Floating point exception

Chris Horner, Feb. 2, 2007:
The speech that Mr. Bush should have given would assert the America's leadership position relative to major economies. Pick any year since the Kyoto Protocol was agreed to in 1997, Mr. Bush should have said, and the U.S. CO2 emission performance is superior to that of all major Kyoto parties, including and most notably Europe (CO2 being the focus of the many pending legislative proposals).
One would never know this from reading European Union press releases, most any media account or even White House statements on the issue. The latter fact is deeply troubling given the political and diplomatic capital lost over public misunderstanding of this matter, and also the traction that proposals to mimic Europe's failed approach are gaining in Congress. In truth, Europe's CO2 emissions are rising twice as fast as those of the U.S. since Kyoto, three times as fast since 2000. This figure balloons to more than five times as fast when one tallies the individual country average of the EU-15.
Peter Gleick, June 1, 2007 [PDF warning]:
First of all, Horner gets his math wrong, even when selectively choosing 1997 as a base year. From 1997 to 2004 (the last year for which official data are available for both regions), European carbon dioxide emissions rose just under 8%; US emissions rose just under 7%. Thus, Horner’s claim that “Europe’s CO2 emissions are rising twice as fast as those of the U.S. since Kyoto” is false. Indeed, in absolute terms, US carbon dioxide emissions rose by a larger amount over this period than Europe’s.
Chris Horner, June 5, 2007 [National Review warning]:
(a quick check indicates that their claim about the 1997-2004 period is closer to true than mine: As they claim, Europe's CO2 emissions increased at a greater pace than the US — thereby reaffirming my point..."paging Dr. Pyrrhus" — but not by a factor of two).
Might be time to upgrade from the SR-22.

Chris isn't just someone sitting around chatting with his buddies at the local dive, accidentally getting some numbers wrong while discussing global warming. On behalf of the "Competitive" Enterprise Institute he wrote and op-ed for the Washington Times and chatted about global warming on Fox News. Not that the audience at these two fine news outlets aren't already convinced that the Kyoto protocol is a thinly veiled communist plot to take over the world, but his sloppy analysis became an official White House talkingpoint. Moreover, after a brief 'feh, whatever, double or just one percent difference, who cares!' moment this is his summary:
I cannot tell you their motivations, but can only guess. But as it is so clearly important to these people to portray me as White House puppet master, I invite them to try again.
Maybe their motivation was accuracy.

Granted, in the other parts of the post Chris makes a somewhat valid point about comparing carbon with carbon and that's a fair--though maybe inconsequential (?)--critique of his detractors. But right after making this point, he goes right back to spin with this one:
They invoke various complaints that I am arbitrary in choosing the year that Kyoto was agreed, or the more modern 2000
Uhm, no. It's not that choosing the year 2000 is arbitrary, it's that it's quite intentional on his part:
Between 2000 and 2001, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions temporarily declined because of the modest economic slowdown and the dramatic drop in air traffic and travel following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, not because of government policies to reduce emissions.
Which might make it a more of an intentional a choice as he accuses the "alarmist industry" of making when they chose 1990. Back in 1997. And it's not like none of the non-participants benefitted from a 1990 start date.

That having been said, I've got a full day of meetings lined up for Wednesday (seems like I've got more of them up here than in Philly, don't it?), so the enormous number of readers of this blog will be stuck with yet another cryptic rant about some little-known think-tank dork until I get around to posting some other stuff.