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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-04-2001 08:19 PM
RE:Bush's withdrawl from the Kyoto Climate Summit

First off: Juro, this is in no way a slam on you. I don't think I will come off that way but I wanted to make sure I was clear from the start. I just love a good political debate and I couldn't resist.

Oh my nasty conservative nature is just crying for me to speak out. Before I go on I want to say up front that I do care about the environment, I’ve reported contaminators and resource abusers, I always try to leave a place cleaner than when I arrived, and I am generally conservation minded.

First of all the Kyoto Protocol calls for the US to decrease it’s CO2 emissions to 7% below our 1990 emissions. When the standard takes effect it will mean we will have to effectively reduce our CO2 emissions by 40%. If all the countries adhere to the called for reductions we will realize a temperature reduction of .13 degrees by the year 2050 and the best guess estimates of the IPCC (the main proponent of the Kyoto Protocol) is for warming to be 2.25 degrees by 2100. (An interesting side note is that the IPCC’s best guess dropped 3.55 degrees in 8 years and there is still a large body of evidence to indicate that it is still too high.)

What will we pay to achieve this reduction? The cumulative effect will be about 12% GDP per year. (Do you think the economy is suffering now?)

What might this mean in more “real life” terms? Taking into account population growth and making the assumption that we make lighting 20% more efficient, approximately 13 million homes would have to have their lights turned off. For the automobile industry to meet their share of the burden we would have to have an average MPG of 36. Not so bad until you consider that many of the cars on the road today will still be on the road, then to meet the average of 36 the manufacturers would have to produce vehicles with an average MPG of 60 and do it in about 7 – 10 years.

On to the unfairness of it all. While we are reducing our emissions by 40% countries like Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan will emit more carbon than the US under little or no restrictions while dictating compliance terms to the US. If you were in the business of making things that resulted in greenhouse gas emissions where would you do it? (yet more damage to our economy)

Debunking the warming hysteria: a number of interesting points. 1. The "carbon dioxide fertilization effect", meaning that higher CO2 levels increase plant growth like the loblolly pine (perhaps the largest producer of lumber) which will increase it’s growth rate by 25% per year by 2050, was underestimated by half by the computer models seriously affecting their results. 2. There are more trees in North America today than when our forefathers arrived and the forests are growing so rapidly that they are actually consuming more CO2 per year than we emit. Our continent is a net “sink” for CO2. 3. The vast majority of any warming that does occur will take place in the winter, and within that season, the coldest, deadliest air masses will show the greatest change. 4. In one single eruption Mt. Penatubo released into the atmosphere more greenhouse gasses than mankind has created in it’s ENTIRE history!

All that being said I think the Kyoto Protocol is a noble pursuit championed by truly caring individuals – I just think they are misguided. Clearly there is much we can do to be better stewards of our one and only world and I am confident that our consciences and that of our country will lead us to do the right thing. Perhaps not as fast as some of us would like but they will be the ones who push the rest and it will happen.

One final note: Just today the US completed a very successful test of a laser based anti-missile defense system. And there is very strong evidence of liquid water under the ice of Jupiter’s moon Io. (I may have got the moon and planet mixed up.)
04-04-2001 12:16 PM
RE:Bush's withdrawl from the Kyoto Climate Summit

It's not just a U.S. problem Juro.

On a sighly lesser scale, a few years ago back in the U.K. we heard government appointed health officers violently objecting to any public warnings related to BSE (mad cow disease) in the absence of definitive scientific evidence - meaning we won't take any action and will actively resist any independent measures until enough people have contracted the disease.

I seem to recall GWB's father making a similar comment when he was in office about being in support of environmental protection but "not at the expense of jobs".

It sometimes seems to me that our current collective abilities to address global challenges are about as sophisticated as the techniques employed by a seveteenth century surgeon.
04-04-2001 10:31 AM
Bush's withdrawl from the Kyoto Climate Summit

Bush's apparent rejection of the <!--http--><a href="" target="_blank">international treaty proceedings</a><!--url--> for global emission controls rubs me the wrong way. It makes me remember the Reagan years when Watt was our Secretary of the Interior and our chairman was saying things like "there is no such thing as acid rain" and ozone depletion, global warming, etc - while believing it was possible to shoot ICBM's from space using laser guns. There are probably yahoos out there thinking we can build another biodome somewhere if we trash our atmosphere, when the reality is we can not find liquid water anywhere beyond our precious blue planet in th endless expanse of our universe.

Bush questions the growing scientific consensus on the causes and dangers of climate change. The treaty calls for reduction of greenhouse gasses linked to global warming. The US emits roughly 25% of all greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere. The US signed the treaty in 1997 in Kyoto, thus referred to as the "Kyoto Protocol".

What worries me is that the right only care about money; usually for the "haves" verses the "have-nots", and anything that stands in the way is disposable in the near term without concern for the future. Believe me, there are things that bother me about the left too, but that's another story.

By deciding that the world's strongest and richest country shall refuse to participate in a global, United Nations summit to seek consensus on emissions controls to help the environmental health of our sole freely inhabitable planet in the universe, what message is he sending to the world? I feel compromised in the world community as an American citizen by his actions, but officials from the other international participants feel seriously compromised. Although I am no such official I feel I have an equal stake in this and believe the current adminstration's actions are irresponsible to say the least.

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