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Dingo
When we elected/selected Bush we got a president who appears monumentally unconcerned with the environment. He is apparently indifferent to either backing international environmental treaties in place or using any international process to enforce environmental standards of benefit to all of us down the road. This seems like an invitation for environmental terror. How about a little law and order when it comes to the health and safety of mother earth?

http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/200301/ways.asp

QUOTE
What are we going to do about the USA?" one delegate asked at the summer preconference in Bali. It was there that U.S. negotiators revealed that they were going to block any detailed language that would establish clear goals and timetables for improving the environment, whether the issue was water, forests, fisheries, or global warming. Instead, the United States proposed that voluntarism and partnerships between corporations and governments could do the job.

Tellingly, the United States takes a much different approach to world trade–a global engagement that the administration does take seriously. The international trade agreements of which the administration approves have rules, penalties, and adjudication processes–there’s nothing voluntary about them. If we need a rule-based international trade order, why do we oppose a rule-based international environmental order?
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Jaime
I have a vague idea of what you want to debate, Dingo, but I'd like everyone to be sure.

I think the question is: what should other nations do about the US decisions, if anything, and/or is the US justified in its decisions on these matters?

Please correct me if I have missed the point. smile.gif
nileriver
I dont think capitalism can be green while being profitable.
Eeyore
That is where regulation and international standards come in. If polluters are made to clean up their own mess, then pollution is part of the profit and loss equation. As long as all competitors are liable for these costs then you have an even playing field and non-pollutors can compete effectively. Also this should alleviate the need for government clean up bills.

And the United States should play an active and cooperating role in these talks.
nileriver
This is the grip of history in a way.

A senior russian offcial, i believe an army officer was sacked on the grounds of treason for reporting that the russian navy under its goverment dumped toxic(nuke) waste in the ocean near japan.

Most goverments cannot afford to give in to being green or a set standard of, i mean look at l.a or detroit city, logging operations, the u.s would lose out on alot of this and in turn have to give up some future operations that will produce cash flow.

I fear it is something like most that will not be seen as a threat as it will until it is to late, then at that time humainty at large will have to addapt to its new enviroment. huh.gif
Abs like Jesus
QUOTE(Eeyore @ Feb 27 2003, 02:03 AM)
That is where regulation and international standards come in.  If polluters are made to clean up their own mess, then pollution is part of the profit and loss equation.  As long as all competitors are liable for these costs then you have an even playing field and non-pollutors can compete effectively.  Also this should alleviate the need for government clean up bills.

And the United States should play an active and cooperating  role in these talks.

I think it was foolish of our government to withdraw from the Kyoto Accord and to go it alone on environmental issues. Not only that, but it rightfully earned us disdain in the eyes of allies as well.

From Nileriver
QUOTE
I dont think capitalism can be green while being profitable.


I agree completely.

I think most Americans, and people in general, want to work on cleaning up the environment -- or at least ensuring it doesn't get any worse. Unfortunately for us, our government has not been honestly elected into office for some time now; they've been bought and promoted into office.

Buying politicians is a topic for another thread, but what I'm getting at is some of the principle contributors are from tobacco companies, various energy departments, etc. And as long as successful politicians are snuggling up in the back pockets of corporations, we can't expect to truly engage in any global efforts to fix the environment. As beneficial as it would be to the environment, it would be detrimental to our government investors.

Nileriver was right:
We can't love the world while loving corporate indiscretions... wub.gif
Kropotkin
Capitalism in its current deranged state is in capable of allowing for environmental awareness...but in truth, capitalism, I think, should be discussed completely unto its own. If america actually had a multi-party government, then it wouldn't matter. You would have some officials to make big bucks, and other ones to make sure the capitalists don't destroy the environment.
gandalfh
Environmental law will not come about until you get your average person on the street really *** NOTICE: THIS WORD IS AGAINST THE RULES. FAILURE TO REMOVE IT WILL RESULT IN A STRIKE. *** off about what is being done to them.

If you can communicate to the mothers of this country that her children are being poisoned by pollution, they will insist on changes.

It hasn't sunk in yet, when it does, the movement will make the Kyoto Protocol look like what it is, a piece of paper with no backing and no credibility.
Kropotkin
I personally live in a neighborhood with a paint factory right down the street...its not all that noticeable...but when you hear about what is goin through your air and into your lungs...you come to some quick realizations.

LOL..actually...I think we succeded in getting them to clean some poo-poo up...I think someone sued them or something...not sure, it was a few months ago...with only a single article in one of the local newspapers.
Hugo
Corporations are the primary reason for the increase in human longevity. God bless the corporations.
Google
Dingo
QUOTE(hugo @ Mar 22 2003, 07:44 PM)
Corporations are the primary reason for the increase  in human longevity. God bless the corporations.

Would you blame WMDs on the corporations? I mean if they get the credit then ......

Our life expectancy is demarked by when somebody pushes the button. How is that for longevity?
AuthorMusician
The Bush administration is certainly not an environmental administration. More people voted for the environmentalist, Gore, than voted for Bush. Gore wrote "Earth in the Balance" while he was a senator. His book was attacked by the right wing anti-environmentalists for proposing that we get rid of the internal combustion engine.

He put forth a lot of other ideas in that book too, and mentioned several other authors of books that propose ways where capitalism will work with environmentalism.

First off, you have to add the cost of environmental cleanup into the cost of goods. Second off, you have to think in cyclical terms when running a business, not linear. In other words, you don't just take a resource, produce a product, and dump waste. Your raw material could be the waste material of another process, and your waste could be the raw material for yet another process.

The Bush administration thinks in linear terms and has no intention of pushing new ideas regarding capitalism and environmentalism working together. However, many citizens are thinking and pushing and meeting and discussing and taking action. Government may become moot in all this as capitalism finds its way to a new level.

I'll give a reference:

The Rocky Mountain Institute
Minute Man
Could someone please post what legislation paints Bush as an anti-environmentalist?

Tired arguments like arsenic in drinking water (arsenic is naturally occurring in some aquifers and is relatively non-toxic due to a different oxidation state) are technically flawed.

Bush, while governor of Texas, pushed the toughest legislation for the state's oil producers, cleaning up all of the brownfields. And those are alledgely his "buddies".

Koyoto is a flawed document that unfairly penalizes industrialized countries by mandating reductions in CO2 production while allowing a greater growth of CO2 production in third world countries. It does NOTHING to reduce the TOTAL carbon dioxide production.

Global warming hypothesis is patently flawed in assuming the earth will get hotter than it ever was from releasing anthropogenically less than 1/100th of the carbon sinked in fossil fuels. This assumption hinges on the premise the earth climate is a metastable system that is on the brink of disaster when in fact, it is an intrinsically stable system...you know those things called seasons?

The basis for this poor science is a overall lack of total scientific disclipline approach to modeling. Thermodynamics of the hydrologic cycle are poorly accounted for...I wish I had the data in front of me but it has been debated on the Junkscience forum much more extensively that it ever will here.
Wertz
Minute Man: A source for any of the above would be appreciated. As your posting to the Kyoto Protocol thread was almost identical, I assume you're quoting. You have a link even to that data?
Ultimatejoe
I hate to nitpick, but I'm fairly sure that any temperature increase that would result from Global Warming would not "make the earth hotter than it ever was." Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't the earth a coalescing mass of molten rock and heavy metal at some point? The mean global temperature was also substantially higher before the dinosaurs had their little die-off if I'm not mistaken. Makes me question the validity of everything else you said.
Minute Man
Junk Science as a reference...

Before you dismiss this linked forum as a dubious reference, take the time to read some of the older postings. Real data, real peer review.

There is an issue with most of the research, that being predisposition to disaster in order to preserve funding. Its not pure science but is tinged with intellectual prostitution.

I offer the following as an example of this...Montreal Protocol proscribed the eventual cessation of chloroflurorcarbon production based on decreased stratsopheric ozone levels and the IMPLICATION this substance protected the Earth from dangerous ultraviolet radiation.

No where was any study conducted proving there was and increase of ground level UV under the much-publicized "ozone holes". Why? Because actual measurements could not statistically show any increase. Why? Because the premise of ozone blocking UV is false. Faulty cause and effect.

While ozone and UV are connected, its in a much different manner. Ozone is unstable, triatomic oxygen. UNable to absorb ANY energy without explosive decomposition. Its formation from oxygen is endothermic and most often from high-energy radiation like UV. Expose it to any more UV and it decomposes.

It is not ozone that blocks the UV but oxygen being made into ozone that absorbs high-energy UV and releases it as lower-energy, longer wavelength thermal energy.

With this argument, researchers I have contacted claim the high-atmosphere radical chlorine monoxide, the end product of chlorofluorcarbon decomposition, might inhibit ozone formation. Pure speculation but still sticking to their claim.


And if Bush is anti-envrionment, why is Christie Whitman going ahead with plans to dredge the Hudson for polychlorinated biphenyls? This project was initially started under the Clinton administration...and in reality, could cause more problems than it solves...
Cyan
QUOTE
Before you dismiss this linked forum as a dubious reference, take the time to read some of the older postings. Real data, real peer review.


You post a link to another forum to back up your statements? I see two major problems there:

1. Why would anyone take the time to dig through that entire forum to find information to back up your statements. Please provide specific links to the data that you are referencing.

2. What makes the statements on that forum any more credible than your own? The idea of providing a source is to prove that your statement is credible. If the people of that forum are providing sources to back up their data, why not pull from the original source? If they aren't, than I would not consider that to be credible data.

I suggest that you read through the What constitutes a valid source? thread. smile.gif
Minute Man
Talk about a circular reference.. blink.gif

Dismissing the credibility of another forum can erode the credibility of this one. Be careful there as the Junk Science forum is not a bunch of fringe scientists but rather a well-educated lot of pure scientists.

Information synthesis. Or using basic science to explain the universe much like Dr. Richard Feynman was so capable of doiing. Too often scientists forget the roots of their world and ignore the physical constraints...

Typical environmental research is funded by governmental bodies and continued funding is partly based on implicit danger from lack of action. If ANY conclusion from research were to paint a picture of no impending doom, funding for such research would cease.

This is what happened to the 1970's Coming of another Ice age "research"...and what happened to the chlorofluorcarbon scare even though worldwide production of CCL2F2 has not been eliminated, only developed countries can no longer make it..
Jaime
GET THIS ON TOPIC NOW OR I CLOSE IT. mad.gif
AuthorMusician
Minute Man,

Okay, legislation Bush has pushed:

Drilling in ANWR (failed)

Opening up public lands to oil/gas exploration (succeeded).

Doing a few token things to clean up Texas oil fields is pretty insignificant. Go to the link I provided to find out about people who are doing really significant things to help us reach the next level of capitalism.

Global warming isn't an argument any longer. The mean temperature of the earth is rising. The current argument involves whether this is a natural cycle or whether human activity is the cause.

One of the key ingredients to understanding climate involves computer models. Until recently, no computer in the world was powerful enough to create models that take into account all variables and yield results at a granularity fine enough to bring certainty to predictions. This is changing rapidly, too. I invite you to explore what is going on right now with grid computing:

Grid Computing Links

I will concede that some environmentalists have exaggerated the effects of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses such as methane. Yet if we know of better ways to produce energy and enable transportation, then we would be wise to pursue those courses--not only to keep the earth, our species, and many other species alive, but to improve the bottom line as well.

Just for grins, here's a book that debunks the global warming concerns:

The Satanic Gases: Clearing the Air about Global Warming, ISBN 1-882577-91-4 and 1-882577-92-2, by Patrick J. Michaels and Robert C. Balling, Jr., © 2000 by the CATO Institute, Washington, D.C.

The CATO Institute is a well-established conservative/libertarian think tank. Although I consider myself a pro-environment type, I found the book to be well written, reasoned, and argued. The best argument was that greenhouse gas content in our atmosphere has risen geometrically, while global warming is proceeding arithmetically. The authors also argue good points about how heat gets absorbed and reflected in our atmosphere.

Hint: White cloud cover and snow/ice reflect a lot. Oceans and dark land masses absorb a lot. So do cities consisting of square miles of concrete.

Finally, I think it does no good to sound the alarms without having compelling evidence and solid refutations available ahead of time. Some environmentalists have been guilty of jumping the gun, and thus have given outfits like the CATO Institute plenty of ammunition. This does not excuse us from continuing study on global warming and other environmental issues. You see, we only have one planet to work with.

And we all depend upon it.
Minute Man
Drilling in ANWR (or other areas) is an environmental UNKNOWN as there is no proof doing so will cause any environmental harm. Judging the future on what has haoppened in the past is ignorance of change in technology, legislation and corporate responsibility. Even in mature areas, the MMS of the Dept. of the Interior is constantly pushing new legislation to protect the environment.

The days of well blowouts upon completion ended with the advent of the blowout preventer by Cameron in 1922. Yes, 1922 was the year wells became controllable yet the general public is still fraught with the image of a wooden derrick spouting oil as the norm of the oil industry.

I beg to differ on the brownfields. Would you rather they remain as a scar on the land? It was not Mark White nor Ann Richards that proposed the cleanup. They were too busy worrying about implementing new educational bureaucratic policies and instituting a state lottery to worry about these concerns. Just look at the bufoon Richard's appointed in charge of the comission in charge of the State's petroleum.

NASA link
Ultimatejoe
One of the most pressing concerns of any ANWR drilling is its effect on the migratory habits of Caribou. To my knowledge these have not been adressed.

To relate this to the topic at hand, this drilling would impact people living in the US AND CANADA. The decision to act unilaterally clearly establishes that the US does go it alone.
Minute Man
Caribou migrate during the spring and summer. that time, the ground thaws to a depth of only several inches. Because of frost heave, it is very soft and nearly impossible to build a roadbed for equipment movement. If you could build a road, it would only last for days before the underlying permafrost will thaw and the road is ruined.

Because of this, Artic E&P is done during the winter months when there is no thaw. And there are no Caribou either. Its cold, brutal work but its the only way to do it in the Artic Circle...or Russia.
cyclone
QUOTE(Ultimatejoe @ Mar 31 2003, 08:44 PM)
To relate this to the topic at hand, this drilling would impact people living in the US AND CANADA. The decision to act unilaterally clearly establishes that the US does go it alone.

Um, we own Alaska. So really, we can do whatever the hell we want with it. Maybe we should send Colin Powell to the UN to get a resolution allowing us to drill in our own country. Meanwhile, considering that the people of Alaska overwhelmingly favor drilling in ANWR, and considering that similar drilling projects in the frozen north have not adversely affected wildlife (quite the opposite, in fact), and considering the area in question takes up, like, half of 1% of ANWR, if that (practically nothing), this is a no-brainer. Drill, dammit!
Ultimatejoe
If it is a no-brainer then why are so many environmental groups and political groups against it?

Should the U.S. go the UN? No. Then again how would you guys feel if were to say build an incinerator along the border that covered a U.S. town in ash and soot. Wouldn't be very considerate now would it...
AuthorMusician
It is my understanding that nobody even knows if there is enough oil under ANWR to justify drilling. No new 3-d soundings have been done, and the oil industry's data is old and unreliable. At least that was the story about two years ago.

In any case, Bush pushed for drilling in ANWR. The bill failed in Congress. The argument put forth by Minute Man is that oil drilling does not affect the environment.

Who says so? The oil industry?

But you see, the argument is moot. Even if oil drilling has zero affect on the environment, the burning of fossil fuels does have well-documented effects. So, pushing for drilling in ANWR is not the action of an environmentally-focused administration.

Now about those public lands and the complaints registered by many ranchers . . . no impact? Bullpuckey.
cyclone
QUOTE(Ultimatejoe @ Apr 1 2003, 05:07 PM)
If it is a no-brainer then why are so many environmental groups and political groups against it?

Ah, for the same reason our Musician pal gives when he says drilling is a moot point, because the use of fossil fuels is anti-environmental, so it shouldn't be attempted. I presume this extends to all drilling, everywhere? All use of fossil fuels, by everyone, for every reason? Good luck getting a concensus on that. Of course, the radical enviros learned long ago that when you try to pass laws that would, say, jack up the price of gas to $10 a gallon, or make it illegal to drive a car, or whatever, people tend to tell you to get bent. Easier by far to oppose measures to make it easier and cheaper for people to gas up and drive their internal combustion engines. This way, one can be a nut without actually coming out and admitting it. That's why these groups oppose drilling in ANWR, and the pols who go along with them are knuckling under to lobby pressure, as pols tend to do. The oil is there—no refiner is going to go to the cost and trouble of setting up facilities to drill where there is no oil. The people who say "We need to be independent of foreign oil" and who also say "We can't drill in ANWR" need to figure out where they stand, because unless they're secretly patenting the car that runs on self-satisfaction, they can't have it both ways (without looking like phonies).
Minute Man
QUOTE(Ultimatejoe @ Apr 1 2003, 05:07 PM)
If it is a no-brainer then why are so many environmental groups and political groups against it?

Should the U.S. go the UN? No. Then again how would you guys feel if were to say build an incinerator along the border that covered a U.S. town in ash and soot. Wouldn't be very considerate now would it...

Why not? Mexico did the exact thing with Carbon I and II, lignite coal plants situated south of the Big Bend area in Texas. The sulfur in the air has basically killed the clean air and made a near permanant haze.

No one protested these plants...

But drilling in ANRW will NEVER ruin the air quality nor will it kill the caribou or any of the lichen that grows on the marshland.
AuthorMusician
cyclone

QUOTE
Ah, for the same reason our Musician pal gives when he says drilling is a moot point, because the use of fossil fuels is anti-environmental, so it shouldn't be attempted.


Did I say it shouldn't be attempted? No. My point is that the Bush administration cannot claim to be pro-environment while pushing for drilling in ANWR and on public lands. However, I will give Bush some credit for putting forth funding on the alternative fuel, hydrogen.

If we stop using fossil fuels (including coal, nearly 50% of our electricity comes from it), and if our alternative fuels produce the same results (heating, transportation, electrical generation), then we can reserve petroleum for its use in synthetics. However, we can probably get along without those synthetics too as more development goes into enviro-friendly alternatives.

I agree that you can't just pass a bunch of restrictive legislation and expect to solve the problems. What government can do is put more funding into R&D, though, with the expectation of vast savings we will have from reduced world military involvement to protect oil supplies.
blownragtop
QUOTE(Minute Man @ Mar 30 2003, 05:36 AM)
Koyoto is a flawed document that unfairly penalizes industrialized countries by mandating reductions in CO2 production while allowing a greater growth of CO2 production in third world countries.  It does NOTHING to reduce the TOTAL carbon dioxide production.

Global warming hypothesis is patently flawed in assuming the earth will get hotter than it ever was from releasing anthropogenically less than 1/100th of the carbon sinked in fossil fuels.  This assumption hinges on the premise the earth climate is a metastable system that is on the brink of disaster when  in fact, it is an intrinsically stable system...you know those things called seasons? 

The basis for this poor science is a overall lack of total scientific disclipline approach to modeling.  Thermodynamics of the hydrologic cycle are poorly accounted for...I wish I had the data in front of me but it has been debated on the Junkscience forum much more extensively that it ever will here.

Whenever an already complex issue is clouded with periphery it can be difficult for laypeople to muddle through the disinformation and seize hold of the truth. In so far as global warming is concerned: The politicization of environmental issues, coupled with the lack of a holistic understanding of climatology has made the right path even more difficult to discern. Anyone professing to KNOW the way is either misled or deliberately dealing in subterfuge.

The Heidelberg Appeal (4,000+ signatories, including 72 Nobel Prize winners, from 106 countries) states: ' (We are) worried at the dawn of the twenty-first century, at the emergence of an irrational ideology which is opposed to scientific and industrial progress and impedes economic and social development.

'(We) forewarn the authorities in charge of our planet's destiny against decisions which are supported by pseudoscientific arguments or false and nonrelevant data.

'The greatest evils which stalk our Earth are ignorance and oppression, and not Science, Technology, and Industry whose instruments, when adequately managed, are indispensable tools of a future shape by Humanity, by itself and for itself, overcoming major problems like overpopulation, starvation and worldwide diseases.'

It is no secret that portions of the 'Green' movement has been hi-jacked by leftists motivated by a hatred for capitalism, not a love of nature. Environmentalism is not dependant on any particular political ideology; and those that would use 'Mother Earth' as a pawn to further their agendas do a disservice to true adherents.

And scientists, on both sides, are not immune to allowing prejudice and external motivations to color their findings. Scientific misconduct is an unfortunate byproduct of the relentless quest for money. Research is dependant on funding - and funding is dependant on results. An industry of competing global models has sprung up where 'accuracy' for some is in the production of a dire prediction guaranteed to create headlines. On an issue such as this, with socio-economic implications of global proportions, is it not paramount to maintain impartiality?

That there is no scientific consensus of a global-warming threat is indicated by surveys of active scientists. A November 1991 Gallup poll of 400 members of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union found that only 19 percent of those polled believed that human-induced global warming has occurred. That same year, Greenpeace International surveyed 400 scientists who had worked on the 1990 report of the influential U.N. Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) or had published related articles. Asked whether current policies might instigate a runaway greenhouse effect, only 13 percent of the 113 respondents said it was 'probable' and 32 percent 'possible.' But 47 percent said 'probably not'-far from a consensus.

In recent years, research on global climate change has led even more scientists to doubt that global warming is upon us or that it would soon bring disaster (Science, May 16, 1997). Yet these doubts are characteristically downplayed in IPCC reports. While the body of the IPCC's 800-page, 1996 report, The Science of Climate Change, mentioned some doubts (albeit cryptically), the report's much-publicized, politically approved Summary for Policymakers did not. This gave the false impression that all 2000-plus scientists who contributed to (or had their work cited in) the report also supported the view that man-made global warming was occurring or posed a credible threat. The IPCC report even indicated that the scientists who reviewed and commented on earlier drafts endorsed the report-whether their comments on the drafts were positive or negative.


Given our incomplete understanding of how the atmosphere works how is it possible to accurately forecast conditions decades in the future? A telling indicator of this 'pseudoscience' is the fact that current modeling does not correlate with observed temperature changes. The IPCC's 1995 estimate of average global warming at the surface until the year 2100 is +0.18 deg. C/decade. Climate models suggest that the deep layer measured by the satellite and weather balloons should be warming about 30% faster than the surface (+0.23 deg. C/decade). When surface temperatures are adjusted for heat island effect they fall in line with weather satellites and balloon instruments - which show that the Earth is actually cooling. 'The temperatures we measure from space are actually on a very slight downward trend since 1979 in the lower troposphere. We see major excursions due to volcanic eruptions like Pinatubo, and ocean current phenomena like El Nino, but overall the trend is about 0.05 degrees Celsius per decade cooling.' Hardly convincing evidence to base proposed draconian regulation of the energy and oil industry upon.

http://www.ghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/MSU/hl_temp_ud.html

http://science.nasa.gov/newhome/hea...sd13aug98_1.htm

http://www.ghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/MSU/msusci.html

Why the fixation on CO2? Water vapor absorbs fully 90-95 percent of all infrared radiation, while carbon dioxide accounts for around only 5 percent. Couple this with the fact that most (between 70 and 90 percent depending upon the source) carbon dioxide is produced naturally by biomass decomposition, forest fires, and volcanoes and it becomes very difficult to see just how man made CO2 is having any significant impact on the global temperature.

Recently a review of more than 240 scientific studies has shown that today's temperatures are neither the warmest over the past millennium, nor are they producing the most extreme weather. The review, carried out by a team from Harvard University, examined the findings of studies of so-called "temperature proxies" such as tree rings, ice cores and historical accounts which allow scientists to estimate temperatures prevailing at sites around the world.

The findings prove that the world experienced a Medieval Warm Period between the ninth and 14th centuries with global temperatures significantly higher even than today. They also confirm claims that a Little Ice Age set in around 1300, during which the world cooled dramatically. Since 1900, the world has begun to warm up again - but has still to reach the balmy temperatures of the Middle Ages.

The timing of the end of the Little Ice Age is especially significant, as it implies that the records used by climate scientists date from a time when the Earth was relatively cold, thereby exaggerating the significance of today's temperature rise - if it does exist. According to the researchers, the evidence confirms suspicions that today's "unprecedented" temperatures are simply the result of examining temperature change over too short a period of time.

The IPCC has conceded the possibility that today's "record-breaking" temperatures may be at least partly caused by the Earth recovering from a relatively cold period in recent history. While the evidence for entirely natural changes in the Earth's temperature continues to grow, its causes still remain mysterious.

The Kyoto Protocol would have required the United States to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012, which would have amounted to a real reduction of 30 percent when taking into account growth in the nation's economy and population.

Harvard economist Robert Stavins took a hard look at the Kyoto mandates. For the United States to comply by the specified deadline, the government would have been forced to increase the cost of energy to the point that it drove down demand by as much as 40 percent. That would have entailed a doubling of the cost of petroleum and natural gas. It would have required a quadrupling of the cost of coal - which generates two-thirds of the nation's electricity. All told, Stavins estimated, implementation of the Kyoto Protocol would have cost the U.S. economy $200 billion a year.


I put forth that everyone that has contributed to this thread is genuinely concerned about the state of the environment. No one can deny the interconnectedness of all living things: and as the de-facto stewards of the planet we are entrusted with maintaining the diversity of life. As we share a common fate, it behooves us to be united in purpose. But our concern for the future can not give way to irrational actions, prompted by hurried and questionable science, at times pushed forth by ulterior motivations. Sweeping changes in socio-economic structures in a rash effort to forestall a predicted future is simply not the answer at this time.
AuthorMusician
blownragtop

QUOTE
That would have entailed a doubling of the cost of petroleum and natural gas. It would have required a quadrupling of the cost of coal - which generates two-thirds of the nation's electricity.


I question the validity of these numbers. From what I've seen, coal generates 50% of our electricity, at about 2 trillion kilowatt hours per year (as of 2001), not 66%. That is unless more current figures show a big leap, but the trending data from 1949-2001 doesn't indicate that a big leap would have happened in the last year and a half.

In either case, you can see why any effort to reduce CO2 emissions comes up against a great deal of resistance. I guess the use of a larger number for our dependence on coal is supposed to make us feel like we can't do without. Or maybe that alternative ways of producing electricity just can't work.

It just struck me as an interesting stretch of the truth.

Regards, AM
nileriver
its cost and infrastructe vs. new methods, emplaced companies and people of the current industry dont want to poor who knows how much money into r&d, plus americas current dependence on existing tech. some liberal brings up a think tank backed idea for a new fuel sorce, you get all kinds or resitence for a variety or reasons. i dont think in history a republican has ever cared about the enviroment. my stance on the enviroment is sane in my opinion, we need what we have now and jobs so forth, but that wont matter much is the planet is to polluted to support life, at some point in time due to population growth and its impact(resorces,emissions,etc) we will face a enviromental problem, i think preventive measures, operation envirmental freedom biggrin.gif , should have more of the spotlight then it is giving. one way or another people will at some point in time face up to this.

bushs current stance on the issue, at least to me is, one of who cares, open everthing to drilling and screw clean air water, and envirometally proteceted zones. that is not good, not good at all.
Amlord
Let's not forget that Kyoto was essentially rejected during the Clinton administration (October 1998)

The government report on the treaty assesses the likely economic impacts.

Assessment of Economic Impact

The entire government view on the treaty is there as well, using the links to the left.

QUOTE
Figure 113 shows the losses in the potential economic output, as measured by potential GDP, for the three carbon reduction cases. The shapes of the three trajectories mirror the carbon price trajectories. In the 1990-3% case, potential GDP declines relative to the reference case from 2005 through 2008, reaching a maximum loss of $64 billion (in 1992 dollars) in 2012 and then leveling off at just under $60 billion a year through 2020. In the 1990+9% case, the loss in potential GDP declines to $35 billion by 2011 and reaches $39 billion in 2020. In the 1990+24% case, with steadily increasing carbon prices, potential GDP declines relative to the reference case projections throughout the period and is $26 billion lower than the reference case levels in 2020.


I find it quite funny that the treaty allows countries to sell their excess pollution allowances to other countries. And I find it funny that developing countries will have no cap on their level of emmisions.

I would think that the actual impact of Kyoto (were we ever silly enough to sign onto it) would be that power plants would move to 3rd world countries and "export" the energy to the US (and other developed countries). Since these developing countries are not subject to specific levels of emmision, this would be perfectly legal and (of course) do nothing to reduce global emmision levels. It can be assumed, in fact, that since these countries likely have LOWER pollution regulations, the emmisions will INCREASE from power plants.
nileriver
could you some day, see a liberal republican, one with environmental concerns,
or maybe a conservitive democrat that is pro non gun control.

but back to this, my family suscribes to the sierra club, so we get this nice magazine. i read a small section on bushs "economic" policy, and well, to make it short he has alot of environmental areas planned for "maybe" and is trying to hurt alot of envionmental protection acts such as the clean water bill. the kyoto protocols to me were if anything an agreed pact by advanced nations to deal with such issues in environmental protection. or saveing are own butts. i dont think the u.s agreed because, well its the u.s, we are not good at listening to people in general, its pathological biggrin.gif


but as for new tech to help in environmental protection, i find it hard that the u.s will aid in this much, i can only hope the electric car wins into our hearts.
Ultimatejoe
QUOTE(amlord @ May 28 2003, 03:32 PM)
Let's not forget that Kyoto was essentially rejected during the Clinton administration (October 1998)

The government report on the treaty assesses the likely economic impacts.

Assessment of Economic Impact

The entire government view on the treaty is there as well, using the links to the left.

QUOTE
Figure 113 shows the losses in the potential economic output, as measured by potential GDP, for the three carbon reduction cases. The shapes of the three trajectories mirror the carbon price trajectories. In the 1990-3% case, potential GDP declines relative to the reference case from 2005 through 2008, reaching a maximum loss of $64 billion (in 1992 dollars) in 2012 and then leveling off at just under $60 billion a year through 2020. In the 1990+9% case, the loss in potential GDP declines to $35 billion by 2011 and reaches $39 billion in 2020. In the 1990+24% case, with steadily increasing carbon prices, potential GDP declines relative to the reference case projections throughout the period and is $26 billion lower than the reference case levels in 2020.


I find it quite funny that the treaty allows countries to sell their excess pollution allowances to other countries. And I find it funny that developing countries will have no cap on their level of emmisions.

I would think that the actual impact of Kyoto (were we ever silly enough to sign onto it) would be that power plants would move to 3rd world countries and "export" the energy to the US (and other developed countries). Since these developing countries are not subject to specific levels of emmision, this would be perfectly legal and (of course) do nothing to reduce global emmision levels. It can be assumed, in fact, that since these countries likely have LOWER pollution regulations, the emmisions will INCREASE from power plants.

The selling of pollution credits was an inclusion that was largely heralded by the Americans why they were still involved...

And moving power plants isn't something that you really have to worry about. Due to politics and geography it would be extremely difficult for power to become mobile under Kyoto.

Your concern about reducing global emissions is extremely frustrating however. We won't if they won't? First of all, developing countries do not produce as much pollution as developed ones, secondly, ANY improvement is a step in the right direction.
Bill55AZ
Electric cars are not a viable means of transportation, and they DO pollute. Not while driving down the road, but when the materials for the batteries are mined, processed (with associated waste products ), put into the batteries, and disposed of when the battery wears out, which is a short time period, thus requiring more batteries and on and on.
Pollution credits have been abused. Companies in California were buying old cars at $600 each and then having them crushed and claiming credits. But the cars were often junkers or yard ornaments that were not being driven!
Al Gore's suggestion that we can replace the internal combustion engine is seriously flawed. There is no viable alternative on the horizon. And no politician or think tank is going to come up with one. Congress can mandate, and finance the effort, but it will be real scientists and engineers that solve this problem. Detroit was encouraged to make cars that are more fuel efficient, less polluting, and safer, and once they finally started (after years of compaining about it), they made great progress! It may have taken 20 years, but the results are good. We need to do the same with industry, housing, and even our lifestyles, especially our lifestyles.
And I think we need to do it first, to show our commitment and also since we have the resources and technologists required to accomplish it. THEN, the knowledge should be given free to other countries. Their air pollution, on a windy day, becomes our air pollution.
BecomingHuman
Hmmm, most of this seems to be whether or not Bush was justified in backing out of various treaties and his elimination of reduced emissions.

First, saying that the environment will not suffer as a result of the drillings is absurd. Everything pollutes; and drilling is no exception. Saying that Alaska will be as clean as it was before the drillings is, well, downright wrong. But, I could be persuaded that it has a very minimal effect. Would an environmentally concerned president drill in Alaska? Probably not.

Second. My major beef with Bush is, suprisingly, not that he pulled out of the Kyoto treaty (which, instead of saying "this wont work" and leave, he might have considered making changes for the better), but that he completely withdrew money from groups that supplied birth control to third world countries. Overpopulation IS a problem. In places like Cairo, people sleep on roofs because the buildings below them are full of people. The crowding eliminates job opportunities, technology simply cannot create jobs as fast as the population is rising. And, in countries with huge populations, the amount of pollution grows in leaps and bounds. Birth control was a good step forward, taken away by Bush.

I would credit Bush for supporting Hydrogen power, but he's probably searching for a way to reduce dependency on foreign oil rather than supporting the environment. I just would like to know if Bush has done ANYTHING in support for the environment, and i'll be appeased.
Horyok
I'd like to share my French view with you, even if Jaime says I'm off topic shifty.gif

I watched a very interesting program a few months ago on a national channel over here. This channel is quite special, since it's French and German at the same time!

Anyway, they were having a debate about environment, with politicians, businessmen and scientists from France, Germany and the US. It turned into a political and financial quagmire... Somehow, it seems that environmental preoccupations were gone from the debate!!!

What I learnt is :

1. It's hard to really prove anything with the figures given from scientists around the world. For one, because they are immediately used and thwarted by self-interested politicians. Second, finding correlation between CO2 and global warming is incredibly difficult because our 'vision' is very limited. There is currently no system of global surveilance around the world that would check the levels of chemicals and show us what is really going on.

2. Global warming is one thing; pollution is another. The first one is difficult to prove indeed. The second, however, is not. Pollution is a fact. And we must find a cure to it, lest it becomes our poison. The Kyoto treaty solves nothing, since the Americans won't sign it, whether they are republicans or democrats.

How can we improve the situation?
Jaime
Yes, you are off topic. We are discussing George W. Bush's actions in regards to environmental policy. Care to comment on that? sad.gif

I suggest you also read the RULES
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