Friday, November 14, 2008

Columnists are starting to question EU progress in global warming

Paul Driessen, senior policy advisor for the Congress on Racial Equality and the Stop the War on the Poor Campaign, has a number of “devil’s advocate” columns in the Washington Times questioning the sincerity of the world on meeting climate change. You can search on his last name and find them at the Times site. Today (Nov. 14), on p A18 he has a column “Second thoughts on warming.”

Driessen points out that a number of European countries are, in 2008, way above their Kyoto carbon targets, including Italy, Portugal, Spain, Denmark and Austria. America is above what it would have agreed to had it signed Kyoto, but now, Driessen claims, our carbon emission growth rate is just 0.2% a year.

There is a good question as to how worldwide recession (or depression) will affect emissions. Lower demand would seem to reduce fossil fuel consumption for a while (look at oil prices now), but it also slows investment in alternative energy. Furthermore, society remains very vulnerable to a sudden incident, such as a terrorist strike on major oil fields in Saudi Arabia. I recall, in fact, back in the early 1980s there was a TV movie “World War III” predicated on the idea that the Soviets would attack America’s Alaska oil production and pipeline.

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