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Kerry's flip-flop on global warming

By Henry Lamb
web posted October 11, 2004

John Kerry is now severely criticizing President Bush for withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol. On July 25, 1997, however, he joined 94 other Senators who voted for Senate Resolution #98, which says that the U.S. should not ratify the Kyoto Protocol if: (1) it did not impose restrictions on developing countries; and (2) it would "would result in serious harm to the economy...."

The Kyoto Protocol fails both tests. It is binding on only 36 of the world's 191 nations, and it would result in extremely serious harm to the U.S. economy. John Kerry now supports the Kyoto Protocol, while it still contains the very flaws which were the basis for his opposition in 1997.

This particular flip-flop is very important. President Bush has no intention to submit the Protocol for Senate ratification. John Kerry, to curry favor with his European buddies, would undoubtedly submit it for ratification. With the changes in the Senate since 1997, the protocol could very easily be ratified.

The economic impact of Kyoto has been analyzed by many independent and government agencies since 1998. All show that the Protocol would dramatically increase the costs of energy, while reducing its availability.

What people fail to understand is that the Kyoto Protocol is simply the first step toward a multi-step procedure to eventually eliminate all use of fossil fuel, on a timetable set by the U.N. What's worse, no credible scientist can say for sure, that were the Protocol fully implemented, it would have any detectable effect on global temperatures.

To achieve the Protocol's objective - to stop the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - all nations would have to reduce emission by nearly 80 percent below 1990 levels. The reduction of energy use required to meet this objective would change the way we live beyond recognition.

China and India, on the other hand, as well as about 150 other nations, are not bound by Kyoto energy restrictions, and will remain free to use as much fossil fuel energy as they wish. Their economies are free to expand as rapidly as possible, while the United States would be at the mercy of the U.N. to allocate how much energy could be consumed here.

The Kyoto Protocol is not, never has been, nor will it ever be, about global warming. It is, instead, an ingenious mechanism to centralize the control of energy availability and consumption. It is the perfect mechanism to enforce the redistribution and equalization of wealth, while eliminating the principle of free markets in the energy industry.

The touted emissions trading scheme advanced by the Protocol is nothing more than a wealth-transfer system. For example, Russia, whose industry is in such a shambles that its emissions are already below their assigned target, has "emission credits" to sell, as do most of the developing nations. In order for American energy providers to stay in business, they will have to purchase credits from a seller nation. American ratepayers will actually pay for those credits, through increases in their monthly electric bills, and at the gasoline pump.

This is one of the more conspicuous mechanisms the Protocol provides. The U.N. enforcement body is also empowered to dictate the type of energy that may be developed in the future. It has the power to dictate land use by limiting land use changes and requiring massive areas of land to be reserved for carbon "sequestration." Whatever rules the U.N. body wishes to impose, it can impose. Should the Protocol ever be ratified by the U.S., ratepayers and consumers would have no recourse. The U.S. has only one vote, among the 120 nations that have ratified the Protocol, only 36 of which are bound by its provisions.

President Bush has been demonized by not only John Kerry, but by other nations who eagerly await the transfer of America's wealth the Kyoto Protocol was designed to facilitate. John Kerry's flip-flop on this issue demonstrates his willingness to sell-out America's rate payers, industry, and all energy consumers, in order to meet the "global test" of international approval.

Regardless of the outcome of the November election, the world-wide global warming industry is ramping up a new campaign to force the United States to ratify the Protocol. Russia's ratification will leave only the U.S. and Australia among the developed nations outside the Protocol's reach.

President Bush has kept the United States energy policy free from U.N. control; John Kerry has promised to subject U.S. energy policy to the U.N.'s control. Whether voters realize it or not, they will decide - with their vote on November 2 - whether the U.N. takes control over America's future.

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO), and chairman of Sovereignty International.

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