Bjørn Lomborg on Kyopenhagen (and Climategate):
Thousands of politicians, bureaucrats, and environmental activists have gathered in Copenhagen for the COP15 global climate summit with all the bravado — and self-regard — of a group of commandos who are convinced that they are about to save the world. . . .
The blustery language and ostentatious self-confidence that fill the Bella Center here remind me of a similar scene: Kyoto, 1997.
There, world leaders actually signed a legally binding deal to cut carbon emissions — something that will elude the Copenhagen summit-goers. But what did the Kyoto Protocol accomplish? So far, at least, virtually nothing. . . .
In all, we are likely to achieve barely 5 percent of the promised Kyoto reduction.
To put it another way, let’s say we index 1990 global emissions at 100. If there were no Kyoto at all, the 2010 level would have been 142.7.
With full Kyoto implementation, it would have been 133. In fact, the actual outcome of Kyoto is likely to be a 2010 level of 142.2 — virtually the same as if we had done nothing at all. Given 12 years of continuous talks and praise for Kyoto, this is not much of an accomplishment.
The Kyoto Protocol did not fail because any one nation let the rest of the world down. It failed because making quick, drastic cuts in carbon emissions is extremely expensive.
Whether or not Copenhagen is declared a political victory, that inescapable fact of economic life will once again prevail — and grand promises will once again go unfulfilled.
The rest here, illustrated.