Professor Froward's Slough of Despond

Proud purveyor of flawed generalizations and vacuous tautologies.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Kyoto and Katrina

James K. Glassman over at Tech Central Station, commenting on the envirovultures trying to cash in on Hurricane Katrina to sell their favorite Protocol:

Europe is not anywhere close to reducing CO2 to Kyoto standards. In fact, the U.S. is doing much better than many Kyoto ratifiers.

He's making a little joke there. Kyoto fans couldn't care less about reducing emissions. It's the meaningless political sacrament of ratifying the treaty that matters. We must suffer for their piety. Why? Just... because. Remember what Dr. Johnson said about bear-baiting? Their demented threats of worldwide catastrophe are just a sales tactic.

Imagine a left wing without the politics of fear...

Yeah, neither can I.

Aside from the lunacy of blaming this stuff on our unwillingness to sign a treaty whose most enthusiastic signatories have yet to implement it significantly (New Zealand is only just starting to talk about it seriously, and they've already got cold feet), it's ahistorical to blame George Bush even for our reluctance to sign: The Senate rejected Kyoto overwhelmingly. During the Clinton Administration. The Senate is part of the legislative branch of our federal government. The President is in charge of the executive branch. The executive branch does not ratify treaties. George Bush does not have the legal authority to do a damn thing about Kyoto. It's called "separation of powers".

The left is usually just underinformed and overemotional, but it's very difficult in this case to imagine that none of them are aware of Kyoto's history in this country.