April 03, 2008

Even "The People's Republic" Of Boulder, CO Can't Meet Kyoto Goals Using Heavy Carbon Taxation

"The bottom line is even if all the developed countries fully complied with the Kyoto Protocol, the effect would be minuscule. It's a completely negligible amount of global warming"--Kevin Doran, Center for Energy and Environmental Security at the University of Colorado

More evidence the moonbat plan to use carbon taxes to help reduce greenhouse gases in order to achieve the rather modest Kyoto goals (modest compared to all the new plans for "climate change" solutions) will fail across the country and present a financial boondoggle to boot--they can't even succeed in the Berkeley of the Rockies--Boulder, Colorado:
The way things are going, Boulder will only make it about halfway to its goal of cutting enough greenhouse gases to comply with the Kyoto Protocol, according to a memo released by the city staff Wednesday.

The Office of Environmental Affairs is requesting a 53 percent increase in funding, which would boost its budget from $875,177 to $1,343,133. Even if the City Council approves the increase, which would translate to a higher carbon tax, Boulder would still meet only 85 percent of its Kyoto goal.

"It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone," said Sarah Van Pelt, Boulder's environmental sustainability coordinator. "We knew we were just starting at the lowest tax rate and slowly phasing in all the programs."

When voters approved the Climate Action Plan tax in 2006, they actually gave the OK to a range of possible taxes. Now, electricity users are taxed at the lowest level, and the new proposal would up the taxes to about midway through the possible range. Van Pelt said it has always been part of the plan to increase taxes as time went on. Residential users now pay an average of $13 extra a year in carbon taxes. The new proposal would increase the average to $19.

The Kyoto Protocol calls for greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to 7 percent below 1990 levels. Locally, that means reducing emissions, from 1.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide -- the amount Boulder residents were responsible for in 2006 -- to just under 1.5 million metric tons by 2012.
Well, 85% isn't too far off, so how will they get there? They could always deploy "greenshirt" youth to, um, "encourage" their neighbors to switch their lights off . . .
So far, the city's approach to emission reduction has relied heavily on marketing and subsidies -- most of which are offered in conjunction with Xcel Energy or Boulder County -- to convince people to take voluntary actions, including retrofitting their homes, driving less and buying wind-power offsets. The Office of Environmental Affairs would also dump the majority of new money into reducing greenhouse gases through energy efficiency.

"I feel like it's very possible that the community can meet the Kyoto target," Van Pelt said. "We just have to decide to do it."

To meet the Kyoto Protocol, city staffers project that they will have to come back to the City Council and request more money in the near future.
Of course--more money!

But change by the tried-and-true "incremental" approach won't even have much of an effect anyway, as the Kyoto Protocols "don't go far enough":
Even 100 percent compliance with the Kyoto Protocol doesn't go far in the battle against climate change, according to some researchers.

"The bottom line is even if all the developed countries fully complied with the Kyoto Protocol, the effect would be minuscule," said Kevin Doran, who works with the Center for Energy and Environmental Security at the University of Colorado. "It's a completely negligible amount of global warming."

Doran said Boulder isn't alone, and he estimates that most of the 800 cities that have signed on to meet the Kyoto demands will fall short.

"A lot of them rely on activities and reductions that are outside of their zone of influence," he said.
The real "bottom line" won't be the negligible effect these measures will have, but the tremendous costs incurred trying to achieve them.

But what's a global warming/climate change article without a scientist--I mean, where's the consensus . . .
Roger Pielke Jr., who works for CU's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, wasn't surprised that Boulder is challenged to meet the Kyoto Protocol. He published an article in the journal Nature this week that says it will be more difficult to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than society has been led to believe.

"This is a perfect example of the challenge," Pielke wrote in an e-mail from the United Kingdom. "Even with the best of intentions and strong political support, a tiny step like meeting Kyoto proves extremely challenging for Boulder under current conditions. ... If Boulder can't meet the very small step of Kyoto, why would anyone think that the world can do something much, much more difficult?"

More action, now! 'Cause if Boulder can't do it, no one can!

Wait, that isn't right. But it's the gesture that counts.

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