Greens' Real Target: U.S. Economy
Posted 12/07/2009 07:30 PM ET
Economy: The 16,000 delegates to the two-week-long orgy of self-flagellation known as the Copenhagen Climate Conference want to shrink global output of CO2 not because of hard science, but out of envy.
Even as Climate-gate suggests that sham science lies behind global warming, delegates are swarming into the Scandinavian city to push for steep cuts in carbon dioxide output by industrialized nations.
We'll let others comment on the hypocrisy of those who, while trying to force the rest of us into an ever-smaller carbon footprint, will employ more than 1,200 limousines and 140 private jets while producing 880 pounds of CO2 per attendee at their conference.
Or the even-worse hypocrisy of Rajendra Pachauri, the U.N.'s global warming guru, who in one 19-month period flew 443,243 miles — including trips to have dinner at Washington's Brookings Institution and one memorable overnighter to attend a cricket match — but now wants the rest of us to be forced into a "carbon allowance."
What goes little commented on, however, is the reason for the vehemence of these calls for CO2 sacrifice on the part of the U.S.: a desire to take our economy down.
Having decisively lost the great debate between capitalism and socialism, the only way the global warming socialists can do this is by imposing restrictions on U.S. output in response to the ginned-up "emergency" of global warming.
The dynamics of this can be readily seen in the chart (above right). It shows that, contrary to what you might have heard, America's share of the world economy has remained remarkably stable over 40 years. The same can't be said for the European Union's.
As recently as 2000, in its Lisbon Declaration, the EU asserted it would "leapfrog" the U.S. in productivity and output by 2010. By the time of its midterm review in 2005, however, the chest-thumping was over. It was clear the EU wasn't "leapfrogging" the U.S. — or even staying up with it. Instead, its share of world output was falling at an even faster rate.
From about 36% of world GDP in 1969, the EU today accounts for roughly 27% of the world's $47.9 trillion in output. That's just a tad higher than the U.S., though the EU has 80 million more people.
In just a few years, it will be eclipsed by Asia as a world economic power — thanks mainly to the booming economies of China and India. The U.S. will remain No. 1 or No. 2 for decades to come, based on just about any forecast you choose.
As the old saw goes, misery loves company. The Europeans now know they can't beat the U.S. So they want us to join them in their self-inflicted decline by hamstringing our economy with expensive regulations to slash carbon output and regulate businesses to death.
In this effort, Europe has engaged the developing world as its ally. Egged on by EU elites, the so-called Group of 77 of developing countries are urging the same thing as the EU — massive taxes and wealth transfers from the developed nations (mainly the U.S.) to the Third World to alleviate the alleged impacts of global warming.
Again, the bottom of the chart tells the tale. Most of the Group of 77 are poorly run, nondemocratic countries that have routinely and almost systematically ruined their own economies through war, socialist policies, oppression of minorities and government-led despoliation of their own environment.
Their only hope — global warming welfare.
Meanwhile, China, India, Russia and other countries that still hope to grow and expand their citizens' standards of living are just saying "no" to Copenhagen. Without China and India, which together make up one-third of the world's population, no deal made in Copenhagen can work. It's simply impossible.
The targets currently set for CO2 reductions are so draconian they would drag the world economy into permanent recession. Calls for cuts in greenhouse gases by 2020 of 20% or more below 1990 levels are, in two words, economic suicide. By the U.N.'s own data, these cuts would cost the global economy a minimum of $59 trillion in 2005 dollars through 2100. And that's a lowball estimate.
This is why it's important for the U.S., like China and India, to stop playing along. The science is too dubious to put America's economy and well-being at stake