Reason Foundation

Reason Foundation

Kyoto Protocol - Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing

Leonard Gilroy
February 15, 2005, 2:12pm

After much anticipation, today marks the beginning of the global implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, the latest and perhaps greatest validation of the theory that the mixing of good intentions and public policy usually results in pure insanity. Why is Kyoto insane? Iain Murray reminds us of the one basic fact that sold me on this point of view long ago: So for roughly $15-35 TRILLION dollars over the next century, we buy a whopping 6 extra years to reach the same temperature level? What a deal! Where do I sign up? The Washington Post adds this: So all of those TRILLIONS of dollars are really going to buy some symbolism. Fantastic. This deal just gets better and better. The funny thing is, it appears that the old adage "be careful what you wish for" is starting to sink in around the world: As usual, EnviroSpin Watch's Phillip Stott hits the nail on the head: Finally, Steven Milloy of has thoughtfully offered the world one of those famous calculators that we all love so much: the Kyoto Count! It tells us at any given moment how much the world has spent on Kyoto and the projected temperature savings by 2050. So far, in the first day of implementation, we're already upwards of $300 million spent. But don't forget what we've already bought with that...a massive 0.000002848 degrees C reduction in potential 2050 temperature. What a deal! Seriously, it will be amusing over the next several years to watch the Kyoto Protocol wither on the vine, meeting the same fate of irrelevancy as the League of Nations. But it's too bad that so many resources have to be squandered in the process, as they could have been spent much more effectively on any number of other pressing global issues, like malaria, AIDS, Third World economic development, etc...

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform

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