Climate change is not a far-off problem. It is happening now and is having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow. But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies.
There is a sense that change is in the air. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders, from government, finance, business, and civil society to Climate Summit 2014 this 23 September to galvanize and catalyze climate action. He has asked these leaders to bring bold announcements and actions to the Summit that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015. Climate Summit 2014 provides a unique opportunity for leaders to champion an ambitious vision, anchored in action that will enable a meaningful global agreement in 2015.
So, in just one day, 120 unnamed leaders are expected to “bring bold announcements” and then, by the end of the meeting, “champion an ambitious vision.”
We had one of these meetings in 2009 in Copenhagen. It opened three weeks after hackers stole thousands of emails from a global warming propaganda unit in Great Britain, and posted them on the Web. The emails showed years of systematic efforts of global warming scientists to suppress scientific evidence that was opposed to the global warming agenda. The head of this government-funded research unit was Dr. Phil Jones. This stunt got worldwide attention, most of it negative. Five years of planning went down the proverbial drain. Then this guy showed up.
Result: nothing came out of the meeting.
This was consistent with a long pattern that began in 1992. There had been meetings in 1992 and 1997. We read about them on the UNO’s site.
Climate treaties — At the core of international efforts to address climate change are the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol. These two treaties represent the international response so far to the compelling evidence, compiled and repeatedly confirmed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that climate change is occurring, and that it is largely due to human activities.
The UNFCCC — countries agreed on the Convention on 9 May 1992, and it entered into force on 21 March, 1994. But even as they adopted the Convention, however, governments were aware that its provisions would not be sufficient to adequately address climate change. At the first Conference of the Parties, held in Berlin, Germany in early 1995, a new round of talks was launched to discuss firmer, more detailed commitments.
Kyoto Protocol — After two and a half years of intensive negotiations, a substantial extension to the Convention was adopted in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997. This Kyoto Protocol established legally binding emissions targets for industrialized countries, and created innovative mechanisms to assist these countries in meeting these targets. The Kyoto Protocol entered into force on 18 November 2004, after 55 Parties to the Convention had ratified it, including enough industrialized countries — who have specific targets — to encompass 55 per cent of that group’s carbon dioxide emissions in 1990.
An overall framework — The UNFCCC sets an overall framework for international efforts to tackle the challenge of climate change. It states that the Convention’s ultimate objective is to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases at a level that would prevent harm to the climate system. The Convention enjoys near universal membership; as of June, 2007, 191 countries have ratified it. These countries are referred to as Parties to the Convention. . . .
Binding targets for developed countries — Although all Parties have agreed to further advance the implementation of their existing commitments under the Convention, only Annex I Parties took on new targets under the Protocol. Specifically, these Parties have agreed to binding emission targets over the 2008-2012 timeframe.
It is now 2014. Why is another summit necessary?
One good reason: because the United States Senate never ratified the 1992 agreement, or the 1995 and the 1997 treaties. No President ever submitted any of this to the Senate for ratification: Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, or Obama. In 2011, Canada pulled out of the whole deal. So much for “an ambitious vision” on climate change.
But the UN, having no authority to do anything, and having enforced nothing on climate change so far, will hold its one-day photo opportunity.
In response, Obama will not submit the 2007 treaty to the Senate, before or after the November elections.
Murray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”
This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.
The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.
As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.
However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.
The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.
The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.