Should the US have ratified the Kyoto Protocol?

Should the US have ratified the Kyoto Protocol?

  • Yes, and I am American
  • No, and I am American
  • Yes, and I am not American

0 voters

Should the US have ratified the Kyoto Protocol? The current administration has received a lot of bad press in foreign circles, especially in Europe, for refusing to ratify the treaty. From an objective standpoint, the protocol has flaws. First, developing nations (notably China and India) are excluded from the standards of the protocol. President Clinton himself said that developing nations should be required to reduce their carbon emissions before the US binds itself to the treaty. Second, many European nations who signed the protocol failed to meet their own targets. Third, the treaty’s main emphasis is on carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels, and fails to consider other emissions like sulfur.

On the other hand, the treaty may be a positive first step. While it is a good point that developing nations shall not be excluded from reducing emissions, it is not quite fair for developed nations to use this reasoning to exclude themselves when they were the ones who contributed the most to C02 emissions in the first place.

The current administration was right in its emphasis on improving technology to combat climate change. But saying that adhering to a global climate pact would damage the US economy is highly debatable. Would an improved environment enhance productivity and profits?

The US is now all alone. . . again.

Participation in the Kyoto Protocol, where dark green indicates countries that have signed and ratified the treaty, yellow is signed, but not yet ratified, grey is not yet decided and red is no intention of ratifying. As of 3 December 2007.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ky … ignatories

[quote]Australia has urged the United States to commit to targets for greenhouse gas cuts, ending a decade of solid support for the American position on global warming.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told the United Nations climate change conference in Bali that all developed countries, even those that refused to ratify the Kyoto protocol, had to embrace targets to combat rising world temperatures.

The significant change in direction came less than an hour after Mr Rudd presented UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with Australia’s instrument of ratification for Kyoto - a document former prime minister John Howard refused to sign for almost 10 years.

Mr Rudd received several rounds of sustained applause from delegates at the conference . . . [/quote]
news.smh.com.au/rudd-urges-us-to … -1ghu.html

A choice is missing: “No, and I am not American”. (Which begs the question: is this question even needed?)

Two possibilities:
a) Global warming is a danger
b) Global warming is not a danger

Two choices:

  1. We ratify Kyoto
  2. We don’t ratify Kyoto

Results:
a1: Anything from “Thank god we ratified Kyoto” to “Well, at least we tried.”
b1: No harm done.
a2: Oh shit!
b2: Whew! We sure lucked out!

I’d say the best course of action is ratifying Kyoto. The worst that could happen is no harm is done, and at least we’d have cleaner air. The best that could happen is we’d save the earth. What we want to avoid is “Oh shit!”

I wish that people would wake up and realise that it is no place to play political games. there is nothing to be gained from sitting well over on the right side of the fence, or even on the fence, as the fence melts.

I think that A2 Oh Shit is the most likely outcome based on the lack of political will among the biggest 2 polluters, China and the USA. without meaningful technology replacement in both these countries, anything else the rest of the world does is deck-chair rearrangement at best.

China, India and Brazil, and any country really, do not have the right to use old dirty technology any more. those times were in the past. sure, you have the rright to develop, but not with old technology. the rest of the world should help them get that into their heads. get with the program, dickheads, or there will be no more program. end of transmission.

Should they do what everyone else seems to be doing? Ratify it, make big headlines and then not bother doing anything to meet their obligation under the treaty. Has any country actually met the goals required by the Kyoto treaty?

What’s the point of signing someone if no one bothers to enact it?

[quote=“Gilgamesh”]Should they do what everyone else seems to be doing? Ratify it, make big headlines and then not bother doing anything to meet their obligation under the treaty. Has any country actually met the goals required by the Kyoto treaty?

What’s the point of signing someone if no one bothers to enact it?[/quote]

Good point. What’s even better is that developing countries can sign the KP but not reduce their emissions. China is among the “developing countries,” despite the fact it’s energy usage will soon outpace America’s.

[quote=“gao_bo_han”][quote=“Gilgamesh”]Should they do what everyone else seems to be doing? Ratify it, make big headlines and then not bother doing anything to meet their obligation under the treaty. Has any country actually met the goals required by the Kyoto treaty?

What’s the point of signing someone if no one bothers to enact it?[/quote]

Good point. . .[/quote]

Is it a good point? The party that makes the most noise about the treaty is the US, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases and the only developed nation that has NOT ratified the treaty. Among countries that HAVE ratified it, apparently in the period from 1990 - 2004, the following members have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions as follows:

UK -14%
Germany -17%
Czech Republic -25%
Slovakia -30%
Poland -31%
Hungary -31%
Russia -32%
Romania -41%
etc., etc.
Lithuania -60%
link

I don’t know if that means they’ve met all their goals or not, but those figures sound pretty damned good to me.

Meanwhile, in the good 'ole US of A, California, as usual, is taking the lead, followed by a number of responsible states, while industry and the fed government continue to drag their feet and try to delay.

[quote]A federal judge in Sacramento on Wednesday upheld a California law regulating greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks, another in a string of legal defeats for the auto industry this year.

The ruling, by Federal District Judge Anthony W. Ishii, affirms a 2002 California law that would effectively force automakers to raise the average fuel economy of their fleets by about 30 percent by 2016. . .

The auto companies challenged the California law, which 15 other states say they intend to adopt, saying that it is technically and financially impossible to meet. They also argued that regulation of vehicle mileage is the responsibility of the federal government, not the states. . .

Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. of California called the ruling “a major victory for California.”

“This is the fourth defeat for the Bush administration and the auto companies, and I hope it sends a powerful message to the White House and to Congress that California’s role as an innovator should be appreciated and not negated, Mr. Brown.”

He was referring to an April United States Supreme Court decision affirming the E.P.A.’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, as well as a federal court ruling from Vermont in May upholding California’s law and a federal appeals court ruling in November chastising the Department of Transportation for failing to enforce its own vehicle mileage rules.

In 2002, California adopted the first state law requiring auto manufacturers to begin reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases. In 2004, it issued regulations for achieving the emission reductions. Vermont adopted the same standards, as did other states, including Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Fran Pavley, a former member of the California state Assembly who wrote the emissions bill, said on Wednesday that Judge Ishii’s ruling represented a legal tipping point, leaving the auto manufacturers and the Bush administration isolated on the regulation of gases that scientists say contribute to global warming.

“What we’re finding is that this is a bipartisan issue,” Ms. Pavley. “The states have moved on and they are working together to be responsible in doing their fair share to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”[/quote]
nytimes.com/2007/12/12/us/12 … ns.html?hp

Sulfur dioxide is not a greenhouse gas, so why would they need to consider it?

Sulfur hexaflouride is a gg, but as only 8000tonnes are produced each year, emissions are low. 2007 concentrations are about 6 parts per trillion (CO2 is 380 parts per million). SF6 is a poisonous gas though, so it’s use shoud be limited. It could be a good candidate for an anti-terrorist treaty, but it’s not really relevent to Kyoto.

[quote][url=http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/child-birth-homeless-1942317-year-percent]At the recent climate jamboree in Bali, the Rev. Al Gore told the assembled faithful: “My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here.” Really? The American Thinker’s Web site ran the numbers. In the seven years between the signing of Kyoto in 1997 and 2004, here’s what happened:

•Emissions worldwide increased 18.0 percent;

•Emissions from countries that signed the treaty increased 21.1 percent;

•Emissions from nonsigners increased 10.0 percent; and

•Emissions from the United States increased 6.6 percent.
[/url][/quote]

:s

[quote=“Tigerman”][quote][url=http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/child-birth-homeless-1942317-year-percent]At the recent climate jamboree in Bali, the Rev. Al Gore told the assembled faithful: “My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here.” Really? The American Thinker’s Web site ran the numbers. In the seven years between the signing of Kyoto in 1997 and 2004, here’s what happened:

•Emissions worldwide increased 18.0 percent;

•Emissions from countries that signed the treaty increased 21.1 percent;

•Emissions from nonsigners increased 10.0 percent; and

•Emissions from the United States increased 6.6 percent.
[/url][/quote]

:s[/quote] What’s with that? The US and Canada did act to obstruct progress at the meeting in Bali… a different kettle of fish from actions taken away from the meeting.

Depends on how you define “progress”. :wink: I believe that signing onto and adhering to Kyoto would send us back, not forward.

Anyway, I only posted those stats as they are relevant to the question posed in this thread.

[quote]UK -14%
Germany -17%
Czech Republic -25%
Slovakia -30%
Poland -31%
Hungary -31%
Russia -32%
Romania -41%
etc., etc.
Lithuania -60% [/quote]

Almost all of these nations benefited directly from the old communist era factories that were shut down. That ain’t going to happen in the rest of the developed world. This is a bit dishonest. And since the US under Reagan was key in destroying communism, the US should get all the credit for having these emissions reduced! haha

I note as Tigerman has said, those who signed Kyoto saw emissions increase by over 20 percent, while it was only 6.5 percent in the US. Kyoto is failed.

Thing I never heard answered on this global warming is how much emissions need to be reduced by to stop global warming? Didn’t hear an answer on this from the Bali junket.

China has taken over as the biggest carbon emitter in the world. How can you convince a developing country to stay back in the Stone Age and forgo development (enjoyed by other western countries from the Industrial revolution to now). On the other hand, as long as China is pumping out carbon (in increasing amounts) which is dispersed all over the world, then what incentives are there for other countries to curtail, cut back, pay carbon taxes, when in the greater scheme of things all is zeroed by what China does.

Any protocols or grand ideas will fail, because there is no incentive or way to enforce them. Maybe the guys in Bali feel absolved since they at least tried to do something about global warming (which BTW others dispute is caused by carbon emissions), while China in the meantime has been thinking of other ways to export cheap stuff to these said countries

Amen to that TNT!

I have an idea. How about having economic development without polluting?

Genius…I’m a genius…

I think that your cat avatar has more genius… I hope that you are both neutered less this unfortunate tendency to genius replicate itself.

Your map is misleading. There is no colour for the countries who signed and ratified Kyoto and then DID NOTHING. Canada falls into that category, how many others do too?

You are missing out on the point that underlies so much of liberal nonsensical theory. It does not matter what you do or don’t do as long as you show that you care. It is about the effort rather than the result. Hence removing Saddam is bad because someone might actually die in the process. It is better to talk about how bad he is without making a move lest someone get hurt despite not solving and in fact perpetuating the problem. Likewise, right-minded citizens support “doing something” about global warming as long as they don’t have to actually “do something” about it other than march or send emails railing against evil corporate oil interests… Look at Jack Burton’s responses on global warming and “sense” and “feel” his concern. Also, “sense” and “feel” that I do not have that same “concern” which makes me a bad person despite being quite capable of factually buttressing why I have arrived at my conclusions. Of course, I am wrong because the rest of the scientific community has “consensus” just one that cannot be proved. Everyone just “knows” this.

fred, that’s such a typical response from you. the cat’s point was a good one, and in fact is the central one: ALL future development must be done in ways that minimise or even eliminate pollution.

sure, China is about to develop dramatically, and no one is saying that they should not. what we are trying to point out, however, is that they if are allowed to go down the same “cheapest solution, never mind about the pollution factor” path that helped the US and Europe on their way, they’ll totally overwhelm the world with the pollution from this much-anticipated development.

it was barely acceptable for american companies to pour out such crap in their qust for development at the lowest cost, and that was using the technology of the day. however, it is now totally unacceptable for china to go on using the same crap technology (remember, that is technology from circa 1880 in many cases), especially now that we all know the problems caused by it, and now that there are so many more people in the world (meaning that the old adage that the solutionb to pollution is dilution is no longer apposite).

so yes, we should be able to impose “wasteful energy use during manufacture” taxes on imported goods, and impose “shitty technology” taxes on imports, so that there is no market for shoddy Chinese merchandise.

you really don’t think there is a problem, do you? or maybe you do now but don’t think the solution, even the partial solution we have now, is strong enough. well, at least you’ve moved on a bit then.

making a partial solution is better than none, as there is at least some movement in the right direction, even though much more is needed. sitting on your hands as you don’t think the solution goes far enough is a lot like refusing to go to the ball as there is a missing button on the back of your gown. C’mon, Cinderella, you’ll NEVER have sex with the Prince if you never leave the house.

and we should take away the Security council veto power of the 5 members of the old guard so that the UN has some effect.

But, doesn’t Kyoto allow China to take just that path?

But, doesn’t Kyoto allow China to go on using the same crap technology?

That could be problematic.

How is Kyoto even a partial solution?

How is Kyoto going to help?