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

A question about Kyoto

Old 12-22-07, 12:13 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk God
Thread Starter
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,200
A question about Kyoto

I didn't want this in the global warming thread because it is more about international politics.

It seems to me that the way it was written, several countries were let off the hook, like China, etc. But being that this is a global problem, why did they not give a global solution rather than a localized one? By that I mean, rather than saying, "You have 100 widget plants so you contribute more, so you must reduce your levels to X number of total emissions" why not say, "All widget plants must be built to this standard no matter where they are built?"

I ask because it looks obvious that with the current Kyoto we would just shift our polution to countries that were exempt, but if you have a global standard for how plants must be built, you have a global solution.

Why wasn't that done?
kvrdave is offline  
Old 12-22-07, 12:46 AM
  #2  
X
Administrator
 
X's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1987
Location: AA-
Posts: 10,676
Because doing otherwise wouldn't punish countries that had been successful while attempting to artificially equalize the standard of living of those that hadn't.

Is that the right answer?
X is offline  
Old 12-22-07, 01:53 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk God
Thread Starter
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,200
That is how it feels. I got into this discussion with my very green brother-in-law. He was talking about the how and why we didn't get into Kyoto, etc. I told him that it seemed we were very unequally yolked by the treaty and asked him what he thought about actually requiring the same standards for everyone, in terms of what is built from here on out. Being truly green, he didn't have a good reason to let some countries polute while others were held to high standards for a "global" problem.

But is there a legit reason why Kyoto is the way it is? Was there ever discussions of a global solution to the global problem? While I am not sure I would want to be a part of that treaty either, it certainly seems more "fair" and I would like to understand the opposing side.
kvrdave is offline  
Old 12-22-07, 06:25 AM
  #4  
Moderator
 
nemein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: 1bit away from total disaster
Posts: 34,126
While I am not sure I would want to be a part of that treaty either, it certainly seems more "fair" and I would like to understand the opposing side.
You are obviously under the mistaken impression that "fair" means everyone is treated equally. I've found in politics that is rarely the case and most times "fair" usually involves punishing the successful.
nemein is offline  
Old 12-22-07, 07:20 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
wishbone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 20,503
excerpt

Perhaps tellingly, it turns out that the United States would have borne the highest cost, with almost trivial benefits, which by itself might explain why the United States was the least engaged party in Kyoto. The same pattern repeats itself for Canada and Australia, with large costs and small benefits.

Conversely, Europe has the best deal of the rich world, paying US$1.5-trillion but getting almost half back in benefits. It is still not a good deal but certainly goes a long way to explain why Europe has been the most prominent backer of Kyoto. Russia and the other transition economies would have benefited greatly from Kyoto, because they could have sold their emissions permits at a high price, to the tune of almost US$3-trillion. Of course, when the time came for Western countries to pay up, it seems politically unlikely that the public in either Europe or the United States would have accepted annual transfers of more than US$50-billion for what is essentially hot air.

Finally, the models show, the rest of the world is somewhat better off, with a little less than half the benefit accruing to the lowest-income countries. This benefit, however, has to be seen in the context of the rich world forking out trillions of dollars. For every dollar spent, the rich countries do about 16 cents of good in the developing world.
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/b...-t-add-up.aspx

I recall reading somewhere that first world nations like the US were to implement Kyoto then developing nations like China would follow our example... because that usually works in the real world.
wishbone is offline  
Old 12-22-07, 08:21 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: MI
Posts: 25,041
I believe your confusion stems from incorrectly assigning any trace of common sense to a UN decision or action.
OldDude is offline  
Old 12-22-07, 05:09 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 36,980
I believe the argument is that we (rich countries) have been polluting and warming the earth since the Industrial Revolution where as the poor countries just started industrializing and haven't contributed to global warming as much. So basically this allows them to keep polluting until they reach our level and we stop at the 1990 level. It isn't fair to require them to spend a ton of money to get their pollution down when they haven't done it as long as we have.
Venusian is offline  
Old 12-22-07, 07:29 PM
  #8  
Admin-Thanos
 
VinVega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
Posts: 31,008
Originally Posted by Venusian
I believe the argument is that we (rich countries) have been polluting and warming the earth since the Industrial Revolution where as the poor countries just started industrializing and haven't contributed to global warming as much. So basically this allows them to keep polluting until they reach our level and we stop at the 1990 level. It isn't fair to require them to spend a ton of money to get their pollution down when they haven't done it as long as we have.
I think the other argument is that since the rich countries have more resources, they are in a better position to innovate if under pressure of the treaty sanctions than a poor country that does not have the financial ability to innovate. Of course if you have to shut down your infrastructure to meet the treaty, you might not be able to innovate. I think some really poor countries could deserve a pass if they're not major polluters, but India and China should not be given a pass since by their size alone, they contribute to a ton of pollution. If they are roped into the treaty as well, it is definitely more fair and something to at least consider.
VinVega is offline  
Old 12-22-07, 09:29 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: in da cloud
Posts: 26,196
Originally Posted by Venusian
I believe the argument is that we (rich countries) have been polluting and warming the earth since the Industrial Revolution where as the poor countries just started industrializing and haven't contributed to global warming as much. So basically this allows them to keep polluting until they reach our level and we stop at the 1990 level. It isn't fair to require them to spend a ton of money to get their pollution down when they haven't done it as long as we have.

the goal was always to get industry out of the first world and into the second and third world countries. we might pay a little more to implement this system, but we'll save a lot more on the lack of health problems that would result from a lack of pollution
al_bundy is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.