"There Is No Time To Lose"
"I call on the world community to be bold, to adhere to the Kyoto Protocol and to act quickly in taking the next steps," he said. "There is no time to lose." - Kofi Annan, Feb. 15, 2005.
And so it begins. 141 nations have signed on to the pact, with much fanfare and political posturing. What Americans may not realize is how much this issue dominates the news coverage in Europe, where virtually every weather "anomaly" is presented as another sign of the gathering climate-change storm. Tony Blair is making it a centerpiece to his upcoming campaign. Chirac is calling for a 75% cut in emissions by 2050, and the Euro-press is filled with evidences of pending apocalypse, including the BBC's website showing pictures of glaciers and mountains that are offered as de facto evidence of man-induced warming.
But how do you square this hysteria and support for Kyoto with the pact's best-case scenario?:
Even if fully implemented, Kyoto would brake rising temperatures by just 0.1C by 2100, according to U.N. figures, tiny compared to forecasts by a U.N. climate panel of an overall rise of 1.4-5.8C this century.
Nevermind the absurdities of climate modeling that produces outcomes that differ by 400%. Kyoto is not meant to produce a result, but to constrain, isolate, and politically wound the U.S. It's why Chirac feels he can keep upping the ante relative to further cuts: it's a risk-free way to score political points.
Meanwhile, with respect to these pictures: I've been flying over the Sierra Nevada mountain range for years; some years the snow is heavy (this year), some years are light. And glaciers recede and grow. Is this news?