Kyoto Protocol? Anyone....? Anyone....?

Submitted by Britelantern on Fri, 08/11/2006 - 11:20.

Born at the Rio Convention of 1992, and refined in Kyoto at the Conference of Parties III in 1997 based on the realization that: "the balance of evidence points to a discernable human influence on the global climate system". Now, mind you, this is 1992, not 1792, and we're just waking up to the concept that human activity effects the planet? (well, OK some folks are waking up. Republicans please ignore this and go back to your Ann Coulter masturbatory-fantasy Island, because, as you know, Global Warming is COMPLETELY unproven!).

Anyway, at the time of ratification (1999)  by the original 15 western european signatories (EU-15), it was agreed that greenhouse gas emisions would be cut 5 percent (based on 1990 emission figures) globally, with various country-specific targets (Japan 6 %, Canada 6%, Germany 25%, UK 15%) The U.S target is 7%, well, uh, I mean it WAS 7%, until we packed up our tent in 2001.

Flash forward to August 2006. Now, mind you, the clock does'nt start ticking, officially, until 2008, but lets see how everyone is coming along. Oh dear, it seems that Japan's greenhouse emisions have actually gone UP, by, well, 7% over 1990 levels (oops).  The U.S. is up 15 percent (ouch). Canada is up 18% (caramba!).

What happened? Here's what happended: a downturn in the global economy, in part due to rising fuel costs, spured many countries into easing emmisions restrictions for some of the biggest, worst polluters. Clearly, when the going got tough, ecological concerns became secondary, or tertiary considerations.  Common, you know how it is, it's late, you've been partying with Brazil, and Denmark all night. Needless to say, you've got a belly full of saki, and now that 6% reduction target is looking pretty sweet, smoking hot, actually. You what they say, "what happens in Kyoto, stays in Kyoto", heh, heh.

But, holy cow,  it's morning, the "green-goggles" have worn off. Yeow. "hey, heh, yeah, I'll call you sometime, you know, about those targets and all, heh heh". You leave a phony phone number, and your'e out of there faster than Carl Rove can say "executive privilege".

Look it's not all bad. Germany has reduced it's emissions by 17.5 percent (oops, wait a second, we'll see how long that lasts now that Germany has expempted it's coal industry from the Kyoto requirements). Denmark and the UK are on course for serious reductions.

Where do we go from here? I always see these bad times as great opportunites to step up, set the pace, lead by example. The U.S. has the opportunity to be the shining light on the hill. We must do this. We must have forward-thinking leaders in Washington.

The cost of the Iraq war will reach $318 Billion by September. Thats Billion, with a "B". Imagine $318 billion towards alternative energy funding, education programs....wait a second, crap, maybe I've had too much saki. It's getting late, your're place or mine..... 

 

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