How much difference will the Kyoto protocol realy make?

worskat

StellarCat
Hi guyz

I just read an alarming article on global warming (and the US, note http://biophile.co.za/biofiles/bush-official-edited-climate-change-reports) which concludes quite gravely that global warming is NOT a thousand year away, and is just around the corner. Yes, that means big sheite in our lifetimes. http://biophile.co.za/issue1/global-warming-fact-and-fiction . According to the conclusion of the article, the biggest threat to modern man is not terrorists, its global waming! In accordance to another article (and similar news seen on TV), South Africa, where I live, is about to go through a massive climate change! http://biophile.co.za/biofiles/warning-extreme-weather-ahead .
The thing is that global warming by a specific country does not always affect that country so much as places at the other end of the world (theres some smart theory behind it but thats the crux)

The kyoto protocol, even if signed by all countries (which implements taxation on pollution) will only make a 5 % difference... so at the end of the day the future of the planet is about everything our economies are based upon...

The pentagon has delivered a report to the US stating that the biggest possible threat to the US is the effects of global warming! Bush and his people refuse to believe it and see it as a hoax.:no:

AAAAARGH!
 

rcain

Member
the conspiracists amongst us would have to conclude that this is what 'they' want us to believe.

maybe 'climate' news ought to be put out just before the weather report, every channel, every day.
 

AEON

dipthong mong
kyoto is flawed, and is outdated, and doesn't cover the next big polluters -

but it's the spirit that counts... and the fact that doing something is better than nothing. the US signing up would be a symbolic gesture that they were willing to tackle the problem head on, but surprisingly this oil-soaked administration doesn't wish to do so...
 

Squagnut

There's a gnu in my squat
AEON said:
kyoto is flawed, and is outdated, and doesn't cover the next big polluters -

but it's the spirit that counts... and the fact that doing something is better than nothing. the US signing up would be a symbolic gesture that they were willing to tackle the problem head on, but surprisingly this oil-soaked administration doesn't wish to do so...

It's the spirit that counts? Have you read the Kyoto Protocol? I've tried looking for spirit in it, but it was written by lawyers. In any case, I disagree - it's reducing pollution that counts. Before Bush, Clinton's admin refused to sign up to it as well. The US won't even sign up to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Perhaps the US admin feels that the US Constitution and its amendments cover all bases?
 

rcain

Member
Squagnut said:
It's the spirit that counts? Have you read the Kyoto Protocol? I've tried looking for spirit in it, but it was written by lawyers. In any case, I disagree - it's reducing pollution that counts. Before Bush, Clinton's admin refused to sign up to it as well. The US won't even sign up to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Perhaps the US admin feels that the US Constitution and its amendments cover all bases?

...that would be American millitary 'bases', then...

it seems to me that the US, like Cartman in SouthPark will 'do what I want...'. Consistently it refuses to agree to anything that might benefit anyone outside of its own 'sphere of influence', even to the absurd extent of refuting scientific concensus in the process.

perhaps the US administration lacks a sense of 'inclusion' with the rest of the human race inhabiting this planet; a mind-set issue that goes beyond pollution control and one that is reinforced every time it throws its wieght around and creates yet more enemies for itself, and others. that lack of identification, leaves a vacuum too easily filled by the financial inducements and media propoganda wielded by powerful investment lobby groups.

whilst the Koyoto Protocol is still heavily flawed; there being no real way to 'enforce' it, as with all international law (whatever international law 'is'); producing as it does cynical secondary markets in 'emisison quotas'; not providing corresponding investment agreements on alternative energy industries - it does at least introduce the 'language' of 'environment management' into the existing forums on international trade and industrial development.

i think the only way America will sit up, pay attention and start to engage, is if it is threatend with further isolation and punitive trade tarriffs. that means concerted effort and singular political will from all other Kyoto signatories and an extension of the developing trade war. on past experience such a strategy is just as likely to produce yet another military-economic backlash rather than concession.

we have to hope for some common sense to start surfacing over the frothy, nonsensicle rhetoric that is the US's usual level of 'debate'. it should come from the language itself, but as we know also, tha Americans are very fond of corrupting the english language to suite their own meagre levels of literacy.

insults against americans will only cease when they stop making such arsholes of themselves; starting with whom they elect to run things.
 

Vanilla Penguin

V.P Psy comes to Dorset
If anyone reda "dumb white ...", then the reasons Bush wont' sign / doesn't believe the global warning issue are blatant.
Through his corrupt rise to power, he was funded by all the big auto companies & tobacco companies...check out the legislations that he has & hasn't let through..a truly scary man!!
 

crikey

Junior Members
America doubts mankinds ability to reverse the effects of climate change simply by reducing current C02 levels. America has now signed up to an agreement at G8 stating that climate change exists and is man made. America believes the only way to deal with the problem of climate change is through new technology (also sees this a potential revenue resource). Consequently they are spending far more than any other countries or groups of countries, on new resource technology. For example the Americans recently test flew the worlds first hydrogen powered plane. With many of the EU countries failing to meet their own Kyoto targets, and China, Brazil and India not included, the USA understandably sees the Kyoto protocol as an attempt by European leaders to slow down the US economy and thus gain a competitive advantage against it.
 

crikey

Junior Members
Sorry, I thought I was in a hurry then but I've got a bit of spare time. What I was basically trying to say was that although the US without doubt represents a major problem in the way of action in climate change, it is not necessarily so black and white. Try to imagine say 50 or 100 years hence. What type of technology will we all be using? Will we go back to bikes or forward to clean energy cars? Will we all stop taking foreign holidays or use clean enrgy air transport? And when this happens who will own all of the new climate friendly technology? (as it stands now it will be America). America thus sees itself as saving the planet and ensuring its own continued dominance of world economic affairs.

Obviously there are many flaws in this and I do not wish to endorse the American position wholeheartedly (please read my post before jumping on meor personally insulting me). However, there are just as many flaws in the Kyoto protocol - not least the fact that it simply is not going to be enforced and ignores the mighty China.
 

AEON

dipthong mong
Squagnut said:
It's the spirit that counts? Have you read the Kyoto Protocol? I've tried looking for spirit in it, but it was written by lawyers. In any case, I disagree - it's reducing pollution that counts. Before Bush, Clinton's admin refused to sign up to it as well. The US won't even sign up to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Perhaps the US admin feels that the US Constitution and its amendments cover all bases?





not sure i really got my point across properly! i have read little snatches of the Protocol, i'm not well-versed enough either in science or treaty-linguistics to make sense of it really...

i definitely agree that the reduction of pollution is vital. what i was trying to say is that whilst Kyoto may not be particularly effective, given that it apparently does not cover the next generation of big polluters, the bush administration should do all it can to halt the damage that it, the world's biggest polluter, is creating. unfortunately, as i mentioned, this administration's ideology is only barely related to anything remotely 'environmental' or even 'scientific', and any progress they have made (re: north american forests) has been utterly accidental imo.

more broadly, the US chooses what it will and will not participate in; the US has alone vetoed nearly 100 UNSC resolutions, including one stating that food was a universal human right; the US refuses to even think about allowing its troops to be prosecuted by the ICC yet still whinges about how the rest of the world does nothing to stop 'evildoers' (where is Milosevic being tried again?). in fact, iirc, the US was alone in its rights-of-the-child stance, save for one state - saddam hussein's iraq. funny huh... :Sad:

the key will be how future US administrations 'sell' environmentalist policy to the US public. i firmly believe the bush admin could do it easily, simply even, by linking it to security - i.e., 'we must develop alternative fuel sources/infrastructure to end our dependence on middle-eastern countries that hate us'. this argument, simplistic though it may be, might just be the best chance of getting through to the kind of dickhead average joe who has bumper stickers gloating about killing iraqis for cheap oil :-/

i think it was bill bryson who said that ultimately humanity's downfall may be because the media latched onto 'global warming' instead of the less-specific 'climate change'.
 

Kickstart

Junior Members
Hi

Kyoto is just a finger in the air and will have no real effect on its own. Assuming a 2 degree temperature rise by 2100, the effects of Kyoto by 2050 if every nation met its obligation would be to reduce the warming by 0.07 degrees. It is only intended as a starting point. Reality is that to keep flogging us cheap PCs and the like manufacturing will move to countries such as China to whim Kyoto does not apply

If you assume that man made global warming is true then it needs something far more that Kyoto to have any real effect. And what the Americans have signed up to is that global warming is real and that humanity is contributing.

By the way, here is the mean temperature measurements for central England going back to 1659.

The USA has vaste stocks of oil (not directly oil, but shale oil and the like). However, cheaper to get it from the middle east now and save theirs for cornering the market in the future. However we are probably now past the point where, if oil stays as expensive as it is now, then for most things bio fuels are cost effective. No real problem running engines on bio diesel or ethanol.

All the best

Keith
 

*Sophie*

Dame of The Sphinx
I shall put my hand up and say i don't know much about this topic.... but my iunderstanding of why the US didn't sign it is that it applies mainly to CO2 output, a gas that the US produces alot of, yes.

However in Europe, we mainly produce alot of Methane, something not covered by Kyoto (am i right... yeh?) thus it would be the case that if Kyoto put the same level of restrictions on methane production as it does on CO2, European leaders would not have signed it either.
 

Kickstart

Junior Members
Hi

Partly. Methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 (so is water vapour), but we also produce a hell of a lot of CO2 (although worldwide, only something like 3% of CO2 is manmade, the rest is natural).

However one thing the USA does not like is that they view countries like the UK who have pretty much wiped out their coal industry (and busy replacing coal fired power stations) to have made it rather easy for themselves by already being half way their. The starting point for Kyoto is quite convenient for the UK, set it 5 years later and the UK has far more trouble complying.

All the best

Keith
 

Firinne

Just a girl
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

Junior Members
Firinne said:
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 ...

Thanks for the reply Firinne. Would you mind re printing in the thread dedicated to this new agreement (sorry I posted it in two places foolishly). I'd really appreciate your contribution to this topic and it'll be best if it's all in one place.
 

Firinne

Just a girl
crikey said:
Thanks for the reply Firinne. Would you mind re printing in the thread dedicated to this new agreement (sorry I posted it in two places foolishly). I'd really appreciate your contribution to this topic and it'll be best if it's all in one place.

Done :Smile3:
 

Kickstart

Junior Members
Firinne said:
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.

Depends on how much "global warming" can be prevented (if at all), and what the financial costs are. We are unlikely to make any real difference at all even if we abandon most industries.

If CO2 is an issue (and despite what the UK government would have us believe, that is still far from certain), then it needs far more than the minor fiddling at the edges that have been advocated.

Problem is that there are lots of industries on both sides trying to scare people into supporting ideas that would give them more profits. Public transport being a big example (trying to claim it is more sustainable, when an averagely laden bus is no more fuel efficient than an average car, as buses are awful on fuel, getting worse and only carry something silly like 9 passengers on average).

All the best

Keith
 

Firinne

Just a girl
Very good point, maybe if those industries concentrated on changing their impact on the environment it would attract more people to using them. I think an effort does need to be made, even if we can't save ourselves we have a responsobility to the rest of the life on this planet to at least try and undo the damage we've done.
 

worskat

StellarCat
Well, I've stopped smoking (tobacco totally greens swithced to muffins) , started picking up papers i walk past (unless i'm in a large CBD in which case litter creates jobs, but like in a park I walk with a rubbish bag), and started working on re-representing a responsible non-parastic attitude and behaviour towards Gaia in pop culture... cos thats the problem... pop culture. if everyone started doing little things in life.... idealism is such a big word isn't it?

http://www.panda.org/news_facts/publications/general/livingplanet/index.cfm very scary and very true...
 
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