So I'd just like to thank the current administration for not pushing for ratification of the Kyoto protocols. After all, isn't wonderful to have a 70 degree day in January? Of course followed by a 52 Degree day tomorrow? I just love it! I cant imagine that the Kyoto Protocols are good for 169 countries around the world but the US as the largest producer of Greenhouse gases - says fuck you to the world community. The goals of the Kyoto Protocol now covers more than 160 countries globally and over 55% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A quick overview
- Kyoto is underwritten by governments and is governed by global legislation enacted under the UN’s aegis
- Governments are separated into two general categories: developed countries, referred to as Annex 1 countries (who have accepted GHG emission reduction obligations); and developing countries, referred to as Non-Annex 1 countries (who have no GHG emission reduction obligations and must submit an annual greenhouse gas inventory).
- Any Annex 1 country that fails to meet its Kyoto target will be penalized by having its reduction targets decreased by 30% in the next period.
- By 2008-2012, Annex 1 countries have to reduce their GHG emissions by an average of 5% below their 1990 levels (for many countries, such as the EU member states, this corresponds to some 15% below their expected GHG emissions in 2008). While the average emissions reduction is 5%, national targets range from 8% reductions for the European Union to a 10% emissions increase for Iceland. Reduction targets expire in 2013.
- Kyoto includes "flexible mechanisms" which allow Annex 1 economies to meet their GHG targets by purchasing GHG emission reductions from elsewhere. These can be bought either from financial exchanges (such as the new EU Emissions Trading Scheme) or from projects which reduce emissions in non-Annex 1 economies under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), or in other Annex-1 countries under the JI.
As of December 2006, 169 countries have ratified the agreement (representing over 61.6% of emissions from Annex I countries. Critical exceptions include the United States and Australia. Other countries, like India and China, which have ratified the protocol, are not required to reduce carbon emissions under the present agreement despite their relatively large populations. The US sticks out like a sore thumb.
In 1998, then VP Al Gore symbolically signed the protocol.
"Both Gore and Senator Joseph Lieberman indicated that the protocol would not be acted upon in the Senate until there was participation by the developing nations. The Clinton Administration never submitted the protocol to the Senate for ratification. The Clinton Administration released an economic analysis in July 1998. They concluded that with emissions trading among the Annex B/Annex I countries, and participation of key developing countries in the "Clean Development Mechanism" — which grants the latter business-as-usual emissions rates through 2012 — the costs of implementing the Kyoto Protocol could be reduced as much as 60% from many estimates."
But here's my question... is an economic analysis a solid rationale for protecting the environment? Other analysis has pointed out that the emissions reductions will come at the expense of a decline in our GDP. If we ruin this Earth, kill species, promote death an destruction from tornadoes and hurricanes, melt the ice caps, defrost the permafrost, what the hell does it matter what we do to our GDP?
Bush does not intend to submit the treaty for ratification because of the exemption granted to China (the world's second largest emitter of carbon dioxide). Like the bully on the playground, since China is being granted an exemption, Mr.Bush is stomping his feet and throwing a political tantrum, while we continue to destroy our environment. Bush says he opposes the treaty because of the strain he believes the treaty would put on the economy; he emphasizes the uncertainties which he asserts are present in the climate change issue. Furthermore, the U.S. is concerned with broader exemptions of the treaty. For example, the U.S. does not support the split between Annex I countries and others. Bush said of the treaty:
"This is a challenge that requires a 100% effort; ours, and the rest of the world's. The world's second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases is the People's Republic of China. Yet, China was entirely exempted from the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol. India and Germany are among the top emitters. Yet, India was also exempt from Kyoto … America's unwillingness to embrace a flawed treaty should not be read by our friends and allies as any abdication of responsibility. To the contrary, my administration is committed to a leadership role on the issue of climate change … Our approach must be consistent with the long-term goal of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere."
At the end of the day, WE AS A NATION, have to step up to the plate... and begin combating this disaster. Well, time to go out in T and shorts now.