Kyoto Day

Over at Reason Ronald Bailey notes that the Kyoto Protocol goes into effect today. I suppose it was bound to happen eventually. His article notes a little UN trickery:

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the international body charged with evaluating global warming science and policy, offered a number of scenarios in its last comprehensive report. Those scenarios used various computer simulations of greenhouse gas emissions levels and climate sensitivities to project a range of possible increases in global average temperatures from 1.5 to 5.8 degrees Celsius by 2100. (The 5.8-degree change would be about the same change as the increase that ended the last ice age 18,000 years ago.)

However, the alarming 5.8 degree Celsius forecast resulted from a combination of very sensitive computer climate models with economic projections that assumed such unlikely developments as essentially no improvements in energy production technologies over the next century and a world population of 15 billion people emitting four times the current per capita levels of carbon dioxide.

Why even include a projection as unlikely as that one? Being charitable I could say they wanted a worst case, but it seems more likely that they needed a scary number.

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To be fair, as far as I can

To be fair, as far as I can tell the oft-cited numbers of how many trillions of dollars of economic development Kyoto will cost us make exactly the same assumption of "essentially no improvements in energy production technologies over the next century."