Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Can 10,000 Delegates Possibly Be Wrong?

In "The Winds of Crisis" [Nat'l Post, Nov. 29, FP Comment, p64 ($), h/t to Jack], Terence Corcoran writes about the meeting taking place in Montreal about global warming:
On the rock-solid assumption that 10,000 people from 180 countries cannot possibly reach a rational conclusion on any subject, it follows that the climate meeting launched yesterday in Montreal is destined to do something irrational. The only question is: How much crazier can global climate policy get?

The last major United Nations climate control operation was the Kyoto Protocol, a carbon emissions plan so far off road that most nations, including host Canada, have been forced to ignore it as unworkable and unattainable.

Execution of Kyoto would plunge the world into an energy crisis of massive growth-killing power.

Kyoto expires in 2012. If they couldn’t generate a global energy crisis with Kyoto, they intend to try again with new, tougher targets for a post-Kyoto era.

Collective delusion knows no bounds. No politician could sell carbon-reduction plans at home without getting laughed out of office. That’s why we have Montreal, where the absurdity can be glossed over by having 10,000 people — politicians, bureaucrats, NGOs, industry types — locked up for two weeks and forced to produce a declaration to end the world economy as we know it. If everybody’s doing it, then it must be OK.
I have a friend who has written some items about global warming that have won world acclaim. He is equally skeptical, saying,

A few years back ... , my coauthor and I discussed that fact that Canada would not remotely have the capability of achieving the Kyoto targets. We debated whether the Liberals would be able to ratify it assuming the truth would eventually haunt them politically. I was of the view that they would ratify, then not live up to their commitment and just say they did, while paying no political price. I did not have any insight except shameful cynicism to go on. They did ratify, they committed to reduce CO2 production rates to 1990 rates but rates are now 24% *larger * instead of declining.

This phenomenon seems to be widespread among those countries who signed Kyoto. (Ironically, the US has been vilified for not signing onto Kyoto but has only a 16% rate increase in the same period.) Now signing onto Kyoto will be put forward in the election as a great achievement for the Liberals. So I suppose I was right, not that it does me or anyone any good.

Also, according to my forecast about "coincidences" Nature's most recent issue just happens to have a study claiming that global warming is already responsible for 150000 deaths...
Nature is becoming like the National Enquirer. They really cannot help themselves.
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