Climate change legislation is an economy killer. An August study by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF) measured the impact of The Waxman-Markey Bill (HR 2454) or Cap and Tax. As a reminder the bill passed the House of Representatives by a slim margin (219-212) early this summer. As with most of the democratic party legislation passed this year, Waxman-Markey was passed without being read by most of its proponents.
The Study show that Cap and Tax will be a disaster for the American Economy:
- Cumulative Loss in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) up to $3.1 trillion (2012-2030)
- Employment losses up to 2.4 million jobs in 2030
- Residential electricity price increases up to 50 percent by 2030
- Gasoline price increases (per gallon) up 26 percent by 2030
China Understands this. Its opposition to a global warming pact is tied to its economic growth. Asia did not go through the same recession as the rest of world. The World Bank forecasts this region in 2010 will see an average of 7.3% growth, with China on top at 9%. Why would Asia want to kill its economy with climate change legitimation like the western nations. The will just make sure they are around to pick up the broken economic pieces:
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Diplomacy: If there’s good news from Saturday’s APEC summit, it’s Asia’s ninja blow to a global climate pact in Copenhagen. The dynamic region recognized the economy-killer for what it was and refused to commit suicide.
Global summits galore have paid obeisance to the holy grail of a global pact binding nations to cut carbon emissions by 50% by 2050. President Obama, who is calling for a United Nations treaty in Copenhagen this December, said, “We’re out of time” shortly before leaving for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
So that’s why Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen, who leads the U.N.’s Copenhagen group, was flown out to Singapore in a last-ditch bid to convince 19 leaders of the 21-nation APEC summit to support the pact. All he got for his trouble was egg on his face as Asian nations flatly rejected his pleas.
He’s now trying to recover from that embarrassment by saying that the climate pact would be merely delayed, with the Copenhagen summit to be used to achieve a “political” commitment and next year’s meeting serving as an occasion to impose emission quotas.
“We are not aiming to let anyone off the hook,” Rasmussen said.
But in reality, the dubious treaty is dead, and it’s Asia that put it out of its misery.
Some observers are blaming Obama, saying he didn’t do enough to get a cap-and-trade tax passed in the Senate. It makes no sense, given that he doesn’t command much authority in Asia. Sunday’s invitation to China to “join” the U.S. in “world leadership” fell flat.
The weight of the evidence points to smarter minds in Asia icing this bad idea. After years of flowery rhetoric about cutting carbon emissions, lowering carbon “footprints” and creating “sustainable” development, the hard reality of tradeoffs has intruded. Should Asia scrap its hard-won prosperity and lower its growth rates just to please the U.N. and the so-called global community?
It says no. Here’s why: Asia is the fastest-growing region in the world, and unlike richer nations, has defied a global recession that has caused extensive pain. Now it’s being asked to give up that advantage and be like everyone else for the sake of some Eurocentric treaty premised on an unproven science. No wonder it’s balking.
China led the charge, paying lip service to the consensus seeking to cut carbon emissions, saying it would do all it could.
But as for a legally binding commitment, China’s Prime Minister Hu Jintao said no, unless the West paid for it. Rich countries addicted to junk science can do what they want, but they’ll do it on their own dime — and pay for China, too, if they want Beijing’s support.
The media is painting this as a rich-poor divide. But it’s more than that. The contrarian instincts of Asia stand out.
Its opposition to a global warming pact seems linked to its stellar economic growth. Home to 40% of the world’s population, it now produces 50% of the world’s global output. The World Bank forecasts this region in 2010 will see an average of 7.3% growth, with China on top at 9%.
Monday, China announced it drew a higher-than-forecast $7.1 billion in foreign investment, with industrial output, retail sales and market shares rising sharply together. It’s this sort of investment that creates millions of jobs, and those jobs create a middle class.
That’s an important detail, because it goes to the heart of what prosperity is: Countries with middle classes don’t need to be coerced by the global community to demand clean air and clean water. The leisure created with a new middle class allows the luxury of thinking about climate change.
China isn’t there yet, but if it halts the dynamic of wealth creation through what’s essentially a U.N. global tax on emissions, it won’t ever get there.
Other Asian countries, including nearby India, which seeks APEC membership, have the same sentiment.
“It is morally wrong for us to agree to reduce (emissions) when 40% of Indians do not have access to electricity,” an Indian delegate to a U.N. conference told the Washington Post in April.
Less a rich-poor divide, it’s all about the will to progress vs. the will to retreat. Copenhagen is all about retreating, and the example of Asia is the opposite.