Kyoto is Irrelevant

Wretchard at Belmont Club posts a cogent analysis of the failure of the Kyoto Protocol to address reality–specifically, China’s growing demand for liquified dinosaur bones.

China is now the world’s second largest oil consuming country, and its thirst for fuel will only grow as its economy continues to. Quoting a recent congressional report, Wretchard points out that China, if it consumed oil on a per capita level comparable to South Korea’s, would use twice as much oil as the United States and drive up the world’s demand for petroleum by 20%.

Under that scenario, it’s hard to imagine that the world’s developed nations will meet the goal of cutting their greenhouse gas emissions by 75% proposed by French president Chirac last week.

I’d add one note to Wretchard’s analysis: The economy in India is beginning to take off. Its population is nearly as large as China’s and, in general, better educated. The intense demand for raw materials in China which has doubled the price of the steel pipe my employer sells over the last 14 months is now ramping up in China’s southwestern neighbor.

With those two nations competing for steel, oil, coal, natural gas, and every other raw material they can get their hands on to support a construction boom that hasn’t been seen since the beginning of the industrial age, we might as well forget about hitting the Kyoto targets right now. It’s never going to happen.

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