-Peacekeeping budget for next year and 40% in the Peacekeeping budget.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s proposed “initial” budget for 2008-09 is $4.2 billion, a mere 15% increase over the Secretariat’s current budget. Oops, make that $4.8 billion, which includes the “add ons” the Secretary General has already identified. But even that’s not the final final figure. The U.N. budget is released piece by piece — how convenient — and the U.S. estimates that the full budget will end up being in excess of $5.2 billion, a 25% increase over the last two-year budget cycle of 2006-07.
Yes, the U.N. has a lot on its plate and the world is full of challenges. But Mr. Ban’s proposed increases aren’t going for humanitarian assistance in Darfur or development aid to Africa. Roughly 75% is for salaries and other staff costs — in other words, toward boosting the size of the U.N. bureaucracy. Peacekeeping goes on a separate budget, which is anticipated to grow 40%, to $7 billion from $5 billion.
h/t: Dissecting Leftism