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Amlord
Today, the Kyoto treaty went into effect.

Climate treaty takes effect

Most "Western" industrial nations, with the exception of the United States and Australia have signed onto it.

Here is the text of the Kyoto protocol.

Questions for debate:

1. Will Kyoto have much effect on global temperatures?

2. What effect will Kyoto have on countries who have signed on? What effect will it have on those who have not signed on?

3. What justification is there for excluding "emerging industrial nations" such as India and China from the main clauses of the protocol?
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moif
1. Will Kyoto have much effect on global temperatures?

Only time can tell.

2. What effect will Kyoto have on countries who have signed on?

They will be subject to the ever rising levels of pollution and industrial waste. but they can be satisified with their ongoing efforts to clean up the mess we're all making.


What effect will it have on those who have not signed on?

They will be subject to the ever rising levels of pollution and industrial waste. but they can be satisified with their ongoing efforts to make sure their children recieve the best health care insurance can buy.


3. What justification is there for excluding "emerging industrial nations" such as India and China from the main clauses of the protocol?

Very little. I suppose it is because these two countries, despite their sizes are not so great polluters, yet.

With luck, they will join the other countries as their economy's grow.
Ptarmigan
1. Will Kyoto have much effect on global temperatures?

Assuming that global warming is a phenomenon that is actually occuring AND that it is caused by anthropogenic emissions of CO2 AND that stopping said emissions now or in the future will have an effect...then yes.

Otherwise - no. However I believe most the majority of environmental scientists support those assumptions - so yes (but see Moif's answer!)
(Ducks to avoid inevitable 'global warming is a fraud perpetrated by environmentalist elite cabal' comments.)

2. What effect will Kyoto have on countries who have signed on?
What effect will it have on those who have not signed on?


Environmentally there is very little difference. Global warming is, as the name suggest - global - so we all benefit from whatever environmental benefits occur.

Economically, those countries that sign on will have to develop new technologies to replace fossil fuels. This may just be a collosal disaster, whereby they end up merely slowing down economic growth, as there may be NO easy substitute for oil, coal etc.
Alternatively, new technologies may be developed that offer new opportunities for economic growth and reduce dependency on oil supplies. I suspect a bit of both...

3. What justification is there for excluding "emerging industrial nations" such as India and China from the main clauses of the protocol?

When everyone in India and China is rich enough to own a car, then, if they are using gasoline, then CO2 emissions will go through the roof. However, they aren't that rich (yet). Morally - it is difficult. The current climate change issue is primarily a result of Western countries and their use of fossil fuels to develop economically. It is very difficult to argue that China and India should restrict their development simply to help us clear up 'our own mess'. (Of course global warming will hurt their development too, so it is in their interests, however it should also be their choice...)

Okay - all my answers here have really worked on the assumption that global warming is a real phenomenon that a reduction in anthropogenic CO2 output could slow down or possibly reverse. I accept it may not be.
phobosmoon3
Just a quick rambling about US not joining the Koyoto protocol. Even though the current US administration does not support the agreements, it seems some major US companies will abide by the agreements anyway because of laws in various states and globalization.

Kyoto protocol gets degree of support from some US businesses
Amlord
QUOTE(phobosmoon3 @ Feb 21 2005, 12:25 AM)
Just a quick rambling about US not joining the Koyoto protocol.  Even though the current US administration does not support the agreements, it seems some major US companies will abide by the agreements anyway because of laws in various states and globalization.

Kyoto protocol gets degree of support from some US businesses
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Actually, Bush has little (actually, nothing) to do with Kyoto's defeat in the US. Opposition to it was firm long before the current administration came to town.

Clinton submitted the Kyoto treaty to the US Senate. It was resoundingly defeated (even before being submitted) 95-0 (This was in 1997). The Senate also rejected a "modest" McCain-Lieberman bill in 2003 which sought to curb carbon dioxide emissions in the US Senate rejects global warming bill, 55-43
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