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Climate Change Nonsense from Davos

John A. Charles, Jr.QuickPoint!

Yale University’s Center for Environmental Law and Policy released a report last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, alleging that the United States ranked only 39th among 149 countries in terms of environmental protection. According to the authors, the U.S. lags Russia, Albania and Croatia, and barely edges out Cuba.

Anyone who has ever traveled internationally would be surprised at these rankings, since some of the most polluted places on earth are in countries like, well, Russia, Albania and Croatia, where freedom has never been a priority. But the Yale study wasn’t really about pollution; it was heavily weighted to focus on “global warming”. And since the U.S. has never agreed to impose limits on carbon dioxide, the Yale team asserts that America “continues to have a bottom-tier performance in greenhouse gas emissions.”

Apparently they missed the news that total carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. dropped in 2006 from 2005 levels. Moreover, the carbon intensity of the U.S. economy (CO2 emissions per unit of economic output) has declined by 27% since 1990. By these measures, the U.S. has out-performed most countries that actually ratified the Kyoto treaty.

It’s tough for environmentalists to accept good news, because bad news is what really sells. But the contrived global warming crisis just isn’t selling much these days, and the Yale report won’t change that.

John A. Charles, Jr. is president and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, a think tank based in Portland, Oregon.

© 2008, Cascade Policy Institute. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided the author and Cascade Policy Institute are cited. Contact Cascade at (503) 242-0900 to arrange print or broadcast interviews on this topic. For more topics visit the QuickPoint! archive.

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