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Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

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Old 10-21-04, 11:40 PM   #1
Myster X
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Kyoto is unfair to U.S.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion...0-oppose_x.htm

Posted 10/20/2004 7:28 PM

By S. Fred Singer
In July 1997, the Senate voted 95-0 for a resolution opposing any international treaty that would damage the economy by restricting energy usage, raising the cost of fuels for transportation, heating and electricity.
This unanimous vote included Sen. John Kerry, and Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., who are currently advocating just such restrictions. But the resolution was right. A treaty obligating developed nations but not China, India, Brazil and Mexico would produce huge U.S. job losses as industries moved overseas.

However, because of the initiative of then-vice president Al Gore, the U.S. signed just such a treaty, the protocol negotiated in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997. But President Clinton never submitted it for Senate ratification. And President Bush has consistently declared Kyoto "fatally flawed."

Neither Bush nor the Senate has pointed out, however, that Kyoto is not only costly and unfair to the U.S., but it is also ineffective in averting a feared global warming. Scientists all agree that at best it would reduce the calculated temperature rise in 2050 by an insignificant one-tenth of a degree.

Russia has been more outspoken. The Russian Academy of Sciences, in a May 2004 report, questioned the reality of substantial future warming, concluding that Kyoto lacks any scientific base. President Vladimir Putin declared Kyoto "scientifically flawed" and intimated that Russia would not ratify it.

Yet, ironically, Russia's parliament will likely ratify it before the year's end, making Kyoto binding on all ratifiers. Why? The reason may be short-term economic gain, as the protocol permits selling Russia's unused emission rights to Europeans anxious to ease the economic penalties of Kyoto's restrictions.

Russia's economic collapse after 1990 nearly halved its emissions ó and the base year chosen for Kyoto is 1990. This arbitrary choice also favors Germany, which took over a faltering East German economy, and Great Britain, which switched its electric generation from coal to natural gas at about that time. We would lose out, and maybe that's why our economic competitors are so anxious to get us to ratify Kyoto.

S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and the author of Hot Talk Cold Science: Global Warming's Unfinished Debate (Independent Institute, Oakland, 1999).
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Old 10-22-04, 12:41 AM   #2
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A. I agree that Kyoto was/is fundamentally flawed.

B. Many people agree (me included) that Kyoto was a _start_ to solving global warming, but not the end-all-be-all solution.

C. I don't really have a problem with the US not ratifying the treaty.

D What I do have a problem with is making no attempt to fix or alter the treaty, and instead, just walking away, giving the rest of the world the middle finger. But then again, this administration is really good at that.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~


As an aside, isn't this the same environmental expert who's always on the side _opposite_ the environmentalists? Or is that some other professor at UVA?
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Old 10-22-04, 01:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by DarkElf

D What I do have a problem with is making no attempt to fix or alter the treaty, and instead, just walking away, giving the rest of the world the middle finger. But then again, this administration is really good at that.
Which administration did that?
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Old 10-22-04, 02:14 AM   #4
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Wow, I didn't think Kyoto was that old.

I don't know the exact details of what the treaty calls for, but I'm sure there are some standards that the US can meet. I think the US could 'reluctantly' agree to some of those standards. but shouldn't sign the treaty. Maybe use the 'good faith' principle for the standards of the treaty that the US can agree on and leave the door open for a new international environmental treaty in the future.
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Old 10-22-04, 07:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ranger
Wow, I didn't think Kyoto was that old.

I don't know the exact details of what the treaty calls for, but I'm sure there are some standards that the US can meet. I think the US could 'reluctantly' agree to some of those standards. but shouldn't sign the treaty. Maybe use the 'good faith' principle for the standards of the treaty that the US can agree on and leave the door open for a new international environmental treaty in the future.


That's called diplomacy. You usually see that from a US White House.
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Old 10-22-04, 07:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by DarkElf
D What I do have a problem with is making no attempt to fix or alter the treaty, and instead, just walking away, giving the rest of the world the middle finger. But then again, this administration is really good at that.
95-0 rejection isn't "the finger?" Whose watch was that?
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Old 10-23-04, 11:57 AM   #7
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too bad the article didn't mention Russia traded Kyoto for WTO

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...x_041022224140

US rejects world calls to join Russia in ratifying Kyoto pact

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States, flying in the face of snowballing world opinion, said it would not follow Russia's lead and ratify the Kyoto protocol on global warming.

"We have no intention of signing or ratifying it. We have not changed our views," a defiant deputy State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said after the European Union (news - web sites) and environmentalists across the globe hailed Moscow's decision and urged Washington to follow suit.

Heading the chorus of delight after the Russian cabinet approved the Kyoto pact and sent it to lawmakers for ratification was the EU, which has been battling to save the accord thrown into disarray by the US walkout.

"This is a huge success for the international fight against climate change," declared European Commission (news - web sites) President Romano Prodi. "Today (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin has sent a strong signal of his commitment and sense of responsibility.

"We are happy that the Russian Duma has decided to ratify. We hope that the United States will now re-consider its position."

But the State Department left no room for hope.

"We note the actions taken today," said Ereli, "but I'd refer you to the Russians for opinion or comment on their rationale for ratifying it. Our position against it remains the same."

EU Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstroem said Russia's action "sends a very forceful signal to the rest of the world... It is also very much a victory for the European Union."

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, a Green party member, said, "For the first time there can be global responsibility for the world's climate and the management of its resources."

"This is an important signal to the entire international community," said German Environment Minister Juergen Trittin, also a Green, the junior partner in Germany's governing coalition.

French Ecology Minister Serge Lepeltier said he was "delighted."

And Greenpeace International campaigner Steve Sawyer said US President George W. Bush (news - web sites), whose rejection of Kyoto in 2001 pushed the pact toward extinction, was now isolated.

Getting Russia on board, he said, dealt "a major blow to President Bush (news - web sites) and his paymasters in the fossil fuel industry.

"His administration and other climate criminals like Exxon-Mobil have failed in their attempt to wreck Kyoto, even going so far as to suppress the work of their own scientists."

On the other side, Frank Maisano, a Washington lobbyist for the US utilities industry, dismissed the Russian move as "largely symbolic," and called the treaty "meaningless, ineffective and toothless."

And Japanese industry fretted over the economic cost of meeting anti-pollution targets and doubted whether Kyoto was workable.

"It is questionable if the treaty, which commits only one-third of the world's countries to obligations, will prove effective while the United States and China stay out of it," said Yuzo Ichikawa, executive director of the Japan Iron and Steel Federation.


China is a Kyoto member but as a developing country does not have to meet specific targets for cutting emissions.

Russia's ratification is vital for transforming Kyoto from a draft 1997 agreement into a working international treaty. Moscow had for years hedged on whether it would approve the pact.
The Protocol requires industrialized signatories to trim output of six "greenhouse" gases by 2008-2012 compared with their 1990 levels.

In the United States, in the throes of a hotly contested presidential race just days from the November 2 election, Democratic challenger John Kerry (news - web sites) made little effort to distance himself from incumbent Bush, saying Kyoto "is not the answer."

"The near-term emission reductions it would require of the United States are unfeasible, while the long-term obligations imposed onm all nations are to litle to solve the problem," he said on his website.

Bush, in the second debate on October 8, said, "Had we joined the Kyoto treaty...it would have cost America a lot of jobs. It's one of these deals where, in order to be popular in the halls of Europe, you sign a treaty...I think there's a better way to do it."

Kerry at the time had accused Bush of not "living in a world of reality with respect to the environment.

"The fact is that the Kyoto treaty was flawed," he said. "But this president didn't try to fix it. He just declared it dead...and we walked away from the work of 160 nations over 10 years."
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Old 10-23-04, 01:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Myster X

"The fact is that the Kyoto treaty was flawed," he said. "But this president didn't try to fix it. He just declared it dead...and we walked away from the work of 160 nations over 10 years."
[/b]
Obviously, he believes that this was done under Bush's watch, just as DarkElf does.
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Old 10-23-04, 01:55 PM   #9
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Bush negated all 3.5 years of Clinton's hard work (absolutely none -- no one took it seriously after 1997 Senate defeat) within 2 seconds of taking office.
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Old 10-23-04, 02:55 PM   #10
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What was Kerry's vote on that anyway? Did he even bother showing up? Has he done one of his "voted for it before voting against it" explainations? Did he push Clinton for reform or did Kerry let it die too?
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Old 10-23-04, 03:04 PM   #11
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Another treaty that Russia will cheat on. Yeaaahhhh.
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Old 10-23-04, 04:29 PM   #12
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1. I could point out any number of scientific articles that show that Kyoto is based on a flawed atmospheric model and would not provide any measureable effect. Any effect that would be achieved would only be measureable after several hundred years when technology had progressed, at which point the treaty would be irrelevent. For example, this one: http://www.cato.org/testimony/ct-pm072998.html
2. It was rejected under Clinton 7 years ago.
3. Russia only signed it because they were forced to do so to get crucial economic benefits from the EU. I'm sure they plan on complying, just like the Germans, Spanish, Italians and French (heck, anyone in Europe) plan on complying with the economic requirements of the Euro.
4. The treaty would absolutely ruin the economy of the United States, and yes that does matter.
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Old 10-23-04, 04:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by nemein
What was Kerry's vote on that anyway? Did he even bother showing up? Has he done one of his "voted for it before voting against it" explainations? Did he push Clinton for reform or did Kerry let it die too?
Well, the "0" part of the score says nobody voted to ratify it, so either he skipped or he voted against it, which, of course neatly explains why he is now "for it."
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Old 10-23-04, 04:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by nemein
What was Kerry's vote on that anyway? Did he even bother showing up? Has he done one of his "voted for it before voting against it" explainations? Did he push Clinton for reform or did Kerry let it die too?
He's been consistant and you know it
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Old 10-23-04, 05:00 PM   #15
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the Kyoto treaty is stupid

It leaves countries like China and India to pollute and pollute. There needs to be a treaty that sets the best global standard possible not setting a standard for some countries and not others. Something is better than nothing
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Old 10-23-04, 06:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hiro11
1. I could point out any number of scientific articles that show that Kyoto is based on a flawed atmospheric model and would not provide any measureable effect. Any effect that would be achieved would only be measureable after several hundred years when technology had progressed, at which point the treaty would be irrelevent. For example, this one: http://www.cato.org/testimony/ct-pm072998.html
2. It was rejected under Clinton 7 years ago.
3. Russia only signed it because they were forced to do so to get crucial economic benefits from the EU. I'm sure they plan on complying, just like the Germans, Spanish, Italians and French (heck, anyone in Europe) plan on complying with the economic requirements of the Euro.
4. The treaty would absolutely ruin the economy of the United States, and yes that does matter.
I agree with everything you said.

And in the seven years since the Patrick Michaels' testimony you linked, what he said then has become even clearer. I highly recommend his brand new book:

Meltdown : The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media
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Old 10-23-04, 08:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by VinVega


That's called diplomacy. You usually see that from a US White House.
So why didn't Clinton start that process after the Senate rejected the original version 95-0 in 1997. Where was his leadership? Why did it sit, totally dead, for 3.5 years before Bush even took office, as well as 3.5 years after? Are there really 95 Republicans in Congress?

(disclaimer: please note I think Kyoto is dumbfuck idea and I'm glad he didn't. I'm just asking)
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Old 10-24-04, 10:04 PM   #18
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So why didn't Clinton start that process after the Senate rejected the original version 95-0 in 1997.
A very good point, one that I've never seen addressed in the media.
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Old 10-25-04, 03:11 PM   #19
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more bad news for Kyoto

Kyoto Too Little to Fix Warming - UN Climate Chief

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...t_warming_dc_1

By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

OSLO (Reuters) - Although saved last week with Russian help, the Kyoto pact on global warming offers too little to arrest climate change and governments should adopt more radical solutions, the top U.N. climate expert said.



"My feeling is that we will probably need to do more than most people are talking about" to combat climate change, Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the United Nations (news - web sites)' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told Reuters.


He welcomed ratification of the Kyoto pact on Friday by Russia's lower house of parliament, paving the way for the long-delayed 1997 accord to enter into force in the 126 nations that approved it even though the world's greatest polluter, the United States, pulled out in 2001.


"This mustn't lull us into thinking that the problem is solved," Pachauri said. "Kyoto is not enough. We now have to look at the problem afresh."


Kyoto is a first step toward curbing emissions of gases like carbon dioxide, mainly from burning fossil fuels, that scientists blame for trapping heat in the atmosphere like the panes of glass in a greenhouse.


Rising concentrations could melt icecaps, swamp low-lying coastal regions and trigger catastrophic changes to the planet's climate with more volatile weather from typhoons to droughts.


Pachauri urged the world to shift strategy from Kyoto's reduction targets for greenhouse gases to long-term global targets on how much of the gases the atmosphere should contain.


Carbon dioxide levels have risen about 30 percent since the start of the 18th century to almost 380 parts per million.


"We need a degree of agreement on where to stabilize concentrations," he said. "We have to try to come up with an understanding of where we are heading in the next 30-40 years."


Pachauri leads work to produce a 2007 U.N. climate report based on research by more than 2,000 scientists, updating a 2001 assessment that concluded there was "new and stronger evidence" that human activities were to blame for rising temperatures.


"My hope is that this (2007 report) will be able to fill gaps, reduce uncertainties and produce a much stronger message," said Pachauri, who is based in New Delhi.


Under Kyoto, developed nations have agreed to cut emissions of carbon dioxide by at least five percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12 by restraining use of coal, oil and natural gas and shifting to renewable energies like wind and solar energy.
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Old 10-25-04, 03:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Myster X
He welcomed ratification of the Kyoto pact on Friday by Russia's lower house of parliament, paving the way for the long-delayed 1997 accord to enter into force in the 126 nations that approved it even though the world's greatest polluter, the United States, pulled out in 2001.
So when did we pull out, 1997 or 2001? I'm confused.
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Old 10-25-04, 03:31 PM   #21
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Originally posted by Mordred
So when did we pull out, 1997 or 2001? I'm confused.
Depends on what you party affiliation is. See several earlier posts on this thread.
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Old 10-25-04, 06:08 PM   #22
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So, uh....want happened to our ice age that we were worried about in the 70s?
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Old 11-12-04, 10:36 AM   #23
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i just watched Day After Tomorrow

i can't believe it was actually supposed to be a message in favor of kyoto and against fossil fuels. my favorite part is when the see the mammoth and find out it was flash frozen by an instant ice age. of course thousands of years ago it happened naturally and today only oil can cause an ice age
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Old 11-12-04, 10:42 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by VinVega
That's called diplomacy. You usually see that from a US White House.
World: "Drink this poison."

Diplomatic White House: "We'll only drink half."
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Old 11-12-04, 10:58 AM   #25
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by the way, Putin has already signed the protocol.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe...ssia.kyoto.ap/

MOSCOW, Russia (AP) -- President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill confirming Russia's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, clearing the way for the global climate pact to take force early next year, the Kremlin said Friday.
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