They just don’t get it. Today’s Financial Times carries the following wishful thinking from two of Europe’s most dissonant Kyoto cheerleaders:
“David Miliband, the British environment minister, told the FT it was ‘a matter of “when” not “if” the US becomes part of a global drive to reduce emissions’. Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s environment minister, said the US would join an international emissions trading system ‘when Europe’s system was made to work properly. The US won’t let it happen that there’s an international financial market [for emissions certificates] that it is not a part of’.”
Ignorance of our comparative performance and euphemistic treatment of the disaster that is the Emissions Trading Scheme aside, this repeats a meme being ever-more aggressively advanced by the Kyotophiles. Other high-profile examples include the suggestion by UNFCCC executive secretary Michael Zammit Cutajar, at the December 2006 Nairobi talks on the Kyoto Protocol, to postpone until 2010 the negotiations over a “post-2012” Kyoto pact slated for next year. This is purportedly to accommodate the next U.S. president, candidates for which job, Cutajar et al insist, are certainly more amenable to Kyoto than that mean George W. Bush.
Certainly, all of these remarks represent the Kyoto establishment seeking to blame the U.S.’s refusal to join Kyoto for the looming failure of a successor agreement to attract approval by even Kyoto’s original core, covered countries. But raw ignorance is also on full display, particularly the common but false presumptions of the intentions of possible candidates for president, none of whom actually indicate any intention to join Kyoto let a lone a more stringent “Round II”, but instead merely argue for a domestic law that a fraction as stringent as “Kyoto I” (if still opposed by a majority of the U.S. Senate).
Finally, it seems entirely beyond the grasp of Kyotophile politicians and bureaucrats to understand their key problem when it comes to roping the U.S. into this scheme: They will never, ever get the required (Article II, Section 2) two-thirds’ Senate vote to ratify such an agreement. This dreamy notion that a President McCain or Clinton would ride up on a white steed to sign another treaty seems intentionally ignorant of the fact that Bush’s predecessor also signed such a treaty – Kyoto – which got them nowhere, because not one Senator has lifted one finger to try and force a vote.
The evidence suggests that that is highly unlikely to change and, if it did, it would still fail.