Economy trumps climate as registration for COP 17 Durban opens

This article was originally published in the National Journal.

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The world economic crisis is providing a wake up call for climate realism.  As registration for COP 17, December’s UN  conference on climate  change in Durban, South Africa, opens on Tuesday, support for the UN climate agenda continues to deteriorate.

Take the UK example.  Reuters reports that with half of major energy suppliers in the UK announcing double digit price increases for electricity and gas the British public has had enough.  75 percent now favor abandoning Britain’s green agenda if it means higher prices.

The problem of course is after you thwart efficient nuclear, coal and gas generation and lock in guarantees, subsidies and high prices for alternative energy profiteers it is almost impossible to go back.

Developed nations like the UK already price their labor out of the marketplace with the high costs of their social welfare states.   Affordable energy is one area in which developed nations should have the edge, yet they toss that advantage away in the name of useless carbon initiatives.   A government study predicts energy costs for British business will rise 58 percent by 2030.  Who will be able to afford to work or produce in such a wasteful environment?

CFACT has consistently pointed out that this combination of high energy prices, inefficient generation and massive transfers of wealth from taxpayers to corporations cashing in on alternative energy is unsustainable.

Will nations which have not yet locked themselves into the same energy cage as Britain wake up in time to avoid a similar trap?  Will China, India and Brazil generously grant work visas to workers from (one-time) developed nations who need a job?

Climate campaigners, led by Al Gore, plan to jump start the climate issue in September.  We expect they will find taxpayers and job seekers will be unwilling to go back to accepting their pronouncements without question.  That spells big trouble for the global warming camp.  When serious questions are asked, their package doesn’t hold up.

The Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012 leaving the incomes of carbon traders, alternative energy speculators and climate campaigners in jeopardy.  The West will arrive in Durban out of jobs and out of cash.  Will taxpayers be willing to endlessly fund them?  This is just one of the key questions that will control the UN’s ability to finally achieve its long coveted treaty in South Africa. 

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About the Author: Craig Rucker

Craig Rucker

Craig Rucker is the executive director and co-founder of CFACT.