I hate to have to point out the obvious to the rosy-cheeked, starry-eyed eco-warriors heading en masse to the international global warming summit this week (OK—I love to point it out), but the fact is that the Copenhagen Climate Conference is going to be, on every level, a monumental failure.
As has been reported for months, the nations of the world have not agreed, and will not agree, to legally binding reductions or limits on carbon dioxide emissions at the conference. The biggest “polluters” are least likely to volunteer to give up their 21st-century living standards (the U.S., Australia, Canada) or their efforts to achieve such (China, India, Brazil).
As George Will noted, the U.S. population in 2050 will have risen to 420 million, which means that if we honor Obama’s pledge to reduce our nation’s “carbon footprint” by then to 80% below 2005 levels, emissions per capita “will be about what they were in 1875. That. Will. Not. Happen.”
Even climate change alarmists admit that pledges hinted at by Obama for Copenhagen and outlined in the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill passed by the House this summer will have barely any effect on the earth’s climate.
And even if Obama decided to place some of his rapidly swelling political capital on the line and make a pledge for emissions reductions at Copenhagen, it wouldn’t be legally binding, because any treaty must be ratified by the U.S. Senate, which has already demonstrated its hostility to the less ambitious Waxman-Markey bill.
If all of this isn’t promising enough, Copenhagen delegates’ support from their constituencies for making firm commitments to reduce emissions will be diluted by several other factors. One is the laughable hypocrisy on display in conference attendees’ lavish, luxury-filled, CO2 emission-intensive accommodations and entertainments. The UK Telegraph documents that the summit, including jet and limousine travel, “will create a total of 41,000 tonnes of ‘carbon dioxide equivalent,’” about the same as the daily emissions of 30 smaller countries. This is even after Al Gore canceled his talk in Copenhagen and the extra fuel required to fly him there was subtracted from the total. read more »