What Hath Kyoto Wrought?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

The Kyoto Protocol is the quixotic attempt by some countries around the world to reduce each participating country’s CO2 emissions to their emission levels in 1990. Since CO2 emissions are a measure of the energy used, that seemed foolish to me, but hey, I was born yesterday. I figured nobody would be that dumb, and although the leaders might agree to such a goofy plan, people would find ways around the restrictions.

There are two very different groups of countries who have signed up to Kyoto to reduce emissions. One group is called the “Economies In Transition” (EIT) group. These are the Eastern European countries who were going from communism to capitalism. They are composed of Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. They’ve done well at reducing to 1990 levels, since their 1990 emissions were all high, and have declined since after the fall of the Soviet Empire. They’ve reduced their emissions, but no thanks to Kyoto. Indeed, some signed on just so they could sell their carbon credits, because their countries were already below the 1990 levels by the time they ratified … and they did very well at the scam, too. Russia made big bucks from selling credits to the rest of the fools …

The other group, called the “non-EIT” group, is composed of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom. This is the group of interest, as they are the group which is like the US—established democracies with generally mature industrialized economies.

I took this issue up because of the recent release of the newest CO2 emission figures for 2009-2010. These gave me the opportunity to investigate the question in the title—what difference has Kyoto made? How much has Kyoto affected the emissions of the countries involved? Carbon saved is carbon earned … Figure 1 shows the emissions of the US, and the emissions of the Kyoto non-EIT nations, from 1990 to 2010.

Figure 1. Annual Emissions of Carbon. Units are billions of metric tonnes of carbon (C, not CO2). “Kyoto Countries” is the total of all of the non-EIT countries, as listed above. Data Source Up to 2008  and 2008-2010 Photo Source 

Hmmmm.

Other than the post-2007 drop due to the 2008 global financial crisis and ensuing world-wide depression, what can we see in this data?

Well, the most obvious thing I see is what’s not there. Looking at the pre- and post-ratification behavior of the Kyoto countries, I don’t see any change in the emissions due to ratification. The trend 1990-1999 is no different from the trend 1999-2007.

Curiously, it looks like the US on the other hand slowed down the growth in emissions over the period. Before ratification the US emissions were rising faster than the EU emissions. After 1998, they have changed pretty much in lock-step. This can be tested by fitting a 2nd order polynomial to the 1990-2007 data for both the US and Kyoto countries, as shown in Figure 2:

Figure 2. Same as Figure 1, with 2nd order polynomial trend lines fitted to the data up to 2007.

So to at least a first approximation, I’d have to say that the total amount of CO2 saved by the Kyoto Protocol to date is … well … not to put too fine a point on it, the CO2 saved by Kyoto seems to be approximately zero. There’s been no change in the rate of rise of the emissions by the Kyoto countries. No difference. Zip. Nicht. Zilch. The US reduced its rate of emission growth  over the period more than the Kyoto countries did.

In any case, not to worry, the deus ex machina was waiting in the wings all along . What the Kyoto Protocol was incapable of achieving, the 2008 global economic meltdown had no problem doing. Figure 1 shows the total emissions of the Kyoto countries are now well below the 1990 benchmark … so I suppose the unfortunate citizens in the those countries are celebrating their great success, and hoping that the economic depression continues, no?

No?

w.

PS—It is obvious from this data that economic depression causes a reduction in CO2 emissions.

What has not been so obvious to the Kyoto folks is that the converse is true—forcibly reducing CO2 emissions comes at a cost to the economy.

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Manfred

On a per capita base, Kyoto would even more look like a failure.
The US population increased, mainly due to immigration, by about 62 million (!), European population did not change a lot.

Ricardo

I always enjoy your posts Willis. They are a breath of fresh air compared to the drivel that we get in the MSM.
If only you weren’t a damn sceptic, I could use it (and all the other great stuff on this blog – thanks Anthony!) to explain to the converted what is wrong with their religion.
Thank you and keep up the good work

Huth

Typo above fig.2? should it be 1990-2007 instead of 1900-2007?
[Thanks, fixed. -w]

Jarmo

A little-known fact is that the Montreal Protocol, designed to protect the ozone layer, has as a side effect been much more efficient than Kyoto in reducing greenhouse gases.
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v479/n7371/full/479005b.html

P.G. Sharrow

So, would it appear that the destruction of the developed economies is on schedule ?
After all saving the world is worth any cost.
Personally, I doubt the planet gives a damn one way or the other. I, on the other hand, prefer prosperity.
It’s going to be a long cold winter. pg

Will Gray

Anyone got a follow up of Professor Murry Salby see here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/?s=Professor+Murry+Salby
Co2 is following temps- no delay. HHmm.

Well its obvious that CO2 was not reduced overall compared to the previous baseline…
But possibly CO2 was reduced compared to what might have been emitted if Kyoto was not in effect.
I do agree that the difference is probably trivial and until China and India (and the rest of the 3rd world) raise the standard of living for the majority of their citizens it really doesn’t matter what the 1st world does…

Does this chart have another line? The one for “everybody else” (you show U.S, and the “Kyoto Countries”). Is there a way to show the “developing countries” as a separate line?

Edim

This is very important point. My take is that there’s no CO2GW, there’s not even significant anthropogenic influence on atmospheric CO2 (it’s quasi-condensable). But, even if we all agree and sign whatever protocols, NO reduction in CO2 emissions will be acheived. It’s just empty talk and bureaucratic verbiage. It might even increase CO2 emissions. It will definitely increase pollution, corruption and buraucracy.

barry

The US reduced its rate of emission growth over the period more than the Kyoto countries did.

Well, there are all sorts of ways of looking at the data.
In 1990, the Kyoto countries combined emitted ~40 million tonnes C less than the US.
17 years later, the US was emitting ~140 million tonnes C more than the combined Kyoto countries.
Trend changes would be difficult to estimate without a good number of years pre-1990. The Kyoto country trend may have been much higher previously.
Willis, are those polynomial fits statistically significant?
We are in the midst of a global financial crisis that has forced the Kyoto countries to ‘reach’ their pre-1990 target (combined). Amazingly the world hasn’t fallen apart. I thought that would have been the result of such a downturn in CO2 emissions. Is it only a matter of time?
I like the point about the abrupt collapse of the economy and drop in carbon emissions. But let’s extend the hypothetical a bit further. Imagine if the target was met with much less abruptness – that there had been a steady decline to the 1990 levels (because Kyoto countries put some effort into it) rather than a GFC drop-off. The world’s economies could have absorbed that with much more ease than the GFC.
The point is to avoid the steep spikes, innit?

Willis Eschenbach

barry says:
November 9, 2011 at 11:19 pm

The US reduced its rate of emission growth over the period more than the Kyoto countries did.
Well, there are all sorts of ways of looking at the data.
In 1990, the Kyoto countries combined emitted ~40 million tonnes C less than the US.
17 years later, the US was emitting ~140 million tonnes C more than the combined Kyoto countries.
Trend changes would be difficult to estimate without a good number of years pre-1990. The Kyoto country trend may have been much higher previously.
Willis, are those polynomial fits statistically significant?

Thanks, barry. I don’t know if the fits are significant. I use them to indicate which way things are turning. We do not really have enough data to determine the fate of Kyoto, so we have to use what we can to analyze it as best as we can.
The most significant thing to me is that there is little to no change after the Kyoto Protocol was ratified. The trend before and after ratification is unchanged.

We are in the midst of a global financial crisis that has forced the Kyoto countries to ‘reach’ their pre-1990 target (combined). Amazingly the world hasn’t fallen apart. I thought that would have been the result of such a downturn in CO2 emissions. Is it only a matter of time?
I like the point about the abrupt collapse of the economy and drop in carbon emissions. But let’s extend the hypothetical a bit further. Imagine if the target was met with much less abruptness – that there had been a steady decline to the 1990 levels (because Kyoto countries put some effort into it) rather than a GFC drop-off. The world’s economies could have absorbed that with much more ease than the GFC.
The point is to avoid the steep spikes, innit?

That sounds like the story about boiling the frog … I don’t understand why you would want the world’s economy to “absorb” any kind of a shock, whether it can absorb it with “much more ease” or not.
w.

LazyTeenager

Well as far as I know the standard of living in the USA was flat over the same period, so why is the USA managing to out burn the combined other Kyoto countries by an increasingly large margin? Especially considering it has shipped a good chunk of it’s industrial capacity off to China.
This observation would appear to contradict the notion that standard-of-living is directly proportional to energy consumption.
Oh and the claim that CO2 reductions are damaging the economy is made without any evidence whatsoever. It’s especially hard to claim this if you are also claiming there has been no significant CO2 reductions.
And just to preempt a potentially nonsensical claim and logical fallacy : evidence that a downturn in the economy causes reductions in energy consumption is not evidence of the converse.

temp

barry says:
“Amazingly the world hasn’t fallen apart. ”
Really? Maybe you should look at the current events… the EU is about to break up, Israel is likely being nukes all its neighbors soon since they are going to invade it, the US is falling apart and as a result as ALWAYS happens during these down turns global war is going to kick off… but hey other then that things are going great.

barry

So it’s only a matter of time, temp? Ok, we’ll watch this space.
Israel’s jitteriness is not a result of the GFC. Rather, it is a result of neighbouring countries’ civil action against dictatorships. Ironies abound in that arena, but it’s off-topic.

Philip Bradley

A little-known fact is that the Montreal Protocol, designed to protect the ozone layer, has as a side effect been much more efficient than Kyoto in reducing greenhouse gases.
It might have been, but we know almost nothing about the actual behaviour of CFCs and HFCs in the atmosphere. So, the actual effects could be completely different to the theoretical projections, if the atmospheric residence times of HFCs are wrong, for example.
And of course ozone is the 4th most important greenhouse gas after H2O, CO2 and CH4.
The Montreal protocol could well have contributed to global warming . We simply don’t know.

Brian H

As you conclude, W., the only way to cut CO2 is to choke development, and cutting CO2 chokes development. Perfect reciprocity.

Matt

Just the other day there was a documentary or report on UK TV which looked into renewables. They said because the US changed their use of crop/corn to fuel production to such an extent, other countries stepped in to fill the food gap. As a result, in 2009 alone, developping (?) countries had chopped down so much rain forest to grow food to make up for the US gap, that the burning of the forests released more CO2 (in 2009) than the world’s entire emissions from cars!
Bio-fuel production should be a criminal offence 😛

barry

That sounds like the story about boiling the frog … I don’t understand why you would want the world’s economy to “absorb” any kind of a shock

Personally I don’t give a toss what the world does. I’m a bigger cynic than most people posting here.
The boiling frog analogy applies both ways in the political debate on climate change. IMO it’s equally useless. But my point was about avoiding shocks, not absorbing them.
If the mainstream view is ‘alarmist’, then the ‘skeptics’ have economic Armageddon as their scare tactic. As pretty much all economic studies on mitigation/adaption, cost/benefit conclude that mitigation will be less costly, less of a financial shock than adaptation, and that the hit to GDP is a small percentage GDP, I consider the financial bogeyman as articulated by the skeptics to be even more alarmist than the other. At least the warmista have science to refer to. Economic Armageddon is based on pretty much no serious review whatsoever.
But I’m always looking… is there some authoritative study concluding differently to the majority of economic studies on this topic? And not articles written in a couple of days by journos and bloggers. You know what I’m talking about. Something as well investigated as the Stern Report, the Garnaut Report, MIT’s analysis and the like.

Rob MW

LazyTeenager says:
November 9, 2011 at 11:30 pm
“Oh and the claim that CO2 reductions are damaging the economy is made without any evidence whatsoever. It’s especially hard to claim this if you are also claiming there has been no significant CO2 reductions.”
Now who could possibly argue with logic like that ?/sarc
So we can all assume that the billions upon billions of dollars wasted on government policy to try and halt CO2 induced AGW was, and still is billions upon billions of dollars that had no other use whatsoever? Here’s an idea, perhaps the E.U could potentially use that wasted billions right now./sarc

Solution to CC and Power Crisis
Please give me either just one and only one scientific reason/ theory that justifies CC is due to gases OR STOP ACCUSING GASES for CC. Just accusation is not science. CC by gases is impossible. Man has disturbed the ‘rain cycle’ causing the ‘climate change.’ No gas can be ‘green house gas.’
I have also explained that applying the property / theory of standing still water column to the running water condition is the blunder being done in the ‘Hydropower Engineering’ and, its correction can give us unlimited hydropower.
Please visit devbahadurdongol.blogspot.com for solutions to ‘CC and power Crisis.’
Summary is attached for your convenience.
Challenger,
Dr. Dev
Email: dev.dangol@yahoo.co.uk
“Already sent to the addressees, green peace and many others throughout the world”

stephan

Looks like we were ALL wrong about solar activity including me, Hathway and DA, so much for predicting solar. I think noone has a clue really.
http://www.solarham.com/

JOHN DOUGLAS

The whole circus is about to be eaten by an E-CAT

eo

Thje kyoto Protocol has done a lot of things other than reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from non-EIT countries and the US. It has shifted the industrial powerhouse from those countries to the developing countries such as china, brazil, india, and south east asia. Aside from shifting the industrial base, it has also shifted the financial and economic power to those countries. Who would think the unthinkable in the 1980s, the French president will publicly raise the issue of asking china to save the eu from financial mess. The French proposal was very unpopular but lets wait until reality sinks in especially if the EU financial crisis spreads to Italy and Spain.

DirkH

LazyTeenager says:
November 9, 2011 at 11:30 pm
“Well as far as I know the standard of living in the USA was flat over the same period, so why is the USA managing to out burn the combined other Kyoto countries by an increasingly large margin? Especially considering it has shipped a good chunk of it’s industrial capacity off to China.
This observation would appear to contradict the notion that standard-of-living is directly proportional to energy consumption.”
The data does not confirm your observation. GDP of OECD countries in constant 2000 USD, PPP:
http://qmarks.wordpress.com/2008/06/20/gdp-per-capita-in-oecd-countries/

Dave Wendt

In the U.S. per capita CO2 emissions peaked in the early Seventies and have been flat to declining ever since, as evidenced by the fact that, although the population grew 25% between 1990 and 2010 carbon emissions were up only 10%. Due to this fortuitous circumstance we are spared the burden of having to eliminate 60+ million of our fellow citizens to achieve 1990 levels. We shouldn’t have to mix up more than 35 million glasses of Jonestown Kool-Aid to get the job done. Of course the right to be first in line for their refreshing beverage should be reserved for the members of the U.S. delegation to Durban and I’m sure many members of the CAGW blogosphere will be eager to demonstrate their dedication to the cause. The entertainment and news businesses are apt to have some hard times due to a sharp decline in available talent, but there has always been an excess of volunteers to fill those slots so the recovery should be brief

Willis Eschenbach

barry says:
November 10, 2011 at 12:08 am

If the mainstream view is ‘alarmist’, then the ‘skeptics’ have economic Armageddon as their scare tactic. As pretty much all economic studies on mitigation/adaption, cost/benefit conclude that mitigation will be less costly, less of a financial shock than adaptation, and that the hit to GDP is a small percentage GDP, I consider the financial bogeyman as articulated by the skeptics to be even more alarmist than the other. At least the warmista have science to refer to. Economic Armageddon is based on pretty much no serious review whatsoever.

Whenever someone says “pretty much all studies”, my first guess is they’re blowing smoke.
I advocate the “no-regrets” option. If you think that future droughts will be a problem, put money into solving the problems caused by current droughts. That way you know you’ll get something for your money.
Consider, on the other hand, the current example of the mitigation that you say will be “less costly”. Kyoto has cost billions of dollars, with absolutely no visible results. How can that be less costly than putting money into solving current problems and getting real returns?
Do I think there will be “economic armageddon”? Please. I think that Kyoto put a damper on European economic growth. Rather than build hydroelectric dams in Europe, CDM funds from Europe paid for hydroelectric dams in China … and yes, that does put a damper on European growth.
The effects are worse in the third world, because the poor have far less slack in the system. If gas prices go up, the people in industrialized nations drive less, everything costs a bit more, and life goes on. But when you’re living on a couple bucks a day and gas prices go up, it raises the price of every single thing that you buy, and for a poor man, that can hurt badly.
“Economic armageddon”? No way. Pain and suffering for the poor? You bet. Fuel poverty in Ireland has gone up by two-thirds in the last eight years. It’s also bad in Britain, 18% of all households are in fuel poverty. Chalk it up to the skyrocketing electricity prices, with the British boffins assuring everyone that the country can run on wind and hot air, or something like that …
That’s today’s reality, barry. Fuel poverty and huge electric costs in Britain, with the poor getting hit the hardest. That’s not a “scare tactic”. That’s not “alarmism” about some imagined future, the specialty of the AGW supporters. I don’t need or use alarmism, I leave the “financial bogeyman” to others. I simply point to the ugly reality of 2011. Billions poured down the Kyoto rathole with no change in CO2 emissions, windmills replacing coal plants across the UK, nuclear plants closing, electrical costs skyrocketing, and fuel poverty on the rise … not pretty.
Heck, it’s happening here in California. Many nearby states have electricity prices about seven cents per kilowatt-hour. Here in the Golden State it’s fifteen cents per kWh … simply because of a demented push to stop CO2, so we’re buying hideously expensive solar and wind-power.
So no, barry, it’s not theoretical economic armageddon that worries me. It’s the slow drip, drip, drip of the all-too-real penny by penny increases in the electricity costs that are grinding the economy down around here …
Not theory, barry. Not alarmism. No bogeyman. Nothing to do with “armageddon”. Not fears for the future. The reality is twice the price for electricity today as in nearby states, and the drag on the economy that creates.
w.

Here’s how Norway reduces its emissions:
1. Because of the decline in farming, the forests are growing. This growth is deducted from the emissions as carbon storage.
2. Give some billions of kroners to Brazil and indonesia, who report back that the rate of deforestation has been reduced because of thesee programs. This is also deducted from our national figures.
3. Work in porogress to elecrtify the offshore oil installations which were previously gas-powered. So the gas previously burned offshore is now exported to Europe and burnt there. No net reduction, but a transfer of emissions to other countries.
Of course there is no real reduction in national emissions.

Willis Eschenbach

Dev Bahadur Dongol says:
November 10, 2011 at 12:44 am

I have also explained that applying the property / theory of standing still water column to the running water condition is the blunder being done in the ‘Hydropower Engineering’ and, its correction can give us unlimited hydropower.

Dude, you have officially and completely lost the plot. If you have unlimited hydropower, why aren’t you out making millions with it? Seriously, don’t be babbling about it here, you are wasting your precious time. And ours. Go out into the world and make your fortune with your brilliant ideas.
Actions, my friend. Give up on the words. Actions speak louder. Enough words.
w.

Dev Bahadur Dongol

I request you to visit the blog: devbahadurdongol.blogspot.com for experimental video clip of the connection of turbines in series and scientific explanations. if you like to email me please do so, then i can send you the details as attachments. with regards, dev.

John Marshall

What does it matter how many billions of mertrc tons of CO2 we produce, the important bit is What Proportion is Our Output of the Total CO2 Produced Annually? that is still 3-4%. A very small proportion to make so much fuss especially since CO2 does NOT drive climate.
We all know that CO2 is a political choice so as to reduce the power of the West and redistribute wealth to those who can’t be bothered to work. ( I name no names but we all know who they are.).

If British Columbia needs more power, we will simply build another dam…
“Site C would provide up to 1,100 megawatts of capacity, and produce about 5,100 gigawatt hours of electricity each year – enough energy to power more than 450,000 homes per year in B.C.
As the third project on one river system, Site C would gain significant efficiencies by taking advantage of water already stored in the Williston Reservoir. This means that Site C would generate approximately 35 per cent of the energy produced at W.A.C. Bennett Dam, with only five per cent of the reservoir area.

http://www.bchydro.com/energy_in_bc/projects/site_c.html

Dr Chaos

The IEA has just produced its latest World Energy Outlook – and have truly jumped the shark…
…I guess they don’t look out the window much in the IEA Headquarters
“We cannot afford to delay further action to tackle climate change if the long-term target of
limiting the global average temperature increase to 2°C, as analysed in the 450 Scenario, is
to be achieved at reasonable cost. In the New Policies Scenario, the world is on a trajectory
that results in a level of emissions consistent with a long-term average temperature increase
of more than 3.5°C. Without these new policies, we are on an even more dangerous track,
for a temperature increase of 6°C or more.”

Merrick

Hey Willis – I think the German word you want is “nichts”.

Mike Simons

Well, in the UK, our politicians in their infinite wisdom have decided that Kyoto is for wimps. Alone in the world, the UK has an insane target of an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050, i.e. down to one fifth of 1990 levels.
What has KyotoPlus wrought for the UK? Lots of windmills on our hills, in our valleys, and growing forests of them offshore. Lots of money for landowners who allow wind turbines to be built on their land. Big Superman-style ego-boost to the politicians who are Saving The Planet. Rising electricity bills to subsidise the cost of the windmills and their costly intermittent output, bringing fuel poverty to millions. Energy-intensive industries being re-located away to countries with cheaper and more CO2-intensive energy. New networks of overhead transmission lines planned from windmill to city to further disfigure the landscape.
And, of course, negligible impact on global carbon emissions.
Perhaps there’s something beyond windmills? I don’t think they’ve figured that out yet. All suggestions welcome at http://2050-calculator-tool.decc.gov.uk/ .
Anyway, that’s what Kyoto hath wrought – and continues to – ? – wring? in the UK.

barry

Willis, I named three major economic studies independent of the IPCC. That’s not smoke. IPCC WGII and III collate many economic assessments: the weight of opinion is clear.
I ask again, do you know of any major assessments that come to significantly alternative conclusions? Or any that corroborate the kind of policy you’re advocating on climate change? Just wondering what your opinion is based on.

The following year UN 2012 Earth Summit is planning the formation of a new UN organization for the environment. It seems that they don´t care if GW is real or not, the CO2 menace a tale or whatever, they will make its agreements to be mandatory.
http://www.earthsummit2012.org/

Earth Summit 2012
On 4th – 6th June 2012, the UNCSD will take place in Rio de Janeiro. Also referred to as the Rio+20 or the Earth Summit 2012 due to the initial conference held in Rio in 1992, the objectives of the Summit are: to secure renewed political commitment to sustainable development; to assess progress towards internationally agreed goals on sustainable development and to address new and emerging challenges. The Summit will also focus on two specific themes: a green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development, and an institutional framework for sustainable development. The full text of Resolution A/RES/64/236, which endorsed the Summit is available here.

http://www.earthsummit2012.org/

1DandyTroll

What has the Kyoto ratification done for us?
Well, for my country that use mainly hydro and nuclear (over 90%) and recycled garbage and energy forests and such (wind < 2%), but next to no oil, coal, nor gas, for electricity and heat production, we made the smartest of decisions to –during several decades of getting behind in building and maintaining railroad infrastructure and so upping the need, and therefor the emissions, of freight by cargo plane and trucking–subsidized, and this is so ingenious for lowering our emissions, with hundreds of billions in our currency, ta da, wind driven propellers.
So what we got was absolutely no new railroad infrastructure but bird choppers around and inside protected areas and higher emissions and, of course, even higher taxes on electricity and apparently we burn more oil and coal when it's really cold because more wind power in my country means less clean back up from hydro and nuclear.
Like I said, we're ever so ingenious. :p

RockyRoad

Willis Eschenbach says:
November 10, 2011 at 1:38 am
barry says:
November 10, 2011 at 12:08 am

Heck, it’s happening here in California. Many nearby states have electricity prices about seven cents per kilowatt-hour. Here in the Golden State it’s fifteen cents per kWh … simply because of a demented push to stop CO2, so we’re buying hideously expensive solar and wind-power.
Not theory, barry. Not alarmism. No bogeyman. Nothing to do with “armageddon”. Not fears for the future. The reality is twice the price for electricity today as in nearby states, and the drag on the economy that creates.

Let’s assume we add a mix of half solar and half wind power to the grid here in the US. I’ve read where “hideously expensive” solar-generated electricity (SGE) costs about 40 cents/kWh and “hideously expensive” wind-generated electricity (WGE) costs about 20 cents/kWh, so an equal amount of each would be 30 cents/kWh (and since all the good spots for solar and wind are already utilized and economies of scale have pretty much leveled off, I don’t see it costing less per kWh as we use more of it). So the more of this SGE and WGE we add to the grid, the higher overall electricity prices will go, asymptotically approaching 30 cents per kWh, which is something we’d all have to pay for through increased production costs on everything that uses electricity, which is practically everything (or get taxed to subsidize it because electricity customers will scream about their bills).
Switch to electric cars? Not a good idea if electricity prices increase dramatically. Switch to SGE and WGE? Also not a stellar idea.

anorak2

LazyTeenager says:
Well as far as I know the standard of living in the USA was flat over the same period, so why is the USA managing to out burn the combined other Kyoto countries by an increasingly large margin?
Increased CO2 production without GDP growth wouldn’t make any sense. The USA have had significant GDP growth during the 1990s and 2000s until the financial crisis. I don’t know how much of that growth has actually arrived in middle class households, but it was there nonetheless. Part of it was grabbed by the rich in your country overproportionally, and part of it went into wars, which might explain in part why normal people haven’t felt much of it.

More Soylent Green!

Kyoto was just another little step towards moving us towards world governance. Results don’t matter. It doesn’t matter that the USA reduced emissions more than some Kyoto members, that many signatories didn’t make their goals, or that overall emissions were not reduced. All that matters is that the USA decided to make it’s own way, rather than going along with the herd.
BTW: Did you know President Obama never signed the Kyoto Protocol Treaty?

Tom

Australia is now the undisputed world capital of climate zombie alarmism, its Greens-Labor government having just passed the world’s most punitive ($23tonne) carbon dioxide tax to be enacted next July, but the pre-Durban hysteria is at fever pitch with Australia’s most disgracefully biased “news” organisation, Fairfax (The Age, Sydney Morning Herald), using Faith Birol at the IEA to crank up the doomsday CAGW “only five years to act” scare campaign and to showcase a new Australian Greens assault on LPG as a “dirty” energy source. This story was first posted at about 0500 US PST: http://www.theage.com.au/national/five-years-to-act-on-climate-report-20111110-1n9he.html. The same report on IEA’s annual report is being carried by WSJ: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204358004577027542955102790.html?mod=googlenews_wsj.

Vince Causey

barry,
“I ask again, do you know of any major assessments that come to significantly alternative conclusions?”
You’re asking the wrong question. The question I would ask, is what are these economic assessments based on? Well, they are based on some hypothesised level of climate damage that will result under business as usual. So now we must move from the economic study to the climate damage study, because if the outcome is not as predicted by theorists, then the economic analysis is redundant – it would have been based upon an outcome that did not materialise. As most people now understand, the IPCC projections aren’t worth wiping your bum with – 30% based on literature from advocacy groups – so what now for the economic forecasts on which this is based?
That doesn’t mean that your favoured economic studies are not flawed, even if the IPCC projections were correct. As I recall, Stern has been debunked because he used a discount rate of near zero. Even an economic illiiterate can see the absurditity of that – it is tantamount to saying that you are indifferent to receiving $100 in 50 years time compared to $100 now. Total bunk.

Laurie Bowen (the Troll)

Do we now have permission to exhale?

DirkH

anorak2 says:
November 10, 2011 at 6:29 am
“I don’t know how much of that growth has actually arrived in middle class households, but it was there nonetheless. Part of it was grabbed by the rich in your country overproportionally, and part of it went into wars, which might explain in part why normal people haven’t felt much of it.”
Lazy Teenager is an Australian AFAIK. He’s making his observations from a distance. American median wages etc from 1990 to now:
http://pragcap.com/the-mythical-collapse-in-american-living-standards

Curt

One of the dirty little secrets of the Kyoto Protocol is that the 1990 baseline was chosen by the Europeans to screw the US, whose economy was much more robust in the 90s. The US fought it for a while, but Gore was so eager for a deal that they dropped the point.

Albert

One small question… How do we measure the amount of CO2 that is produced in each country? Is the method consistent? And, most importantly, how accurate are the measurements? Is the accuracy consistent accross the world? Of course, I highly suspect that the numbers reflect a WAG (wild ass guess) with wide accuracy bands but I could be wrong 🙂

chris y

barry quips-
“Something as well investigated as the Stern Report, the Garnaut Report, MIT’s analysis and the like.”
You forgot to use the /sarc and \sarc markers.
You did forget, right?
It is ironic that your suggested reports all predict catastrophic *economic* impacts due to globalwarmingclimatechangeclimatedisruptionclimateweirdingclimatetippingpoints, in order to rationalize wasting gobs of money now to reduce CO2 emissions.
It is also humorous that the dismal science (economics) is so heavily relied upon by an even more dismal science (CACC) to justify immediate ‘de facto redistribution of global wealth’ by the UN… minus their commission, of course. Fortunately, the first-victims-of-global-warming drowning Maldives are busily constructing a sufficient number of new few-feet-above-sea-level airports to handle the growing UN conference traffic.

Mark M

Willis- An article by Cynthia Mitchcell, et al entitled “Stabilizing CA Demand- The real reasons behind the state’s energy savings” http://www.fortnightly.com/exclusive.cfm?o_id=159 is an enlightening review of the factors that influenced the stable kw/capita usage in CA over the years. The costs of electrical energy is noted as being one of the biggest drivers…….
One way of looking at the data in the report is to conclude that many of the firms that require energy intensive activities have relocated over the years as the costs to produce their goods has increased to the point that they have looked at alternatives and moved out of the state. The concept of leakage (moving the CO2 generation for making goods or services from say CA, to a neighboring state, country) is know a concept that our regulators are aware of. The closure of the NUMMI plant being an example of leakage.
By the way LADWP customers are the ones that are going to see the biggest sticker shock (percentage wise) for their electrical energy costs- no more $.07 a kwh for all electrical energy use in the winter- with LADWP now being required to meet the 33%RES by 2020.

Dave Springer

@willis
The gap between US emissions and “Kyoto country” emissions has been widening since the treaty was signed and it’s been widening in the direction of them emitting less and us emitting more.
I’m simply amazed at the tortuous logic you’ve concocted in this article to try to spin it into something else.

barry

Tom says:

You’re asking the wrong question. The question I would ask, is what are these economic assessments based on? Well, they are based on some hypothesised level of climate damage that will result under business as usual.

chris y says:

It is ironic that your suggested reports all predict catastrophic *economic* impacts due to globalwarmingclimatechangeclimatedisruptionclimateweirdingclimatetippingpoints, in order to rationalize wasting gobs of money now to reduce CO2 emissions.

A good number of economic assessments estimate only the cost of implementing various policies, and make no impact analysis from climate change. IOW, they only look at one side of the balance sheet (and generally find the cost of pricing carbon to be quite small).

The analyses evaluate the costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but do not measure the resulting payoff – the benefits of averting dangerous climate change. Nor do they consider the ancillary benefits, such as the improved local air quality and reduced ocean acidification.
They merely model the economic impact of the climate policy to a BAU scenario where climate change does not impact the economy.

(The studies referred to here were based on US congressional policy proposals)
Hands up anyone who has actually spent any time reading economic analyses like the ones mentioned thus far.
Or is everyone blowing smoke?