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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

When Saving a Tree Means Losing Your Job

Back from the long weekend and looking into a gym membership after a a few days of gluttony. While I did spend countless hours in front of the TV watching baseball and History Channel documentaries, I'm proud to report that I didn't catch one millisecond of the Live8 concerts this weekend. Apparently I wasn't the only one.

I mention it only because a reader asked about my opinion on the G8 summit this weekend, specifically the Kyoto treaty. In the past I think I've made my opinion of global warming pretty clear, but Kyoto deserves special scorn...er, attention.

The bottom line is this: you can believe in global warming with all you heart, but supporting the Kyoto treaty requires a level of know-nothingness that invalidates your entire cause. If you listen to those on the Right, they'll tell you that Kyoto will be astronomically expensive and do very little to affect climate change. If you listen to the Left, you'll hear that Kyoto will be astronomically expensive and do very little to affect climate change, and it's a good first step.

The facts aren't really in dispute, just the wisdom of crippling our economy for a few hundredths of a degree. Fortunately, President Bush is well aware of this and isn't going to budge at this week's summit. For those that disagree with him, let me suggest you sell your car and buy a bike. It might mean you have to quit your job on account of the long commute, and it won't do much for the environment, but hey, it's a good first step.

15 Comments:

Blogger Nedhead said...

"The United States is the only G-8 country that has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. Bush declared last week on Danish television that meeting the Kyoto emission reduction targets would have "wrecked" the U.S. economy."

Over 100 nations have ratified the protocol. I guess we are the only country with brains. I wonder why no one else can see the "truth" so clearly as Bush. Are the economies of the countries who ratify the protocol going to collapse? What about companies located in the US that operate internationally, will they collapse?

Do you have a problem with people who dump the packaging from their finished McDonalds happy meal out the window on your street? Why then wouldn't you be concerned about pollution being thrown into the air? Even if you disagree with the global warming theory, I think you would be a dunderhead not to acknowledge that our factories/generation plants/automobiles pour copious amount of pollutants into the air we breathe. If the international community is pushing for this type of control, we should be part of it. We are not an island unto ourselves.

"Still, he described climate change as "a significant, long-term issue that we've got to deal with" and acknowledged that human activity is "to some extent" to blame...."My hope is — and I think the hope of Tony Blair is — to move beyond the Kyoto debate and to collaborate on new technologies that will enable the United States and other countries to diversify away from fossil fuels so that the air will be cleaner and that we have the economic and national security that comes from less dependence on foreign sources of oil," Bush said.

Isn't that what the Kyoto Protocol is all about?

As unrealistic as some legislation is, (i.e. CARB requirements in California), it can serve as an impetus for change in corporate mindsets. Legislation has given us safer vehicles to operate and better fuel economy to go with the safety features. Legislation has reined in pollution of our waterways and some rivers that were dead can now support life (maybe not yet edible, though).


A step in the right direction is always a good thing, unless you are afraid of change and/or George W. Bush.

7/05/2005 10:56:00 AM  
Anonymous MCH said...

The conventional wisdom to date has been that implementing Kyoto would be too costly. However, there is now solid evidence to the contrary.

This past weekend, the New York Times did a story called "A Livable Shade of Green." The story described how the City of Portland Oregon has achieved pre-1990 carbon emissions levels and a booming local economy as well.

Portland's own report can be found here.

7/05/2005 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Brash Limburg said...

Ned,
Your making a general argument for environmental awareness, which is sort of hard to argue against. What specificly about the Kyoto Treaty are you defending?

MCH,
Good article, but the knife cuts both ways. For Portand it was a success, for Seattle, an utter failure. The point that's made in both articles is that green policies work best when they're voluntary, and can linked to some benefit beyond enviornmentalism. Kyoto satisfies neither of these conditions.

7/05/2005 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger Nedhead said...

OK, admittedly, I have not read the Kyoto Protocol. I only know what has been offered to me in the papers, on TV and online. But, to my understanding, it is requiring developed nations to reduce greenhouse gases. I support that. It is encouraging partnerships in research and observation of climate science, impacts and response strategies. I support that. I disagree with not holding developing nations to the same standards.

Is it flawed? Of course. No far reaching document of this sort is perfect.


I accept that there are differing schools of thought about global warming. And we could go back and forth forever providing facts supporting either argument, so we shouldn't go there. I belong to the group that believes we are damaging our environment. And controling pollution is necessary.

7/05/2005 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Crackpot Press said...

I did watch parts of Live-8.

I should have watched the History Channel.

Weak. Terrible. Awful. Crap. Dirty Underpants.

I saw some of it live, saw some "highlights."

Highlight #1

They show clips of Sir Paul and Bono creaking out "Sgt. Peppers."

Also the Hugely untalented Green Day trying to pull "We Are the Champions" Memo to Green Day: When you are spending $500 on someone to make your hair look punk. You surrender your punk status. You too are another corporate pawn and, if you think otherwise, you are a corporate rube as well. Green Day, you suck.

Black Eyed Peas were good.

7/05/2005 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger Crackpot Press said...

Also Arnold S. came out against the Bush Greenhouse myth over the weekend.

Maybe there is something to this...

7/05/2005 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger Brash Limburg said...

Thanks for the review Crackpot, good to know I made the right call.

Ned,
"And we could go back and forth forever providing facts supporting either argument, so we shouldn't go there"

So wouldn't that argue inaction until there's a consensus, instead of arbitrarly picking one that could be potentially harmful?

7/05/2005 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger Nedhead said...

Consensus?

7 out 8 for the big G's.

Over 100 nations total.

I would say there exists a majority who accept that greenhouse gases are a problem and the the Protocol is a solution.

7/06/2005 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger Prof. Galt said...

Nedhead,
Until you can give the reasons why those 7 countries (and over 100 nations total) are right, just stop.

7/06/2005 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger Nedhead said...

Here is some dry reading:

http://www.ipcc.ch/pub/un/syreng/spm.pdf

If you don't buy into the theory of global warming, then nothing I can present will convince you. How does the saying go? To those who believe, no proof is necessary, to those who doubt, there is never enough proof.

I acknowledge that there is uncertainity on how greenhouse gases will affect our environment in the future. But, can you tell me what in life is cast in stone? Other than death and taxes? I will err on the side of caution with this matter.

Can you prove to me that our economy will collapse if we follow the Kyoto Protocol?

7/06/2005 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Storm Trooper said...

I support spiking trees...

7/06/2005 02:09:00 PM  
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