Even Italy Realizes Economic Dangers of Kyoto

How could one forget the vitriol and drama served up by European elites after President Bush rejected the Kyoto Protocol?

“President George W. Bush, Polluter of the Free World,” roared the Independent of London on March 30, 2001. “It is hard to exaggerate the significance of his repudiation of the Kyoto treaty,” the editors wrote. “It is not even isolationism,” they said, “it is in-your-face truculence.” The French denounced the President’s action in their typically humble way, calling it “narrow” and “unsophisticated.” EU Environment Commissioner Margot Walstrom said President Bush’s proposals on climate change are flawed because, well, they’re just not Kyoto.

In short, in the lofty minds of Europe’s bureaucrats, Kyoto is the panacea for a future plagued by global warming catastrophe.

FACT: Kyoto will do nothing for the environment or have any impact on global temperatures.

This is the unequivocal conclusion of Altero Matteoli, Italy’s minister for the environment and territory. With Italy hosting the next round of global climate negotiations later this year, Matteoli said on July 7 that, “Within the framework of [Kyoto], we will manage to reach a 2 percent reduction in emissions at best, but we all know that we need to halve greenhouse emissions world-wide by 2050 in order to prevent further damage to climate.”

Now, even if one concedes that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are causing global warming or damaging climate (they’re not), according to Matteoli, the world would have to reduce emissions by 50 percent to have any effect. Put another way, the world would need 25 Kyotos to stop global warming. That translates into big costs for Europe, which can’t even meet its initial Kyoto targets.

The Energy Information Administration said one mere Kyoto, among other destructive effects, would cost the U.S. economy $400 billion annually. Guess President Bush ain’t so unsophisticated after all.