Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Kyoto Protocol already a killer

Here's something that the Kyoto Protocol proponents won't want you to know. Consider the following key dates:

1997 Kyoto Protocol negotiated
2002 UK ratifies Kyoto Protocol
2005 Kyoto goes into force
2005 European carbon trading begins
2006 Energy prices rise by 40-60%
2007 Millions in 'fuel poverty' gap

I quoted from Bjorn Lomborg's testimony to the 'Al Gore Committee' last week as follows:
Much has been made of the heat wave in Europe in early August 2003, which killed 35,000 people, with 2,000 deaths in the UK. Yet, each year more than 25,000 people die in the UK from cold. It can be estimated that every year more than 200,000 people die from excess heat in Europe. It is reasonable to estimate that each year about 1.5 million people die from excess cold in Europe. This is more than seven times the total number of heat deaths. Just in this millennium Europe have lost more than 10 million people to the cold, 300 times the iconic 35,000 heat deaths from 2003.
People need to get it into their heads that cold weather is a much more pervasive killer than is hot weather.

From the fuel poverty article, which refers to just the United Kingdom:
The number of households facing a choice between heating and eating has almost doubled in the past two years.

Spiralling gas and electricity bills have left nearly 4m having to spend at least 10% of their disposable income on heating and lighting - the definition of 'fuel poverty'.

This is an increase of more than 1.7m, according to an independent study. The research was commissioned by the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes - a group of 700 industry bodies concerned with domestic energy efficiency.

...The research pointed out that electricity prices surged by 39% and gas prices by 61% between 2003 and 2006.

...Charities have drawn a clear link between rising power bills, fuel poverty and deaths of pensioners. The number of deaths between December 2005 and March 2006 exceeded the non-winter average by 25,700. Age Concern believes a significant number were hastened by cold, with elderly people worried about the cost of using their heating.
So there you go. The real costs of Kyoto are already being felt by those in society least able to afford the burden. If people in our rich societies can't handle the cost then how do we expect those in the developing world to do so? What do those wanting us to sign up to a totally ineffective, multi-trillion dollar agreement say to people who can't afford to heat their homes anymore? For environmentalists symbolism trumps reality one hundred percent of the time. The sooner Kyoto is consigned to the dust bin of history as a noble, but awful scheme the better off we'll all be.


Dawgknot said...

Jack, could you spell out the connection between the cost of fuel to the consumer and the Kyoto signing? I"m not arguing, but it would be interesting to see how those dots get connected.

Jack Lacton said...


Fair question.

Obviously, it's the carbon trading scheme that causes the rise in price. I've got some info and will put together a piece for the blog over the next week or so.

Dawgknot said...

I mention it because it would seem to me that while the costs for everything else would go up as businesses incur expenses or inconveniences, it's possible that the demand for power and fuel would go down as people try to slide under their allocated caps. But I suspect it's not that simple.

One obvious expense to coal, oil or gas fired electric power producers would be expensive scrubbers and emission technology and that cost would get passed along.

But I'm having trouble visualizing why oil prices would necessarily rise (unless, of course, caps are placed upon production)