All the news the New York Times won't print

"Everything is always Bush's fault." That slogan would be far more appropriate for the front page box of the New York Times than the existing slogan, "All the news that's fit to print." When a pet cause like the Kyoto Treaty, addressing a pet scare like alleged man—made climate change is involved, inconvenient facts have a tendency to get lost, however fit for print they may be.

A front page New York Times story on Saturday concerning the global warming talks in Montreal placed all the blame for America's refusal to move forward with the highly controversial Kyoto Protocol on the Bush administration. In doing so, the Times neglected to inform its readers about the history of this accord, or that the Senate in 1997 expressed its unanimous opposition to it. In addition, the Times completely ignored any of the obvious economic consequences to America if it entered into a global warming treaty that did not include China.

Yet, that didn't deter the Times from identifying a culprit:

'In a sign of its growing isolation on climate issues, the Bush administration had come under sharp criticism for walking out of informal discussions on finding new ways to reduce emissions under the United Nations' 1992 treaty on climate change.'

'Environmentalists here called [the chief American negotiator's] actions the capstone of two weeks of American efforts to prevent any fresh initiatives from being discussed. 'This shows just how willing the U.S. administration is to walk away from a healthy planet and its responsibilities to its own people,' said Jennifer Morgan, director of the climate change project at the World Wildlife Fund.'

The Times conveniently neglected to address the history of this treaty. In particular, that the Senate voted in July 1997 95—0 expressing its unanimous, bipartisan opposition to then president Bill Clinton signing the Protocol. In fact, even Senator John Kerry (D—Massachusetts) voted against its signing, stating at the time of his vote:

'It's just common sense that if you are really going to do something to effect global climate change and you are going to do it in a fair—minded way, we need to have an agreement that does not leave enormous components of the world's contributors and future contributors of this problem out of the solution.'

The Times also failed to share any contrary viewpoints concerning the impact of the Protocol being fully implemented. S. Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and the author of 'Hot Talk Cold Science: Global Warming's Unfinished Debate,' had this to say in an October 2004 USA Today op—ed:

'Neither Bush nor the Senate has pointed out, however, that Kyoto is not only costly and unfair to the U.S., but it is also ineffective in averting a feared global warming. Scientists all agree that at best it would reduce the calculated temperature rise in 2050 by an insignificant one—tenth of a degree.

'Russia has been more outspoken. The Russian Academy of Sciences, in a May 2004 report, questioned the reality of substantial future warming, concluding that Kyoto lacks any scientific base.'

The Times also failed to inform the reader of the economic consequences of America moving forward with this Protocol without the inclusion of all the major economic powers, specifically China. This is what Singer had to say on the subject:

'A treaty obligating developed nations but not China, India, Brazil and Mexico would produce huge U.S. job losses as industries moved overseas.'

Even former Clinton administration economists now question the financial wisdom of this accord. Jonathan Weisman, while still writing for the USA Today, wrote about this very issue in June 2001:

'Economists from the Clinton White House now concede that complying with Kyoto's mandatory reductions in greenhouse gases would be difficult — and more expensive to American consumers than they thought when they were in charge.'

Weisman continued:

o 'Clinton administration economists say that, in retrospect, their low cost estimates were unrealistic. They assumed that:

o China and India would accept binding emission limits and would fully participate in the emissions—trading system, even though they never signed the treaty.

o European opposition to emissions trading could be overcome.

o Most industries and consumers would quickly adopt new, energy—efficient technologies, such as advanced air conditioning systems and gas—electric 'hybrid' cars, without financial incentives.'

Weisman then raised a fabulous point that has largely been lost in this debate:

'Since 1997, however, it has become clear that consumers love their gas—guzzling sport—utility vehicles and aren't embracing energy—efficient technologies; China has no intention of participating in the treaty; and Europe still wants to limit emissions trading as a partial solution to global warming.'

To put this into proper perspective, until this year, when gas prices exploded through $2 per gallon, Americans have shown little appetite for energy conservation. As such, if the citizenry appears in opposition to behaviors that would reduce carbon emissions, why should American businesses be compelled to?

In addition, with the growing behemoth that is the Chinese economy — with its exponentially increasing appetite for all commodities including steel, concrete, soy beans, chicken, wood, and, yes, energy — any treaty that does not involve China would further expand its competitive edge over the rest of the world, including the United States. Clinton administration economists appear to agree:

'Leaving China out of a trading scheme would double the Clinton cost estimate, says Joseph Aldy, who helped develop the estimates for Clinton. 'We always thought the (emissions) targets were very ambitious,' he says. 'But the thing that made us really uneasy about our analysis ... was that if our assumptions didn't come true, you could come out with costs that were much, much higher.'"

Since 2001, energy prices have been exploding without America's commitment to these ambitious targets. Beyond this, a huge source of contention from the left and the mainstream media has been the outsourcing of jobs to other countries. If America had fully committed to emissions targets in this Protocol, there is no telling how many more American jobs would have been moved overseas, and what the price of gasoline, natural gas, heating oil, and electricity would be today.

As a result, it is extraordinarily duplicitous for mainstream media outlets to complain about rising energy costs and outsourcing while advocating America's involvement in a global warming treaty that exacerbates both.

Noel Sheppard is an economist, business owner, and contributing writer to the Free Market Project. He is also contributing editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org.  Noel welcomes feedback at nsheppard@costlogic.com.

"Everything is always Bush's fault." That slogan would be far more appropriate for the front page box of the New York Times than the existing slogan, "All the news that's fit to print." When a pet cause like the Kyoto Treaty, addressing a pet scare like alleged man—made climate change is involved, inconvenient facts have a tendency to get lost, however fit for print they may be.

A front page New York Times story on Saturday concerning the global warming talks in Montreal placed all the blame for America's refusal to move forward with the highly controversial Kyoto Protocol on the Bush administration. In doing so, the Times neglected to inform its readers about the history of this accord, or that the Senate in 1997 expressed its unanimous opposition to it. In addition, the Times completely ignored any of the obvious economic consequences to America if it entered into a global warming treaty that did not include China.

Yet, that didn't deter the Times from identifying a culprit:

'In a sign of its growing isolation on climate issues, the Bush administration had come under sharp criticism for walking out of informal discussions on finding new ways to reduce emissions under the United Nations' 1992 treaty on climate change.'

'Environmentalists here called [the chief American negotiator's] actions the capstone of two weeks of American efforts to prevent any fresh initiatives from being discussed. 'This shows just how willing the U.S. administration is to walk away from a healthy planet and its responsibilities to its own people,' said Jennifer Morgan, director of the climate change project at the World Wildlife Fund.'

The Times conveniently neglected to address the history of this treaty. In particular, that the Senate voted in July 1997 95—0 expressing its unanimous, bipartisan opposition to then president Bill Clinton signing the Protocol. In fact, even Senator John Kerry (D—Massachusetts) voted against its signing, stating at the time of his vote:

'It's just common sense that if you are really going to do something to effect global climate change and you are going to do it in a fair—minded way, we need to have an agreement that does not leave enormous components of the world's contributors and future contributors of this problem out of the solution.'

The Times also failed to share any contrary viewpoints concerning the impact of the Protocol being fully implemented. S. Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and the author of 'Hot Talk Cold Science: Global Warming's Unfinished Debate,' had this to say in an October 2004 USA Today op—ed:

'Neither Bush nor the Senate has pointed out, however, that Kyoto is not only costly and unfair to the U.S., but it is also ineffective in averting a feared global warming. Scientists all agree that at best it would reduce the calculated temperature rise in 2050 by an insignificant one—tenth of a degree.

'Russia has been more outspoken. The Russian Academy of Sciences, in a May 2004 report, questioned the reality of substantial future warming, concluding that Kyoto lacks any scientific base.'

The Times also failed to inform the reader of the economic consequences of America moving forward with this Protocol without the inclusion of all the major economic powers, specifically China. This is what Singer had to say on the subject:

'A treaty obligating developed nations but not China, India, Brazil and Mexico would produce huge U.S. job losses as industries moved overseas.'

Even former Clinton administration economists now question the financial wisdom of this accord. Jonathan Weisman, while still writing for the USA Today, wrote about this very issue in June 2001:

'Economists from the Clinton White House now concede that complying with Kyoto's mandatory reductions in greenhouse gases would be difficult — and more expensive to American consumers than they thought when they were in charge.'

Weisman continued:

o 'Clinton administration economists say that, in retrospect, their low cost estimates were unrealistic. They assumed that:

o China and India would accept binding emission limits and would fully participate in the emissions—trading system, even though they never signed the treaty.

o European opposition to emissions trading could be overcome.

o Most industries and consumers would quickly adopt new, energy—efficient technologies, such as advanced air conditioning systems and gas—electric 'hybrid' cars, without financial incentives.'

Weisman then raised a fabulous point that has largely been lost in this debate:

'Since 1997, however, it has become clear that consumers love their gas—guzzling sport—utility vehicles and aren't embracing energy—efficient technologies; China has no intention of participating in the treaty; and Europe still wants to limit emissions trading as a partial solution to global warming.'

To put this into proper perspective, until this year, when gas prices exploded through $2 per gallon, Americans have shown little appetite for energy conservation. As such, if the citizenry appears in opposition to behaviors that would reduce carbon emissions, why should American businesses be compelled to?

In addition, with the growing behemoth that is the Chinese economy — with its exponentially increasing appetite for all commodities including steel, concrete, soy beans, chicken, wood, and, yes, energy — any treaty that does not involve China would further expand its competitive edge over the rest of the world, including the United States. Clinton administration economists appear to agree:

'Leaving China out of a trading scheme would double the Clinton cost estimate, says Joseph Aldy, who helped develop the estimates for Clinton. 'We always thought the (emissions) targets were very ambitious,' he says. 'But the thing that made us really uneasy about our analysis ... was that if our assumptions didn't come true, you could come out with costs that were much, much higher.'"

Since 2001, energy prices have been exploding without America's commitment to these ambitious targets. Beyond this, a huge source of contention from the left and the mainstream media has been the outsourcing of jobs to other countries. If America had fully committed to emissions targets in this Protocol, there is no telling how many more American jobs would have been moved overseas, and what the price of gasoline, natural gas, heating oil, and electricity would be today.

As a result, it is extraordinarily duplicitous for mainstream media outlets to complain about rising energy costs and outsourcing while advocating America's involvement in a global warming treaty that exacerbates both.

Noel Sheppard is an economist, business owner, and contributing writer to the Free Market Project. He is also contributing editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org.  Noel welcomes feedback at nsheppard@costlogic.com.