NTF Issue Paper: Cong21.  2-02.

 

NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM ISSUE PAPER:

REJECT THE KYOTO TREATY.

 

THE KYOTO PROTOCOL.  They’re baaaccckk!!!  Enviro-radicals want to push Kyoto II through the Senate.  President Clinton had urged Senate ratification of the initial protocol.  In 1997, delegates from many countries met in Kyoto, Japan, to construct a treaty to erase the possible threat of global warming, a premise debunked by most scientific experts in climatology.  If the U.S. Senate approves this treaty, we would have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mostly carbon dioxide and methane, to 7% below 1990 levels by 2012, an unachievable feat.  We would have to cut energy use by 20%.  President Bush opposes signing Kyoto II, but congressional liberals still promote it. The Bush Administration counter-proposed several rational and realistic modifications that would have ensured a reduction in greenhouse gases while minimizing economic impact, but domestic and foreign treaty proponents ridiculed this offer.  He prefers phasing in rules that offer market-based incentives to help industries minimize the costs and hit target dates to lower pollution emissions.  Without Senate approval, the treaty will fail. 

 

SPURN KYOTO TREATY.  The cost of reducing only C0 2 to treaty specifications would cost 4.9 million jobs, according to Standard & Poor.  Job losses will hit each state; NE will lose between 50,000-100,000 slots.  Jobs will go overseas.  Yearly reduction in GDP will hit $318 billion, or 4%.  Lost GDP by 2010 might reach $440 billion.  The feds would sell permits to industries that produce greenhouse gases to permit them to shift costs to consumers by raising retail prices.  We all will pay higher prices for products and services requiring energy for production or transportation.  Rules would mandate new taxes on vehicle gas of 68c or more per gallon.  Gas prices would rise 53%. The cost of electricity will rise 86%, home heating oil by 70%. Average annual household income will drop almost $2,700.  Our cost of living would spike, while wages fall by 10-15%.  Our poorest citizens, who have the least amount of disposable income, would suffer the worst. The protocol ignores basic free market principles and will ensure international recession, including higher unemployment in our mining, oil refining, and vehicle manufacturing industries.  Already it is very difficult for American companies to compete against foreign companies in the global market. Our industries will pay heavily for additional expensive pollution control equipment, altered production lines, and monitoring devices, and face hefty fines if accidentally exceeding pollution limits.  High energy consuming industries would move to 3rd World nations like Red China, not required by this protocol to reduce or decelerate the rate of increase of their greenhouse gas emissions, taking jobs and taxes with them.  Firms based in 3rd World nations could use cheaper labor to produce cheaper goods and enjoy zero restrictions and regulations on their levels of greenhouse gas emissions.  This structural trade imbalance would bankrupt U.S. companies yet ensure that gas levels would continue to rise worldwide.  Third World nations could continue to heavily pollute greenhouse gases, pollute themselves to prosperity, while we cut our emissions.   The EPA will yoke vehicle owners with a host of new regulations, like mandatory car pooling to work, new exhaust pipe tests, and permanent annual penalties on owners of trucks and SUVs.  Limiting the number of industrial pollution permits would limit gas emissions but prove costly as business passes the cost along to consumers in the form of higher energy prices.  Business production cost hikes will mean higher prices for customers for products made from steel, chemicals, paper, and glass.  Higher costs cause inflation and then higher interest rates.  Backyard grills and lawn mowers will absorb new, expensive regulations.  Higher food prices will occur, with more spending on food stamps and other welfare handouts.  If you think government regulation is intrusive now, the treaty would give license to congressional liberals to monitor, tax, regulate, or ban all activity that consumes energy or produces greenhouse gases. Americans alone would pay for 2/3rds of  global costs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Third World excused for reasons of poverty.  In July, 2001, President Bush presented his own plan for voluntary CO2 emissions cuts. 

 

ITS COST.  The U.S. Dept. of Energy concluded that Kyoto provisions would result in hundreds of thousands of lost jobs in the manufacturing sector, decreased production, failed enterprises, lower gross domestic product, and higher consumer prices.  . 

 

CLIMATIC TRUTHS.  The U.S. Energy Dept. predicts that global CO 2 gases would rise by 32% by 2010, even though the U.S. and other industrial countries reduce emissions to 1990 levels, because 3rd World nations have no requirement to reduce or slow growth in their emissions.  CO 2 remains in the atmosphere for decades, so each annual emission is only a tiny percentage of the total CO 2 in the atmosphere.  Therefore, quick, large reductions in emissions have little effect on concentrations of greenhouse gases.  The protocol would reduce warming only by about ˝ degree Fahrenheit, because 3rd World nations, which contribute 80% of the hike in C02 emissions, are exempt. The protocol gives vast enforcement authority to the UN to enforce emissions limits, the first permission for foreigners to control and limit growth of our economy.  The UN committee charged with justifying this protocol faked scientific consensus, angering many scientists who actually labored on its study.  The UN asked none of the 2,000 scientists if they approved of or agreed with the final report.  Over 17,000 scientists, climatologists, geophysicists, and meteorologists signed a petition stating that there exists no credible scientific evidence that greenhouse gases will cause the catastrophic heating of our atmosphere and change our climate.  Actual observations from satellites show no climate warming.  U.S. satellites and weather balloons rank 1997 as the 7th coolest year since satellite measurements began in 1978.  These satellite measurements are accurate to within .001 degrees.  Weather balloon data goes back to 1960. Carbon dioxide has increased the last 100 years in our atmosphere because of industrialization, but levels have reached much higher in the distant past.  Life on earth thrives during periods of high CO 2 concentrations.  Without human presence, global temperatures have risen and dropped drastically for thousands of years for no apparent reasons.  Polar ice has melted continually for thousands of years.  The principle alarmist about global warming has recanted his original opinion on the topic.  Our National Weather Service reported that Nov.-Dec. 2000 were the coldest 2 months, since the feds began maintaining temperature records in 1895.  Russian Siberia in 2000-01 suffered its coldest winter in 100 years.  The famed astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle published a treatise advocating production of additional greenhouse gases to forestall a new Ice Age.  Environmental experts have proved through studies that greenhouse emissions are not causing catastrophic global warming that will melt all the ice sheets and turn our globe into a Waterworld.  Earth heating is cyclical; a prime determinant is magnetic activity of the Sun.  Clouds act as a thermostat to cool the Earth when it overheats.  Sea water temperature is not the same as air temperature above it, so measurements of sea water grossly overestimated air temperature over it.  The U.S. actually is a net reducer or absorber of CO2 because of our large forests and swaths of farmland, according to Science Magazine (1998). We already are winning the real battle.  In 1998-99, American greenhouse gas emissions grew by only 1%, while the GDP grew by 8%. 

 

MUST READING.  Read Hot Talk, Cold Science, by S. Fred Singer, which announces that over 17,000 scientists have signed the Oregon Petition stating that there is no hard evidence of catastrophic global warming from human activity.  Computer generated climate models that predict global warming should have shown temperature hikes but do not.  More accurate temp data from balloons and weather satellites since 1980 show NO warming trend.  Actually, researchers have not yet identified precisely how clouds, oceans, solar radiation, volcanic particles, and other factors affect climate change. Singer concludes that the real threat comes from economic anarchy resulting from proposed rationing of energy consumption. Dr. Singer created the American weather satellite system.

 

SEN. HAGEL BUCKS KYOTO.  Our Sen. Chuck Hagel is in the front trenches fighting the onerous provisions of the Kyoto Treaty.  He supports additional scientific research and development of new technologies that will bring us cleaner energy sources.

 

KYOTO PROPONENTS.  GOP Sen. John McCain and Democrat Sen. Joe Lieberman jointly are pushing legislation to force all U.S. power plants and industries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to mirror the Kyoto Protocol.  American industry would suffer suffocating regulations. 

 

NEBRASKA AFFECTS.  The Kyoto Protocol would cause increased production and transportation costs for NE farmers and ranchers.  Inflationary pressure will hit all state commerce that trucks products and services intrastate or interstate.  These costs will pass along to consumers.  Senior citizens and the poor will see reduced disposable income.  Small businesses will see depressed profitability and growth potential.  Oil prices continually rise.  Natural gas prices are triple those of March, 2000.  We will pay outrageous sums at the gas pumps this year; some will default on skyrocketing heat and air conditioning bills.   The gas and oil used by NE farm tractors and trucks constitute 1/3 of the total energy used on our farms.  Manufactured inputs like fertilizer and pesticides are very energy intensive and account for the remaining 2/3 of NE farm energy consumption.  Increased energy costs required by this treaty will increase farm production costs by 7.5% for milk, 32% for corn, 27.3% for soybeans, 26.7% for wheat, and 10.3% for hogs.  Profits would fall on production of all these items, ranging from 20.5% for soybeans to 84.5% for hogs.  NE farm income would fall by millions annually, causing family farms to fail or gravitate to corporate farming.  Rural communities and small towns that depend on farms and ranches for jobs and farmers and ranchers for customers would become destitute. 

 

ITS STATUS.  The proposed treaty is ailing from the pullout of the U.S. and the probable defection of other countries like Australia, Canada, Japan, and Russia, making Greenpeace apoplectic.  To become effective, the pact requires ratification by 55 nations, including industrialized countries representing 55% of the carbon dioxide emitted in 1990.  With the U.S. withdrawn, every other industrial nation would have to sign the treaty to reach projected goals.  Countries may offset requirements by expanding forests and farmlands that absorb carbon dioxide.  Nations can earn credits by helping 3rd World nations restrict carbon emissions.  Countries can buy rights to emit greenhouse gases fro other nations, where reductions might come cheaper.  Emissions trading would allow nations like Russia, who have emissions targets way above their needs, to sell excess emissions rights to the U.S., resulting in no cut in American or Russian emissions. 

 

REFERENCE SOURCES. 

  1. The Sens. Byrd-Hagel resolution passed by the Senate 95-0: www.microtech.com.au/daly/byrd.htm.
  2. Read Hot Talk, Cold Science, by S. Fred Singer, who concludes that the actual threat is economic havoc resulting from proposed energy rationing to correct a non-existent problem.  Researchers have not identified precisely how radiation, clouds, oceans, and volcanic particulates affect climate change. 
  3. Global Climate Coalition, a voice for business in the global warming debate: www.globalclimate.org.
  4. The Heartland Institute: www.heartland.org.
  5. Bogus Global Warming: www.globalwarming.org.

 

Research, documentation, and analysis for this issue paper done by Doug Kagan and Arden Fields.  This material copyrighted by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, with express prior permission for its use by Citizens for Local Control, Dawes County Taxpayers, and other groups in the Tax Freedom Network.  2-02.   C