You can be rude about Camilla or Mandela, you can make fun of the Pope. But saying that the Kyoto Treaty has major flaws is definitely beyond the pale. Whenever I've tried to explain US policy on global warming to friends, they've responded as if I've called for the massacre of the first-born. Environmentalism really is our new religion. (Of course, it would help if Bush's team made some effort to explain its stance to the rest of the world, but maybe that's too much to hope for.)

Rosemary Righter presents a rational case against Kyoto in today's Times:

A recent scientific conference at Exeter University, summoned to provide Tony Blair with environmental ammunition for the G8 summit, became like a contest between horror stories — the Vanishing Gulf Stream, Millions Dead of Malaria in the Midlands, the Parboiled Polar Bear — that would do the best job of making the public’s flesh creep. As spin for the Government’s case that climate change is a threat greater than terrorism, this was all no doubt effective.
But these scenarios are what scientific insiders know as “computer-aided story lines”, not reliable predictions. Tall stories have no place at G8 summits. To base decisions on them would be not only absurd, but pernicious.

Let's have a debate. As The Economist suggested earlier this month (subscriber-only link), neither side has a monopoly of wisdom on this particular subject:

The debate over the economics of warming is, if such a thing were possible, even more robust than the one over the science... Disagreements are also breaking out among those economists relatively sceptical about the effects of climate change.
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/02/calling-kyoto-to-account-you-can-be_15.html|||2/15/2005 12:09:00 pm|||||||||