Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Firscal threat or Great Depression or load of gas?

USA Today cannot ignore the British Stern Review Report on the Economics of Climate Change. Being British, it is not attracting the same concern in the Lower American Colonies as in the Motherland or the Northern American Colonies.

The USA Today story is headlined, Warming poses a fiscal threat:
The report moves economic discussion of how humanity should deal with global warming to center stage, says Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, D.C., a science advocacy group. The report is endorsed by such economic heavyweights as Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University.

But critics, such as statistician Bjorn Lomborg of Denmark's Copenhagen Consensus Center, suggest ills such as disease and malnutrition are potentially more costly than global warming.

The White House, in a statement responding to the report, said President Bush "has long recognized that climate change is a serious issue, and he has committed the U.S. to advancing and investing in the new technologies to help address this problem."


The Guardian, almost predictably, carries this opinion for its UK (mainly) readership: Back on the road to nowhere
The time for debate is over. What must happen is clear. Gordon Brown should read the report he has commissioned, hit us with some whacking environmental taxes and devote his impending premiership to reducing Britain's carbon emissions.


The blogger Spiked is contemptuous
:
Behind the grim warnings of global destruction in the discussion of Stern, there was a discernible sense of relish in the way that government ministers seized upon the opportunity to propose green taxes and similar measures to police our personal habits. This seemed to have less to do with their shaky grasp of the science of climate change than their firm belief in what has been labelled ‘the new politics of behaviour’ (see Save us from the politics of behaviour, by Frank Furedi). The job of government today is seen not as formulating any grand vision of how to run society and shape the future, but telling people how to run their lives. Usually this is done in the name of promoting personal and public health. Now it can also be done under the banner of saving the planet.

The Canadians are sort of worried. Worldwide calamity predicted by British (U.K. hires Al Gore as global warming adviser)
Britain issued a report yesterday warning the Earth faces a calamity on the scale of the world wars and the Great Depression unless action is taken.

The report raised the stakes in the global warming dispute with the U.S. and China.

The British government also hired former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, who has emerged as an environmental activist since his defeat in the 2000 U.S. presidential election.

Gore will advise the British on climate change, a clear indication of Prime Minister Tony Blair's dissatisfaction with U.S. environmental policy.

The report represents a huge contrast to the U.S. government's wait-and-see policies. U.S. President George W. Bush kept his country out of the Kyoto treaty, saying the pact would harm the U.S. economy.

The Canadians' Colonial Cousins Down Under got no worries. PM pours cold water on UK climate report
The Prime Minister has warned Government MPs not to be mesmerised by a shocking new report on climate change, despite agreeing the globe is warming.

Labor and the minor parties have denounced Mr Howard for refusing to sign the Kyoto Protocol, but Mr Howard says the answer is the cleaner use of fossil fuels along with nuclear and solar energy.


But Murdoch's Australian news arm says Howard hasn't rejected Kyoto, he only wants a new one; maybe it's time for a new-w-w Kyoto. Howard pushes for 'new' Kyoto Agreement:
With climate change shaping as a key political debate in the election lead-up, Mr Howard is determined to show off his green credentials.

Mr Howard yesterday set out Australia's interest in forming a "new Kyoto" protocol, using the AP6 as a "a bridge" to include the biggest greenhouse gas emitters - China, India and the US - in a binding global pact.

"Clearly, the Asia-Pacific Partnership points to the future," Mr Howard told Parliament, as he responded to Labor's censure motion.

"Clearly, if we can reach an understanding between all of the world's major emitters and all of the nations of the world, it is possible to have an international emissions trading system.

"That is a path forward to which this Government is committed."

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