December 9, 2005

More December Hot Air

Hatched by Dafydd

In an otherwise tedious and uninteresting Reuters story -- hey, we read these things so you don't have to! -- I stumbled across this perfect example of the lie by omission:

President George W. Bush pulled out of Kyoto in 2001, arguing that mandatory cuts on emissions from fossil fuels would hamper growth and job creation. Washington prefers its own approach to stem global warming, mostly by investing heavily in technology.

Why is this a lie? Because in reality, Bush did not pull out of the Kyoto Protocol -- because we were never in it to begin with.

True, Bill Clinton signed the agreement (rather, Al Gore -- but he was signing on behalf of the president); but he never submitted it to the Senate for ratification, as required by Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution before a treaty can go into effect. Why didn't he? That's an easy one:

On July 25, 1997, before the Kyoto Protocol was to be negotiated, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed by a 95–0 vote the Byrd-Hagel Resolution (S. Res. 98), which stated the sense of the Senate was that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing as well as industrialized nations or "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States". On November 12, 1998, Vice President Al Gore symbolically signed the protocol. Aware of the Senate's view of the protocol, the Clinton Administration never submitted the protocol for ratification.

When George W. Bush became president, he took a look at the signed but never ratified treaty, concluded that the Senate would never ratify it, and simply formalized what was already the de facto situation: that the United States had never officially agreed to the Kyoto Protocol.

Not wanting the onus to fall upon Mr. C., however, Reuters simply omits this part of the story. The closest they come is here:

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who supported Kyoto but failed to convince U.S. lawmakers, will enter the fray on Friday with an appearance on the sidelines of the conference.

I think readers could be forgiven for failing to deduce from this comma-delimited parenthetical remark the actual sequence of events I detailed above. Oh, and here is one more lie by omission; Reuters just seems full of it today -- full of such failures to relate the whole truth, I mean:

Many here had hoped that the United States' resistance would be broken by this year's extreme weather events, particularly Hurricane Katrina's destruction of New Orleans. Scientific evidence suggests global warming might be behind recent devastating weather patterns.

It's possible that some papers submitted to refereed journals here and there might have made such an argument; I can't say for certain that none has. But the reality is that the overwhelming consensus of meteorologists, atmospheric physicists and chemists, and other scientists from relevant disciplines is that global warming has nothing to do with the frequency or intensity of hurricanes -- and that in fact, there was nothing particularly unusual about this year's hurricane season, except that one big one happened to hit a heavily populated area of the United States and kill 1,000 people.

But of course, Reuters simply didn't have room to fit in all of these inconveniently non-fitting facts; besides, that wasn't the story they wanted to tell.

Thus are great nonsense-discoveries made.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, December 9, 2005, at the time of 1:38 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Terry Gain

Great scholarship Dafydd. Now if only you could get al-Reuters to issue a correction...

The above hissed in response by: Terry Gain [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 9, 2005 9:22 PM

The following hissed in response by: jofree

President Bush correctly declined to seek ratification of the Kyoto Protocol because it imposed disproportionate burdens on the United States. A Yale University economic study estimated that the United States would have incurred 66% of the total cost of implementing the global warming treaty's mandatory reduction targets while we emit approximately 25% of the heat-trapping carbon gases. This could have resulted in the loss of 4 million jobs if President Bush had succumbed to the usual liberal pressure to accede to global pressure.

Meanwhile,two of the largest producers of carbon gases - China and India - have no obligations at all under the treaty. Not surprisingly, China criticized the United States at the Montreal conference for not subjecting itself to more unfair numerical quotas while insisting on continued immunity for itself after 2012. Once again, a United Nations sponsored global conference is being used to harm our country rather than advance the common good.

Joseph A. Klein, author of "Global Deception: The UN's Stealth Assault on America's Freedom"

The above hissed in response by: jofree [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2005 3:43 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Folks, Joe Klein originally didn't set up the "shameless plug" at the bottom of his comment as a link; but I wandered over to Amazon and took a look, and Global Deception sounds like a pretty interesting book.

So I added the link on my own. You're certainly encouraged to click on it and check out Mr. Klein's work.

(If you object to the link, JK, just let me know and I'll restore it to the way it was.)


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2005 6:01 PM

The following hissed in response by: jofree

Thank you, Dafydd, for adding the link and for your kind words about Global Deception.

The above hissed in response by: jofree [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 12, 2005 7:56 PM

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