Success! Just recovered some 23 year old TV ads via my old friend Eric Gravley of PlanetVox. Way back in the late 1990s, early 2000s, before YouTube, before digital media, DVRs, “on demand” and all the things we take for granted today, Gravely and team ran a production studio, made documentaries and taped important stuff from TV broadcast and served as a TV video archive. I think I probably sent a dozen documentary film makers and TV producers to them for footage like this over the years. Thank goodness Eric kept the tapes!
These ads ran in 1997, in the months before the December UN meeting that was to establish the Kyoto Protocol. The Global Climate Information Project. The tag line of the ads was “It’s not global and it won’t work”, and feature fears of $1.79 gasoline (oh my) and rising food prices. The second ad shows a hand cutting up a world map to leave the United States carrying too much responsibility (so scary).
Script Ad 1 (30 seconds)
Disembodied narrator: What do you know about the United Nations proposed Climate Treaty?
Dude filling his gas tank: Isn’t that about global warming?
Narrator: It would force the U.S. to cut energy use by over 20 percent! Gasoline prices could go up by fifty cents a gallon. Heating and electricity prices could soar and higher energy costs will raise the price of everything we buy. Meanwhile countries like China, India and Mexico are exempt.
Dude: We pay the price and they are exempt
Narrator: Its not global and it won’t work.
Script Ad 2 (30 seconds)
The ad starts with the text: “The World According to the U.N.”
Narrator: The U.S. is preparing to sign a United Nations treaty on the global climate. But the global agreement isn’t global. A hundred and thirty two of a hundred and sixty six countries are exempt. So while the United States is forced to make drastic cuts in energy use, countries like India, China and Mexico are not. Countries responsible for almost half the world’s emissions won’t have to cut back. Check it out for yourself.
It’s not global and it won’t work.
Text appears reading: 1-888-54FACTS www.climatefacts.org
The first ad has test at the end, scrolling up from the bottom “Paid for by over 30 organizations including” the second ad says “Sponsored by over 30 organizations including:” American Automobile Manufacturers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc., National Farmers Union, The Seniors Coalition, The Small Business Survival Committee, United Brotherhood of Carpenters, AFL-CIO
A scan of www.climatefacts.org on the WayBackMachine is interesting. It included the full list of members of the GCIP at the time
THE FULL CONTENT OF THE WEBSITE IS REPRODUCED BELOW
|The United Nations is rushing to finalize an international climate treaty by December 1997 that will have major impacts on the U.S. economy, jobs and lifestyles. Because the treaty exempts 132 of 166 nations, it will have little or no environmental benefit.|
List of Sponsors
- A. Philip Randolph Institute
- American Automobile Manufacturers Association
- American Corn Growers Association
- American Farm Bureau Federation
- American International Automobile Dealers Association
- American Iron and Steel Institute
- American Petroleum Institute
- American Plastics Council
- American Sheep Industry Association
- American Trucking Associations
- The American Portland Cement Alliance
- Association of American Railroads
- The Center for Energy and Economic Development
- Chemical Manufacturers Association
- Coalition for Vehicle Choice
- Edison Electric Institute
- The Fertilizer Institute
- Global Climate Coalition
- National Association of Farmer Elected Committeemen
- National Association of Manufacturers
- National Automobile Dealers Association
- National Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
- The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
- National Farmers Union
- National Grange
- National Mining Association
- National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
- Texas Conference of Black Mayors, Inc.
- The Seniors Coalition
- The Small Business Survival Committee
- United Brotherhood of Carpenters, AFL-CIO
- United Mine Workers of America, AFL-CIO
- United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- United Transportation Union, AFL-CIO
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce
|‘CLIFFHANGER’ KYOTO PROTOCOL APPROVED|
On December 11, 1997, after an all night session, the Third Conference of Parties (COP-3) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change approved a “Kyoto Protocol” setting a legally-binding collective target for 39 developed country Parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2% from a 1990 (generally baseline) for the period 2008-2012. The agreement includes individual reduction targets of 7% for the U.S., 8% for the European Union collectively, and 6% for Japan. Each party must show demonstrable progress towards meeting its target by 2005.
Gases, Bubbles and Budgets
The agreement covers six gases (CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, HFCs, PFCs, and SF6) as a “basket” with the latter three using a 1995 instead of a 1990 baseline. It also enshrines the ability of the European Union (EU) to comply as a group, but it requires adjustment of EU commitments if its membership enlarges. The U.S. proposal for a multi-year target (2008-2012) survived, but no second period was established. This is to be done by 2005 by amendment to an Annex to the protocol, requiring 3/4s of the protocol Parties to approve and to ratify. This latter language was tightened at the behest of U.S. Senate staff observers.
The protocol will be opened for signature between March 16, 1998 and March 15, 1999 and afterward transmitted for acceptance by Parties. It will enter into force after ratification by 55 Parties which must include developed (Annex I) nations representing 55% of the carbon dioxide emissions from all annex I countries in 1990. The U.S. sought a 65/50 formula, which the Chairman of the Negotiating Committee, Raul Estrada, opposed on the grounds that it would allow the U.S. to hold up entry into force of the protocol by withholding its ratification.
The agreement nearly collapsed on the issue of emissions trading. It was favored by the U.S. (along with Russia, Iran, Samoa, and Mexico,) but opposed by a number of both developed and developing nations. Opposition within the EU was led by France. In return for gaining acceptance of emission trading (EU amendments calling for establishment of procedures and guidelines for verification and accounting by a future COP before going into force,) U.S. relinquished its opposition to the EU bubble and ultimately moved from a target of stabilization at 1990 levels to a 7% reduction (the bidding began at 2%).
Developing Nations Exemption
Article 9, calling for a voluntary opt-in process for developing nations to adopt binding commitments, was deleted with opposition led by China, Brazil, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. While Russia and the Alliance of Small Island States supported it (as did Mexico, Korea and Argentina with certain reservations,) Chairman Estrada ruled that there was no consensus and dropped the article. Later, Argentina and the U.S. sought to place the issue on the agenda for COP-4 in Buenos Aires next year, but this too was opposed by China and others. Estrada said he would try to work something out next year. Hailing the agreement, Vice President Gore said in Washington on December 11, 1997 that the Administration would not submit the protocol to the Senate until “meaningful participation by key developing nations” was obtained. The agenda for COP-4 will be decided at a meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation in June, 1998 in Bonn.
Joint Implementation/Clean Development Mechanism
Another item identified early on by the U.S. as a “must” for agreeing to a protocol was Joint Implementation (JI) among all Parties with credit. As approved, JI will be limited to Annex I Parties. A new device, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) will be available for joint projects in non-Annex I nations through the payment of a special administrative fee by developed nation participants. This is a reworking of a Brazilian proposal for a penalty fee for non-compliance for Annex I Parties that miss their targets.
Another major negotiating point was the treatment of emissions removed from the atmosphere by land and forestry “sinks”. The U.S. sought a definition, although limited to human-induced sinks, that included “managed” forests, a concept strongly opposed by Brazil. Language supported by the U.S. and applicable only to the first budget period (2008-12) was finally accepted.
Compliance and Damages
The Kyoto Protocol says enforcement procedures for dealing with non-compliance “shall” be established at the first meeting of the Parties to the Protocol. The first meeting shall also consider what actions related to “funding, insurance and transfer of technology” may be needed to minimize adverse social, environmental and economic impacts on developing nations of actions taken by developed nations to meet their targets.
Policies and Measures
Article 2 of the Protocol says each Party “shall” implement or further elaborate policies and measures “in accordance with its national circumstances” and lists eight examples including measures to limit emissions in the transport sector. The COP may later decide to “coordinate” any of these measures. However, the language is not mandatory.
In a separate decision (FCCC/CP/1997/L.5) the COP approved the waiver sought by U.S. Department of Defense officials. It states that emissions from multi-lateral operations pursuant to the UN Charter should not be included in national reporting totals. However, other defense-related emissions must be reported and this point raised the concern of Congressional observers in Kyoto.
“The headlines a year and a half ago positively brimmed with assurance: “Global Warming: No Longer in Doubt,” “Man Adversely Affecting Climate, Experts Conclude,” “Experts Agree Humans Have ‘Discernible’ Effect on Climate,” “Climate Panel Is Confident of Man’s Link to Warming.” The official summary statement of the UN-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that had prompted the headlines seemed reasonably confident, too: “… the balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global climate.” But as negotiators prepared to gather in Bonn in July to discuss a climate treaty that could require nations to adopt expensive policies for limiting their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, many climate experts caution that it is not at all clear yet that human activities have begun to warm the planet or how bad greenhouse warming will be when it arrives.” (Science, May 16, 1997) While potential global climate change is an issue of concern, it is crucial that public policy is based on taking the right actions at the right time. The science and economics say there’s time to do this right — it is not prudent to rush to take short-term actions that would severely impact the economy and preclude more cost-effective long-term solutions. It is fair to say that the science still is not in and there are remaining uncertainties about the causes, timing and complete effects of climate change. The models used to develop global warming projections are still evolving and cannot yet take into account major factors — e.g., cloud and ocean processes, sunspots, and natural variations in the climate. Further research is needed not only to improve the accuracy and reliability of the models, but also to further our scientific understanding of climate systems and the causes and effects of climate change. “Delaying the implementation of emissions controls for ten to twenty years will have little effect on atmospheric concentrations [of greenhouse gas emissions].” (U.S. Congress Office of Technological Assessment)
The Greenhouse Effect Explained
The “greenhouse effect” is a natural process that allows the earth to be warm enough to sustain life. Gases in the atmosphere act like a blanket and trap or slow down some infrared radiation, or heat, emitted by the earth, thus warming the earth’s surface. Water vapor makes up about 97% of all greenhouse gases (ghgs). The remaining 3% is composed of primarily of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide. Man-made global emissions of carbon dioxide are less than 4% of total (natural plus man-made) annual emissions. Apparently, nature also removes slightly more carbon dioxide than it emits every year, effectively cutting the annual rate of growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration in half. The concern is whether increasing amounts of man-made greenhouse gases may be warming the earth enough to significantly change weather patterns. Man-made CO2 comes primarily from deforestation and burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. Methane and nitrous oxide come from a variety of sources, including mining, farming and waste disposal.
More Detailed Explanation
What We Know About the Science
Is The Earth Warming? There is conflicting scientific data over whether there is a warming trend. Global surface temperature estimates indicate a rise of between 0.3 and 0.6 degrees C (0.5 to 1.1 degrees F) since the late 19th century. This change is within the range of natural variability. Most of the warming in the surface measurements occurred before 1940, well before any significant increase in man-made ghg emissions. However, National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) satellite measurements show no net warming over the past 18 years — in fact, they show a slight cooling trend over the last eighteen years.
Are Humans Causing the Warming?
The Scientific “Consensus”What are the Effects If Any?
Are Humans Causing the Warming?
Recent studies indicate that the sun may be playing a larger role in the earth’s climate than was previously suspected.
- “We figure half the climate change from 1850 to now can be accounted for by the Sun,” said Dr. Judith Lean of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, who is prominent in such studies.” (Quoted by William J. Broad, “Another Possible Climate Culprit: The Sun”, The New York Times, September 23, 1997.)
- Dr. Bailunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center and her co-workers studied records of the past 120 years and found the Sun responsible for up to 71 percent of the Earth’s temperature shifts. When other factors were added to their research model, that figure rose to 94 percent. (William J. Broad, “Another Possible Climate Culprit: The Sun”, The New York Times, September 23, 1997.)
Even though a 1995 UN science report said that “the balance of evidence…suggests a discernible human influence on global climate,” it also noted an inability to quantify that influence and many remaining uncertainties — stating, for example that “our ability to quantify the human influence on global climate is currently limited because the expected signal is still emerging from the noise of natural variability and because there are uncertainties in key factors.” These include the magnitude and patterns of long term natural variability.
The argument that there is human-caused climate change rests on estimates generated by complex computer models, which attempt to reproduce little understood climate processes.
- The 1995 UN science report computer projections were for a temperature increase of 2.5 degrees C (4.5 degrees F) by 2100 and a sea level rise of 50 cm (20 inches). This 1995 projection scaled back their 1992 estimates of temperature and sea level increases by 33% and 25%, respectively. More recent computer projections have lowered the temperature projections to 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F).
- Important processes such as clouds, oceans, aerosols, sun spots and the hydrological cycle (evaporation, snow, ice, precipitation, soil moisture, etc.) are not well understood fundamentally, nor can they be reflected reliably in models because of uncertain science and computational limitations. “[Current climate] models just don’t handle processes like clouds, water vapor and precipitation systems well enough to accurately predict how strong global warming will be.” Dr. Roy Spencer, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.
- Scientists at MIT have said that “unfortunately current models are both uncertain predictors of the climate response to human influences and inadequate tools for assessing natural variability. In addition, data on global climate and human influences in past decades and our understanding of the cooling effects of aerosols are far from ideal.” (H.D. Jacoby, R. G. Prinn, R. Schmalensee, MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, “Needed: A Realistic Strategy for Global Warming”, July 1997.)
- An article in the May 16,1997 issue of Science reflects the growing skepticism and realization that it may be a decade or more before human effects can be discerned about natural climate variability. It states that “many climate experts caution that it is not at all clear that human activities have begun to warm the planet — or how bad greenhouse warming will be when it arrives.” One senior climate modeler said “the more you learn, the more you understand that you don’t understand very much.”
The Scientific “Consensus”
The U.S. Administration states that the science is “clear and compelling,” based on the supposed consensus of 2,000 (and sometimes 2,500) scientists that “the balance of evidence…suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.” This statement comes from the ‘Summary for Policymakers’ of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The IPCC published three reports of published research on climate change in 1995 on: science; impacts, adaptation and mitigation; and economics. The contributors and reviewers of all three volumes total about 2,100, relatively few of which are specialists in atmospheric physics. Most are economists, social scientists, policy experts, and government functionaries.
Chapter Eight of the report, “Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of Causes” which provided the background for the “discernible impact’ statement, had four lead authors and 32 contributors (not 2,000). After it had been peer-reviewed and approved by the contributors, the chapter was modified so as to change the tone, creating considerable controversy.
From this material, the ‘Summary for Policymakers’ was written. As one of the IPCC lead authors, Keith Shine said, “We produce a draft, and then the policymakers go through it line by line and change the way it is presented… It’s peculiar that they have the final say in what goes into a scientists’ report.”
Robert Reinstein, former chief State Department negotiator on the climate treaty under President Bush, agrees that the wording of the summary was negotiated at length by international delegations. “Because of this,” he said, “the summary must be considered purely a political document, not a scientific one.”
Ben Santer, one of the lead authors of the controversial Chapter Eight, said, “It’s unfortunate that many people read the media hype before they read the chapter. I think the caveats are there. We say quite clearly that few scientists would say the attribution issue was a done deal.”
In July 1996, over 100 European and American scientists issued the “Leipzig Declaration,” warning that there is still no scientific consensus on the subject of climate change. “On the contrary,” the statement says, “most scientists now accept the fact that actual observations from earth satellites show no climate warming whatsoever.”
What are the Effects If Any?
A great deal of recent media attention has been focused on the possible connection between global warming and extreme weather events. In fact, the 1995 UN science report stated that “overall, there is no evidence that extreme weather events, or climate variability, has increased, in a global sense, through the 20th Century.” (Section 3.5.4, pg. 173.)
Hurricanes and Tornadoes
Although some people have argued that hurricanes are becoming stronger and more frequent and that droughts and floods are becoming more common, recent work by scientists worldwide dispute this hypothesis. Observational data show that the frequency of both hurricanes and violent tornadoes have not increased in recent decades. Sound theoretical arguments have been advanced that indicate even if global warming does occur, the frequency and aerial extent of hurricanes are not likely to increase. (Macdonald, Norman J., and Sobel, Joseph P., Changing Weather? Facts and Fallacies about Climate Change and Weather Extremes, Accu- Weather, Inc., 1995, page 3.)
There is basically no trend of any sort in the number of hurricanes experienced in any of the four regions [central Atlantic, east coast of the U.S., Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea, for the period 1947 to 1987] with respect to variations in temperature. (S.B. Idso, R.C. Balling, Jr., and R.S. Cerveny, “Carbon Dioxide and Hurricanes: Implications of Northern Hemispheric warming for Atlantic/Caribbean storms,” Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, Vol. 42 (1990), p. 261.
The 1995 UN science report found that there was no evidence of an increase in extreme maximum temperatures across the United States. (IPCC Climate Change 1995, Working Group 1, section 184.108.40.206.)
Recent droughts in the Southwest and the excessive rainfall in the East are related to certain unusual features of the jet stream. There is substantial evidence that variations in the jet stream and associated drought conditions over the Southwest were due in part to abnormally cold sea temperatures over the central and eastern equatorial Pacific. (Dole, Randall M., NOAA Environmental Research Laboratories, Climate Diagnostic Center.)
“Initial estimates by the Environmental Protection Agency projected that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide would cause sea level rises to rise by between 80 and 120 inches. By 1990 these estimates had been reduced by 75%. In 1996 a United States science advisory panel predicted a rise of only 15 to 22 inches by 2100 — still based on shaky assumptions.”
“Data from the warming of 1900-1940 show a drop in sea levels, while the subsequent cooler period shows a sea level rise. This effect is even more pronounced in comparisons of sea-level changes with sea-surface temperatures in the tropics, where most of the oceans’ evaporation occurs.”
“These findings support the hypothesis that ice accumulation in the polar regions may have a greater impact on sea levels than do the melting of glaciers and the thermal expansion of ocean water. Support for this view also comes from concurrent but as yet incomplete measurements of ice accumulation at certain locations in Greenland and the Antarctic.” Fred Singer, professor emeritus on environmental sciences, University of Virginia, “The Sky Isn’t Falling, and the Ocean Isn’t Rising.”
While sea levels have always fluctuated throughout history, increases in global average temperatures have the potential to impact sea levels in three ways. Water expands in volume as its temperature increases above current levels, and this “thermal expansion” is the primary driver of predictions of rising sea levels. In addition, any melting of the polar ice caps could augment the sea level rise. Offsetting thes factors, higher average temperature could result in an increase in precipitation. This could have the effect of removing water from the sea through evaporation, and depositing the water via increased snowfall in polar regions, resulting in a buildup of water stored as accumulated snow and ice away from the sea. Current estimates are that sea levels have risen five to ten inches over the past 100 years, with the UN’s scientific panel on climate change predicting in 1995 a 20 inch increase over the next 100 years. This prediction compares to their 1990 estimate of a 26 inch increase over 100 years. Models which assign more importance to the precipitation effect predict smaller sea level changes and some models even show a sea level decrease.
“Global changes in temperature and precipitation patterns during the next century are not likely to imperil food production for the world as a whole.” (U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, June 1995.)
“The effects of the increasing atmospheric level of CO2 on photosynthetic capacity for the enhancement of food production and the output of rangelands and forests, appear far more important than any detectable change in climate.” Sylvan H. Wittwer, “The Global Environment: It’s Good for Food Production,” 1997.
“Fewer than 50 years ago malaria was endemic in many mid-latitude countries of the temperate zones and occasionally reached as far north as the Arctic Circle. The Netherlands, which last time we checked was a tad north of the tropical rain forests, wasn’t declared malaria-free until 1970.” Dr. Paul Reiter, Global Warming and Mosquito-borne Disease in the U.S., The Lancet, 1996. “Singapore, which is located just 2 degrees from the equator, reported no deaths from malaria in 1994. Malaysia, just next door, suffers from endemic malaria and dengue fever. The difference is not the climate, but the wealth of the two areas.” Thomas Gale Moore, WHO Cares!, World Climate Report.
“Simple steps, such as screens on windows, the elimination of standing water, and suburbanization (which reduced population density and thus the risk of transmission) were largely responsible for eliminating mosquito-borne diseases. As evidence, we previously reported on a 1995 dengue pandemic that infected a Mexican state that borders Texas. Reynosa, Mexico reported 2,361 cases; the entire state of Texas reported eight cases. The only reasonable explanation for the difference is living standards. Where people enjoy good sanitation and public education, have the knowledge and the willingness to manage fresh water around households, implement programs to control mosquitoes, and employ screens and air-conditioning, these mosquito-borne diseases cannot spread. If the climate does warm, these factors will remain.” Thomas Gale Moore, “The Big Scare”, World Climate Report, December 30, 1996.
“Evidence for the importance of context can be found in the historic extent of malaria. Between 1780 and 1840 virtually all people living in Ontario, as far north as Ottawa, suffered from a disease … now recognized as being benign tertian Malaria … Few climatologists would argue that there has been significant regional cooling in Ontario since 1840, so why did the incidence of malaria change from being almost universal to afflicting fewer than one patient per decade? Today, Ontario continues to host three species of anopheline mosquitoes capable of transmitting malaria. However, the large swamps in the south of the province have been drained, other surface waters are well managed, and disease surveillance leads to rapid isolation of patients and severance of the parasite-host cycle essential to further transmission of the disease. It is clear that public health measures, case management, and land use play a [more] significant role in determination of the prevalence of malaria than climate.” Hadi Dowlatabadi, “Assessing the Health Impacts of Climate Change,” Degrees of Change Newsletter, Global Change Integrated Assessment Program, Carnegie Mellon, September, 1996.
How the Kyoto Treaty Would Affect Us
“It is a fact that limiting carbon dioxide emissions will mean significant changes in energy use and energy sources.” (Senator John Chafee, Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing, July 17, 1997.) The tie between energy usage and economic growth is well-documented. Using coal, oil and natural gas is a large source of man-made greenhouse gas emission but provides our lowest cost sources of energy. Thus global climate policy has the potential of completely upsetting the economy. Even with market-based measures and trading — which could result in relatively more cost-effective approaches — great harm could be done to the world’s economy and jobs if the targets and timetables are too stringent. The American people have the most to lose under drastic energy cutback plans. Greenhouse gas emissions caps and cuts will put the U.S. on an energy diet. To return U.S. emissions to 1990 levels by 2010 would require a more than 20% cut in energy use. A proposal by the European Union to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2010 would mean the U.S. would have to cut energy use by more than 30%.
How the Treaty Would Affect the Economies of Nations
Reputable economic studies have estimated that proposals under consideration could mean a loss of economic growth of hundreds of billions of dollars per year for the United States. Both developed and developing nations will be impacted by proposals to reduce energy usage.
A U.S. Department of Energy study conducted by the Argonne National Laboratory concluded that constraints on developed nations – and not on developing nations – would mean output and employment would drop in the basic chemicals, iron and steel, petroleum refining, aluminum, paper and cement industries. If fuel prices were raised significantly, the study said that operations and jobs in these sectors probably would move to developing countries. The study predicted the following effects if fuel prices rose dramatically due to a high tax on carbon-based fuels:
- About 20 – 30% of the basic chemical industry would move to developing countries within 15 to 30 years.
- All primary aluminum smelters in the U.S. would close by 2010 if the tax was expanded to all forms of energy.
- The study concludes that the “imposition of increased energy costs will devastate the U.S. steel industry without a significant decrease in worldwide energy related emissions from steel making” — that production will be simply shifted to developing countries such as Brazil, Korea, Mexico and maybe China because U.S. costs will be higher. It estimates that employment in the U.S. steel industry would drop by 65%.
- Domestic paper production would be displaced by imports.
- Output of U.S. petroleum refiners probably would drop 20% due to demand reduction.
- Between 23-35% of the cement industry would shut down, with imports displacing domestic production.
How the Treaty Would Affect The Average American
Reputable economic studies have estimated that such an “energy diet” would result in higher electricity and home heating costs, bigger bills at the gas pumps and more expensive transportation. Charles River Associates, an independent economic research company, has projected that to just return the U.S. emissions to 1990 levels by 2010 would have the following impacts on U.S. consumers:
|Consumer Goods||Price Increase||%Increase|
|Refined petroleum products -including gasoline/home heating oil||$0.50 per gallon||38% / 48%|
|Natural Gas||$2.25 per MCf||46%|
- Energy price increases will, impact those who can least afford it most severely – the working poor and those on fixed incomes.
Examples Of Possible Effects Of Mandatory Reductions In Greenhouse Gas Emissions To Achieve A 20% Reduction :
- Higher home utility bills.
- New zoning rules to discourage suburban development, and force people to use mass transit.
- Smaller housing units that require less energy.
- Forced carpooling.
- Higher costs for consumer goods (particularly those with high petroleum content – such as cosmetics or those that require more energy in the manufacturing process), due to higher energy costs for manufacturers.
- Higher costs for food, due to higher fuel costs for farmers, food processors, restaurant owners.
- Higher costs for leisure activities such as travel, restaurant food, movies, etc.
- Higher costs for medical care to cover increased energy costs of hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices.
- Higher taxes to cover local energy cost increases.
- Less mobility due to higher gasoline/travel costs.
- Less disposable income due to higher costs for basics such as food, medical care, home heating and air conditioning, etc.
- Less availability of full-size sedans.
- Potential loss of thousands of jobs if production would move off-shore to Mexico, China, Brazil, Indonesia and other developing nations not subject to mandatory CO2 reductions.
- Restrictions on the availability of, and higher prices for, full-size pickup trucks and cargo vans.
- Higher gasoline prices.
- Increased costs of doing business due to higher prices for supplies, utility bills and shipping. Energy-intensive businesses will be particularly hard hit.
- New federal regulations and paperwork burdens.
Farmers and Ranchers
- Higher fertilizer prices.
- Limitations on production.
- Requirements for no-till soil preparation.
- Limitations and restrictions on livestock production to reduce methane emissions.
- Further restrictions on timber harvesting.
- Higher fuel prices that will affect pleasure boaters, fishermen, motorcyclists, snowmobilers, campers, etc.
- Higher prices for all recreational equipment, due to higher energy costs for manufacturers.
- Possible restrictions on boating and other activities using gasoline or diesel motors.
Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality
- Higher costs of operation due to higher utility bills, higher food costs, higher transportation costs.
- Higher prices for air, rail and bus travel due to higher fuel taxes.
- Possible drop in business due to higher prices, higher fuel costs to patrons, and overall reduction in discretionary income
- Higher costs for educational systems to pay for increased cost of gasoline for school buses, higher costs for food, higher utility bills, etc.
- Reduced highway revenue due to reduced gasoline sales.
- Reduced vehicle choice and utility, higher federal gas mileage standards for new cars, pickups, minivans, and sport-utility vehicles would necessitate significant downsizing, diminishing safety. Heavier cars and trucks needed to carry people, goods, and equipment and tow boats and trailers would be restricted.
- Higher gasoline taxes.
- New mileage taxes or tolls.
- Possible restrictions on driving.
- Higher prices for new cars and trucks.
- Less funding for highway construction improvements.
Frequently Asked Questions
An independent study by Charles River Associates of how a treaty would affect the U.S. and other nations answered the following questions:
- HOW AMBITIOUS IS A GOAL OF STABILIZING EMISSIONS AT 1990 LEVELS? One proposal being considered in the current UN negotiations would cap carbon emissions from industrial countries at 1990 levels from 2010 onward. By 2010, emissions from the U.S. and the European Union are forecasted to exceed 1990 levels by 20% in absence of such limits. By 2030, U.S. emissions could exceed the cap by 50%. Other countries, with no obligation to cap their emissions, will continue to increase their emissions as their energy use expands, diluting any effect of the caps on industrialized countries.
- WHAT ARE EMISSION CAPS AND TRADING AND HOW DO CARBON TAXES FIT IN?To enforce a cap of U.S. carbon emissions at 1990 levels, regulators could impose a tax or establish a tradable permit (“ration coupon”) system. The tax or permit price required in 2010 would be $177 per ton of carbon. As the economy grows, this tax or permit price would rise to over $400 per ton by 2030. Since energy is used in the production of every good and service in the economy, carbon taxes or permit prices would show up in the prices of all household goods, electricity, and heating expenses.
- WHAT IS CARBON LEAKAGE AND WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR OECD COUNTRIES EMISSION LIMITS?The industrialized countries will have to increase their energy prices to induce reduced energy consumption. This reduction in demand will cause energy prices to drop in the rest of the world, causing energy-intensive industries to relocate to countries with lower energy prices. This “carbon leakage” from industrialized to non- industrialized countries means that any gains made by developed countries to reduce their emissions would be significantly offset by additional increases in developing nations. For every three tons of emissions reductions in the industrialized countries, there will only be 2 tons reduction in total global emissions, maybe less.
- WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF EMISSION LIMITS ON U.S. ECONOMIC GROWTH?If the U.S. agrees at December’s Kyoto meeting to cap emissions at 1990 levels from 2010 onwards, losses in gross domestic product (GDP) will begin immediately as consumers reduce their savings and businesses change their investment plans to prepare for a future with much more expensive energy. The rate of growth in the economy will decrease, as incentives for investment are reduced and funds are diverted into projects for replacing fossil fuels rather than producing goods and services for consumers.
- WHAT WILL BE THE IMPACTS OF EMISSION LIMITS ON ECONOMIC GROWTH FOR WORLD REGIONS?The impacts of requiring developed countries to stabilize emissions at 1990 levels by 2010 would have very different impacts in different world regions. For the industrialized countries, emission limits will have clearly negative effects since these countries will bear the cost of reducing emissions. Developing countries will have mixed impacts, with an overall negative effect. They will benefit from lower world energy prices due to the developed countries’ reduced demand for energy, but with developed nations less well off, demand for goods produced in developing countries will decline. Prices of exports from developed countries will rise due to increased energy costs. OPEC experiences the greatest losses, due to reduced energy exports and lower world energy costs.
- WHAT WILL BE THE EFFECTS OF EMISSION LIMITS ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE?Emission limits on developed countries only will reduce demand for imports, and make goods produced more expensive. Lower energy costs will shift investment in energy intensive industries away from the developed countries and toward countries without emission limits. Energy intensive industries in the U.S. will lose world markets to their competitors in countries without emissions limits.
The Government’s Abandoned Economic Models
The U.S. Administration repeatedly assured Congress and the American public that no actions would be taken without a thorough understanding of the economic impacts as determined through an open public process. Three economic models were developed, but the government recently announced it is scrapping its attempt to use these three economic models for analyzing options. “The effort to develop a model or set of models that can give us a definite answer as to the economic impacts of a given climate change policy is futile,” said Janet Yellen, chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors to a House Subcommittee. Ms. Yellen told the House Commerce Subcommittee that government efforts to craft a model “was not successful.”
Americans Speak Out
A diverse group of Americans are speaking out about their concerns on the impact that this treaty would have on their lifestyles, jobs and economic well-being.
- Labor Unions
- Lower Income Citizens
- Business and Trade Associations
- Grassroots Organizations
- Public Policy Groups
- Elected Officials
Small Business Survival Committee
The impact of an international treaty that would require the United States to meet binding greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets would be a bureaucratic nightmare for the small business community. Any energy- intensive business – bakeries, dry cleaners, auto repair shops – even ironically recycling shops would be forced to operate smaller, less business-useful vehicles, pay higher gas taxes and a new carbon tax, and be required to navigate yet another layer of federal regulations and mandates – the obvious consequence would be the destruction of American jobs and businesses.
US Chamber of Commerce
Requiring binding targets and timetables to reduce worldwide emissions of greenhouse gases would result in higher energy prices and lead to a wide variety of restrictions on economic growth in the U.S. If the U.S. were required to comply with aggressive efforts to cap emissions, the resulting economic dislocation and negative impact on small businesses would far outweigh any potential environmental benefit. Additionally, this would be a largely self-defeating policy that leaves all developing countries exempt from any meaningful discipline to curb emissions.
Since developing countries don’t face the same commitments it could mean U.S. businesses will be at a competitive disadvantage. If U.S. production is restricted by caps on energy usage, the result could be a flow of production and jobs overseas with little or no reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO
(from A Sensible And Fair Policy On Greenhouse Emissions.) — “…The U.S. should not be asked to shoulder an unfair level of responsibility that would jeopardize our economy and the millions of industrial and transportation jobs it supports …. Companies wishing to avoid emission control requirements will simply move their operations to countries that were able to evade the provisions embodied in the Berlin Mandate …. The Clinton Administration is supporting an emission control program modeled after the 1990 Federal acid rain law. In order to meet the goals of this program, an increased energy tax on carbon fuels several times larger than all current state and federal energy taxes combined, or an equivalent permit [rationing] trading program, would have to be imposed on consumers of fossil fuels. The negative impact this would have on our economy cannot be overstated. It is clear that the use and transportation of coal would be greatly curtailed if not eliminated, gasoline prices would skyrocket, and the increased cost of basic electricity would be felt in the production of almost every consumer good …. The entire economy would be placed at risk with little or no environmental benefit.”
Industrial Union Department, AFL-CIO
(Resolution on U.N. Climate Change Negotiations, adopted by IUD November 13, 1996) — The exclusion of new commitments by developing nations under the Berlin Mandate will create an uneven playing field in favor of developing nations such as China, India, Mexico and Brazil in the competition for jobs and economic growth. Such an uneven playing field will cause the loss of high-paying U.S. jobs in the mining, utility and manufacturing sectors. Processes which generate carbon emissions will be transferred to the developing world along with the jobs, thus providing little or no real benefit to the environment. The Industrial Union Department of the AFL- CIO calls upon the Congress and the President of the United States to refrain from entering into or ratifying any treaty amendment or protocol that causes the loss of U.S. jobs; and that the U.S. renegotiate the Berlin Mandate to ensure that all nations have appropriate commitments to reduce carbon emission to prevent the transfer of jobs and emissions to the developing world.
AFL-CIO Executive Council
(February 20,1997 Statement on U.N. Climate Change Negotiations)–…By exempting developing nations from any further commitments, the Berlin Mandate ensures that there will be no meaningful worldwide effort to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. We believe the parties to the Rio Treaty made a fundamental error when they agreed to negotiate legally-binding carbon restrictions on the United States and other industrialized countries, while simultaneously agreeing to exempt high-growth developing countries like China, Mexico, Brazil, and Korea from any new carbon reduction commitments. As much as 60 percent of global carbon emissions are expected to come from such countries in the next few decades, with China becoming the single-largest emitter in the near future. The exclusion of new commitments by developing nations under the Berlin Mandate will create a powerful incentive for transnational corporations to export jobs, capital, and pollution, and will do little or nothing to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of carbon. Such an uneven playing field will cause the loss of high-paying U.S. jobs in the mining, manufacturing, transport and other sectors. Carbon taxes, or equivalent carbon emission trading programs, will raise significantly electricity and other energy prices to consumers. These taxes are highly regressive and be most harmful to citizens who live on fixed incomes or work at poverty-level wages. As corporations shut down domestic factories, mines and mills as a result of higher energy costs, they will have additional incentives, beyond the search for cheap labor and anti-labor regulatory regimes, to locate new capacity off-shore, in countries with no carbon reduction commitments. Carbon emissions, therefore, will be to the developing world along with the jobs, thus providing no real benefit to the environment. The AFL-CIO Executive Council further urges that in the ongoing negotiations to amend the Rio Treaty on climate change, the United States insist upon the incorporation of appropriate commitments from all nations to reduce carbon emissions; and seek a reduction schedule compatible with the urgent need to avoid unfair and unnecessary job loss in developed economies. The President should not accept and the Congress should not ratify any amendment or protocol that does not meet these standards.
American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).
Statement by Bill Cunningham to the FCCC Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate Bonn, Germanv, March 5, 1997. (On behalf of the AFL-CIO, the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the International Federation of Chemical, Energy Mine and General Workers’ Unions.) ” … we as organized labor find it amazingly that harsh, arbitrary flat rate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are being, proposed and contemplated without regard to their impact on working, people. It is unquestionably the case that harsh uniform reduction targets will impose high costs, indeed punishments, on particular regions and particular countries. And these countries will not just be developed nations in Annex 1. In a global market place, the impacts of what is done by developed countries will flow through to many developing nations. There is ample evidence that many developing nations will suffer adversely from uniform action by the developed world. That such flat rate reductions are being contemplated is even more galling when we find that there is no scientific evidence that flat rate reductions by the developed world will solve the greenhouse problem. In fact it might even exacerbate it. Energy-efficient industries may be closed down in some countries to be replaced by less-efficient industries in others. If the enhanced greenhouse effect is a global environmental problem that must be addressed, and there seems consensus here that it is, then measures to address it must also be global. The burden must also be shared, and shared equitably. If there is industry restructuring, that must be done, then labor will do its share. And let there be no mistake, whatever happens with respect to greenhouse, it will be working people who finally pay, most of the cost. Whatever taxes Governments raise, whatever regulations they impose. whatever measures business introduces – it will be working, people who finally must implement the changes and pay much of the cost. We therefore urge you to exercise caution. The global environment is at stake here today, but not only the environment. And not only business profits or government revenues either. You hold in your hands the power to destroy the jobs, incomes and livelihoods of millions of working people. And beyond them, the many millions more in their families and communities, and the service industries dependent on them. The precautionary principle is one that is often cited here, but all-too-often only with only with regard to science and the environment. But people do not recover rapidly either from reckless decision making. Industries and people must not be arbitrarily penalized for limited and possibly negligible environmental benefit.”
United Mine Workers
“This is a debate about trade and jobs …. The Senate’s 95-0 vote of approval for the Byrd-Hagel Resolution of Climate Change (S. Res. 98) isn’t just good news for UMWA families, but for the more than one million Americans who stand to pay with their jobs for a UN climate change treaty which, as currently proposed, simply cannot work. Clearly, the Senate understands that this is no longer a debate about the environment, but about trade, jobs and America’s economic future …. By exempting China and other countries from any restrictions at all on greenhouse gas emissions, the proposed UN treaty would have the effect of encouraging impacted industries to simply shut down, pack up and head overseas. In other words, the global climate won’t change … but America’s economy will.”
Lower Income Citizens
The National Black Chamber of Commerce
“Constraints on energy use would be particularly harmful to those Black-owned businesses seeking to enter the marketplace; as well as individuals on fixed incomes, those living in rural areas and/or who are otherwise dependent on personal transportation for work and other worthwhile social activities, and those Black-owned businesses who depend on transportation to compete effectively against their foreign counterparts as a result of higher fuel costs.” Resolution on Global Climate Change, adopted August 3, 1997.
Scientific uncertainty about both the levels of mankind’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and the global warming theory should act as a brake on discussions of stringent steps developed countries would have to take to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. What policy makers are ignoring are the probable effects of their hasty actions on people in developed countries – they will be the ones who bear the costs of tight restrictions, high energy taxes, and higher prices for energy use. Loss of jobs and lower living standards for many will impact the poor the hardest.
“This burden of drastically increased heating, cooling and transportation costs could hardly come at a worse time for lower-income families. The working poor, and people just getting off welfare and beginning, to pay their own way, are already challenged to make ends meet in today’s economy. But our diplomatic negotiators have spared little attention for the potentially devastating consequences that their proposals would have for millions of lower income Americans.” Wall Street Journal, July 25, 1997.
American Farm Bureau Federation
Binding and enforceable controls on greenhouse gas emissions that would apply only to developed countries would severely disadvantage U.S. farmers and ranchers in today’s global markets. Without proper scientific and economic analysis and assessment, U.S. farmers and ranchers may be placed at a serious disadvantage with agricultural producers in countries which do not plan to reduce greenhouse gases.
The National Grange is opposed to mandatory caps on emissions of carbon dioxide. The small business people and farmers that comprise our membership are very concerned about the likely increases in the price of basic fuels and the predictable negative impact on the availability and price of work vehicles that would result from attempting to comply with the treaty as it is now being negotiated. We are particularly concerned that this climate treaty negotiation will be inordinately costly to our membership who make their livelihood in farming.
Holstein Association of America
The Holstein Association of America is opposed to attempts to cap greenhouse emissions and is concerned about the resulting increase in energy prices. Our membership is comprised of farmers and breeders who are not able to pass along the increased cost of business that will occur as energy taxes are raised. An additional concern is the probable increase in fuel economy standards that will also result from efforts to implement this international treaty.
National Association of Farmer Elected Committeemen
…Climate change energy proposals can potentially increase input costs to America’s food producers and cause economic burdens to them and their rural communities. The Administration and Congress evaluate the scientific, economic, environmental and social impact of imposing global environmental regulations on America’s farmers and rural communities before entering into any such treaty or agreement. Any international treaty or agreement on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions should not cause unprecedented and unfair economic hardships for America’s food and fiber producers. Any treaty or agreement on global climate changes and greenhouse emissions should not place America’s food producers at an unfair disadvantage against its international economic competitors.
American Corn Growers Association
“It is obvious that the signing of this treaty will severely tie the hands of farmers and hamper their ability to make a living and feed the world. The ACGA calls on the Administration to re-examine the climate-change treaty and make sure that any agreement calls for only voluntary reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, weighing the cost to industry.” (Gary Goldberg, National President)
Business and Trade Associations
Associated General Contractors
The climate change treaty currently being negotiated to require drastic curbs in carbon dioxide emissions would result in higher energy prices and higher motor vehicle fuel economy standards. The membership of the Associated General Contractors of America is comprised of businesses that would be negatively impacted by any rise in the price of energy, and in particular are concerned that efforts to raise fuel economy standards would restrict the availability of work vehicles necessary in the construction industry.
National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors
The contracting industry is comprised of small business people who rely heavily upon the availability and relative low cost of vans and other work vehicles. For this reason, the National Association of Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors opposes an international treaty capping emissions of carbon dioxide. This treaty will lead to higher U.S. motor vehicle fuel economy standards and unnecessary energy taxes.
Emergency Nurses CARE
Binding controls on carbon dioxide emissions could lead to higher vehicle fuel economy standards. And safety experts agree that higher fuel economy standards would mean smaller, lighter cars and trucks that provide less protection to their occupants in crashes.
National Concrete Masonry Association
The National Concrete Masonry Association is concerned that the international climate treaty negotiation to set binding targets and timetables for carbon dioxide emissions reduction could increase transport fuel costs and restrict the availability of vehicles necessary for our members to operate their businesses efficiently and profitably.
American Portland Cement Alliance
“Global climate change required global solutions. The U.S. cement industry wants to do its part, but unless all nations are involved, we will gain nothing environmentally, yet we will jeopardize the economic well-being of the United States by restriction our ability to provide for domestic infrastructure needs.” (Richard C. Creighton, President)
American Trucking Associations
“Simply put, agreeing to a treaty based on unsound science is a dangerous gamble that could devastae U.S. industry and cost many hard-working Americans their jobs.” (Allen R. Schaeffer, Vice President for Environmental Affairs)
National Automobile Dealers Association
“NADA is extremely concerned with the international negotiations concerning global warming which could dramatically affect CAFE [Corporate Average Fuel Economy] standards. NADA is heavily involved with legislative efforts to force the Administration to reject international treaty provisions that allow some nations to escape responsibility for reducing greenhouse gases, thereby placing a greater burden on the U.S.” (Frank McCarthy, Executive Vice President)
National Motorists Association
American mobility has been, and is, crucial to the development of the U.S. economy. Because this mobility would be severely restricted by large increases in gasoline taxes and increases in federal fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks, the National Motorists Association opposes the current climate treaty negotiations that mandate greenhouse gas emission caps. We further believe that the dubious foundations on which the “global warming” theory is based does not justify the economic and social dislocation to be created by these proposed treaty provisions.
Center for Energy and Economic Development
“The proposed Kyoto treaty is like a card game where the deck is stacked. American workers are being dealt a losing hand through the negotiating process. In the end, there will be no real environmental benefit and America’s working families will be forced to pay higher energy and consumer costs while we export U.S. jobs to countries that are exempted from action under the treaty.” (Stephen L. Miller, President)
The Seniors Coalition
“Skyrockerting fuel costs are the worst nightmare of every senior citizen who lives on a fixed income and marshals their resources to take care of themselves and have a little left over to visit their families. It is a knife that cuts past the quick and into their very hearts.” (Nona Wagner)
American Recreation Coalition
Almost every American enjoys some form of outdoor recreation – time spent which yields improved physical and mental health, stronger family and community bonds and better job performance. Recreation often requires durable vehicles with rugged frames, strong suspension, ample cargo space, higher ground clearance, engines with ample torque, good towing capabilities and off-road capabilities. If the trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles so vital to America’s recreation community today lose these unique features, as could be the case if a mandatory greenhouse gas emissions controls resulted in markedly higher vehicle fuel economy standards, the opportunities and quality of experience for American recreationists would be sorely degraded.
National Marine Manufacturers Association
Mandatory emissions controls on carbon dioxide emissions would mean higher motor vehicle fuel economy standards for U.S. vehicles. Higher Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards would mean smaller, lighter cars and trucks that would be unable to pull most boats and trailers. This would produce disastrous and unintended consequences for boat builders, trailer manufacturers and thousands of small boat dealers by reducing the availability of vehicles with adequate and safe towing capabilities.
Recreation Vehicle Industries Association
Americans love to recreate – it’s a great part of the American lifestyle. Many Americans drive to their favorite beach or campground or national forest in a recreational vehicle which is large enough to be comfortable and accommodate the family. Our members are concerned about mandatory greenhouse gas emissions controls that would raise the price of gasoline and force Americans into smaller lighter vehicles and restrict their ability to enjoy the great outdoors. U.S. negotiators should refuse to sign onto a treaty that requires compulsory reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.
National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds
The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, representing 3,300 facilities in the United States, believes that there is not enough evidence, at this time, that global climate change is occurring to the extent that it would have catastrophic consequences. We oppose any international treaty that would force the U.S. to act prematurely in regards to global climate change.
Public Policy Groups
A. Philip Randolph Institute
“The Clinton Administration’s stand on the United Nations Climate Change Treaty is not in the best interest of working people or the African-American community. This proposal will generate a mass exodus of jobs in the sectors of the economy where many African-Americans are employed, and will raise the costs of electricity and other energy sources exorbitantly. There is doubt that the effects of global climate change will substantially decrease if only the industrialized countries are restricted. In the future, 60 percent of the world’s fossil fuel emissions will be generated from nations such as China, Mexico and Brazil. These countries, and others, are not required to limit their greenhouse gas emissions at all. In order for there to be a positive effect on the environment, full participation from the entire global community is needed.
“Restrictions on American businesses may spur relocation to developing countries which will result in the elimination of many U.S. jobs, particularly in the mining and manufacturing industries. The greater financial burden on consumers, many of them black, will stem from the increase in housing, gas, food and clothing prices.
Now that the Administration has taken a clear stand on the Climate proposal, it is time for a national dialogue on the ramifications of the United Nations Climate Change Treaty to begin.”
Committee for A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT)
With 25,000 supporters nationwide and a scientific advisory board that includes some 45 recognized experts from universities and laboratories around the world, CFACT stands firmly opposed to an international agreement that would mandate cuts in so-called “greenhouse gas” emissions. Accurate satellite measurements and recent temperature records in the Arctic reveal global cooling, not warming, over the past five decades. In addition, only 3% of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere comes from man-made sources, so any forced reductions of man-made CO2 would have a negligible impact at best. Since any proposed cuts in greenhouse gases would not be based on sound science and would have a major, indeed catastrophic negative impact on people worldwide, CFACT urges the nations of the world to reject these ill-advised mandates.
Coalitions for America
The international treaty now being negotiated to require mandatory reductions in carbon dioxide emissions will hit every American where it hurts – in the pocketbook. The United States should not sign up to any treaty that will place us at a competitive disadvantage in the world market and place us at the mercy of an international regulatory body to settle enforcement disputes.
Competitive Enterprise Institute
The push to restrict greenhouse gas emissions is portrayed as an attempt to protect our planet. In fact, it would weaken the two major forces that enable civilization to protect itself – economic growth and technological advancement. The scientific basis for global warming fears are exceedingly slim, but the human costs of these proposed policies are far, far greater than their advocates acknowledge. These policies would cripple the economies of the developed world and relegate the Third World to perpetual poverty. They are totally unjustified.
- Elected Officials
State and Local Officials
National Black Caucus of State Legislators
RESOLUTION 97-28, approved Dec. 7, 1996/). WHEREAS, energy use is the foundation for economic growth and a rising standard of living; and a growing body of economic studies demonstrate that any U.S. effort to significantly limit near-term greenhouse gas emissions, would slow economic growth, cost hundreds of thousands of American jobs, and reduce investments in more energy efficient technologies or facilities; and mandatory constraints on fossil fuel use would raise the cost of monthly electricity, heating and cooling bills; limit personal mobility; and could seriously disrupt our economy and our lives, as did gasoline lines and high energy prices in the 1970s and early 1980s; and constraints on energy use would be particularly harmful to those on fixed incomes; those living in rural areas and/or dependent on private vehicles to transport themselves and their families to work, school and stores; and those whose businesses could no longer compete as effectively against their foreign counterparts as a result of the higher cost for fuel. THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE 20TH ANNUAL LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE OF THE NATIONAL BLACK CAUCUS OF STATE LEGISLATORS (NBCSL), ASSEMBLED IN BILOXI, MISSISSIPPI, DECEMBER 3-7,1996, That the NBCSL dedicates itself to educating its members, constituents and others that there is no compelling scientific reason for near-term limits on greenhouse gas emissions; and that the economic results of such limitations would lead to an increase in living expenses through job loss and the higher costs of essential items such as food and clothing; and the NBCSL supports climate policies that are balanced and cost-effective measures that do not unfairly burden the citizens of a particular community, state of country and the NBCSL is opposed to any global climate proposals that are not justified by sound science and sound economic policy.
The Southern Legislative Conference
“…The negotiations are quietly in process and the endpoint is quickly approaching with very little input from the states’ policymakers. However, the consequences of a treaty on the U.S. economy have not been fully analyzed and understood. This issue has particular relevance now as states are beginning to focus on economic development strategies to enhance their competitiveness globally. Energy use is the foundation for economic growth and a rising standard of living. A growing body of economic studies demonstrate that any U.S. effort to significantly limit near-term greenhouse gas emissions could slow economic growth, cost hundreds of thousands of American jobs, and reduce investments in more energy-efficient technologies or facilities. Ill-advised policies on climate change could raise the cost of monthly electricity, heating, and cooling bills; limit personal mobility; and could seriously disrupt our economy. Further, ill-advised policies could be particularly harmful to those on fixed incomes; those living in rural areas and/or dependent on private vehicles to transport themselves and their families to work, school, and stores; and those whose businesses could no longer compete as effectively against their foreign counterparts as a result of the higher cost for fuel. Indeed the outcome of a legally-binding agreement could impose a heavy burden on U.S. economic growth. Southern states will be burdened by the loss of manufacturing jobs, as the incentive to move industry abroad to those exempt high-growth developing countries would be heightened. New jobs in Mexico and China and Brazil will likely mean lost jobs in the U.S.A. The Southern Legislative Conference supports climate policies that are balanced and rely on voluntary, cost-effective measures that do not unfairly burden the citizens of a particular community, state of country. Also, the members of The Southern Legislative Conference believe that the U.S. should not agree to any international global climate proposals that are not justified by sound science and sound economic policy.” (Global Climate Resolution, The Southern Legislative Conference, Sponsored by Rep. Denny Dobbs, Georgia.)
The Southern Governors’ Association
Resolution Unanimously Approved on September 9, 1997
“…Whereas, the Southern Governors’ Association believes that the proposals under negotiation, because of the disparity of treatment between developed and developing countries and the potential level of required emission reductions, could result in serious harm to the United States economy, including significant job loss, trade disadvantages, increased energy and consumer costs;…now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the United States should not be signatory to any protocol to, or other agreement regarding, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change of 1992, at negotiations in Kyoto in December 1997, or thereafter, which would:
(a) mandate new commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the United States, unless the protocol or other agreement also mandates new specific scheduled commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for developing countries within the same compliance period, or
(b) would result in job loss or serious harm to the economy of the United States…”
Southern States Energy Board Resolution
Unanimously Approved on September 8, 1997
“…WHEREAS, the Southern States Energy Board strongly believes that the proposals under negotiation, because of the disparity of treatment between developed and developing countries and the potential level of required emission reductions, could result in serious harm to the United States economy, including significant job loss, trade disadvantages, increased energy and consumer costs;…
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that:
Any protocol to, or other agreement regarding, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change of 1992, signed by the United States at negotiations in Kyoto in December 1997, or thereafter, should
i) be voluntary as much as possible;
ii) include all nations, developed and developing, under comparable criteria and within the same compliance period;
iii) assist developing nations in growing economically while increasing energy efficiency;
iv) promote technology approaches that can reduce adverse impacts on consumers and the economy;…”
The Western Governors’ Association
We urge that the President and the U.S. Department of State international negotiating team to proceed cautiously with regard to new aims and post-2000 commitments for greenhouse gas mitigation strategies that would place an undue cost burden on energy consumers of the states while supporting agreements for globally applicable provisions that will significantly reduce the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions. The Western Governors’ Association supports a national policy on global climate change that is consistent with efforts to develop cost-effective alternative energy sources and more efficient use of energy. (Western Governors’ Association, 2/4/97, Resolution 97 – 002, SPONSOR: Governor Schafer)
Resolution of the American Legislative Exchange Council
…Whereas, the short-comings and failures of the GCMs in their ability to replicate current conditions or predict future conditions are well-known and acknowledged within the climatological community; and there are dramatic differences between climate conditions as observed during the last 100 years and climate conditions calculated using the GCMS; and policy makers cannot make informed judgments about “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” for the further reason that there is wholly inadequate information concerning positive and negative impacts resulting from any assured climate change… and a strategy to arbitrarily limit greenhouse gas emissions can be self-defeating since limits on emissions necessarily lead to higher prices for energy; and urges the U.S. Congress to evaluate the economic, environmental, and societal impact of imposing involuntary limits in greenhouse gas emissions; and embrace as a central part of the U.S. climate change action strategy the proposition that the single best policy for the U.S. economy, and its citizens, and for the environment, is one of low cost and abundant energy; and that if Congress finds compliance with the Rio Treaty entails great cost and discourages low cost and abundant energy from domestic sources that Congress take such steps as are appropriate to withdraw from the Rio Treaty, pursuant to Article 25 of the Treaty.
Midwestern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments
…Supports climate policies that are balanced and cost-effective, and that do not unfairly burden the citizens of a particular community, state or country and… is opposed to any global climate proposals that are not justified by sound science and sound economic policy.
Senate Resolution 98, cosponsored by 65 Senators and approved by the Senate in a 95-0 vote on tbd date. S. Res. 98 maintains that the United States should not sign any agreement which would 1) mandate new commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for developed countries, unless the agreement also mandates specific scheduled commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for developing countries or that 2) cause economic harm to the U.S. economy. 220.127.116.11. Full Text of S.Res.98 (Attached)
Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)
There is no guarantee those nations will be any more interested in curtailing energy use then than they are now. Today, China is accelerating its use of fossil fuels, and by 2015, will likely pass the U.S. in total carbon emissions. Is it fair to let them off the hook now while we are subject to such stringent regulations? American taxpayers must be assured that any new environmental programs actually provide benefits and are grounded in sound science. We must not enter into any agreement which puts us at a significant disadvantage in the global arena. (8/18/97)
In a letter to President Clinton, dated July 17, 1996, six Democratic Senators said … “We are deeply concerned about some of the proposals that have been put forward to require binding emission targets and timetables, as well as harmonized policies and measures to achieve those targets and timetables …”. “These proposals would result in significant economic penalties and dislocations (e.g., job losses, reduced international competitiveness, and diminished economic productivity). Indeed, it has been estimated that some of the proposals under consideration could have serious implications for the U.S. economy and our international competitiveness: our gross domestic product could be reduced by $200 billion; 600,000 Americans could lose their jobs, and consumers could be faced with overnight gasoline tax increases of 50 cents per gallon or more.” “Because an adequate basis of analysis and assessment is not complete, we believe that it is premature for the United States to agree to any particular numerical target or date for carbon dioxide emission reductions, or for the United States to agree to any particular mandatory policy or measure related to carbon dioxide emissions. Since developing countries are projected to have rapid growth in their emissions of greenhouse gases, we believe that any future agreement that the United States enters into must adequately address the role of developing countries in meeting the common obligations of the Climate Treaty for all countries to develop and implement national programs to address greenhouse gas emissions. We would find it difficult to support an unbalanced agreement-one that does not fairly treat the respective obligations of the developed world and the developing world with regard to greenhouse gas emissions. Such an unbalanced agreement would be unjustified on the merits as a response to the potential for future climate change. Moreover, an unbalanced agreement would harm U.S. competitiveness and prosperity, and would thus be politically untenable. For our part, we are prepared to support continued appropriations for the Global Environment Facility and for country studies to facilitate efforts to develop an international framework in which all countries play a meaningful and commensurate role.” (Senators Bennett Johnston, John Breaux, Robert Byrd, Wendell Ford, Howell Heflin, Byron Dorgan)
Senator Frank E. Murkowski (R-AK), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
“If the climate change negotiations were strip poker, our negotiators would be down to their skivvies, he said.” “They are playing blind- man’s poker. They’ve anted-up without even knowing the stakes of the game,” said Murkowski, “and millions of Americans could pay through job losses and higher energy taxes without any meaningful impact on global emissions.” According to Murkowski, legally binding commitments that apply only to developed nations will export jobs to developing countries who do not have to comply with emission limits, placing the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage, while failing to address the explosion of greenhouse gas emissions produced by nations such as China and India. Chairman Murkowski said that the continuing erosion of the negotiating position is likely to result in a treaty amendment or a new protocol that the Senate will be unable to ratify. “Our negotiators have once again been outmaneuvered by the developing nations. It human-induced climate change is not a problem, then we will have agreed to unilateral measures that will harm our economy and competitiveness without positive benefits. But if human- induced climate change is eventually proven to be a problem, we will have exempted the developing nations the future big emitters from sharing in the burdens of greenhouse gas reductions”, Murkowski said. “It is a win/win situation for the developing nations, and a lose/lose situation for the U.S. taxpayers and the economy,” the Chairman added. (Press Release, date tbd, Senator Frank Murkowski, Chairman, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.)
Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
“The Senate Subcommittee on International Economic Policy, Export and Trade Promotion … has held extensive hearings on the potentially serious economic harm of a U.N. treaty and the uncertain science that underpins it.” “We are dealing with an issue that has potentially drastic consequences for America. We must approach this issue seriously, deliberately seek the most sound information and not rush into signing a treaty that would provide a “solution” to an “unclear problem. The course of action we take will have a lasting impact on our economy, environment, energy use, energy costs, economic growth, trade, jobs, global competitiveness, national defense and, perhaps most important our national sovereignty.”. (Senator Chuck Hagel, Letter to the Editor, Washington Post, July 15, 1997. Cosponsor of Senate Resolution 98.)
Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV)
“The big carbon dioxide emitters of the developing world, including — in addition to China — India, Mexico, Brazil, South Korea, and Indonesia, cannot expect to continue their extremely inefficient methods for fossil fuel combustion, producing huge, growing quantities of carbon dioxide, and at the same time insist that only the developing nations agree to legally-binding targets and schedules for limiting these gases,” Senator Byrd said. “If developed countries are not also on the hook, industries may be tempted to move their facilities, their jobs and their potentially even greater emissions overseas, where they would not be subjected to the same types of environmental constraints. We have seen too much of that kind of industrial exportation already in West Virginia,” Byrd said. “The developed world should be encouraged to expand its own industries in an environmentally responsible manner, knowing that it, too, must prepare to meet limits on greenhouse gas emissions, and not sink to the temptation for quick and dirty development by harboring industrial fugitives from the developed world’s mandatory controls,” Byrd said. “What is good for the developed goose should be good for the developing gander, in that both should be responsible for their actions if the effort to clean up the global barnyard is to be anything other than a halfway effort,” Byrd said. “Without the participation of the developing world, the goals of the treaty will be largely frustrated, since the amount of carbon dioxide which will be produced by the developing world will exceed, in total, that produced by the developed nations very soon, by the year 2015,” said Byrd. (News from Senator Robert C. Byrd, West Virginia, June 12, 1997. Cosponsor of Senate Resolution 98.)
United States House of Representatives
House Resolution 211 was introduced by Representative Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) as companion language to the unanimously approved Senate Resolution 98. Similar to the Senate Resolution H.Res. 211 expresses the Sense of the House of Representatives on conditions for the United States to become a signatory to any international agreement on greenhouse gas emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Specifically, H.Res 211 expresses the sense of the House that:
- The Administration will not sign any protocol or agreement to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions unless the protocol or agreement also mandates developing countries to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the same period;
- The United States will not sign any protocol or agreement regarding Global Climate Change that would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States;
- Any protocol or agreement which must be sent to the Senate for advice and consent for ratification should:
a. Be accompanied by an analysis of the detailed explanation of any legislation or regulatory actions that would be required to implement the protocol or agreement;
b. Be accompanied by an analysis of the detailed financial costs and other impacts on the economy of the United States that would be incurred by implementation of the protocol or agreement.
“A ‘global’ warming treaty is no such thing if it omits developing nations where most growth in emissions will take place. This includes China, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea and other developing nations, which are expected to produce 60 percent of global carbon emissions in the next few decades. In fact, China is expected to become the biggest carbon producer on the planet. By failing to include developing nations, we are working against the very purpose of a treaty intended to address the worrisome potential problems of global warming.” “An Indefensible Treaty,” The New York Times, October 27, 1997
And of course the GCIP Site includes links to multiple other groups who were echoing climate denial:
We’ve compiled the following links as a potential resources that can supplement the information available on the Global Climate Information Project site. We do not take any responsibility for the information presented at these sites, nor to the availability of these sites.
The Science & Enviromental Policy Project: www.his.com/~sepp/
Competitive Enterprise Institute: www.cei.org
World Climate Report: www.nhes.com
Global Climate Coalition: www.worldcorp.com/dc-online/gcc/
“Cooler Heads” Coalition: www.globalwarming.com
George C. Marshall Institute: www.marshall.org
American Petroleum Institute: www.api.org/globalclimate/starta.htm
Coalition for Vehicle Choice: www.vehiclechoice.org/cvcclim