Hot Air in Europe

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Although the United States is often portrayed as an ecological villain for declining to sign the fabled Kyoto treaty, a British think tank reports that Britain and Sweden are the only countries in Europe that have met their commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions. And Britain, despite placing restrictions on industry and cutting its rate of growth, is not even close to its 2012 Kyoto target.

France, Germany, and Greece haven’t begun to reduce emissions, though they have some policies in place that theoretically are supposed to do the job. Ireland, Italy, and Spain haven’t even adopted emissions-reduction policies.

Unfortunately, most European countries are unlikely to acknowledge, even as they violate its guidelines persistently, that the Kyoto treaty is a dud. But it is. As Patrick Michaels, Virginia’s state climatologist, has written, meeting the Kyoto treaty’s targets would require regressive and economically disastrous energy taxes. Even if all the targets are met, these draconian measures will reduce world temperature by only seven-tenths of a degree over 50 years.

European leaders probably know this, which may be why they have taken little action to reduce greenhouse gases. It would be nice if they came right out and said it.

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