[quote=“blueface666”]Interesting article here:
This is precisely the point the Bush administration has been making for the past two years in the face of withering criticism from Europeans. We simply do not know enough to commit hundreds of billions of dollars toward the kind of solutions demanded by the Kyoto Protocol. We need more research[/quote]
Are you serious? :shock:
maybe i am just too cynical, but is the precise point that Bush is worried about more substantive scientific research (and should we wait until 100% scientist say yes, if that were possible, before actually acting?) or is Bush watching out for his buddies’ interest in the various industries which would be affected by ratification of Kyoto. and is 7% decrease in emissions by 2012 really so threatening to the US economy?
(granted, I am not saying that the science is strong enough on other side of the issue, but it’s not like we could definitively say whether humans are impacting on the macro-climate changes over cycles of 100,000+ years. but it should be easier to analyze impact over hundreds of years.)
as for the US govt, why doesn’t Bush just send it over to the Senate and House for debate? Sure, it may be within the prerogative of the Executive for international treaties, but wouldn’t it be healthier for democratic processes to open the debate to the Legislative too?
something to think about from the NRDC
[quote]Q. Do other industrialized countries support the Kyoto Protocol?
A. Yes. On March 4, 2001, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Christie Whitman and top environmental officials from the seven other largest industrialized countries met in Trieste, Italy, and issued a declaration in which they said, in part: “We commit ourselves to strive to reach agreement on outstanding political issues and to ensure in a cost-effective manner the environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol? A successful outcome at [the next formal international negotiating session, scheduled for Bonn, Germany, in July] is necessary to allow early entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol. For most countries this means no later than 2002, with timely ratification processes.”
That view was reiterated recently by the British environment minister, Michael Meacher, who told the BBC that Kyoto was “the only game in town.” The European Union, he said, should proceed to ratify the protocol in 2002.
Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol has been slowed down primarily by U.S. efforts to negotiate loopholes in the agreement.
Q. Did the U.S. Senate vote against ratifying the Kyoto Protocol?
A. No. The protocol has never been submitted to the senate for ratification. The Bush administration has referred to a vote on the non-binding Byrd-Hagel resolution, which registered views on some aspects of protocol negotiations. The vote on the Byrd-Hagel resolution took place prior to the conclusion of the Kyoto agreement, and before any of the flexibility mechanisms were established. The resolution was written so broadly that even strong supporters of the Kyoto Protocol, such as senators Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) voted for it. In doing so, Sen. Kerry said: “It is clear that one of the chief sponsors of this resolution, Senator Byrd . . . agrees ?that the prospect of human-induced global warming as an accepted thesis with adverse consequences for all is here, and it is real? Senator Lieberman, Senator Chafee and I would have worded some things differently?[but] I have come to the conclusion that these words are not a treaty killer.”
Q. Are developing countries exempt from the Kyoto Protocol?
A. No. The Kyoto Protocol was negotiated and signed in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the 1992 treaty signed by George W. Bush’s father and ratified by the Senate. The climate convention requires all countries, including developing countries, to establish programs to address greenhouse gas emissions and to report on progress. The 1992 treaty also requires developed countries such as the United States to take the lead in limiting greenhouse gas emissions. In particular, the 1992 treaty commits the United States and other developed countries to establish programs designed to return greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. Current U.S. emissions are about 15 percent greater than they were in 1990.
Developed countries such as the United States, with only 25 percent of the world’s population, are responsible for more than 75 percent of the accumulated greenhouse gas pollution in the atmosphere to date. Nonetheless, many developing countries - including China, India, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina - have made progress in reducing the greenhouse gas emission rates from their economies through improved transport, forestry and other policies. While U.S. carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise, emissions in China have dropped more than 17 percent since 1997.
The Kyoto agreement is consistent with the 1992 treaty principle that developed countries should provide leadership in addressing global warming. Singling out China and India, as the president has done, demonstrates the inequity in his claim of unfairness. Nearly half the population of India lives on less than $1 per day; the death rate of Indian children under 5 years is 13 times higher than in the United States; the average person in Indian uses less electricity in a year than the average American uses every two weeks. Given that developed countries have put 75 percent of accumulated greenhouse pollution in the atmosphere and the disparity in living conditions between the United States and such countries as China and India, it is morally bankrupt to argue that the United States should refuse to take additional action until the world’s poor countries take the same action.
Q. Would the Kyoto Protocol seriously harm the U.S. economy?
A. No. The Bush administration has done absolutely no analysis to substantiate its claim that the Kyoto Protocol or domestic policies to reduce carbon dioxide pollution from power plants would seriously harm the U.S. economy. While industry trade associations have published many misleading claims of economic harm, two comprehensive government analyses have shown that it is possible to reduce greenhouse pollution to levels called for in the Kyoto agreement without harming the U.S. economy.
In 1998, the White House Council of Economic Advisors concluded that the costs of implementing the Kyoto Protocol would be “modest” – no more than a few tenths of 1 percent of gross domestic product in 2010, equivalent to adding no more than a month or two to a ten-year forecast for achieving a vastly increased level of wealth in this country. A subsequent and more detailed study by five Department of Energy national laboratories found that policies to promote increases in energy efficiency would allow the United States to make most of the emission reductions required to comply with the Kyoto Protocol through domestic measures that have the potential to improve economic performance over the long run. The only study that President Bush cited in announcing his reversal on CO2 reductions, a report by the Energy Information Administration, failed to consider the inexpensive greenhouse pollution reductions that can be achieved through energy efficiency. The study also ignored the Kyoto Protocol’s flexible market mechanisms, which the United States has spent the last three years negotiating with other signatories.
While the Bush administration may assert that previous government cost studies are inaccurate, there is no basis for such a view. The current administration has not conducted its own analysis of the costs of the Kyoto agreement.[/quote]