Greenhouse gains, with no pain

Exxon-funded propaganda calls Kyoto "economic suicide." Puh-leeez.

Topics: Globalization, Global Warming, How the World Works,

Anyone who doesn’t believe that it is possible for industrial nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions significantly would do well to look at the example of the United Kingdom, which has cut emissions 13 percent since 1990. At the same time, says David King, Tony Blair’s science adviser, in an informative interview with Grist Magazine’s indefatigable Amanda Griscom Little, the U.K. economy has grown 40 percent.

My eyes perked up at that, because yesterday a reader had sent me a link to an article attacking the Kyoto Protocol “as economic suicide,” citing a study that had found adhering to Kyoto’s mandates would cut one or two points off GDP growth in various European nations. So I decided to look a little closer at that study.

Written under the auspices of the National Center for Public Policy Research, an ultra-conservative think tank that makes the Cato Institute look like a hotbed of raving Trotskyist revolutionaries, the piece is a classic example of the bought-and-paid-for intellectual dishonesty of so-called “climate skeptics.” The study that it quotes for its GDP predictions was produced by a group affiliated with the American Council For Capital Foundation. A quick look at the ACCF’s “testimonies” Web page gives the strong impression that the organization’s sole purpose in life is to fight emissions caps by any means necessary.

And why not? The ACCF gets hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from ExxonMobil, a company that, as noted here before, stands to lose more from the imposition of emission caps than perhaps any other corporation on the globe.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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