America sign environmental treaty

martin_e

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Um, "We promise not to pollute - but won't accept any penalties if we do. We will attempt to solve the problem with imaginary technology which we'll give to poor people, if it ever exists".

Fantastic, that'll sort it then...
 

crikey

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martin_e said:
Um, "We promise not to pollute - but won't accept any penalties if we do. We will attempt to solve the problem with imaginary technology which we'll give to poor people, if it ever exists".

Fantastic, that'll sort it then...
Just a quick point, but isn't all technology 'imaginary' before it has been invented? To my mind this as an argument does not negate the advantages of pursuing cleaner energy technology.

The advantages, as I see it, to this new agreement is its attempt to bring China into the process (something that Kyoto fails to do).

Martin e - do you think that the Kyoto signees will incur any penalties when (not if, in the case of the UK for example) they fail to meet it's targets? I am sceptical.
 

martin_e

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Kyoto is a pollution trading protocol. That means, if you are cleaner you can sell your pollution credits and if you are a polluter then you have to buy them from others. This adds a direct financial cost to the products you are importing/exporting based on your ability to cut emissions. This US protocol is simply words, there is no actual incentive to any of the nations involved to cut their emissions.
The US is a very odd country. Individual states (for example California) have excellent records on attempting to cut CO2 emissions, but the federal administration until very recently chose to believe (rough quote from their chief scientific advisor) that Global Warming was a fallacy constructed by other nation's scientists to damage US growth.

No one has proved that Carbon Sinks or similar imaginary technology could/would work. What has been proven is that unless action is taken to cut emissions NOW! then the problem will spiral even more out of control than it already is. The US treaty does not address the urgent need to shift world reliance from oil to renewable energies... and therefore will kill millions over the next 30-50 years.
 

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(Reposted from the other thread at request, I'm not just repeating myself for fun honest) :Wink3:

I'd happily shake whoever made the statement "climate change should only be addressed without harming development or economic growth". There needs to be an inclusive commitment to tackle global warming if we're to make any real difference, and that need far outweighs economic interests. It's a pity there's no agreement that countries signed up to the Kyoto protocol will not trade with those placing economy before the welfare of the planet, that might make some kind of difference ...
 

crikey

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martin_e said:
Kyoto is a pollution trading protocol. That means, if you are cleaner you can sell your pollution credits and if you are a polluter then you have to buy them from others. This adds a direct financial cost to the products you are importing/exporting based on your ability to cut emissions. This US protocol is simply words, there is no actual incentive to any of the nations involved to cut their emissions.
The US is a very odd country. Individual states (for example California) have excellent records on attempting to cut CO2 emissions, but the federal administration until very recently chose to believe (rough quote from their chief scientific advisor) that Global Warming was a fallacy constructed by other nation's scientists to damage US growth.

No one has proved that Carbon Sinks or similar imaginary technology could/would work. What has been proven is that unless action is taken to cut emissions NOW! then the problem will spiral even more out of control than it already is. The US treaty does not address the urgent need to shift world reliance from oil to renewable energies... and therefore will kill millions over the next 30-50 years.
martin e,

I am very supportive of emissions trading schemes and am aware that the Kyoto protocol attempts to bring in an element of emmissions trading. However, when a signatory country fails to reach it's targets and is then required to purchase the right to the extra pollution, what will happen if they refuse to buy these credits? Operating as it does in the arena of international politics Kyoto is also mainly reliant on goodwill, as it will, in all probability lack the teeth to bring signatory countries to account.

But I must say that I support the Kyoto agreement and of course believe that it is a shame that the US is not on board. However, even if it were, China would not be, and this is obviously a big problem. I am optmistic that this latest agreement can work as a compliment to the Kyoto agreement rather than as an antagonistic force.

Finally, do you believe that the EU countries are doing enough to develop cleaner energy technologies, and is it a good thing that the US is investing so heavily in them?

(One thing I think is always important to bear in mind with these kind of international, cross border issues is the problem of collective action that they embody, and that makes them so hard to address. Politics is the art of the possible after all).
 

martin_e

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crikey said:
Finally, do you believe that the EU countries are doing enough to develop cleaner energy technologies, and is it a good thing that the US is investing so heavily in them?
I don't believe there will be any significant invention coming from the funding. The history of renewable energy sources is just too depressing to believe that this investment will go anywhere... expect to find it used for reducing (minimally) the harm of growing pollution rather than offer any real alternatives. Also expect the oil industry to be the major recipient...

In a hurry so will find the links later; about 15 years ago someone worked out a fantastic way of using the tidal flow of water to create huge amount of energy. The idea was a string of "Ducks", small devices which would create electricity from simply bobbing up and down on the water as the tide flowed in and out.
They were cheap to make, had a fantastic return on energy and lasted a very long time.

Esso bought the patent rights... ever heard of them since ?

Remember the Bush dynasty is built on Oil and similar industries. DuPont Chemicals which is the basis of the Bush family fortune was instrumental in destroying the bleach-free paper pulping (using hemp) which was threatening to damage their profits. That's why Cannabis is illegal, no other reason. Read Jack Herer's book "The Emporer has no clothes" for the full, nasty story. (you can read it online at http://www.jackherer.com ).

Kyoto is too little too late. It cannot reverse global warming - which will kill millions in the near future. However this new pact is a cover-up and a sticking plaster for the outrage the world feels that the world's biggest polluter simply *will not do anything* to help stop this happening...
 

crikey

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Thanks for the good reply martin e,

"don't believe there will be any significant invention coming from the funding. The history of renewable energy sources is just too depressing to believe that this investment will go anywhere... expect to find it used for reducing (minimally) the harm of growing pollution rather than offer any real alternatives. Also expect the oil industry to be the major recipient..."

I honestly think you are being unduly pessimistic. Remember the difference between the current climate (forgive the pun) for producing cleaner energy technology in the present compared to the past is simple scarcity. As oil and coal become increasingly physically scarce they will become increasingly expensive, thus making alternative energy sources more attractive for investors. The oil industry may well be major recipients, but that will be because it will have been they who invested in the new technology - all the more reason for the EU to get off its arse and begin increasing their investment into cleaner energy technology.

Got to go now but I'll post again tomorrow.
 
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