Friday, May 11, 2007

Carbon cuts: first world vs third world

The previous posting was dedicated to the second world. Without a loss of generality, let us omit this world in the text below.

The Kyoto protocol was crazy but it was based on the idea that the burden must be born by the rich nations. This subtlety guaranteed that its megalomanic anti-civilization plans would never become true. It's not hard to see that carbon cuts made in your country are useless if the source of the carbon dioxide - an essential gas that has been called a "pollutant" by thousands of enemies of carbon all over the world - can simply move elsewhere. The policy that only the rich nations "pay" has been enough to reject the deal in the U.S. and other developed countries.

But the situation may be changing. As Václav Klaus explained in the last paragraph of his letter to the U.S. Congress, the environmental movement will try to extend its influence wherever it's allowed. We may already be seeing that it's happening.

Imagine for a little while that an increased level of CO2 is a bad thing. Who should bear the burden? Well, from a moral viewpoint, I find it obvious that the third world has the moral right to go through the same era of industrialization as the developed world did about 100 years ago. Who says anything else is a racist and bigot who wants to deny basic rights to others, rights that his nation has probably enjoyed, rights that are really paramount. You may sometimes notice that it is the very same 19th-century-style leftist people whose mouths are full of human rights and equality. But when it comes to the right to be as rich as others and to build factories and to move from one place to another, everything changes.

The right doesn't mean that the most polluting technologies from the past will be incorporated to the newest factories and gadgets. The engineers and managers in the third world are not completely silly and if there is a more efficient technology available, they will use it instead. However, they have the right to do the same things as we did in the past.

Nevertheless, the climate terrorism - as it was called in the leading Chinese daily - is becoming more ambitious every morning. These people literally want to control life and civilization - nothing less than the whole ciculation of carbon - in the whole world. And as you can read e.g. on Andrew Revkin's NYT blog, the third world starts to realize what the activists want to do to them. Revkin quotes Botswana's environment minister who explains that the West wants to use them as Guinea pigs. India still wants the West to pay. If we're lucky, the post-Kyoto (post-2012) talks may simply collapse.

Angela Merkel is from the old school and urges the rich nations to lead. However, she wants the poor countries to "decouple greenhouse gas emissions from the economic growth". This is like asking the Earth to stop orbitting the Sun. As a person with some science education, Merkel should know that her "decoupling" would violate very basic laws of physics.

Meanwhile, the global CO2 emissions of course continue to surge and they will do so or at least stay constant for decades unless a global military junta for carbon regulation, envisioned by Tim Flannery, will be established. ;-)

Also, Roger Pielke Sr argues that the IPCC's SPM doesn't accurately present the recent temperature trends: for example, there has been no statistically significant warming of the troposphere since 2002 and no statistically significant cooling of the stratosphere in the last ten years.

Spiegel explains that some warming would be very cool. They show pictures of girls and suggest that the climate in Germany could resemble Italy which surely sounds attractive. They also link to Hans von Storch's article that says that people must abandon fear of climate change.

The Movement for Extermination of Mankind, officially called the Optimum Population Trust, argues that having a large family is an eco-crime. According to OPT, a baby is equivalent to 620 round trip flights from London to New York as far as its "footprint" goes. That's how the MEM looks at a human being.

Via Benny Peiser.

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