Engineering News

EDITORIAL: Facing The Global Warming Realities
October 19, 2009

Political and economic realities threaten the Obama administration and the European Union's mutual quest to combat global warming. Temperatures aren't helping much, either. Globally, the warming trend effectively ended more than a decade ago.

These inconvenient facts don't bode well for December's climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, where campaigners against global warming had hoped to arrive at a worldwide pact for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

In addition to sizable political and economic conflicts stalling European and U.S. efforts, developing nations also are gumming up plans for a worldwide solution to the presumed threat.

China, India and other developing nations insist on receiving subsidies or even outright payments from developed nations like the United States, either as compensation for alleged harm suffered from the more prosperous nations' greenhouse-gas emissions, or to pay for reducing their own emissions. In essence, that would leave states like Ohio paying twice -- once when the jobs disappear to meet the measures imposed, then again in higher taxes to pay these costs for other nations. African nations recently said they need $65 billion to cope with global warming's effects, essentially making an argument for reparations.

The fervent quest to curb greenhouse-gas emissions is worrisome enough, considering that the science allegedly proving the threat is increasingly shown to be faulty or even fraudulent. But, as is also increasingly obvious to those expected to foot the bill, proposed Draconian "solutions" to this likely nonexistent problem will do more harm than good.

Government curbs on greenhouse gases certainly would retard economic growth, while promising only unproven environmental gains. As India and China demonstrate, developing nations know curbing emissions means curbing economic wellbeing, a price they are unwilling to pay without at least being compensated.

The reality is that undeveloped nations are more polluted nations. Cleaning up the environment is not a top priority where people don't have enough to eat. For such nations, definite economic growth trumps reducing possible global warming of a degree or two. If this is abundantly clear to developing nations, it's becoming increasingly clear to those already developed.

Europe's cap-and-trade scheme was undermined recently by a Court of First Instance ruling that annulled the EU's attempt to lower Estonia and Poland's carbon emissions. "The court said setting carbon limits is a matter for member states rather than the EU," reported EurActiv network.

The EU, unable to bring its own member nations in line, also is frustrated with the lack of progress in the U.S. The Obama administration is meeting staunch resistance in Congress to imposing similar restrictions on American industry, undermining the Copenhagen mission.

While these developments bode ill for worldwide Draconian regulations, they are good news for those who know prosperity is the best route to cleaner environment, irrespective of a degree or two increase or decline in temperature over the next century.

Source: The Lima News, Ohio

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