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Bush administration withdraws from Kyoto Treaty on Global Warming

By nobbystyles in News
Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 12:52:40 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

Despite international condemnation, the Bush administration has indicated that it will not honour the 1997 Kyoto Treaty on Global Climate Change. This is despite growing scientific evidence since then that global climate change is occurring. Citing concerns about the impact on the US economy and the fact the third world countries are mostly exempt as excuses, the Bush administration has shown that the real people behind it are the good ol' boys from Texan oil industry.

I would be very interested to hear US K5 readers' views on this.


THe USA has about 4% of the total world population yet emits 22.4% of the world carbon dioxide emissions. The sectorial breakdown is here. Interesting to note that the transportation sector takes up 1/3 of the total which I suppose is accounted for by the increasing tendency to drive around in oversized, gas guzzling pickups and 4X4s. The US carbon dioxide emissions per capita are twice the average of all industial countries.

Unilateral action such as withdrawing from this treaty also undermines attempts to get other countries to honour other treaties and is a bad example to set especially as the country in question likes pose as a moral force in the world.

Still who gives a fuck whether Bangladesh is drowning so long as the American consumer can pay low gas prices and drive around in his or her Chevy Surburban?

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Poll
The Bush administration...
o Was right to withdraw as the treaty was a pinko plot to undermine the USA 5%
o Was right to withdraw as Global Climate change is unproven 5%
o Should have tried to renogotiate 4%
o Should have honoured the Treaty 11%
o Should shoot themselves 16%
o Is in the pockets of the oil companies 33%
o Are wankers 18%
o Should fix the errors in Slashcode 3%

Votes: 236
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o internatio nal condemnation
o 1997 Kyoto Treaty on Global Climate Change
o 22.4% of the world carbon dioxide emissions
o here
o twice the average of all industial countries
o Also by nobbystyles


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Bush administration withdraws from Kyoto Treaty on Global Warming | 267 comments (250 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
A red-white-and-blue take on this. (4.28 / 7) (#1)
by Apuleius on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 04:29:29 AM EST

I rarely agree with Salon's editorials, but here's some food for thought. Also, if you don't already know about Bruce Sterling's Viridian kick, find out some more. I do have to wonder if this is more derived from W's reluctance to take a political risk than from the thoughtlessness of the American public.




There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
Oh, good. (2.62 / 8) (#86)
by trhurler on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 01:45:17 PM EST

As usual, Salon is a fucking yellow rag. A picture at the top that is so obviously doctored and bears so little resemblence to any car on any US road today that it is absurd, and a chopjob barren of facts. Goodie.

Feh. We have the tightest pollution controls on the planet. Let's see Europe implement them, since so many Europeans bitch so much.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
ah, but... (3.00 / 1) (#135)
by nurikochan on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 06:27:32 PM EST

Feh. We have the tightest pollution controls on the planet. Let's see Europe implement them, since so many Europeans bitch so much.
I think you forget that American's drive much much more than Europeans. At my school, there are a lot of immigrants, mostly from Germany and Britain, and their take is that most people drive as little as possible and usually walk or ride a bike.

It's undeniable that America is a car culture. The only problem is that our overdependency on the automobile has lead us to be closed minded to more energy efficient forms of transportation, like metro-trains, buses, bikes...

See the Europeans implement them? Let's assume that this is true. We'd still produce more pollution than them on average.

(Want to help? Ride a bike next time you need to go pick up a gallon of milk.)



[ Parent ]
Please prove this (none / 0) (#137)
by weirdling on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 06:40:27 PM EST

Buses are more efficient? I doubt this very much. In places that have a short distance to travel and very little urban sprawl, this is possible, but for me, this isn't the case. Some numbers: my car gets 25 MPG on my commute (yes, 200 HP and 85MPH at 28MPG, but my commute includes city driving), but the ads for the local bus system say that your average car (about 20 MPG) with one person is the same as the bus with seven. In other words, at the point where the bus carries seven people, it makes the same gas mileage as a car with one. That makes the bus get roughly 3 MPG, which is hideous, not to mention carbon heavy, as the bus is diesel. Anyway, I drive around twenty minutes on average, about 12 miles or so. The bus, on the other hand, to picke me up, has to travel around 25 miles, a trip which takes it over an hour, during which it is in continuous operation. Now, there's no way that bus has seven people on it continuously in this area. Normally, there's only three or four until one reaches a transfer, of which there are two on my way to work. So, in the end, it costs about 2.08 gallons to transport one person from where I live to work in a bus and .6 gallons to transport me in a car.
I don't know why people think mass transit is more efficient. It almost always costs more, which is a good indication it is not as efficient. However, it is a thing big government can be seen to do to be helping the little person, so it gets implemented, anyway.
As to the culture, most countries are used to short distances to travel and thus do not own cars. It is impractical to get around a city not laid out for cars; hence, I take the subway when in DC, New York, or if possible when going into Denver, but buses in all those cities *suck*.
If light rail were practical and installed everywhere, I most definately would ride it to work, because, in reality, it is cheaper than cars when done right, as it is in Denver.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
On rails... (4.00 / 1) (#138)
by nurikochan on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 07:01:13 PM EST

Ack. I live in Detroit. Just so you know where I'm coming from. I agree on the metros though.

As to the culture, most countries are used to short distances to travel and thus do not own cars. It is impractical to get around a city not laid out for cars...
And that is, to some extent, the problem. Several, if not most, major cities have been built in such a manor that there's no way to get from A to B without a car. *sigh* The question now becomes, can we change our culture and our city layouts enough to accept rails and metros?

(And if that doesn't work, there's always Ginger. (Yeah, Right!) ).

[ Parent ]

And, more specifically, how would it benefit? (none / 0) (#143)
by weirdling on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 07:20:41 PM EST

I'd like to see a benefit analysis before we start ripping up city streets. In Denver, they tore out a perfectly good rail system, replaced it with buses, and then put in another rail system, all in the name of environmental progress. Hmm...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
What doctored? (none / 0) (#237)
by ZanThrax on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 07:44:51 PM EST

That's what cars sitting a stop light look like if the temp is within about 5 degrees of 0 C. (I don't know where you're at, so maybe you don't experience freezing that often, but its a common sight here in the fall and spring) Humidity seems to help too.

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

its doctered (none / 0) (#267)
by kneeo on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 08:36:41 PM EST

That's what cars sitting a stop light look like if the temp is within about 5 degrees of 0 C.

umm...no I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota..that is a doc'ed up picture..it does NOT look like that.

funny...those 2 cars have no ice or snow on them.

oh and in MN or places where you get tons of snow a 4x4/SUV type vechicle is desireable.

[ Parent ]

Incorrect assessment of transportation emissions (4.00 / 4) (#5)
by Delirium on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 04:59:32 AM EST

Note that SUVs and pickups, while accounting for a large percentage of consumer vehicle emissions, actually account for a relatively small percentage of emissions overall. The majority of US transportation emissions are from industrial transportation, mostly the incredible number of large trucks that routinely drive cross-country.

Correct assessment of transportation emissions (4.60 / 5) (#14)
by ambrosen on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 07:11:19 AM EST

The uk.transport FAQ seems to say that US Vehicles subject to the CAFE regulations cause 1.5% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions and all other US transportation causes 0.8% of emissions. Which is to say that in the US, cars and light trucks produce twice as much emissions as large trucks and buses. And those figures do have references.

But never mind, you can blame greenhouse gas pollution on factors outside your control and pluck figures from out of the air to back up your views if you want. It's easier on the conscience.

--
Procrastination does not make you cool. Being cool makes you procrastinate. DesiredUsername.
[ Parent ]
hmm (none / 0) (#108)
by Delirium on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 04:02:47 PM EST

Hmm, thanks for the link to figures. Looking at those it still seems likely that cars produce the large majority of CAFE-subjected-vehicle emissions, because there are so many more of them. SUVs are much-derided by many people (including myself), but there really aren't *that* many of them.

As for conscience, since I don't even own a car of any sort, I don't see how that could be relevant.

[ Parent ]

1.5%, huh? (none / 0) (#136)
by weirdling on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 06:30:29 PM EST

Geez, if we quit driving entirely, it still wouldn't make any difference according to the Kyoto protocol's greenhouse model. Yah, a 10% reduction of 1.5% would still be, lessee, a .15% reduction. Even supposing this could be generalized to the rest of the world, it is still just 6% of the total world's production of CO2, by some simple calculations. Of course, the argument is that people in other countries use less, so one would assume that it is less than 6%, but, hey, that still results in a whopping .6% reduction in CO2 emissions by cars, if a 10% reduction were enforced. By and large, the vast majority of CO2 that humans produce is produced by the third world and heavy industry, so my conscience rests quite well, thank you.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Concerns about the Kyoto protocol (4.56 / 32) (#7)
by Delirium on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:10:11 AM EST

Since this editorial was so incredibly one-sided, I feel it's necessary to supply some of the reasoning for opposition to the Kyoto protocol despite my general support of it (and opposition to withdrawal from the treaty).

The main concern lies with the fact that developing countries are nearly entirely excluded from the restrictions on pollution. While the justification for this is that pollution restrictions would hamper growth of their still-developing economies, so pollution reduction should be instead done in countries which "can afford it," it's arguable that the end result would actually not be a decrease in emissions at all. Since the marketplace is largely globalized these days, little to no emissions restrictions in developing countries and steadily tightening restrictions in industrialized nations may very well encourage industry to move its factories to these third-world countries. There, they could actually pollute even more than they currently do due to a lack of any sort of regulation. While this would have the positive effect of bringing foreign investment into third-world countries, it would also come at a price of ruining the environment of third-world countries (polluting their water sources, destroying their ecosystems, etc.). (And perhaps more importantly to Democrats and union members, it would reduce unskilled labor jobs available in industrialised nations).

So while I generally support the Kyoto protocol and don't think it should be scrapped entirely, I do agree that there are concerns which need to be addressed.

And on a more general note, please people try to remember that (nearly) every issue has two sides to it. Whether it's abortion, affirmative action, religion, intellectual property, or any other such issue, don't assume that anyone who disagrees with you is an idiot. Try to actually research opposing positions (and then either try to explain why the opposing positions are wrong, or perhaps occasionally switch positions yourself).

And avoiding rhetoric and propaganda, regardless of on what issue or which side you're coming from, is always a good thing.

Fair enough but... (3.60 / 5) (#9)
by nobbystyles on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:21:50 AM EST

The idea of this was generate debate. A one sided view brings out the oposition better than a fair minded objective one.

Anyway I was so angered by the news that it did turn into a bit of a rant.

[ Parent ]
rants (3.00 / 1) (#10)
by Delirium on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:32:00 AM EST

Yeah I can see that; I was half-inclined to post a lengthy anti-Israel rant here when I saw that they launched air-strikes against Palestinian police stations in response to a Hamas suicide-bombing (see the connection? I don't either), but thought better of it. =]

[ Parent ]
Go on, post one (3.00 / 1) (#16)
by imperium on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 07:18:20 AM EST

I've been disagreeing with you on this point here for a while now. I would love to see you posting an inflamatory but consistent rant, not ad hominem, but definitely one-sided.

Incidentally, as mentioned in the earlier comment, I'd mod up either "The Israelis accuse Palestinians of violence, yet have killed 6 times more themselves over the last few months" or "The Palestinians will never have autonomy until they accept Israel's boundaries" (although the first is the one I happen to agree with) so long as either is well argued.

So, go on, make my week. Post a rant and I'll vote it up!

x.
imperium
[ Parent ]

ditto (none / 0) (#160)
by dave.oflynn on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 05:07:36 AM EST

It'd press one of my buttons... I don't have the time to research an article properly, but I'm more than willing to contribute my half-assed inflammatory thoughts in a comment or two ;-).

[ Parent ]
An Israeli piece I'd like to see done (none / 0) (#235)
by ZanThrax on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 07:14:44 PM EST

is one discussing the victims becoming victimizers, and being willing to scream anti-semite (at least some of their groups are anyhow) at anyone who questions their right to oppress Palestineans.

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

disagree and disagree (3.50 / 20) (#11)
by streetlawyer on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:51:03 AM EST

There, they could actually pollute even more than they currently do due to a lack of any sort of regulation. While this would have the positive effect of bringing foreign investment into third-world countries, it would also come at a price of ruining the environment of third-world countries (polluting their water sources, destroying their ecosystems, etc.).

This is a monumentally dishonest objection (I note that you're only presenting it as reported speech, but I'm sure that you're accurately paraphrasing people who do say this). The Kyoto treaty is not about "pollution". It is about carbon dioxide (to a lesser extent, methane), which is not toxic in water, and which does not have local effects on ecosystems. Furthermore, to suggest that any relocation of American industry on a scale that would materially alter global emmissions patterns could take place in the timeframe of the Kyoto treaty is ludicrous. And finally, the suggestion that international movements of factories would hurt the American economy is utterly inconsistent with the USA's position in world trade negotiations.

Furthermore, I disagree totally on this subject:

And on a more general note, please people try to remember that (nearly) every issue has two sides to it. Whether it's abortion, affirmative action, religion, intellectual property, or any other such issue, don't assume that anyone who disagrees with you is an idiot. Try to actually research opposing positions

No. Let the research on other positions be done by people who hold them; then we can be sure that it will be done properly. Too many kuro5hin articles are ruined by effort being wasted on a half-assed investigation of the contrary case rather than spent on building up the article's thesis. And since the people supporting the US withdrawal from Kyoto are for the most part either crooks, wilfully blind or idiots, how do you know that Nobby hasn't done the research you talk about?

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

gah (1.16 / 6) (#12)
by streetlawyer on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:51:42 AM EST

and apparently, fucking up bold tags since about the same date.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
And it's still (5.00/3) (4.00 / 1) (#15)
by imperium on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 07:13:18 AM EST

Despite the bold madness. Much as it offends the eye, it all happens to be true!

x.
imperium
[ Parent ]

i'll take my opinions (1.40 / 5) (#22)
by alprazolam on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 08:23:32 AM EST

in the opinion pieces. There are some people who like to be informed out here you know. Thanks.

[ Parent ]
Yikes! (3.87 / 8) (#39)
by DesiredUsername on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:15:54 AM EST

"Furthermore, to suggest that any relocation of American industry on a scale that would materially alter global emmissions patterns could take place in the timeframe of the Kyoto treaty is ludicrous."

No reasoning given so I can't give you any points for this.

"And finally, the suggestion that international movements of factories would hurt the American economy is utterly inconsistent with the USA's position in world trade negotiations."

What? Factories leave America, the American factory workers lose their jobs. Is that GOOD for the economy?

But the worse item in your post is this: "Let the research on other positions be done by people who hold them; then we can be sure that it will be done properly."

Two articles that are extreme in opposite directions do not "average out" to a reasonable position. Furthermore, extremism creates a "crisis mentality" that quickly numbs readers into apathy. It's as though we are all falling asleep to the constant, low-level, white noise of millions of extremists shouting "wake up, America!"

"And since the people supporting the US withdrawal from Kyoto are for the most part either crooks, wilfully blind or idiots, how do you know that Nobby hasn't done the research you talk about?

I see no criminal records or IQ tests cited, so if he HAS done the research he hasn't done a very good job of supporting it. REporting it, either, since he uses all the negative language rather than just stating the supposed facts.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
What? (3.00 / 1) (#46)
by meadows_p on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:54:26 AM EST

What? Factories leave America, the American factory workers lose their jobs. Is that GOOD for the economy? --------- ...but surely it's good for the world economy, the new country get's a load of jobs and the company decreases their costs. What you're saying sounds like protectionism to me NOT the free trade which America forces down the throat of all the other countries.

[ Parent ]
You misunderstand (3.00 / 1) (#53)
by DesiredUsername on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:19:28 AM EST

I wasn't advocating that the US should ignore pollution just to keep US factory workers employed. streetlawyer said that moving factories would have no effect on the US economy and I was just rebutting him. The effect may be worth the cause, but lying about the effect gets us nowhere.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
wrong (2.87 / 8) (#66)
by streetlawyer on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:57:14 AM EST

I was just rebutting him

Stupidly. The counterpart to a capital move overseas is a positive item on the current account; ie increased exports. The net effect on the economy from free trade is positive; it's just that the benefits are dispersed while the costs are concentrated. This is fairly introductory economics.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Strange for a Lawyer (3.00 / 1) (#64)
by gauntlet on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:45:28 AM EST

I imagine that if streetlawyer were a criminal trial lawyer, he would want to be on the procecution's side. The prosecution has the burden of proof, and spends all their time trying to proove their point. The defence attourney is totally devoted to refuting the prosecutor's arguments. They don't have to make any arguments of their own, simply show that the prosecutor's arguments don't work.

I think, SL, you're underestimating the value of being able to refute someone else's argument. Defence lawyers, after all, get paid better. :)

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

pollution (4.75 / 4) (#109)
by Delirium on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 04:07:11 PM EST

The Kyoto treaty is not about "pollution". It is about carbon dioxide (to a lesser extent, methane), which is not toxic in water, and which does not have local effects on ecosystems.

I understand that, but the point was that if carbon dioxide emissions standards in the first-world are increased to the point where it is cheaper for industry to relocate to third-world countries to avoid them, these relocated factories will also be likely to increase other types of pollution, as most third-world countries have little to no pollution restrictions of any sort. So it's not so much the actual carbon-dioxide related concerns (though it's possible CO2 emissions overall might increase as well), but the collateral effect that could lead to an increase in other, more dangerous forms of pollution. And if in the process you haven't reduced world-wide CO2 emissions, you haven't accomplished anything either.

[ Parent ]

Foreign Investment in 3rd World Countries (3.00 / 1) (#57)
by j on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:29:55 AM EST

I wonder whether foreign investment in third world countries might eventually serve to get them out of the developing state, thus requiring them to honor the regulations of the Kyoto Protocol. Would be nice.
Most likely, though, the impact of those investments would be rather small: Western corporations would still leech more resources out of the country than they would bring in.

[ Parent ]
its worse than that (4.50 / 16) (#19)
by eLuddite on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 08:05:22 AM EST

Bush has announced an intention to not honor the Kyoto agreement. It will be up to the State Department to figure out how it should legally withdraw from the deal. Whether they withdraw legally or not, the head of the EPA has been quoted as saying "we have no interest in implementing that treaty."

Without American involvement, the Kyoto Agreement will not be signed when its parties reconvene in Bonn. There will be noise, condemnation, posturing and protestations that it aint dead yet, but there will be no signatures. In other words, America is not merely pulling out of the Agreement, they are killing it outright. The Kyoto protocol is dead.

Unilateral action such as withdrawing from this Treaty also undermines attempts to get other countries to honour other treaties and is a bad example to set especially as the country in question likes pose as a moral force in the world.

This action demonstrates that there is no reason to enter into an international agreement with Americans unless your national interests coincide with their's exactly. In other words, whenever there is no need for an Agreement at all. That's an interesting foreign policy, for sure.

---
God hates human rights.

playing devil's advocate (3.16 / 6) (#107)
by SEAL on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 03:59:29 PM EST

The world expects the U.S. to take a leadership role in so many things, and yet cries wolf when we do. We deploy troops somewhere and we are murderers. Or we ignore the situation and we are supporting genocide. Environmental agreements are much the same way. The ban on CFCs is widely acknowledged as a good thing, yet many 3rd world nations say the U.S. supported this to hold back their development.

Frankly I'm not surprised by Bush's announcement. With California reeling from high energy costs and a recession looming, Bush has decided to focus on these issues rather than environmental ones.

Given the same circumstance, I think many other nations would do the same.

Beyond that, however, the Kyoto Agreement would have placed a much greater burden on the U.S. than any other nation. Yes, the U.S. produces more CO2. However, contrary to what the author of this story stated - much of this CO2 production is actually from farm machinery and equipment. Don't forget that the U.S. agriculture industry exports a great deal of food. Food that often goes to nations we are supposedly hurting by ignoring this agreement.

Yes, something needs to be done about global warming. Yes, alternative energy sources, and conservation measures need to be researched. But in the meantime, the U.S. is between a rock and a hard place. We can ignore the agreement for now, inviting criticism. Or we can try to abide, hurting our own economy and forcing us to reduce exports - inviting even more criticism as we "starve innocent children".

I do not envy Bush's job.

- SEAL

It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
[ Parent ]
Sorry, what was that? (none / 0) (#134)
by weirdling on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 06:25:40 PM EST

International agreements aren't for mutally beneficial reasons, eh? Or did you mean to be amusing?
This won't be the first time nor the last that a sovereign nation has repudiated a treaty. It also shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that this particular treaty will be repudiated.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Re: Sorry, what was that? (4.00 / 1) (#139)
by eLuddite on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 07:03:41 PM EST

International agreements aren't for mutally beneficial reasons, eh?

Ok, I'll be more specific. The pursuit of international agreements for beneficial reasons requires individual nations to compromise their local, short term agendas. 165 nations did not pull out Kyoto because Bush is owned by US oil. War is not internationally beneficial yet Iraq invaded Kuwait.

Now think of this: A local election is beneficial to all its citizens even if 49% of them are both disappointed and bound by the result. Because of the number of signatories, Kyoto is specifically written as an election between nations.

This won't be the first time nor the last that a sovereign nation has repudiated a treaty.

Of course not. Americans are in the habit of repudiating international agreements for short term politcal gain at home. This is one of the reasons why a UN and an international court is useful to all nations, the US included. Read also this thread.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Bush owned by US oil (3.00 / 1) (#142)
by weirdling on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 07:18:22 PM EST

This is an odd statement. I hear it a lot, mostly by people who have a vested interest in reduction of oil usage for whatever reason. The fact that he acts in accordance with what oil wants does not mean he is owned by them; I happen to believe in his action here.
BTW, I added to that thread here, in which I point out that the US isn't under any court system and I like it that way.
None of the countries that have signed but not ratified this treaty are bound by it, and I expect a lot of countries who have signed to repudiate at the next summit. Does this make them less culpable than the US, or are you insinuating that the US must lead, in which case, why do you get so angry when the US doesn't *lead* how you want it? 'Lead, follow, or get out of the way...'

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
more than that (4.00 / 1) (#208)
by SEAL on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 02:06:45 PM EST

Reduction of imported oil usage is a good thing from a national security standpoint - Bush freely states this. Bush is also not closed to developing alternative energy resources.

He is, however, realistic about short-term goals. Our economy is in a slowdown cycle right now, and energy costs are partly to blame. Bush wants Americans to be able to control their own fate.

This whole article about the Kyoto Agreement is alarmist, and markedly anti-Bush. Many people on k5 are so quick to attack Bush that they don't think through the entire issue. Read my other post about U.S. food production for example.

One thing I forgot to mention was that in addition to CO2 production from farm equipment, you have transportation of food to the market. That's a large chunk of the transportation-derived emissions.

It's easy to just say Bush is owned by big oil and doesn't give a rat's ass about anything else. But if people would think through the details of what is going on, they might not be so quick to judge. The bottom line is that CO2 emissions are a symptom of too many people on this planet. The U.S. feeds a lot of those people, and the Kyoto agreement would negatively impact that.

Had Gore become president, I believe he would have walked away from this agreement as well.

- SEAL

It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
[ Parent ]

Hey (2.71 / 14) (#20)
by finkployd on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 08:20:20 AM EST

Clinton did a ton of stuff that royally pissed off the conservative element in the country (which seems to consists of about half the population), so now Bush is pissing off the left. Seems fair to me. Hold your breath and wait a few more years and the political landscape will shift back to the left.

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
Well he's also pissing off (3.11 / 9) (#23)
by nobbystyles on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 08:25:47 AM EST

Virtually the rest of the entire world.

Screw your wierd domestic politics. You signed this treaty and now you're not going honour it. The US government is behaving like one of the rogue states which your state department complains about.

[ Parent ]
Really? (1.00 / 3) (#77)
by finkployd on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 12:53:26 PM EST

Virtually the rest of the entire world.

Name another industrial country that has signed it.

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Re: Really? (4.37 / 8) (#91)
by eLuddite on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 02:02:13 PM EST

They're all signatories.

Signatories & Ratifications to the Kyoto Protocol as of Mar/19/2001.

Being a signatory commits you to its resolutions once the Agreement enters into force. It enters into force once a sufficient number of parties ratify it. By being a signatory it follows that you acknowledge:

(a) That this sufficient number is more important than the winds of political change in your country (federal elections, for example). Ie, an affirmation that reduction in CO2 emissions transcends politics.

(b) That you will work at this agreement until such time as sufficient parties ratify it.

Bush wants out because enough parties have indicated ratification at Bonn making it reasonable to assume that it will come into force soon thereafter. Again, once in force, America is held to the agreement whether they ratified it or not. So naturally Bush withdraws the American signature making a big lie of (a) and (b), above.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Re: Really? (4.25 / 4) (#105)
by Colonel hacker on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 03:33:06 PM EST

Bush wants out because enough parties have indicated ratification at Bonn making it reasonable to assume that it will come into force soon thereafter.

As has been stated by others, the US President does not have the authority to ratify a treaty. Bush has no choice but to withdraw, as the Senate voted it down.



[ Parent ]
Re: Really? (3.00 / 2) (#120)
by eLuddite on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:32:49 PM EST

I thought I made it clear but you've managed to completely misunderstand what it means to be a signatory to an agreement that requires ratification by less than all of its parties before becoming an item of international law (coming into force) in pursuit of a common agenda agreed upon by the signatories by virtue of their signatures.

Congress did not ratify the treaty in its present form. Bush's withdrawl from the treaty process ensures that they will never be able to vote on a workable version of that protocol some time in the future. Your congress did not tell him to do that. It doesnt have that power.

What bush did is simple: he unilaterally removed himself from an American commitment to work towards a ratifiable treaty for the reduction of CO2. There was a protocol on the table that the US signed and that he is walking away from.

International law requires cooperation between nations who may not agree with each other. Kyoto was an attempt to forge such an agreement. Bush is withdrawing his nation's promise of cooperation.

I hope I've managed to fill in the space between the lines of my original post[1]. If so, tell me what relevance your reply had.

 

[1] Pay attention to the fact that Kyoto can come into force without American ratification. It does that 19 days after 55% of its industrialized signatories ratify. America agreed to that when it became a signatory. Whether your government abides by Kyoto when that happens is another question entirely, one that will be settled in an international court. Is or is not the US a citizen nation of the world?

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

one other thing (none / 0) (#126)
by eLuddite on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:51:22 PM EST

Whether your government abides by Kyoto when that happens is another question entirely, one that will be settled in an international court. Is or is not the US a citizen nation of the world?

It was when it sought and won the approval of the united nations for a war against iraq which continues to this day. It is reprehensible that Bush should consider the UN as a tool for American policy where and when it suits America. Iraq and the DMCA but not Kyoto? If America does not feel it should be bound by international law, it should simply withdraw from all UN organizations entirely.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

I'm afraid not (5.00 / 2) (#132)
by weirdling on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 06:20:20 PM EST

The US is not now and has never been a 'citizen of the world'. It is precisely this that Europeans do not understand. This would be to surrender sovereignty, which is *illegal* under *constitutional law*. The US *cannot* *ever* be held liable by *any* world court. US military officers cannot be tried without extradition agreements by world courts. No US citizen on US soil can be tried by any other government without there first bein extradition hearings.
It is not possible, nor do I ever want, that the US should be subject to the kind of idocy that the rest of the world seems to subject itself to. I do not understand why you just can't go ahead and reduce your emmissions and leave us alone, but until such a day as Europe quits trying to control the US, to turn it into the same sort of incredible over-governed state as Europe is, I'm glad for those safeguards the founding fathers felt were necessary to protect the US from international interference.
What European countries no longer are, thanks to the EU, and the UN, and whatever else, the US still is: we are a *soverign nation*, meaning that there is *no* court that has sway over us, *no* regulatory board that can control us, *no* governmental force that can mandate *anything* to us. Perhaps there isn't another country in the world who maintains its sovereignty so jealously, but why not? We are by far the most successful economy. We are where a lot of the technological/industrial revolutions of the past have happened. Why should we become like Europe? However, this isn't the first time, and certainly won't be the last that Europe has tried to force its disastrous economic policies on the US. So, go ahead and enforce they Kyoto protocols amongst yourselves, and when, in twnety years, nothing has happened, I'll be making three times what you make...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Re: I'm afraid not (4.00 / 1) (#144)
by eLuddite on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 07:30:33 PM EST

The US is not now and has never been a 'citizen of the world'. It is precisely this that Europeans do not understand.

Even Bush will tell you otherwise. The UN was an invention and an initiative of Woodrow Wilson, American.

The US *cannot* *ever* be held liable by *any* world court. US military officers cannot be tried without extradition agreements by world courts. No US citizen on US soil can be tried by any other government without there first bein extradition hearings.

Extradition treaties are matters of international law. Nations subject to international law are 'citizen of the world,' by definition.

I'm glad for those safeguards the founding fathers felt were necessary to protect the US from international interference.

You realize that your founding fathers lived 150+ years before the UN came into existence, dont you? That the US and the rest of the world has evolved somewhat since then? That nothing in your constitution precludes it from entering into international agreements bound by international laws?

So, go ahead and enforce they Kyoto protocols amongst yourselves, and when, in twnety years, nothing has happened, I'll be making three times what you make...

America has a large GDP by virtue of its physical resources and large population. The distribution of wealth amongst individual americans is another matter entirely and not nearly as equitable compared to many other nations in the world. You have a better chance of dying destitute than I have of dying rich.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Ok, disagreements... (3.00 / 1) (#202)
by weirdling on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 12:35:53 PM EST

<i>Even Bush will tell you otherwise. The UN was an invention and an initiative of Woodrow Wilson, American.
</i><br><br>
The UN was an initiative of the US, although Woodrow Wilson actually tried to get the <a href="http://www.tamu.edu/scom/pres/speeches/wwleague.html
">league of nations</a> started, which failed in part because it did not allow the US to maintain sovereignty.<br>
The UN does not violate the sovereignty clause because the US has full veto power, along with every other nation in the security council, so there is aboslutely nothing the UN can do without explicit US approval.<br><br>
<i>Extradition treaties are matters of international law. Nations subject to international law are 'citizen of the world,' by definition.
</i><br><br>
No. Extradition treaties with the US are not part of international law; they are treaties held with other countries. Since the US officially does not recognize international law, those treaties would be null and void by our constitutional law if they were part of international law. However, it is required by US law that there be an extradition treaty, equivalent to a grand-jury hearing, to determine if there is enough evidence to warrant extradition, and, also, to determine if the defendant faces 'cruel or unusual punishment', which is also outlawed by our constitution.<br><br>
<i>You realize that your founding fathers lived 150+ years before the UN came into existence, dont you? That the US and the rest of the world has evolved somewhat since then? That nothing in your constitution precludes it from entering into international agreements bound by international laws?
</i><br><br>
This is perhaps the most amazing piece of fiction invented by the liberal left in the US and most of the rest of the world. There is absolutely no reason for the US to not maintain its sovereignty except that it offends the sensibilities of the rest of the world, and what does the US really care about that? Sorry, but we are in a position to do *exactly* as we please. This is often offending to the rest of the world, because so few other countries are in the same position, and many of those countries also do not enjoy the globalization movement. Off the top of my head, I could name the recent demonstrations in Switzerland or the quizzical look your average Israeli would give you.<br><br>
<i>America has a large GDP by virtue of its physical resources and large population. The distribution of wealth amongst individual americans is another matter entirely and not nearly as equitable compared to many other nations in the world. You have a better chance of dying destitute than I have of dying rich.
</i><br><br>
I'm not sure exactly what you intended to say by this. However, it is simply obvious by comparison that few nations have a higher standard of living, and those nations are considerably smaller. The US has a vibrant economy by dint of its large population, true, but it is also demonstrable that, due to lower costs of energy, specifically, and many other factors, including lower tax load, production per capita is also higher in the US than many European nations. As to the distribution of wealth, I would appreciate your demonstrating how this is true; it has been my experience that the middle class is better off in the US than just about anywhere else I've been, but that's just me. Besides, redistribution of wealth is an idea of socialism, and, while much of America is now quasi-socialist, some of us are rabid capitalists, who prefer to take the chance of dying a pauper because that also allows for the chance of dying filthy rich.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Re: Really? (5.00 / 1) (#146)
by Colonel hacker on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 08:23:03 PM EST

I understood you perfectly. You, however, seem to be a bit confused on US Constitutional law concerning international treaties.

The President of the US does not have the authority to enter into binding international agreements without the approval of the Senate - this includes signing onto treaties that can later become binding international law. I don't know how much clearer I can make this. Whether or not the treaty is actual law yet or not is irrelevant. Even if 55% of the signatories ratify it, it still cannot be considered binding under US law because the Senate never ratified it, nor did they agree to allow the US to become a signatory. It's no different than if I signed the treaty on behalf of the US - neither I nor the President have been granted that authority.



[ Parent ]
Re: Really? (2.33 / 3) (#150)
by eLuddite on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 09:25:41 PM EST

  • The senate has not voted on Kyoto. Bush has justified his action by saying that he expected the senate to vote against it. It's a minor point but you didnt know enough to make it.

  • You sign a protocol that you intend, in good faith, to purse. You do not sign a protocol so that you can unilaterally give it the bum's rush at the nearest inconvenience.

  • The biggest disappointment here is that Bush has scuttled any chance for a CO2 reduction treaty within the next 25 years. Bush is not going to Bonn to try to hammer out a treaty as agreed, Bush is going to Bonn to ask for his marbles back. There will be no cities after Bonn. One country unilaterally backed out. Yours. The biggest polluter of them all. On country out of almost 200 has unilaterally decided that CO2 emissions are not an environmental problem worth pursuing any further. Even when they previously agreed it was. Are you begining to understand the world's justified condemnation?

  • If you are above international law - especially after being signatory to one of its treaties - you are also presumably above international censure and sanctions. Are you morally superior because you have a bigger army than Iraq? Yugoslavia?

  • The state department is right now doing its damnest to find a legal way to back out of this agreement. What do they know that you dont? Why does the state department even bother to attend the meetings of every UN organization?

  • I understand american civics better than you understand international politics.

  • You quite clearly did not understand as perfectly as you claim.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

  • Re: Really? (1.00 / 2) (#151)
    by eLuddite on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 09:35:20 PM EST

    nor did they agree to allow the US to become a signatory. It's no different than if I signed the treaty on behalf of the US - neither I nor the President have been granted that authority.

    That's just plain wrong.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    Just a thought (none / 0) (#133)
    by weirdling on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 06:22:51 PM EST

    Practically no one else has ratified it. Do you mean to tell me that in, say, the UK, the Prime Minister's signature counts as force of law?

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    This isn't about "pissing off the left" (4.00 / 5) (#85)
    by gbd on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 01:45:06 PM EST

    This is about the complete rape and pillage of the natural world.

    The way things are going, in a few years the environment will be in such terrible shape that the world of "The Road Warrior" will look like a tropical paradise. Now, things won't be all bad, since fat-cat CEOs will have more money than they know what to do with, and all of these Communistic regulations on large corporations will have been lifted, allowing them to fully pursue the Godly and Christly act of wealth creation, which is the highest aspiration of any productive member of a free society.

    Your claim is that Dubya is gambling with the lives of billions of people and the future of human civilization simply to get even with the half of the country that supported Clinton. That's quite the literal scorched-Earth policy, isn't it?

    --
    Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
    [ Parent ]

    Bear in mind (2.50 / 2) (#99)
    by finkployd on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 03:02:08 PM EST

    That the "doom and gloom" view of the enviornment is not completly accepted. There are alternative viewpoints and it is often proven that many so called enviornmental scares are hoaxes. Some of the regulations in place are not necessary and over reaching. Quite frankly the evidence of global warming is scanty at best and even then the cause cannot be pinned down. Many claim it's just a natural temperature change that occures over time. In the mean time I'll rest easy knowing that all that bad CO2 in the air is performing a vital function as a major componant in photosynthsis enabling me to breath.

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    Oh, right (none / 0) (#131)
    by weirdling on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 06:10:55 PM EST

    You say potato, I say potato, but it reads the same: Clinton did his damndest to make guns illegal. He did many things that are borderline unconstitutional, including making trade orders specifically because those orders would reduce gun imports. I was plenty pissed about that for valid reasons: my loss of freedom, and the concomittal rise in crime that gun control inevitably produces, and I have actual *statistics* to back up my argument. Global Warming is a half-formed theory that has greater fudge factors than it does data, and doesn't even predict the present based on the past and yet you insist that somehow it is required? No, the umbrage directed at Mr. Bush is definately of the same strain, if not for the same reason, as that which many conservatives and all Libertarians directed and still direct at Clinton.

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    New Scientist's view (3.81 / 11) (#21)
    by _cbj on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 08:20:38 AM EST

    I was reading about this in an editorial in this week's New Scientist (or maybe last week's, our university is pretty relaxed on currency). One of the most empassioned pleas I've heard from them. It's here, but I'll also quote it to get higher marks.

    From my point of view, it's just one more chance to see Americans rush to the defence of their government with ever more contorted rationalisations, wilfully or genuinely oblivious to the fact that it stopped being their government a long time ago.

    Even if Bush has jumped ship we can still save the world

    THEY said it would be like negotiating with Exxon. And so it is proving. With the redneck sultans of fossil fuel in charge at the White House, George W. Bush has pulled back on even the hedged commitments to control emissions of greenhouse gases that he made during his election campaign.

    Last week, he announced that a new Clean Air Act would not, after all, include controls on carbon dioxide. He blamed fears of rising fuel prices and more blackouts, as well as pleading continuing scientific uncertainties about climate change (see p 4).

    Forget the excuses. Bush is doing the bidding of his funders and friends, and the world be damned. His statement does not formally count the US out of the Kyoto Protocol talks on cutting greenhouse gas emissions. But it does mean Bush has vetoed use of the most effective mechanism for the US to meet its promises.

    How serious a blow is this? Privately, American negotiators have been saying for some time that it could already be too late for the US to meet its Kyoto commitments for 2010, because of the time it would take to get a Clean Air Act through Congress and into force. Now it's clear that Bush isn't even going to try.

    At least the rest of the world knows where it stands, and can stop the elaborate game of trying to keep the US on board the climate train. True, the US is responsible for a quarter of the world's CO2 emissions, but that still leaves the three-quarters that comes from everywhere else. The world can get on with the task at hand--saving the planet's climate--and is quite capable of implementing the Kyoto Protocol without the US.

    What we need now is a series of declarations from governments that they will do just that. And there should be a campaign to persuade large corporations, including energy companies, to join in. Many companies realise that, as the BP slogan has it, their future lies "beyond petroleum". And the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that new sources of energy are advancing technically and becoming economically competitive faster than most people predicted. The world should embrace them, and leave the US to cower in its bunkers of coal and oil until it sees sense.



    Hot air proposed as global warming cure (4.00 / 1) (#104)
    by jet_silver on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 03:21:03 PM EST

    What we need now is a series of declarations from governments

    That'll help. Let them declare the "recession" over while they are at it.

    The best thing about letting the politicians talk is it prevents them creating new legislation....
    "What they really fear is machine-gunning politicians becoming a popular sport, like skate-boarding." -Nicolas Freeling
    [ Parent ]

    Reasons this does not matter much (4.08 / 12) (#24)
    by Simon Kinahan on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 08:32:25 AM EST

    To get the meterology out of the way first, there is no inevitable doom of all civisation associated with global warming. There is a fair degree of uncertainty as to whether temperatures are rising, whether atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased, and what the consequences really will be if they have or do. We understand the Earth's carbon cycle very poorly, but we do know that at various times CO2 concentrations have been vastly higher than they are now, and yet variations in mean temperature have been quite limited, always staying withing a few degrees of 15 celcius. I am still personally undecided on this issue, but I do feel the need to keep reminding people that nothing is going to explode if we do nothing here.

    More pragmatically, there was absolutely no chance of getting the treaty ratified. Clinton never tried, and he supported it, in principle. Expecting Bush to try is overly optimistic. Most countries have still not ratified Kyoto, so the thing is not even *active*. Talking about "withdrawing from the agreement", as if the USA were backing away from a commitment it had made or walking away from a functioning international institution is overstating the case massively.

    Lastly, in my view the attitude taken to the environment at Kyoto was deeply impractical. The chances of getting everyone to accept coercive restraints on CO2 emissions, and expecting this to result in a fall in emissions when most of the world is exempt is naive. The whole thing assumes a zero-sum trade off between growth and CO2 emissions that does not exist: low-emissions forms of technology can be just as efficient and effective, and it would probably be a better way of acheiving reductions to fund the development. On the third world front, even if they accepted limits, there really is no chance of getting the developing countries to enforce them: they don't even control most of the economies because they are sunk in the black market.



    Simon

    If you disagree, post, don't moderate
    Bush hates Florida. (3.50 / 10) (#31)
    by your_desired_username on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 09:03:49 AM EST

    He almost lost the election because of Florida. So he's doing what he can to make sure the sea rises and drowns Flordia.



    U.S. consumes CO2 (4.25 / 8) (#32)
    by dennis on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 09:10:11 AM EST

    According to Huber's Hard Green, the U.S. is a net consumer of carbon dioxide. This is a matter of direct measurement: you measure the co2 content where the prevailing winds enter the continent, and measure where they leave, and you find less co2 where they leave.

    The U.S. does, of course, emit a lot of co2, it just consumes even more with growing trees and such. Huber argues that it's a bad idea to ignore such things. If you only look at one side of the equation, you end up doing things that are actually counterproductive--like covering land with solar panels instead of growing trees there.

    Some people argued that the total net effect on co2 should be the basis for the treaty, but they were shouted down by people more concerned with politics than science, who insisted on looking at emissions only.

    But if produces more Carbon Dioxide (1.00 / 1) (#34)
    by nobbystyles on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 09:20:53 AM EST

    Then surely it will consume less thus upsetting the natural cycle.

    [ Parent ]
    huh? (3.00 / 1) (#93)
    by luethke on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 02:19:22 PM EST

    Don't know why I am replying to this but here goes. (numbers completely made up to show logic). in the incoming air there are 300 parts/cm^3. The us produces 200 parts/cm^3 (wherease the average is 100 parts/cm^3, thus we produce more than other places), air leaving has 250 parts/cm^3. thus we produce more co2 but consume more than we produce (at least in the above model, i have no idea whether it is true or not). production has no bearing on consumpion. Consumption can be as high as the total amount available, production can be as low as 0, or as high as imangimanble (can't have infinite so i guess there has to be a bound someplace, ugh, i know why cantor went insane :) ). plus we don't know what the "natural cycle" truly is. Two reasons - we started monitoring this fairly late (100-150 years ago). As far as we know we may be ruturning it to it's correct course or upsetting it to the point of all life dying (or anywhere in between). secondly the heisenberg (sp?) uncertanty priciple holds here. by observing we influence the data. The only thing we can say with a certainity is that we have changed the environment since we have been keeping records. who's to say some of the species that have became extinct shouldn't have? Extinction has been around for a long time, we have no real clue to the speed at which animals died out. we can only guess at looking at the layers that the animals were preserved in the rock and guessing. at the end of the paleozoic period into the mesozoic something like 90-95 percent of the species on the planet dies out rapidly (in one layer of rock, could be an instant or tens of thousands of years). we are not any where CLOSE to that rate( not that that is a good thing, just that things aren't as bad as many people seem to want it to be). we don't know exact levels of gases in the atmosphere (there are ways to guess such as looking at diatomatios earth in the sea, looking at how far down the "mountains" under the ocean it extends - c02 dissolved in water produces an acid, the more c02 in the water to higher up the calcium carbonate stops, the more c02 in the ocean the more is typically in the air - though other things can affect it also). ahh, this rant has gone on longer than I intended, I have given my sermon from the mount and I will leave :)

    [ Parent ]
    Not necessarily (none / 0) (#130)
    by weirdling on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 06:04:24 PM EST

    An increase in CO2 always results in an increase in plant growth, which is something global warming activists have failed to study.

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    Someone who agrees with you (4.00 / 1) (#176)
    by dennis on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 10:30:12 AM EST

    You may be interested in the Greening Earth Society, which argues that the increase in co2 is good for the planet because it makes more plants grow.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: U.S. consumes CO2 (4.33 / 3) (#41)
    by eLuddite on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:36:42 AM EST

    you measure the co2 content where the prevailing winds enter the continent, and measure where they leave, and you find less co2 where they leave.

    The US is in the middle of a continent bounded above and below by vast tracts of undeveloped forest. Unless the US green cards wind entering from the north and the south, I dont think it's possible to identify departing air molecules according to their origin on that continent.

    Some people argued that the total net effect on co2 should be the basis for the treaty, but they were shouted down by people more concerned with politics than science, who insisted on looking at emissions only.

    Since the US is a temperate climate between tropics on one end and tundra on the other, it probably generates less wind than it consumes. Sounds to me like the US owes someone a sane CO2 emissions policy, not the other way around.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    Clarification (3.00 / 2) (#71)
    by dennis on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 12:14:39 PM EST

    Where the prevailing winds enter the continent

    Huber actually was referring to the continental U.S., not the entire continent.

    I dont think it's possible to identify departing air molecules according to their origin on that continent

    Climatologists make detailed computer models predicting specific weather effects due to global warming. They write programs that break the entire atmosphere into voxels and model airflow through each one. The results get translated into news stories. If this sort of thing has any validity at all, then surely they are capable of measuring the volume, direction, and composition of airflow across the continental U.S.

    I'm a pretty staunch environmentalist myself, I just want the problems to be solved in ways that will actually work.

    [ Parent ]

    I've no problem with counting carbon sinks (none / 0) (#236)
    by ZanThrax on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 07:40:41 PM EST

    that are created (or at least expanded) by human activity, but I don't feel that the presence of trees that simply haven't been cut down yet (either do to protection efforts, low quality, difficulty of access, or that no one's got around to them yet) should be considered as a balancing factor. Any tracts of forest that were around in 1990 (that's the year Kyoto uses as a reference point, iirc) were having the same effect on emissions then as they do now, so why should they be effectively counted twice?

    Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
    [ Parent ]

    Yeah, but... (none / 0) (#242)
    by dennis on Sun Apr 01, 2001 at 05:54:17 PM EST

    If you count the effect of the forests, you give an incentive not to cut down the forests. That way you don't do silly things like cut down a big carbon-absorbing forest to make way for solar panels, so you can burn less fossil fuels, even though the net effect is more carbon in the atmosphere.

    Of course, a growing forest will be more of a carbon sink than an old-growth (which maybe is your point). A really good treaty would also take biodiversity into account.

    [ Parent ]

    Kinda (none / 0) (#243)
    by ZanThrax on Sun Apr 01, 2001 at 08:25:15 PM EST

    I was mainly trying to say that we should only give credit for actions that alter the current state, not aspects of the current state. If we need to discourage the obviously bad clear cutting of dense forest, then nations that engage in such get penalties for doing such stupid things. There's plenty of mostly empty desert for massive solar panel farms.

    Biodiversity is another critical factor of keeping our global ecosystem thriving that most people won't really catch onto for another 10 years, the same as global warming was something the masses didn't think about 20 years ago. I don't know if we'd really want to complicate things by addressing it at the same time. For that matter, I'm not sure how we'd go about addressing it with treaties anyhow...

    Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
    [ Parent ]

    Official USian Opinion (3.61 / 13) (#33)
    by jabber on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 09:17:37 AM EST

    <bushonics>
    The environment is important. It contains the air we breathe and the animals we eat. It is also sometimes pretty to look at.

    No matter where you go, even Capitol Hill, you are always in the environment. The environment is inescapable.

    Many things depend on our environment. From the water we drink to the air used to burn gasoline in our Sports Utility Vehicles. Clean air is important so that we could reduce the emissions from our cars. Especially at night, since nocturnal emissions are more difficult to clean up than daily emissions.

    Since the environment is so important, we should be careful when other countries try to change and control it. We have, in the past, established a precedent of protecting our interests. We hope that the Japanese remember the last time they tried to make the US do something we didn't want to do.
    </bushonics>

    [TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

    Let's not forget... (3.41 / 12) (#35)
    by Faulty Dreamer on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 09:43:30 AM EST

    Bush is also advocating letting his oil cartel buddies drill into the arctic wilderness and destroy another pristine area. The claim is it would signifigantly lower fuel prices, but when have lowered production costs ever been passed on to the consumer?

    For the record, I am American and I drive a four banger that gets right around thirty MPG in the city. We're not all obsessed with trying to compensate for our little willies by driving the most obnoxious vehicle possible.

    --------
    Faulty Dreams - Barking at the moon 24/7...

    If you think I'm an asshole, it's only because you haven't realized what a fucking idiot I am. - Faulty Dreamer

    Oil (3.75 / 4) (#43)
    by BigZaphod on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:50:30 AM EST

    I heard that the entire arctic wilderness preserve he wants to drill into was actually set aside *because* of the rich oil deposits. The idea was to make sure it was there in the future if/when we needed more energy. And we certainly need it now. Besides, as an American myself, I'd rather not have to rely on the middle east for my gas.

    Sorry, but I don't have a site to cite about this. It is just something I heard on one of the news stations (CNN of FoxNews, I don't remember) while I was doing something else. It's possible this was just more spin, but the host seemed to agree that he knew this as well. So take that for what it's worth.

    On another note, it's been said they only need a hundred acres or something like that for the actual equipment. Apparently since the entire area's oil supply is all linked together, they can just get at it from a small area of land. And I guess the place is so huge that the amount of area they need is something like 1% or less or something like that (I could be not remembering these numbers correctly).

    Anyway, my point is that I'd rather see a small corner of some nature reserve lost than to keep getting screwed for energy. Does this make me somehow evil? I care a lot about the enviroment, but let's face facts here. We need more energy in the US. We can get it from the outside, but then we are at the mercy of those outsiders. We can get it from the inside, but then we hurt a small bit of a huge natural reserve. Yes, it is a tough trade off,but I think it's worth it. Besides, getting oil from the middle east isn't any better for the enviroment. You have potential for more oil spills while shipping it all that way, and we're just letting them destroy their envrioment instead of hurting our own.

    Of course I would much rather find a new source of energy and stop using so many fossil fuels. But that can't happen overnight.

    "We're all patients, there are no doctors, our meds ran out a long time ago and nobody loves us." - skyknight
    [ Parent ]
    Tragic (2.57 / 7) (#48)
    by spiralx on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:07:51 AM EST

    We need more energy in the US. We can get it from the outside, but then we are at the mercy of those outsiders.

    Wow, how racist and insular do you come across as there? Not sure if it was your intent or just unconsciouss bigotry, but still...

    BTW, even tapping this reserve will still mean that you are importing most of your oil from places like Venezuela, and are thus at their "mercy".

    You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
    [ Parent ]

    Racist? (4.50 / 2) (#75)
    by BigZaphod on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 12:37:42 PM EST

    Hmm.. I'm not sure why my previous comment would be racist. I have to admit this is the first time in my entire life I've ever been accused of that!

    Look at it this way: If you are in jail, you are at the mercy of the guards. If you are in the hospital, you are at the mercy of the doctors. So, if you get your oil from outside the US, your energy supply is at the mercy of those outsiders.

    How is that racist? It's just a statement of fact. Perhaps you don't like the fact that I don't seem to trust "outsiders" or something. That's not always true, but in the case of the US, we get a lot of our oil from one of the most politically unstable regions on the planet. It just seems silly not to be looking for an alternative supply.

    "We're all patients, there are no doctors, our meds ran out a long time ago and nobody loves us." - skyknight
    [ Parent ]
    Decidedely not (4.00 / 2) (#84)
    by dcodea on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 01:44:41 PM EST

    Wow, how racist and insular do you come across as there? Not sure if it was your intent or just unconsciouss bigotry, but still...

    I have to agree with Zaphod that he wasn't being racist. I don't even think he was being insular. The different policies and the international framework of the world oil market is definately relevant; which countries you get your oil from matters. The fact that I used 'your' was intentional; different countries have different policy aims, and what one country does can have a huge,real, effect on another. If phrasing it as 'being at the mercy' of another country is racist, how about 'being vulnerable to exogenous shocks'?

    Who Dares Wins
    [ Parent ]

    New energy sources. (4.66 / 3) (#56)
    by claudius on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:26:06 AM EST

    Of course I would much rather find a new source of energy and stop using so many fossil fuels. But that can't happen overnight.

    And it can't happen at all without concerted R&D investment in energy science, something that the current administration seems less than eager to do. Don't take my word for it--listen to the House Science Committee, who stated that "Science and technology are the keystones of our economic prosperity.... But advances in science and technology do not come cheap or without focused effort; nor are they solely the responsibility of the private sector." They later commented that they were "particularly concerned" about the future of the DOE Office of Science. For what it's worth, this committee is a bipartisan committee chaired by a Republican.

    The future, at least in the near-term, looks bleak for energy research, despite the looming crises that generate the headlines. "Clean coal," touted time and again by Bush as a long-term solution to the energy problem (and often cited as a reason for not agreeing to limitations of CO2 emissions) is hardly the panacea this adminstration claims it to be; aside from CO2 one also has the release of significant quantities of radon, a radionucleide which cannot be chemically scrubbed, into the atmosphere.

    We need to put more bright people onto the task of finding better solutions to our long-term needs, but bright people, being bright, know that without a commitment to continued funding such an enterprise can only fail. Long-term, strategic science and technology leadership and planning is precisely the role of government-sponsored science, and I would argue that in this particular facet of research the benefits, both economic and environmental, of finding long-term solutions to the energy problem outweigh those of slightly augmenting the size of a tax cut plan. As a final note to the Bush administration: Reagan called for a doubling of the NSF and DOE science budgets even as he pushed his tax plan in Congress.

    [ Parent ]
    That doesn't prove it's a good idea (4.75 / 4) (#72)
    by crank42 on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 12:15:29 PM EST

    I heard that the entire arctic wilderness preserve he wants to drill into was actually set aside *because* of the rich oil deposits.

    Supposing that were true, it still wouldn't make it a good idea. Just because you thought in the past that you'd like to drill there sometime in the future doesn't mean there were good reasons in the past to do it, nor that there are good reasons now. Similarly, for instance, Banff National Park (here in Canada, another country with a lamentable record on dealing with ecologically sensitive areas) was really set up to provide a tourist destination in order to enrich the CPR. Does that mean that every tourist trap that wants to build in Banff ought to be allowed? No.

    On another note, it's been said they only need a hundred acres or something like that for the actual equipment.

    The problem is that arctic ecosystems are terribly sensitive to damage. Things take much longer to regenerate in the arctic, in the event of damage. Moreover, many substances released in the arctic hang around a long, long time. Finally, because a very great deal of the ecosystem is dependent on fish, the entire ecosystem is vulnerable if the fish population ingests something nasty. Unfortunately, there is a real possibility of introducing something nasty to the fish population when drilling for oil. So even a small area for drilling could cause trouble.

    We need more energy in the US.

    I'd like to see some evidence for this. The tendency to rely on large, inefficient vehicles, and a habit of wasteful packaging are just two example behaviours from both Canada and the U.S. North Americans don't need more energy; we need to be even marginally more efficient with our current consumption patterns. With oil-derived fuel prices as low as they are, no-one can argue we need more oil. There is not enough scarcity to raise the price, evidently; so we don't need more supply.

    Finally, I'll point out that the entire discussion here considers only humans. But there are other creatures that live in the arctic environment. They don't need the oil. Why should they have to submit to the risks of oil drilling so a bunch of humans can drive Canyoneros? This isn't a simple-minded "animal rights" argument. Instead, it's putting the burden of proof where it belongs: on the humans. It's bad enough that North Americans seem content to use up the world so that other humans (both currently alive elsewhere and future humans) won't get to enjoy it. But why should we do that to all the other creatures on earth, too?

    [ Parent ]

    If you hadn't said... (4.00 / 3) (#76)
    by Faulty Dreamer on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 12:44:36 PM EST

    Of course I would much rather find a new source of energy and stop using so many fossil fuels. But that can't happen overnight.

    I might have thought you had swallowed everything the oil corps spouts without a second thought. I think the time to look for alternatives is long past, unfortunately there are too many dollars wrapped up in keeping the oil cartels in power for any serious research to go through on the alternatives. It's kind of sad, but at the same time I think we deserve what will be our eventual fate if we really feel that way about the environment.

    --------
    Faulty Dreams - Barking at the moon 24/7...

    If you think I'm an asshole, it's only because you haven't realized what a fucking idiot I am. - Faulty Dreamer
    [ Parent ]

    ANWR (4.00 / 4) (#44)
    by flieghund on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:51:15 AM EST

    Everyone should go check out the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge web site. Chock full o' goodies like their Top Ten Reasons to open the refuge to development.

    I find the argument over ANWR eerily similar to the argument in the Northwest (US) over old-growth forests. A lot of the arguments are the same -- "We're only touching a small part of the environment" and "But this resource (oil | big old tree) is the only thing we can use" and so forth. But what will we have when all the old-growth forests have been cut down? The logging companies will be right back where they are now -- adapt or die -- and there will be no more old-growth forests for future generations to enjoy!

    Where will we be after ANWR has been sucked dry? There will be no more oil, and there will be a significant chance of damage to one of the last pristine environments on Earth. Sure, modern oil rigs are cleaner and safer than those from earlier points in history, but they are by no means absolutely clean or safe. Just look at the rig off the coast of Brazil that just sank -- it was the largest oil rig in the world, frequently billed as one of the safest, and all it took was a freak accident to send it to the bottom of the ocean.

    Big Oil will certainly benefit from drilling in ANWR. But will I benefit? I might get lower gas prices (and that's a big might)... but so what? I'd willingly pay $5.00/gallon right now (I'd just drive a lot less). Obviously I don't speak for people who drive gas-guzzlers -- I go almost three weeks between refills of my 12-gallon tank, and I drive everywhere, to the strip mall down the street...



    Using a Macintosh is like picking your nose: everyone likes to do it, but no one will admit to it.
    [ Parent ]
    not exactly the official site (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by jayfoo2 on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 02:20:31 PM EST

    Please do note that that site is hosted by Arctic Power, one of the groups advocating drilling in the ANWR.

    It is NOT a government, forrest service, public interest, or offical site in any way.

    [ Parent ]
    Bah (3.75 / 4) (#81)
    by trhurler on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 01:33:47 PM EST

    I'm not impressed by your thirty mpg vehicle; if you were really serious, you'd be driving a 75 mpg vehicle - they're around, after all. Obviously you're not. After all, if big business should spend hundreds of billions reducing emissions while making themselves less efficient, then you can spend twenty grand to drive a smaller, slower car, right, big sacrifice man? Or is sacrifice what's good for OTHERS and not yourself? You'll "sacrifice" as long as it doesn't hurt, and make everyone ELSE bleed! What a hero...

    (For the record, Al Gore, the man narrowly defeated, once said that he wanted to ban the internal combustion engine. Now THERE's a man who knows how to make other people sacrifice without hurting himself any! I'm sure he'd just use the vast wealth he pretends not to have to hire the people his economic policies put out of work to carry him around in a big throne or something.)

    Wow. This looks like a troll when I read it... and yet, this is what I actually believe:) (Of course, I also believe a lot of other things, such as that Bush's policies are often very bad, but unlike most people, I don't think he's stupid. Anyone supporting either of the major parties is obviously either stupid or intellectually lazy - that's for damned sure.)

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    Bush is a few fries short of a Happy Meal... (4.50 / 2) (#103)
    by Eccles on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 03:12:40 PM EST

    Of course, I also believe a lot of other things, such as that Bush's policies are often very bad, but unlike most people, I don't think he's stupid. Bush has already embarrassed his EPA head by suddenly changing his position, and embarrassed his Secretary of State by publicly contradicting him. He's trying brute force tactics for some issues with the slimmest majority ever, and then asking for bipartison support on other issues. Regardless of what you think of his positions, he's certainly acting like a political idiot.

    [ Parent ]
    So then... (none / 0) (#106)
    by trhurler on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 03:50:38 PM EST

    Are you accusing him of being stupid, or merely of being a jerk? The latter might be true, but few stupid people have ever been so amazingly successful as he is in politics. He ran Texas with a sort of "gloved iron fist," and now he's doing the same thing in the White House, and for all that you mock him, it is working. He's getting his way, in case you haven't noticed. Not to say I like his way, but he's getting it.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    What exactly has he done? (none / 0) (#113)
    by Eccles on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:01:51 PM EST

    now he's doing the same thing in the White House, and for all that you mock him, it is working

    What has he done, and how does it compare to what he wants to get done?

    OK, his cabinet was approved with few changes. That's not a big surprise.

    A few things passed along party line votes. Big surprise.

    Kyoto? It wasn't going to pass in the Senate. But now he's established himself as the cause for us not implementing it. Admittedly, he already didn't care about the eco-vote -- hell, thanks to vote-splitting, it got him elected -- but there's no need to take more blame on yourself than necessary.

    Arsenic in drinking water? As I understand it, the new standard wasn't to take effect until 2006. Maybe he figured doing one big dump of all pretences towards environmental concern was the way to go.

    Having both the House and Senate leaning your way isn't a sign of political brilliance, unless you figure he's the reason for that happening. But that's more likely a consequence of the attitude towards our previous president, who embodied both political brilliance and incompetence.

    [ Parent ]

    Accomplished? (none / 0) (#116)
    by trhurler on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:13:23 PM EST

    You may not understand this, but he has made it an absolute certainty that when the tax cut comes to a vote, it will pass. That is water under the bridge whether you like it or not, even though it hasn't even been voted on. He'll get nearly exactly what he wanted on education, too. There is this thing called "groundwork," and if you do it right, the votes are already decided. That's what he's good at. He builds support for something, and then it is GOING to happen.

    Clinton talked about "consensus building." Dubya is good at it.

    As for arsenic in drinking water and so on, those things won't hurt him one bit. There aren't enough people who even know that issue ever came up to matter one iota on the national political level, and he knows that. On the other hand, the arsenic standard was poorly architected, and even if the goal was noble, this proposal probably DID deserve to die. The man's no real green, but that hardly makes him politically inept.

    And yes, having both chambers of a divided Congress supporting your measures does require some serious political skill. Not the ass kissing style Clinton employed, to be sure, but skill nevertheless.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    Political worship (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by Eccles on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:10:56 PM EST

    You may not understand this, but he has made it an absolute certainty that when the tax cut comes to a vote, it will pass.

    Funny, most of the people I know who claim to be able to predict the future try to do so via 900 numbers. Don't forget to list "for entertainment purposes only" at the bottom of your posts. However, using a claim about the future as a point in an argument is pretty foolish.

    I'll grant you Bush managed to go from "We need a tax cut because the economy is so good" to "We need a tax cut because the economy is bad" with an amazingly straight face, which is quite a political skill. However, he has also managed to piss off a good fraction of the moderate Republicans, and he needs them.

    Political worship like yours would be so amusing if it wasn't what allows politicians to get away with such crap. Think how much ol' Slick Willie got away with until he finally went so far that he lost the support of most of even his most devoted fans.

    And yes, having both chambers of a divided Congress supporting your measures does require some serious political skill.

    The Senate is 50-50, so Cheney casts the deciding vote. The House is Republican by a 20 vote margin. That *isn't* divided. Try to learn what it means before you reply, ok?

    [ Parent ]

    Are you daft? (none / 0) (#181)
    by trhurler on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 10:49:36 AM EST

    There are NO Republicans talking about voting against any tax cut, no matter how instituted. There are more than enough Democrats who are willing to "compromise" on the matter, which means it is GOING to happen barring some major unforeseen event like the start of a war or something. This is not in question for anyone except morons and ignoramuses, and it is not a matter of "worshipping" anyone.

    As for divided, Congress is about as divided as it has been in a long time. It isn't split exactly in half, but then, it never has been. Given the existence of people who vote across party lines occasionally(and yes, both parties have them,) being as close as they are IS a split. 20 votes out of 435 is less than five percent, and one out of 101 is less than one percent. A lot can swing that many votes, and very few votes are ever that close.

    Try to learn what English words mean before you reply, ok?

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    What aBush has done (none / 0) (#240)
    by Eccles on Sun Apr 01, 2001 at 12:10:48 PM EST

    Republicans backing Bush's estate tax changes have watered down the proposal to cutting the rate down to ~40% by 2010, with an elimination altogether in 2011. And that's their proferred proposal, before encountering Democratic resistance and amendments. Other tax cuts have been proposed by the Republicans, but stymied by Democrats; that they're redoing those proposals now can't be credited as Bush's "groundwork." Bush wasn't particularly pushing a marriage penalty tax cut, but that's what's going first and going reasonably well.

    Bush aides are reported to have been meeting regarding the widespread perception that Bush is anti-environment, and what to do about it. His moves do matter to people.

    For effectiveness, Bush (and everyone else) is far, far outmatched by McCain. He's managed what some thought impossible -- gotten campaign finance reform to where it looks like big, meaningful changes are going to happen.

    [ Parent ]
    Please (none / 0) (#129)
    by weirdling on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 06:01:54 PM EST

    Oil costs have gone down thanks to our friends the Saudis, and now, gas prices are going down at the pump. Note, this is only my survey from the whimpering my wallet does at the gas station.
    Anyway, a reduction of cost will always equal a reduction in price in a competitive market, all other things being equal, because the competitors will always see to it that no one makes more than a reasonable profit.

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    Poor math + poor reasoning = ??? (3.70 / 10) (#36)
    by DesiredUsername on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 09:56:30 AM EST

    I'm all for saving the environment. But why not do it on the basis of facts and logic rather than sloganeering and poor reasoning? For example:

    "[The] USA has about 4% of the world population yet emits 22.4% of the world carbon dioxide emissions."

    Let's assume for the moment that the actual numbers (which are not linked to a citation) are accurate. What does the one (population) have to do with the other (pollution)? Nothing. Pollution isn't emitted by our bodies (no jokes, now)--it's emitted by our factories, power plants, transportation, food sources, etc. The US is a net exporter of ALL these things--which means that Country X gets the products while we get blamed for the pollution.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that the US (the individuals and the businesses) could reduce the pollution they create (either directly or through things like power consumption). But instead of inducing a vague feeling of guilt that we are "greedy" why not find specific areas or practices that are wasteful and suggest a solution?

    For instance, why not advocate the use of solar energy? Or how about a campaign of education (not humiliation) on the effects of SUVs?

    You catch more flys with honey....

    Play 囲碁
    It's come to guilt and humiliation... (3.00 / 7) (#42)
    by meadows_p on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:45:26 AM EST

    ..so how do you expect the rest of the world to feel about the USAians? You (as a country) entered this agreement with the rest of the world and now you can't be bothered to go through with it. It's a global problem and the rest of the developed world has put a lot of effort into energy conservation and general green issues, but it seems whatever we do, the USA has still got the potential to ruin the environment singlehandedly. It's your government you should be talking about education to. There's not a lot the rest of us can do, really.

    [ Parent ]
    OK, point of fact... (4.00 / 1) (#128)
    by weirdling on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:56:36 PM EST

    The US did not enter into the treaty. Our president signed it, but he does not have the authority to enter into the treaty. Only the senate does, and they failed to ratify, so Bush repudiated it. There is no disingenuousness here; it is exactly how most countries work. And, if you think none of the European countries in the world have ever repudiated a treaty, you are extremely naiive.

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    Funny (4.33 / 3) (#52)
    by retinaburn on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:17:18 AM EST

    For instance, why not advocate the use of solar energy? Or how about a campaign of education (not humiliation) on the effects of SUVs?

    With Dubya in power good luck. The only thing stopping him from forcing everyone to drink 2 cups of oil a day, run their cars 24/7, getting McD's to use the old non-biodegradable styrofoam cups is time ..just give him time.


    I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


    [ Parent ]
    Eh? (4.00 / 2) (#58)
    by spiralx on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:30:09 AM EST

    The US is a net exporter of ALL these things--which means that Country X gets the products while we get blamed for the pollution.

    Then why do you have this huge trade deficit? You certainly do export a lot, but you import even more. Hence in reality you're escaping more blame than you receive.

    You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
    [ Parent ]

    Trade deficit not linked to export tonnage (4.00 / 1) (#127)
    by weirdling on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:54:30 PM EST

    The US is in a tight place it has been in before. It can sell products for way less than most other places because of higher productivity, but purchasing products from other places is commensurately more expensive. This is a generalization, which will explain why we can be a net exporter in terms of tonnage, but still run a deficit; essentially, like the days before WWII, the US is overproducing, so operating at a net loss where trade is concerned because if it operated at a higher cost structure, it would act as a Hoover on the world's economy, essentially reducing all its potential markets to ruins. This did happen before WWII, when the US managed to suck everyone dry at the same time it had the biggest bumper crop in history, with the rather predictable result that the whole economy collapsed.

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    you missed one (3.75 / 4) (#63)
    by Seumas on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:43:48 AM EST

    Solar energy is a farce. The expense of installation and upkeep isn't worth the meager returns. Especially in the less sunny climates. It's entirely unrealistic -- as is wind-power.

    The only reasonable solution is nuclear power, which thanks to every hairy-armpitted birkenstocked beatnik over the last 30 years will never be used. Who cares if it's clean, safe efficient and cheap? The ass-backwards gree-activisits in this nation (who should be applauding nuclear power!) have seen to it that your average soccer mom and joe-six-pack associate nuclear-anything with big bombs and mutated bodies.
    --
    I just read K5 for the articles.
    [ Parent ]

    Solar scam? (4.00 / 2) (#70)
    by DesiredUsername on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 12:13:29 PM EST

    "The expense of installation and upkeep isn't worth the meager returns."

    1) Considering that one of the returns is a clean, safe source of energy, I wouldn't call solar a "farce".

    2) The upkeep is virtually non-existent.

    3) The installation (and equipment) IS expensive--for small quantities. Keep in mind that you are trying to build a single-home powerplant. That's bound to be inefficient. But a utility-sized installation could easily be competitive with a oil or natural gas plant.

    4) Wishing for nuclear will get you nowhere. Regardless whether the fear is justified or not, Americans simply won't tolerate it.

    Play 囲碁
    [ Parent ]
    Upkeep. (3.50 / 2) (#78)
    by MrAcheson on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 12:56:28 PM EST

    Upkeep on photovoltaics is really high when you consider the generation time of the technology. To put it simply, photovoltaics will wear out under this kind of household load in a decade or less. Batteries also suffer from much the same generational problems as well. The daily loading/unloading cycle tends to wear them out in a about the same time. Which means that every ten years or so you have to replace the most expensive components of your solar system. This makes for high maintenance costs.

    Solar is impractical that is why it is a farce. Generating solar power takes either huge amounts of land we don't have or a distributed power generation structure we would essentially have to build from scratch. (A 1000W solar plant using current technology will require ~600 square miles of sunny land as opposed to less than 1 for any other plant.) The only hope of solar is the distributed generation model of "home power plants" but it means retrofitting every house. Thats not likely especially with the generation time of current technology.

    In short solar is a pipe dream until solar technology improves a significant amount.


    These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.


    [ Parent ]
    Even correcting the typo doesn't fix this (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by DesiredUsername on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 01:40:58 PM EST

    Batteries are expensive. But if you intertie, you don't need batteries. As for the cells themselves: I see varying reports. People say "they last 10 years" but the big manufacturers offer 20 year warranties. Also see this quote: "A well-designed and maintained PV system will operate for more than 20 years. The PV module, with no moving parts, has an expected lifetime exceeding 30 years."

    As for the space: You can get a LOT more than 1KW (1000W) out of 600 sqmi. I assume you mean "1000KW"--but even that is WAY off. A square meter of Earth gets 2-3kwh/day (in my area). Current technology is around 10%-15% efficient. So let's say I can get, at minimum, 2000wh * .1 eff = 200wh/m^2/day. That's 1kwh for 5 m^2. 1000kwh for 5000 m^2.

    5000 m^2 is almost exactly the size of a football field (100 yards x 50 yards).

    Play 囲碁
    [ Parent ]
    Correcting Your Math this Time (4.00 / 1) (#121)
    by MrAcheson on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:34:48 PM EST

    If you want to have your lights on at night you need batteries. At least somebody does because it is dark all over the US at the same time.

    You are right its 1000kW, the size of the standard power plant generator. My mistake, sorry for the typo. Commercial PV cells are not 10% efficient, they are about 7% if you are lucky. So we take 2 Kwh/m^2/day = .0833 kW/m^2. Now we multiply this by the efficiency of photovoltaic cells to get 0.0058 kW/m^2. Now dividing 1000kW by this we get about 173000 m^2, significantly larger than a football field. You forgot to divide by 24 hours/day when you started.

    So you are still right, my numbers are still over inflated. The problem is that 1000kW is pretty small change. Thats what one turbine generator at one power plant does. Now you need to scale up and you run into serious problems with space. Where do you get the land? Keep in mind that the state of California required on average 29 GW of electricity for 1995 so that translates to about 5000 km^2 of solar cells or 2000 miles^2 of them. Now lets assume solar supplies 30% of Californias power in the future. That takes us back to my original 600 miles^2. But remember these are averages (not the actual demand spikes that california faces which are more important for designing a power grid) based on old power consumption numbers not current ones which are sure to be higher.


    These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.


    [ Parent ]
    Check the units (none / 0) (#166)
    by DesiredUsername on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 09:13:26 AM EST

    "You forgot to divide by 24 hours/day when you started."

    That's because I was calculating KWH, not KW.

    Play 囲碁
    [ Parent ]
    Wrong. (none / 0) (#210)
    by MrAcheson on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 02:41:02 PM EST

    The kilowatt hour is a measurement of energy not of power which you want so somethings wrong with your math somewhere.


    These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.


    [ Parent ]
    Electricity is delivered in kwh (none / 0) (#215)
    by DesiredUsername on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 07:36:12 PM EST

    I pay $.14/kwh. Therefore it makes sense for me to calculate it this way. But let's go with your way.

    2kwh/m^2 = 83w/m^2
    83w/m^2 * .07 (your eff claim) = 5.83w/m^2
    For 1000w, that's 1000/6 (rounding) = 166m^2
    For 1000kw, thats 166000m^2.

    166000m^2 = 407m * 407m. Four football fields long, 8 wide. 32 all together.

    Or we could have done it the easy way: My 5000m^2 as based on 10% eff, so multiple by 1.3 to get a 7% eff = 6500m^2. Now multiply by 24 to correct my "mistake" and you get 156000m^2. About the same as 166000m^2.

    And what do we get for our 32 football fields? 1000kwh/day. A home uses about 1kwh/10 days (3 per month). That's .1kwh/day. So the 32 football fields serve 10,000 homes. Not bad, considering we are using the numbers for the Northeast where we only get about 2-3kwh/m^2. Arizona gets 2-3 times that amount, reducing the array size (or increasing the population coverage) by a similar amount.

    Also consider that your efficiency number of 7% is just plain false. 10-15% IS the right value--and I've seen new research that claimed 19%.

    Play 囲碁
    [ Parent ]
    No wait! It's even better than that (none / 0) (#218)
    by DesiredUsername on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 08:19:24 PM EST

    2kwh/m^2 = 83w/m^2/hour

    So our end result of 1000kw is 1000kw/hour which is 24000kwh/day. At .1kwh/day/house, that's 240,000 houses for 32 football fields. That's DAMN good for the Northeast and using your hokey efficiency numbers.

    Play 囲碁
    [ Parent ]
    Final Comment (none / 0) (#239)
    by MrAcheson on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 11:24:59 PM EST

    Alright, the 7% I saw was a quote from a research website on the actual output of production solar cells. I have since seen a quote on a retailers site claiming 11-12%. The problem with this is that this is undoubtably the peak efficiency off the line not the average efficiency over the lifespan of the cell. It also doesn't include the fact that you can't have 32 football fields of solar cells without them cracking in the heat and able to be serviced by maintainance for some reason.

    So lets say 10% anyway as its a round number and all our calculations are good of is a rough estimate anyway. This produces 120000m^2 of cells per 1 MW power generation using your numbers. Thats 24ish football fields using your original numbers. This produces 24 MWh of electricity per day.

    Now the issue is how much electricity does one person use. My electrical bill for March said my apartments daily power usage was 30ish kWh per day. Now granted I have a roommate and all the applicances and heat in my apartment is electric, but this breaks down to 15ish kWh of electricity use per day per person. Not .1 kWh like you were saying. In fact a standard 60W light bulb will use 1.44 kWh of electricity if left on all day. Some people might be lower but if you include the power we consume at work this is actually a generous number. (California uses somewhere in the low to mid twenties of kWh per person per day if you look at total raw electrical data and divide it by the total population.) So your 24 football fields of cells power the dwellings of only about 1000 to 2000 people. Thats a small town not a small city.

    Now here is the big problem. We are designing this power facility using averages. As every engineer can tell you, and as this engineer is telling you, averages are crap. You design infrastructure for the worst case scenario not the average. So we should be looking at record peak energy use and bare minimum power generation on the cloudiest day and using that data to design the plant. But we aren't because we don't have the data.

    So we get back to the original problem. Including industry everyone looks like they will need an average of 15ish kWh/day of power. Using 10% efficiency and 2 kWh/(m^2*day) of sunlight this breaks down to 75 m^2 of solar cells for every man, woman, and child in America. Do we really have that much space?


    These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.


    [ Parent ]
    sun (3.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Seumas on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 01:41:10 PM EST

    And how many proponents of it actually use solar power? From what I've seen, almost none. This is like the yahoos who rant and rave about how every person should be forced to drive an electric car, but they themselves have a giant Dodge Ram truck and a couple BMW's in the driveway.

    You simply are not ever going to power huge cities like Portland, LA, New York or Chicago on solar power.
    --
    I just read K5 for the articles.
    [ Parent ]

    Some non-hypocrites (3.50 / 2) (#88)
    by DesiredUsername on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 01:46:43 PM EST

    www.homepower.com

    I have to admit that I myself don't use solar. But I have a good excuse: I just bought a house, literally 2 months ago. I have no money. However, I DID diligently research it (and geothermal heat pumps) before relunctantly deciding that I couldn't afford the upfront expenses yet.

    "You simply are not ever going to power huge cities like Portland, LA, New York or Chicago on solar power."

    Incredulity is not a reason. Nonetheless, I agree in principle: we SHOULDN'T rely totally on solar. But solar and wind make up less than 5% of our current generation scheme--we should up that, if only for diversification.

    Play 囲碁
    [ Parent ]
    On Dodge and BMW... (none / 0) (#180)
    by Betcour on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 10:44:34 AM EST

    but they themselves have a giant Dodge Ram truck and a couple BMW's in the driveway. Actually BMW, being European cars, are very fuel efficient. The latest 330d (gasoil) is a 6 cylinder that delivers 183 hp, yet use only about 8 liters/100 Km. A Dodge RAM would probably use twice as much gas...

    [ Parent ]
    For my take... (4.50 / 4) (#37)
    by _Quinn on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:07:56 AM EST

    Go take a look at this article. It's a bad move, in my opinion, not to stick with the Kyoto Treaty, but the story for the US is not so bad as your numbers indicate.

    -_Quinn
    Reality Maintenance Group, Silver City Construction Co., Ltd.

    Why do people act so surprised? (3.27 / 11) (#38)
    by RangerBob on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:09:44 AM EST

    The whole time W has been in office, he's consistently made claims and changes that are tangent to common sense and factual evidence. He's paying back all of the big industry people who supported him in Texas and who financed his presidency.

    The thing that frightens me the most about him is how he's carrying around this "my way or the highway" attitude. It's one thing to act this way when the facts support you, but it's another to continue to act like this when you're wrong. The next president of the US is going to have a heck of a time undoing the damage that is currently being done.

    It's called buy-partisanship (3.75 / 4) (#40)
    by flieghund on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:29:46 AM EST

    He who pays the most money wins the partisanship.

    Seriously, though, are we really that sure that this is Bush who is making these decisions? Looking at other aspects of the Dubya White House, notably the laughable missile defense plan and the whole Colin Powell mess, one really starts to wonder who is calling the shots. Oil companies? Defense industry? Daddy?



    Using a Macintosh is like picking your nose: everyone likes to do it, but no one will admit to it.
    [ Parent ]
    Can you support these claims? (4.25 / 4) (#80)
    by trhurler on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 01:19:20 PM EST

    The whole time W has been in office, he's consistently made claims and changes that are tangent to common sense and factual evidence.
    The whole time, eh? Such as? He's certainly done some things I disagree with, and I'm no Republican, but "common sense and factual evidence" sounds an awful lot to me like "my personal prejudices" coming from most people, because common sense is not common and factual evidence is NOT what you read in the Washington Post or the New York Times! People have this tendency to assume that things which are pervasive in society, such as the claims of green groups, are true because otherwise they wouldn't be pervasive, but this simply is not so.
    The next president of the US is going to have a heck of a time undoing the damage that is currently being done.
    The next president won't even try. Regardless of whether he's a Demopublican or a Republicrat, he's going to do the same things all his predecessors have been doing since WWII. The variation between the two parties is so minor as to be laughable; people like to think Clinton was after Kyoto because he's a left leaning greenie, but the truth is, he was after it because it was a political chip he could bargain with when talking to foriegn leaders. Similarly, Bush had to dump it for political reasons. We're better off with it dumped, but this is mere fortune, and changing political winds might easily get it reinstated next week, month, or year.

    Here's the sad part: you're right about one thing. We do need a hell of a cleanup effort in this country. Do you realize how much would change if we actually followed our Constitution? Hell, treaties like Kyoto would be unconstitutional even if ratified, because they claim to supercede the law of the land, and the Constitution specifically says that requires an amendment!

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    Maybe... just maybe... (3.50 / 10) (#45)
    by Elendale on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:51:27 AM EST

    If Bush & friends breaks enough shit around here maybe we won't be so eager to elect another in-the-pocket-of-big-business-and-not-caring-about-who-elected-him/her president. But i doubt it...

    -Elendale
    ---

    When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


    Oh no (4.00 / 1) (#47)
    by imperium on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:54:41 AM EST

    Not the old Trotskyist "worse is better" argument! The last resort, the last alternative to total despair... I've used it myself, but I try not to.

    ;)

    x.
    imperium
    [ Parent ]

    Sometimes... (2.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Elendale on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:13:43 AM EST

    The best way to teach an ignorant child is to let him burn his hand.

    -Elendale (i would put a smily here, but it would look silly now, wouldn't it?)
    ---

    When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


    [ Parent ]
    I know, but (2.50 / 2) (#69)
    by imperium on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 12:11:07 PM EST

    It's scant consolation to the child at the time. It works, but it's much better when the child is intelligent enough to have the concept explained to them. I suppose four years ain't so long in the grand scale of things. Maybe by then the American electorate will have reached adolescence...

    x.
    imperium
    [ Parent ]

    I get soooo tired of this (none / 0) (#124)
    by weirdling on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:48:17 PM EST

    So, Bush is in the pocket of corporations because he disagrees with you? Or, did you have a more specific case in point?
    Bush has done *exactly* what I expected him to do, and what I hoped he'd do.
    The funny thing is that *no* politician is ever free from pressure by corporations, special interest groups, and public opinion; it is only when a politician does something that someone disagrees with that they start yelling 'He's in the pocket!'. Geez, what consistency...

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    Gah! (none / 0) (#221)
    by Elendale on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 02:01:23 AM EST

    Lets think about this for a second here.
    • Bush accepts large sums of money from companies who want a few laws changed.
    • Bush gets elected (no comment...)
    • Bush gives large companies what they asked for.
    Now we can mull over this all we want, i think that it stands to reason Bush's primary concerns are not the good of the imaginary Average Joe- rather, the good of those who got him elected. I don't disagree that every politician ever made has similar (or worse!) ties, but this is the one we have so he's the one who is going to get beaten around by people (myself in particular) for the next four years.

    Aside from that, this is not my point at all. What i meant to say was: Maybe if Bush causes breaks enough stuff (global warming treaties are not his exclusive problems here, so no "but global warming is imaginary" complaints please) then the next time around we (as the voters) will choose a president who actually cares about them. Doubtful, but its possible.

    Now lets not get this into a "Oh he's just a conservative hating liberal" rut. First off, its pacifist anarchist not liberal. Secondly, i have no doubts that Gore would be doing just as poor a job as Bush. Why? Lets take a look at the big Florida controversy. Did anyone but me notice that once the votes were in (once the people had their say) both candidates started trying to bend/break the rules to get the game to work their way. Neither of them cared about what the people said: they just wanted the office. If you say "so, they invested a large amount of time and money into the political process" i say (and i wish i could increase the font size here, i really do...)

    THAT IS NOT HOW IT WORKS DAMN YOU! IT'S THE PEOPLE'S FUCKING CHOICE!

    *ahem* In any case, i'm not going to argue any more because i'm just ranting now...

    -Elendale
    ---

    When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


    [ Parent ]
    Slight problems with your argument (none / 0) (#244)
    by weirdling on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 02:08:56 PM EST

    I agree with you basically, except to point out that this is how politics works...
    However, Bush was elected by people who felt he was the better man. I realise he's not majority president, but a large percentage of the US agrees with him. Here's where the 'back pocket' argument breaks down, as either those who elected him are dupes themselves, implying that close to half the voting population are idiots, which may or may not be true, or the fact that on some plane by some reasoning, the actions make sense. This is what bothers me about accusations of being bought and companies putting profit before everything, and all the stuff I was subjected to by Naderites during the last election.

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    Oh, shut it. (2.95 / 20) (#54)
    by trhurler on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:20:57 AM EST

    I'm sorry, but what we have here is some guy who probably has never even BEEN to the US and who obviously hasn't read any reputable scientific literature on climate research yabbering about how the ONLY possible motive for not complying with a TRULY draconian treaty that he probably can't even NAME THE PROVISIONS OF is "big oil," which of course he probably can't even name without doing some research first.

    In other words, a blind man with the ecofreak religion. That's crap. Get some actual facts, like whether the treaty is actually likely to harm the US(and WHY,) before you go making bold claims about the intentions of people you don't know in a country you've probably never visited!

    By the way, if you consider the sheer bulk of industry in the US, much of which benefits other nations, and if you compare the US per capita and per square kilometer pollution as compared to, say, Germany, all of a sudden, the US looks pretty damned good. We've got cleaner industry than just about anyone else, but we've also got more of it. When you catch up, you can talk. When you can actually cite a study showing that the increase in temperature is not only linked to these gases, but is actually man made, you can talk. When your economy wouldn't totally fall apart if not for the US, then you can talk. (For those of you foolish enough to claim it wouldn't, merely remember that even the value of your money is measured purely in terms of how many dollars it can buy. Your governments agreed to this because it was the easiest solution open to them to get a stable currency.)

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    Give the USA a fsking sainthood (3.75 / 8) (#60)
    by nobbystyles on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:34:36 AM EST

    Thanks for running all these US industries for the benefit of a humble European like myself. Before this I though that they were in it for the money.

    I am just pointing out that you guys emit twice as much per capita carbon dioxide than the average western country. You were asked to make a 10% cut in a treaty which you signed. Surely the great American entrepeneurial spirit can come up with a way of cutting 10%. Maybe by driving smaller cars for starters...

    [ Parent ]
    Hehe (2.85 / 7) (#68)
    by trhurler on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 12:10:13 PM EST

    Obviously industry is run for profit; I never denied that. Our exports and imports are done for profit. This does not mean that those to whom the goods are exported and from whom they are imported do not also profit. We have a whole lot of industry; this does not mean we're the only ones benefitting and we're just screwing you all over.

    As for smaller cars, I like small cars. The new Mini is a really cool car, for example. However, you are as likely to convince most US citizens to drive smaller cars as you are to convince me that current atmospheric science can offer enough support for global warming to warrant turning our economy upside down. Of course, you might have to read something besides mass media to be able to even argue that, and obviously it is easier to just read the scare pieces in the local paper and then run around screaming that the sky is falling...

    That said, when it comes to your point in general, which seems to be that 10% doesn't seem so unreasonable to you, do you realize we've already got the most advanced pollution controls in the world? Do you realize that the reason our power plants, which are the major offenders, are unclean is because ecofreaks like you are driving nuclear power out of the realm of political possibility? We're building new coal plants because you've made all other alternatives impossible, and then you bitch because they pollute!

    Sorry, but I have zero sympathy for anyone who parrots the typical ecofreak party line. Ecofreaks are never willing to make engineering tradeoffs; to them, the only good human is a human subsisting in inhuman poverty, because that man won't actually consume much. It isn't what they say, but it is the only thing that would ever satisfy them such that they'd shut up. Screw them.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    Let's be a little more angry, okay? (none / 0) (#112)
    by bjrubble on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:01:42 PM EST

    Sorry, but I have zero sympathy for anyone who parrots the typical ecofreak party line. Ecofreaks are never willing to make engineering tradeoffs; to them, the only good human is a human subsisting in inhuman poverty, because that man won't actually consume much. It isn't what they say, but it is the only thing that would ever satisfy them such that they'd shut up. Screw them.

    You're right, every person I know who's concerned about climate change is exactly like this. And your insightful analysis in this issue has convinced me to give greater credence to your other points as well.

    [ Parent ]
    Not an Eco Freak, matey (none / 0) (#178)
    by nobbystyles on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 10:41:49 AM EST

    I think nuclear power is a good thing so long as it's not built by the Russians. I applaud the French for generating 80% of their electricity with it (Jesus I am praising the French, naughty Ukanian).

    I just think that US produces excess amounts of carbon dioxide by doing stupid things like driving around in massive great SUVs for example. Its not like they handle well or have great performnce. Or not building more nukes. You can have just as good a quality of life by making fairly unradical changes like that.

    As for my article being a lefty/eco freak point of view, well that might be the case in the Us but it's pretty much the mainstream point of view in Europe.

    [ Parent ]
    SUVs (none / 0) (#200)
    by trhurler on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 12:33:39 PM EST

    You know, for all the crap they take, and for all that I hate them with a passion, they are NOT the cause of the pollution you're talking about. Think for a second. Most people, even here, cannot afford them. They're wildly popular, but only among probably 10-20% of the population. They've only been popular for a relatively short time, and just like minivans, they're liable to pass into fad history before too long.

    On the other hand, we have coal power plants generating upwards of half the pollution here by themselves. Eliminate them in favor of nuclear and other clean sources, and all of a sudden, the US is down to only slightly more than 10% of worldwide emissions. When you consider the vast populations of India and China weighing into the per capita figures, all of a sudden, that doesn't seem quite so bad; sure, we're above average, but that's only because billions of people are way below average who probably shouldn't be and quite possibly won't be for much longer.

    Eliminate every SUV on the road, and you wouldn't be able to see a difference in the statistics by the time roundoff errors were introduced and so on. But hey, SUVs are a nice, visible, emotionally appealing target, so keep shooting, soldier!

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    Ok, a 10% cut (none / 0) (#122)
    by weirdling on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:45:29 PM EST

    Would do absolutely-friggin-nothing!
    We'd have to cut our CO2 emissions *way* below that to hope of even competing with the likes of China. Forget where I saw it, but one of the statements I seem to remember hearing is that the West would have to actually take CO2 out of the air to have any hope of halting global warming, according to the science in the Kyoto Accords.
    What a 10% mandated cut would do is hurt the American economy. That we have managed to generate wealth and excess that we live in is a tribute to our resourcefulness, or perhaps, to bad government by European countries, and I think this is the real source of the enmity evident in the Kyoto Accords and the Global Warming debate, anyway.

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    Driving smaller cars ? (none / 0) (#177)
    by Betcour on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 10:33:45 AM EST

    <I>Maybe by driving smaller cars for starters...
    </I>

    Humm you are not seing the whole picture here. If they have to drive smaller cars, they have to loose weight, hence stop eating in fast-foods. As fast foods are the heart and soul of the US economy, this will ruin the US, hence creating a crisis worse than 1929. The great genius that is Bush Junior certainly saw this great peril and took the right decision ;)

    [ Parent ]
    This is no good either (3.00 / 3) (#61)
    by DesiredUsername on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:35:34 AM EST

    (To those who think my caution in other posts is because I'm an "anti-environment, big-oil, robber baron conservative" check this out)

    "We've got cleaner industry than just about anyone else, but we've also got more of it."

    Paying no attention to the fact that you cite no sources, let's examine this claim. WHY do we have more of it? Some, like I point out in another post, is exported and so the related pollution should towards the importing country. But some of our "more industry" is simply to support stupid/wasteful American habits. Beanie Babies, SUVs, thermostats set to 80, etc.

    I'm not anti-environment OR anti-business. I'm anti-extremism.

    Play 囲碁
    [ Parent ]
    trhurler is lying, as usual (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by streetlawyer on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 10:24:20 AM EST

    if you compare the US per capita and per square kilometer pollution as compared to, say, Germany, all of a sudden, the US looks pretty damned good.

    If you compare the US per capita pollution, the US looks pretty damned bad -- that's the point of the 4%/24% calculation. If you compare pollution per square kilometre, then what you're effectively doing is dividing through by Alaska, which seems like a very silly way to go about making comparisons with Germany. And since the US is a massive net borrower from Europe, the boast that the European economy would "fall apart" without the US is silly.

    --
    Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
    [ Parent ]

    scope (3.28 / 14) (#59)
    by Seumas on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:32:05 AM EST

    4% of the world's population and 23% of the pollution?

    If you were a little more honest in your presentation, you would have also mentioned that we also make perhaps 50% or 75% of everything a majority of the other 96% of the world buys and uses. Guess you should blame everyone you buys any product that wasn't grown out of the ground or off a tree, maybe?
    --
    I just read K5 for the articles.

    Erm why is the US running... (4.28 / 7) (#62)
    by nobbystyles on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:40:59 AM EST

    A masive great trade deficit then?

    [ Parent ]
    quit your whining then (3.00 / 12) (#65)
    by Seumas on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:56:30 AM EST

    Then you need to quit whining about the united states.

    You're blaming us for importing and driving the cars that other countries make? How about blaming Japan for making them?

    Of course, you can feel free to continue your biased and rather uninformed (being well-informed doesn't mean reading up on the massive propaganda of greenpeace or the ALF). Meanwhile, I'll continue to enjoy the great salaries, the strip malls, the massive shopping centers, the 40-screen theaters, easy transportation, high-tech toys, micro-waves and everything else that is "ooooh -- evil!".

    By the way, have you been to India lately? Tried breathing the air? How many days did you spend in bed recovering?

    Also, you might want to consider that while America might put out the most pollution, mankind itself likely doesn't put out enough to do as much damage as the earth itself (you've heard of volcanoes? You've heard of forest fires?). And even if it does, there are really simple solutions -- like using fucking nuclear power. Trust me, nobody is going to just say "oh, pollution! bad! I guess I'll start living like Ted-Fucking-Kazinscki!" -- even you.
    --
    I just read K5 for the articles.
    [ Parent ]

    I was never whining (none / 0) (#164)
    by WickedET on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 08:43:35 AM EST

    Meanwhile, I'll continue to enjoy the great salaries, the strip malls, the massive shopping centers, the 40-screen theaters, easy transportation, high-tech toys, micro-waves and everything else that is "ooooh -- evil!".
    You can have it all- I don't want it. I don't want no 40-screen theater, no massive shopping center, no high-tech toys and nothing else that the us economy is trying to sell us. I prefer good old european culture.
    Why do you us americans think you know what's good for all the world?

    [ Parent ]
    Europe vs. US. Yippie. (none / 0) (#171)
    by Mr Z (The Z is silent) on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 10:08:50 AM EST

    I prefer good old european culture.

    Is that why Europe is typically a generation ahead of the US in wireless technology? Hmmmm? :-)

    Oh, wait, you said old European culture. Ah, ok. Never mind. (Tongue firmly planted in cheek, mind you.)

    FWIW, I'm a good ol' American hermit that doesn't have much use for the 40-screen MegaMoviePlex or the Shopping Mall that's as big as a small city. I do enjoy my cell phone a bit though.

    --Joe



    [ Parent ]
    Wow! (4.80 / 5) (#145)
    by ghjm on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 07:36:25 PM EST

    What breathtaking lunacy. I salute you.

    Translated into economic jargon, you are stating that U.S. exports equal 50% to 75% of the rest of the world's gross product. You are wildly, wildly incorrect here.

    For the year 1999, U.S. total exports were $956 billion. Imports were $1221 billion. Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration. For the same year, gross world product was $30.2 trillion. U.S. gross domestic product was $8.7 trillion. Source: World Development Indicators, World Bank, July 2000.

    That means that the gross product of the world outside the U.S. was $21.5 trillion. The U.S. supplied $956 million of this through exports. So U.S. exports constitute about 4.5% of non-U.S. consumption. Or in other words, the rest of the world recieves 4.5% of its goods and services from the U.S. yet has to shoulder the burden (whatever it may be) for the 23% of greenhouse gases that the U.S. produces.

    But suppose your key points are correct, difficult though that feat of mental gymnastics may be. Suppose there's some moral high ground to be gained from supplying the products that other nations consume, and suppose further that there's some validity to dividing the world into two groups: America and not-America. On these assumptions, which group has the moral high ground? We've just established that America supplies 4.5% of the goods consumed in the rest of the world. The converse of this, given the figure for U.S. imports, is that the rest of the world supplies 14% of the goods consumed within the U.S. If there's a moral point to be won here, "not-America" wins it.

    But of course there isn't a point to be won, because the whole argument is spurious nonsense. You quote a figure of "50% to 75%" for something which can easily be determined to be 4.5% with a few minutes research on the Internet. Yet you have the gall to criticize the honesty of the original article?

    Say it with me: please...

    I shouldn't do this, since you don't deserve it, but I'm going to hand you the argument you should have made. Given the above numbers, the U.S. economy represents 29% of the world's economy, yet U.S. greenhouse emissions were only 23% of the world total. Therefore the U.S. is producing measurably less greenhouse gases per unit of production than the worldwide average. See if you can run with that one for a while, ok?

    [ Parent ]

    Global Warming? Baloney. (2.85 / 14) (#67)
    by Crashnbur on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 12:03:07 PM EST

    I am still unconvinced that this "global warming" has any truth to it. How do we know that mother nature isn't just feeling bitchy? Hell, I know we all go through phases, why can't our weather patterns? So it's gotten warm over the past few decades. Does this mean that it will keep getting warmer? Maybe. Maybe not. Who are we to tell? Have we been here long enough to know what the planet is going to do?

    As you can see, I offer no answers, only questions that I have no idea about... The point is, how would anyone know? We can only guess based on "scientific" study, but I hate to break it to you scientists out there, but modern science is just that - modern - and is not retroactive to, say, the Ice Age. We'll never know what causes our planet to warm up and cool down. It will happen when it happens, and I really don't think we can do anything about it.

    crash.neotope.com


    Probability (4.00 / 1) (#115)
    by bjrubble on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:09:18 PM EST

    We don't "know" that the changes are caused by humans, but the correlation is curious, and the theory strongly supports it. I don't understand this idea that we need 100% incontrovertible confirmation before we lift a finger. Anyone who lived their personal life like that would be dead inside a week. ("I can't prove that bright light is an oncoming car, guess I'll just hold my course until I have better evide----")

    [ Parent ]
    Global warming is unproven (3.07 / 14) (#73)
    by qpt on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 12:16:48 PM EST

    Further, there isn't any good reason to think it's taking place. It is undeniable that carbon dioxide levels in the earth's atmosphere have been increasing. Additionally, the physics of the greenhouse effect are well understood. However, the planet simply is not getting any warmer.

    Unreliable surface measurements do indeed show an increase in temperature, except for the measurements that show a decrease. Satellite imagery, however, clearly shows that the earth is very slowly cooling.

    Why the discrepancy between theory and reality? First of all, the theories that predict global warming do not take clouds into account. This is due to the fact that accounting for the effect of clouds in a weather simulation is nearly impossible. The fact of the matter, though, is that the planet is covered with clouds and they play a huge role in affecting the climate. Any theory that cannot take this in to account is as good as garbage.

    I have never understood the panic about global warming in the first place. So what if the earth warms up four degrees in the next hundred years? The ice caps aren't going to melt; the temperature at the poles is tens of degrees below zero. Even if the global warming advocates were correct, it has not been shown that the effect would necessarily be undesirable.

    This is worthless FUD, not science, and I applaud President Bush for withdrawing from the Kyoto Treaty.

    Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.

    How about some non-FUD? (5.00 / 6) (#97)
    by The Cunctator on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 02:35:33 PM EST

    Where in god's name is your assertion that "the theories that predict global warming do not take clouds into account" coming from? And this one: "the temperature at the poles is tens of degrees below zero"? Air temperature != ground (ice) temperature. Particularly considering that (Take a look at L&W surface air temperature climatology for July; note how the mean temperature gets above freezing for most of the Arctic. But I forget: these measurements are "unreliable.")

    Amazing: not a single one of your sentences lacks FUD.

    If you want a reasoned take on the issues, read Kyoto's Unfinished Business by Henry D. Jacoby, the William F. Pounds Professor of Management and Codirector of the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ronald G. Prinn, the TEPCO Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry, Codirector of the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, and Director of the Center for Global Change Science at MIT, and Richard Schmalensee, the Gordon Y. Billard Professor of Economics and Management and Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research at MIT.

    For some F (no U or D), read about the massive retreat of the Antarctic ice shelves, including this week's news, the giant new crack in the Pine Island Glacier ("this crack will result in the calving of a major iceberg, probably in less than 18 months").

    If you prefer UD, check out Center for Study of CO2 and Global Change, an industry front group with many connections to the fuel lobby Western Fuels Association, which refuses to disclose its funding, unlike real scientists.

    [ Parent ]

    The Fargo, ND Hypothesis of Global Warming. (2.40 / 5) (#102)
    by provolt on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 03:08:41 PM EST

    If any of you have ever been to Fargo, ND, USA you would probably notice one very striking feature of the landscape: it's flat. Really, friggin' flat. Something on the order of only a foot of elevation change every mile or two.

    My hypothesis is this: The landscape of Fargo, seems to imply that Global Warming is natural process.

    My reasoning:

    • Fargo (and the surrounding area) is flat because there was a huge lake that covered the entire Red River Valley.
    • Geologists tell us that the water for this lake came from an extremely large glacier that covered huge areas of North America.
    • For a huge body of ice to form and subsequently melt, there had to be a period of extreme cold, followed by a time where there was a massive warming tread in the climate.
    • All of this happened long before there was polluting industry in the United States (and the world for that matter).
    So it would seem to me, that Global Warming (and Global Cooling) have been going on for much longer than humans have been polluting the atmosphere. provolt

    [ Parent ]
    So what? (4.00 / 1) (#119)
    by bjrubble on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:30:29 PM EST

    I can also prove that the surface of the planet was once molten rock. Doesn't mean I want it happening again soon.

    If you think Kyoto is going to be expensive and painful, try another ice age.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: (1.00 / 1) (#246)
    by provolt on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 02:22:41 PM EST

    I'm not saying that I want it to go back. What I am saying is that I don't think we as humans have much (if any) control over the situation, so the Kyoto treaty is essential a waste of time. provolt

    [ Parent ]
    Clouds and climate models (4.00 / 1) (#147)
    by cameldrv on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 08:30:20 PM EST

    As it happens, I'm working on a cloud model. Computers have recently become powerful enough with good software to support full cloud simulation. We should have data next year. Also, have you seen the new satellite data which shows that the ammount of energy the earth is radiating is going down, and specifically in the bands that CO2 absorbs and reflects?

    [ Parent ]
    Satelite Data (4.00 / 2) (#162)
    by ajduk on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 07:54:12 AM EST

    Satellite imagery, however, clearly shows that

    the earth is very slowly cooling.

    No it does not. Have a look:

    So what if the earth warms up four degrees in the next hundred years

    Errm... climate zones shifting a few hundred miles in a hundred years is bad, especially if you happen to farm for a living.

    Most of the sea level rise will be a result of the ocean increasing in temperature.

    [ Parent ]
    why this move upsets me (3.50 / 6) (#74)
    by cory on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 12:35:52 PM EST

    While I'm glad that Bush is thinking about withdrawing from the Kyoto Treaty, I think he's citing the wrong reasons. IMO, it doesn't matter what he thinks of the treaty, all that matters is that the Senate never ratified it, therefore the US is *not* a member to it under our Constitution. Withdrawing for any other reason lends credence to (just one more of) Clinton's unconstitutional action(s). Since Bush is clearly doing this for political reasons, he's really showing he's no different from Clinton, IMO. Not that that should be a shocker.

    God, I'm glad I voted for Brown.

    Cory

    A few points (3.85 / 7) (#79)
    by Malicose on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 01:18:33 PM EST

    Concerning the Kyoto Treaty (source: Bush: No Go on Kyoto):
    1. the U.S. Senate voted 95-0 against ratifying it
    2. no other industrial nation has ratified it
    3. the only country to actually ratify is Romania

    Source? (4.50 / 4) (#87)
    by The Cunctator on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 01:45:51 PM EST

    The article doesn't mention Romania at all.

    According to the CIA World Factbook, Romania has signed but not ratified the Kyoto Protocol. I'm not saying Romania hasn't signed it, but I can't find any source that confirms your assertion.

    Also, that essentially no other countries have ratified the treaty either is not the point; everybody signed it, and was using it as a starting point in good-faith negotiation, and now the U.S. (in the form of G.W.B.) is backing out even of that.

    Whatever the reasoning, it's a slap in the face to the rest of the world, particularly Europe.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Source? (none / 0) (#90)
    by Malicose on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 02:00:07 PM EST

    Fox News Channel reported last night that Romania was the only country to sign, I figured (incorrectly) that it was mentioned in the online version as well. There also seemed to be little optimism that the required fifty-five nations would be met.

    [ Parent ]
    Yahoo story references Ari Fleischer statement (5.00 / 2) (#153)
    by jkeene on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 09:47:40 PM EST

    Here's a Yahoo story that has Ari Fleischer, White House spokesman as saying that Romania has "acted" on the treaty.

    [ Parent ]

    Blame it on Bush? (none / 0) (#170)
    by tjb on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 10:01:03 AM EST

    (in the form of G.W.B.)

    Try in the form of 95% of the US Senate.

    Clinton shouldn't have signed the thing in the first place because a) it's not constitutional and b) the Senate would never pass it.

    [ Parent ]
    Three issues smashed into one (4.07 / 13) (#89)
    by rjh on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 01:59:31 PM EST

    The whole Kyoto nonsense is based on forcing three unrelated issues into one, in large part so that the international bureaucrats and anti free market forces can coopt the issue. The three distinct issues are:

    1) What is the scientific truth about climate change?

    2) Should CO2 emissions be limited?

    3) Is Kyoto the best way to limit CO2 emissions?

    You can see from other comments the many problems with the Kyoto approach. To me the most compelling argument against Kyoto is its fierce enmity towards every effort to employ free market approaches. At every step it was clear that Kyoto demanded total and absolute control of every aspect of the world economy by the international bureaucrats. No local autonomy is allowed. No individual decision making is allowed. This is a central control bureaucratic attitude.

    I do argue against Kyoto on this basis even though I think that emissions should be limited. I think that there is good reason to take non-draconian measures to limit emissions. The scientific evidence is ambigous and contradictory, but there is enough indication of potential problems that action is appropriate. I would not destroy lives and ruin economies based on the limited evidence. But there is a lot that can be done without signficantly disrupting our lives. As evidence, notice that the US commercial sector has more than tripled its production in the last 25 years while decreasing its CO2 emissions.

    As for global warming, there is so much still unknown. The latest "proof of global warming" was heralded from the first experiment to actually measure an effect of CO2 and other gases. This is not "proof of global warming". It is just experimental confirmation of one aspect of atmospheric physics. This aspect was not even controversial. Everyone was expecting a result like this based on years of computer radiative transfer simulations. It more interesting that the experimental measurement basis for global warming is so limited that a tiny step like this gets front page news.

    One of the huge unknowns is the non-anthropogenic component of climate change. It is known that in 7000 BCE, 5000 BCE, 200BCE, and 1000CE the world climate was several degrees warmer than it is now. It is also known that in 400CE and 1400CE it was several degrees colder. This rise and fall is not anthropogenic, or at least not CO2 related. What causes it?

    This indicates that variations of the same magnitude as those predicted for CO2 effects are normal. Without knowing what causes them we do not know how they interact with CO2 related effects. Hence my opinion that only non-draconian steps are appropriate. The CO2 related changes are probably not good, but we probably have much more important climate changes effects to worry about. We may need our financial resources to deal with something else.



    Let the oil industry decide (1.00 / 2) (#155)
    by tumeric on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:06:25 PM EST

    its not like we're one lucky rock in a galaxy of billions of dead ones that has happened to spawn life.

    The earth is getting warmer because of CO2 emissions and the air sucks ass if you live in a city. Open your eyes.

    [ Parent ]

    One major point... (3.07 / 14) (#92)
    by jd on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 02:09:05 PM EST

    It really doesn't matter whether or not the US Senate and or Congress ever saw the document, signed it, or even ate lunch off it.

    What matters is that pollution is a severe problem. (Those who decry "Global Warming", per se, have evidently never tried to breath pea-soup smog, during a temperature inversion. To make claims about one aspect which may - or may not - prove true is to ignore the issue, in favour of banner-burning.)

    What matters is that the US President signed the accord and he, not the Senate, not Congress, not the dog down the street, is the duly-elected representitive of the United States, on International affairs.

    What matters is that US technology and industry will suffer. Nobody is going to buy newer, cleaner technology, if they can get away with the old stuff. Nobody is even going to make such technology in the US, with no market. And that means that overseas trade will suffer. It means American goods won't be sellable in any country in which the accord is enforced. And it means that the American economy (currently shaky) is likely to go into a depression.

    What matters is that, as fuel requirements drop elsewhere, fuel costs will rise. (The profit margins will be sustained.) As the pollution is a function of fuel efficiency, reduced pollution means greater efficiency. If you reduce emissions by 50%, you're going to have to reduce fuel consumption by 50%. And that means fuel prices will double. Won't affect those who're only using half as much, but - boy! - it'll just about kill any American car owner. Especially those who own SUVs.

    Those applauding George Bush's stance are forgetting these points, too busy arguing over global warming to see the economic and health impacts of efficiency.

    You can argue all you like, one way or the other. It doesn't matter. If global warming's real, sea levels will rise in the order of hundreds of meters, putting much of the industrialized world under water. Nothing you or I can do can stop it. If it isn't, the impact of forced technological improvement will put those countries which take the perceived threat seriously WAY ahead of those that don't.

    Either way, the skeptics are screwed. And screwed is screwed. The reason doesn't matter.

    Tell you what. I'll have a LOT more sympathy for the skeptics, if they can (hand-on-heart) say that, if the economy DOES collapse, or the sea levels DO rise, or the weather systems DO change catastrophically,or gas prices hit $5/gallon, or the US becomes economically and politically isolated, or deaths from pollution-related illnesses become too great to ignore, they will NOT whinge, they will NOT complain, and they will NOT beg others to pull them out of the mess.

    You up to the challange?

    WRONGO Buddy (4.50 / 2) (#96)
    by RocketScientist on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 02:26:00 PM EST

    You said "It really doesn't matter whether or not the US Senate and or Congress ever saw the document, signed it, or even ate lunch off it." I'm not sure where you live, but we have a constitution in this United States. If it don't get ratified, it ain't law. Period. If you do live in the states, and you don't like that, then vote for someone else, work hard to get other people into office, protest, yell, scream, kick, whatever. I for one am GLAD the president can't just go signing anything he wants and having it bind as law. It's called 'separation of powers'. And it's pretty much the only thing that's kept the government from getting more corrupt.

    [ Parent ]
    International Law != National Law (2.00 / 2) (#111)
    by jd on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 04:29:58 PM EST

    Sorry, but Congress, the US Constitution, et al, are local matters for the natives. They have no bearing on International Law or International Treaties. (Or do you think your local Congressman didn't attend the talks because he had a football game to watch?)

    If an International agreement is signed, then that is that. Any reversal by said natives is just that. A reneging on an agreement.

    As such, any opposition or sanctions (which may include the termination of the GATT agreement and the prohibition of US trade in Europe) are likely to be stinging.

    If International Treaties can be reversed, after an election, on a whim, do you think the US will be trusted to honor any other such treaties? If not, what makes you so sure that any other nation will enter such agreements with the US? Since the US is extremely dependent on other nations' resources, ANY trade sanctions could be seriously damaging.

    If President Clinton did NOT have the power to sign that Kyoto document, other nations will start asking why he was sent, rather than someone who DID have the authority. It comes to the same thing, in the end. The claim was made, by the act of signing, that the US would comply. Failure to do so means breach of trust, internationally.

    In terms of political impact, this could be as severe as the French violating the International test-ban treaty, or the Greeks violating the trade sanctions against Serbia. The repercussions of each violation will be felt for dacades. Who's going to trust the untrustable?

    [ Parent ]

    President Clinton most definitely erred (4.00 / 1) (#114)
    by weirdling on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:08:54 PM EST

    That's the kindest thing that could be said. Clinton signed the Kyoto accords knowing *full well* it would never be ratified and knowing *full well* that if ratified, it would immediately be struck down by the Supreme Court because it violates the sovereignty clause. The US is not in the habit of surrendering sovereignty, and it is written into our constitutional law that the country shall in no wise surrender said sovereignty, so any treaty the US enters into must not have an enforcement clause that holds the US liable to any foreign power for actions or failure to act. Anyway, a treaty is not valid until ratified. A signature by the president isn't considered binding by anyone.
    As to the strength of this treaty, it is not the general belief in the US at this time that it will be a) effective, b) worthwhile, or c) anything but disastrous, so if the rest of the world wants to do it, go ahead.
    Trade sanctions against the US would be laughable. Europe would be hurt an awful lot more than the US. Essentially, the EU (the prime mover for the Kyoto accords) would be cutting off its head to spite its face. However, the odds of this happening are slim, unless it is a unilateral move by the EU, as the US holds veto power in the UN, making UN trade sanctions an impossibility.
    Now, why does the US hold veto power in the UN? The US would not be able to enter into the treaties governing the creation of the UN without absolute veto power in order to avoid violating the sovereignty clause, but I already explained what that was...

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    It doesn't matter... (2.33 / 3) (#159)
    by deefer on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 04:23:01 AM EST

    Nit pick all you like over your constitution; us foreigners don't care. Right or not, your chief bloke signed a piece of paper, and the next head of state backed out of it. Welshing on an international agreement like this has damaged the US's reputation beyond measure. You make an agreement, then live by it, or renegotiate.
    Take this as the first warning, USians - your president could turn out to be a weak governor, easily swayed by corporate interests... And the first you'll notice is when your constitution is already ashes in the wind...


    Kill the baddies.
    Get the girl.
    And save the entire planet.

    [ Parent ]
    How simple (4.00 / 1) (#203)
    by weirdling on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 12:44:39 PM EST

    Any one of the majority of countries yet to ratify the Kyoto protocols can back out of it. No treaty is official until ratified, if it is made with a Democracy, as any simpleton should know. Forgive me, but Europeans are beginning to sound like two-year olds in a tempter tantrum. What I want to know is, are you going to be so angry when most of the world opts out of this thing later on?

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    Couple of points.. (2.00 / 3) (#206)
    by deefer on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 01:23:35 PM EST

    No treaty is official until ratified

    Technically, yes. But it shows bad faith to say you're going to do something then don't, as anyone who has been brought up decently will know... Queensbury rules, old chap, anything else is just not cricket.

    are you going to be so angry when most of the world opts out of this thing later on?

    No, I couldn't give a toss. But any kids I may have in the future will be pretty pissed when acid rainstorms mean they can't go out to play...

    You know it as well as I - with the USA pulling out like this, no one else will want to go forward with it. I forget the exact quote, but a famous american indian chappie said something like "until the last tree is cut down, the last river polluted, mankind will not realise that you can't eat money". And that's what this is all about, cold, hard cash. I'm no rabid environmentalist, but Bush's decision here leaves me cold, not only because of what it signifies for the Kyoto agreement, but for future environmental policy of the USA. And if you can't see the long term effects of this and a "two year old in a temper tantrum" Brit like myself can... Then you've obviously got the government and president you deserve.


    Kill the baddies.
    Get the girl.
    And save the entire planet.

    [ Parent ]
    This is barely even intelligible (4.50 / 2) (#98)
    by DesiredUsername on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 02:40:50 PM EST

    "Those who decry "Global Warming", per se, have evidently never tried to breath pea-soup smog, during a temperature inversion."

    Global warming has little or nothing to do with smog.

    "What matters is that US technology and industry will suffer. Nobody is going to buy newer, cleaner technology, if they can get away with the old stuff."

    I had to read this several times before I understood your point. You seem to be saying that we should enforce strict CO2 standards simply to artificially obsolete our existing equipment and create a market for new?

    "What matters is that, as fuel requirements drop elsewhere, fuel costs will rise. (The profit margins will be sustained.) ...If you reduce emissions by 50%, you're going to have to reduce fuel consumption by 50%. And that means fuel prices will double."

    This is wrong so many way I'm having trouble keeping score.

    First, you don't need to reduce consumption to reduce emissions. You could also improve efficiency.

    Second, even if emissions stayed at the same level, reclamation is an option (i.e. plant a tree).

    Third, where did you get "profit margins will be sustained" from?

    Fourth, even if you mean "profits (not profit margins) will be sustained", you are still wrong in your conclusion. Lower demand means LOWER prices...not higher. Supply and demand, doncha know.

    "Either way, the skeptics are screwed."

    Either way? What if it's all a scam? Then the skeptics are sitting pretty.

    Tell you what. I'll have a LOT more sympathy for the skeptics, if they can (hand-on-heart) say that, if the economy DOES collapse, or the sea levels DO rise, or the weather systems DO change catastrophically,or gas prices hit $5/gallon, or the US becomes economically and politically isolated, or deaths from pollution-related illnesses become too great to ignore, they will NOT whinge, they will NOT complain, and they will NOT beg others to pull them out of the mess."

    I won't complain as long as our course of action is determined by valid and appropriate science. Is that close enough for you?

    Play 囲碁
    [ Parent ]
    And you say -I-'m wrong? (2.00 / 1) (#110)
    by jd on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 04:13:12 PM EST

    To keep this simple and to the point, I'll address just one issue you raised, about fuel efficiency.

    If you increase efficiency, you decrease consumption. (If it only takes 1/2 the fuel to do the same amount of work, then you reduce consumption to 1/2.)

    In the end, pollution is tied to consumption, simply because the Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy has not (and cannot be) repealed.

    As for the science, that'll always be argued. For heaven's sake, they're STILL arguing, over 300 YEARS later, whether light is a particle or a wave (or both).

    And you want to wait until these guys can all agree on the specifics of the climate? Gimmie a break! Better still, go use a telescope in a major city and figure out why it doesn't matter who's right - about light or anything else.

    [ Parent ]

    OT: wave/particle duality of light (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by Nick Ives on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 07:06:04 PM EST

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong here, but I always thought that we treated light as a wave when talking about how it moves and as a particle when talking about how it transmits energy. Light can be shown to move as a wave by the Youngs slits experiment (shine a laser through a diffraction grating and watch as you get lots of beams coming out the other side), and it can be shown to transmit energy as a particle by observing the photoelectric effect (if you shine light on photosensitive material it only releases electrons past a certain intensity of light, if light transmitted energy as a wave then you would expect a lower intensity of light to just take longer but it like, never happens).

    What light actually "is" doesnt really matter, its not really science's job to say what things actually "are", we like, have two models that are correct at different times. Sure, its a little ugly, but we can manage with it until someone comes along with a more coherant explanation.

    --
    Nick
    I probably missed something out in there. Like I said, correct me if I'm wrong. A level physics was so long ago now....

    [ Parent ]

    OT: You're right (none / 0) (#154)
    by Vann on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:01:34 PM EST

    Matter, not just light, behaves as a wave and a particle. It is because of Quantum Mechanical weirdness that this occurs. Basically, something isn't there until it is measured. A "unit" of light can be either a wave or a particle depending upon how it is measured.

    Also, as a side note, the law of conservation of matter can be suspended, though it is sort of cheating in a way. ( If you can say nature ever "cheats" ) Anyhow, energy can appear and disappear, and thus so can matter. However, the amount of time spent "appeared" is inversely proportional to the amount of energy "borrowed". This "energy" appearing is called a virtual particle, and the more energy and mass contained within the less time it can "exist".

    Disclaimer: I am not a physicist, anything I say is quite possibly wrong.
    ____________
    Sex is tedious all year except on Arbor Day. -- Rusty
    [ Parent ]
    Watch those technical terms (none / 0) (#220)
    by tzanger on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 12:08:58 AM EST

    It is because of Quantum Mechanical weirdness that this occurs.

    Hey careful now... With such precise scientific terminology someone might lose an eye!

    :-)



    [ Parent ]
    Gas prices (none / 0) (#263)
    by prs24 on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 08:04:09 AM EST

    "or gas prices hit $5/gallon"

    we'd like them to drop to $5/gallon in the UK.

    [ Parent ]
    Emissions != Efficiency (none / 0) (#117)
    by weirdling on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:21:19 PM EST

    I can take the QE2, run her at full blast with the proper scrubbers, and produce fewer emissions than your average car. Those scrubbers are hideously expensive, but no matter, it can be done.
    I can even trap Carbon emissions with little effort, but it would require fractionally distilling the exhaust, and radically increase the cost.
    Now, CO2 emissions are linked to the efficiency of a car, but smog is not. Smog is a result of particulate emissions, nitrous emissions, and sulfuric emissions, and here is where your argument begins to break down.
    First, since the eighties, emissions of a car have been steadily decreasing to the point where most cars sold today meet LEV standards. ULEV standards are also met by quite a few models. And, all of this happened without any forced increase in efficiency. In other words, the largest SUV you can find runs more cleanly than any car of twenty years ago, even if it gets only a third the fuel mileage.
    Now, the weather pattern you refer to, the temperature inversion, is actually a result of heat trapped by the city. Simply painting things white would go a long way to slowing that effect. Of course, we could require that people move to more evenly-spaced areas, but wait, that's happening, and it's called urban sprawl and greenies hate it...
    As to economic impact of efficiency, the truth is that you have a bad understanding of economics. The cost of a vehicle is determined by much more than its efficiency. Capital costs must be amortized, and high-efficiency vehicles tend to cost a lot more than low-efficiency machines. Further, the cost of mass replacement would be extremely high, as it would require a rapid production scale for a short time, which is always expensive. Then there's the issue of maintenance; most high-efficiency designs are new, and therefore maintenance intensive.
    Now, as to vehicle size: people assess how much capability they need and are willing to pay for and make these compromises. That being said, if a person feels that his SUV is required and is willing to pay for it, he is free to do so. I, personally, disagree, preferring to squander efficiency in exchange for speed. My father prefers to buy extremely low-cost vehicles. To each his own.

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    Premises behind the Kyoto treaty: (3.90 / 11) (#95)
    by Canimal on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 02:24:29 PM EST

    I can see at least four:

    1) The earth is getting warmer.
    2) Bad stuff will happen if we don't do something about this warming.
    3) The reason the planet is getting warmer is because of our industrial pollution.
    4) The Kyoto treaty will solve 2), at least it will if GB2 rallies behind it.

    The first premise appears to be true. At least nobody seems to be arguing it. The other three . . . well, the farther down the list we go, the less plausible it gets. I don't have real strong opinions about 2) and 3), but I am somewhat skeptical. I seriously doubt 4) is true.

    Does anyone know what the Kyoto treaty says? I seem to recall it proposes some minor reduction in the amount of CO2 production, for first world countries. Is that going to "fix" global warming? I doubt it. If it does in fact have a major industrial impact, does anyone really think it will be observed? Without somebody to enforce it, the member countries will abandon it as soon as their constituents start screaming about higher prices.

    When I read these debates on global warming, I come away with the sense that most people, on both sides, don't really know what the hell they are talking about. When nobody can agree on what should be the basic facts of an issue, it's hard to believe there is a clear "right answer."

    Matt

    Two Is True. (none / 0) (#123)
    by Happy Monkey on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:46:51 PM EST

    2) is true, as stated. Global warming will cause bad things to happen. For example my favorite little country, Tuvalu, will cease to exist if ocean levels continue to rise. Of course, good things will happen for some people in traditionally inhospitable areas, like Canada, Greenland, and Siberia. From most environmentalists' points of view it will be bad, since the current habitats of many species will be drastically altered. On the other hand, other species will get an expansion of their habitat, and entirely new types of habitats may be created. A properly ambiguous statement of 2) would be:

    2) The net results of this warming would be bad.

    This is less cut and dry.
    ___
    Length 17, Width 3
    [ Parent ]

    Da. (none / 0) (#251)
    by Canimal on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 11:39:32 PM EST

    Yes, that's what I should have meant. :)

    Matt


    [ Parent ]
    1 is false. (none / 0) (#149)
    by qpt on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 08:35:21 PM EST

    Satellite imagery indicates that the earth is not warming. Certain areas are warming and certain other areas are cooling, but the net effect is that the planet on a whole is cooling slightly. This is not consistent with what scientists predict should happen when carbon dioxide levels rise.

    The most probable reason involves the cloud cover over the Pacific Ocean. As the surface of the ocean heats, it causes the formation of more low-altitude clouds which tend to reflect heat back into space, cooling the earth. It acts as a sort of temperature regulator.

    Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
    [ Parent ]

    Kyoto was too little too late (none / 0) (#152)
    by tumeric on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 09:47:01 PM EST

    1. Yes
    2. Only to your children and the planet.
    3. Yay
    4. No
    Basically we broke the place and are handing the smouldering wreck to our kids. Should they be pissed of ... only if we brought them up right.

    [ Parent ]
    Does anyone know what the Kyoto treaty says? (none / 0) (#265)
    by strumco on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 08:35:42 AM EST

    See the full text
    http://www.unfccc.de/resource/conv/index.html

    Bet you're sorry you asked, aren't you?

    DC
    http://www.strum.co.uk
    [ Parent ]

    From a little known document.... (3.60 / 20) (#100)
    by TheSpiritOf1776 on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 03:05:25 PM EST

    From the Consitution of the United States of America:

    "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."
    - Article I, Section 1

    "Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." "
    - Article II, Section 1

    (Note that "So help me God" does not appear in the president's oath of office).

    "He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments. "
    - Article II, Section 2

    Pres. Bush by not honoring the Kyoto Treaty, is just doing his job as two-thirds of Senators present have not ratified the treaty, and he has no power to legislate.

    If you don't like it, let me give you a quarter so you can call someone who cares. I applaud Pres. Bush's actions with regards to the Kyoto Treaty. At the same time I'm shocked, this is a guy who has numerous times proposed that the federal government overstep its bounds.


    Busch and Congress Nymbies? (4.00 / 2) (#158)
    by Joostteigeler on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 02:26:35 AM EST

    I don't think it really matters that Busch is staying within the US constitution. But it's good to know that Busch isn't the only nymby (not in my backyard)in the US-goverment. I think (as a European) Busch is extremly naive in thinking that complaining about energy shortages in the US will give him any sympathy in Europe. First of all, the energy shortage in the US is more is more a problem of conservation of energy anyway. And more importantly, Europe has or will have the same kind of problem with implementing the Kyoto treaty as the US have. Which is why the treaty is there in the first place. Reducing the CO2 emmissions will be costly. If European countries honor the Kyoto treaty and the US does not, you can bet that the US can produce for less money... and wil not be exporting to Europe without some tax to even the economic playing field. Conlusion: Busch is a shortsigted nimby Joost

    [ Parent ]
    It DOES matter (4.50 / 2) (#187)
    by TheSpiritOf1776 on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 11:52:25 AM EST

    It does matter that Pres. Bush is obeying the dictates of the US Constitution. It is his job.

    While I'm thinking about this, I did go off half cocked in my original post. I should have said something along the lines of "If you don't like this, let your Senator know" or try and amend the US Consitution. I got angry because I've noticed on usenet non-Americans ranting about how arrogant and idiotic Americans are and how Americans don't know anything about what's going on outside of the US, but then watch those some non-Americans comment on things in America *and have absolutely no clue about anything in the United States*. I haven't been around on kuro5hin long enough to see if that holds true here, but to be honest, it would not surprise me.

    Speaking as a resident of the US, I don't want or need sympathy from Europe. And I don't see how Bush is looking for any (maybe he is, I just missed).

    I do agree that energy problems in the US are a result of short-sighted energy policy and regulation. More nuclear power please!

    Taxes to "level the economic playing field"? I thought they already existed, and were called "tariffs". And tariffs only exist to protect the local businesses who cannot compete against foreign businesses. The reasons can be varied, either inefficiency or regulation.


    [ Parent ]
    Re:It DOES matter (none / 0) (#259)
    by Joostteigeler on Wed Apr 04, 2001 at 09:55:58 AM EST

    Speaking as a resident of the US, I don't want or need sympathy from Europe. And I don't see how Bush is looking for any (maybe he is, I just missed). Bush said on CNN he was going to explain to a German minister how energy shortages in the US were the reason why the US would not honour the Kyoto agreement. That is what I thought to be extremly naive. I do agree that energy problems in the US are a result of short-sighted energy policy and regulation. More nuclear power please! Agreed:-) Taxes to "level the economic playing field"? I thought they already existed, and were called "tariffs". And tariffs only exist to protect the local businesses who cannot compete against foreign businesses. The reasons can be varied, either inefficiency or regulation. That's right, but tariffs can also be imposed if a producer is using resources (ie the amount of polluting the enviroment) for which he is not paying the price that he should be paying. If the Kyoto agreement is implemented outside the US, the US has the benefits of reduced polution without the costs. Having a tariff on goods produced in the US used for paying the costs of reducing pollution in other countrys that have reduced pollution is then just leveling the playing field and have nothing to do with compensating for inefficiency. joost

    [ Parent ]
    Global warming is a hoax (2.26 / 15) (#101)
    by billstclair on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 03:06:08 PM EST

    From what I've read there is little or no real scientific evidence for global warming. Yes, simple black-box experiments prove that if you increase the percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a dead planet, it gets warmer. The earth is far from a dead planet. Until I see real evidence that the planet is getting warmer, and that it is caused by us humans instead of by natural climate cycles, I can't support pointing guns at people to make them emit less CO2. And that's the bottom line of every law ever made. Do what we say or we kill you.

    Scientific Humbah ! (4.66 / 3) (#125)
    by Komodo321 on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:49:48 PM EST

    Based on our distance from the sun and the sun's energy output, it is easy to calculate that the Earth would have an average temperature well below freezing if it were a dead planet. It is the CO2 that is kept in the atmosphere by organisms that keeps us at a cozy thermal level. This greenhouse effect is real and accepted by virtually all atmospheric scientists.

    There is disagreement on exactly how much effect will be felt from man's massive output of carbon dioxide, disagreement on how fast the change will occur, and exactly how the disruption will play out in terms of climate, ecology, and society. But if you think that"there is little or no real scientific evidence for global warming," then you have not read much in the way of scientific literature. The conservative press consistently negs the whole idea of the greenhouse effect - ignoring important research that disagrees with their ideology, amplifying the occasional study that questions the idea of global warming. (The same conservative press that for 40 years couldn't see the evidence that tobacco was harmful.) And the popular press does a spotty job of explaining it - there are plenty of articles written by people who can't really explain the difference between the greenhouse effect and ozone depletion. Many mainstream articles believe that they should give equal space to the pro and con, even when the vast majority of the scientific community has come to an agreement on something - for example, the intergovernmental panel on climate change reflects the consensus of thousands of atmospheric scientists, while there are only a handful of atmospheric scientists who harshly disagree with the panel. This preponderance of opinion in the scientific community is often not communicated - out of honest ignorance in the mainstream press, or for ideological reasons in the conservative press.

    Maybe you should take a class in weather and climate, or atleast find a recent textbook in the library or remainder bin. Online, check out sources like Nature or New Scientist. Or if you have access to a research library, dig into the scientific literature. Science doesn't know everything about the greenhouse effect, but as each year goes by, more and more evidence is building, and more and more scientists conclude that human activity is heating the atmosphere.

    [ Parent ]
    Screwed either way (none / 0) (#199)
    by eean on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 12:32:24 PM EST

    One thing to keep in mind is that whether or not the current warming that is going on is natural or not, we are screwed. We need to prepare for it, if it is possible. Personally, I have a "better safe then sorry" philosophy on whether or not we should stop putting out so much CO2.

    Also, many of the greenhouse gases are also bad for human health (or at least come with other gases that are). Have you ever been to a city like Mexico City? The smog is terrible. I smelt it constantly the whole time I was there.

    And they often use resources that we are running out of. So even if you think that Greenhouse Effect is BS, there are other reasons to cut down on pollution.

    [ Parent ]
    Evidence (none / 0) (#266)
    by strumco on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 09:09:53 AM EST

    Until I see real evidence that the planet is getting warmer
    Try:-
    http://www.newscientist.com/dailynews/news.jsp?id=ns9999631
    "Powerful evidence that greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet also undermines the significance of a discrepancy often cited by global warming sceptics.

    Although surface air temperatures have risen in past decades, temperatures higher in the atmosphere have not. This, say some, casts doubt on global warming. Previous computer models focused mainly on the atmosphere because heat transfer to the ocean is more difficult to model.

    However, new models that account for the heat absorbed by the world's oceans emphasise that the seas, not the atmosphere, are "by far the dominant part of the Earth's climate system for storing heat," says Sydney Levitus of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Silver Spring, Maryland. He believes this adds up to "strongest evidence to date" that humans are causing global warming.

    His group compared the modelled heat transfer to oceans caused by greenhouse gases with the measured long-term trend and got good agreement. In other words, they showed that warming of this giant heat sink matches greenhouse predictions better than the smaller heat sink of the atmosphere.

    The group had already found that the top three kilometres of the global ocean warmed a fraction of a degree from 1955 to 1996, but could not pinpoint a cause. By ruling out other possible sources of the heat, they now believe greenhouse gas emissions are the only plausible cause.

    The warming oceans absorbed 20 times more heat over the past four decades than either melting continental glaciers or the warming atmosphere. Melting of mountain glaciers and shrinkage of sea ice in the northern hemisphere and Antarctic accounted for even less heat.

    A different computer model of greenhouse warming tested separately by Tim Barnett and colleagues at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography also matched observed ocean warming. Barnett's group said the agreement was so good that they were 95% certain that human activities caused the warming."

    And...

    http://www.newscientist.com/dailynews/news.jsp?id=ns9999609
    The UN's top climatologists reject the US President's claim that scientists are divided over global warming

    The UN's top climatologists have robustly rejected US President George Bush's claim that scientists are divided over whether global warming is real.

    They insist that scientists who doubt that human activity is causing climate change are in a tiny minority.

    John Houghton, co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says that no more than 10 of at least 3000 international climate scientists reject the idea that emissions of greenhouse gases are raising global temperatures.

    Robert Watson, co-chair of the IPCC, told a press conference in Nairobi on Thursday: "There's disagreement over specific areas ... but on a broad level it's well over 90 per cent."

    DC
    http://www.strum.co.uk
    [ Parent ]

    Just a few general remarks (4.10 / 10) (#118)
    by wtfai on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:22:06 PM EST

    1) It is possible to get a fairly good picture of the various heating and cooling cycles over the past few hundred million years or so. It also reveals that the earth has been largely swamps during the hot bits, and ice during the cold bits. Neither of these would be a good things as far a mankind is concerned.

    2) Most reputable scientists (you know, the ones who spend their whole lives studying this stuff) think that global warming is a reality. Because you don't like it is not a valid scientific argument.

    3) The free market does not think long-term. It can barely manage to reach yesterday. This is why we have governments. Business may eventually solve the problems, but they're going to need encouraging with big whips.

    4) The US does not, on average export, it imports. This is why your trade deficit has such a large number of zeros.

    5) Most people could survive quite happily if the US suddenly vanished. Many would quite like this to happen.

    6) Just because we're not sure quite what might happen is no reason to continue polluting the atmosphere. Bad Consequences >> good consequences.

    7) Gun control good, creationism bad. Just in case I fail to offend any of the nutters out there.

    ignoring the anti-US BS .... (none / 0) (#161)
    by gregholmes on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 06:19:47 AM EST

    If the Earth has gone through large heating and cooling cycles over hundreds of millions of years, why assume that any (hotly debated, barely detectable if there) warming is due to my SUV?

    Your item 7 is just moronic. Reasonable people can disagree about gun restrictions/freedoms. Two legs bad, four legs good .... not much of an argument. Only a "nutter" would believe that Yet Another Gun Law would stop a kid who lives in a crack house from picking up a gun off the floor and shooting his schoolmate.



    [ Parent ]
    Why ignore the ... (none / 0) (#193)
    by wtfai on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 12:08:50 PM EST

    You shouldn't just ignore the views of 90% of the non-US world.

    To answer the serious point though, we know that global warming is possible, we know that greenhouse gases can cause global warming, and we know that global warming can have very serious consequences. I don't think anyone seriously argues with that. The major unanswered question is: Can the earth absorb all the extra CO2 we're pouring into the atmosphere? Answer: Maybe for a while, but certainly not indefinately. We'll have to stop sometime so why noy now, before the problem gets any worse?

    Re my last point: My sense of humour is sometimes a little perverse. I apologise to anyone offended, but bear in mind no guns = no shootings.

    [ Parent ]
    stuff (none / 0) (#216)
    by gregholmes on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 08:16:41 PM EST

    You shouldn't just ignore the views of 90% of the non-US world.

    I don't; I seriously doubt that 90% of the non-US world agrees with extreme environmentalism. Their actions (and exemptions that they work into various agreements) certainly don't speak to that.

    no guns = no shootings

    Well, in the abstract sense, I suppose. But new gun laws != no guns. So the equation doesn't balance ;)



    [ Parent ]
    The Smoking Gun (4.62 / 16) (#141)
    by The Cunctator on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 07:10:16 PM EST

    I have to say that I'm bitterly amused by the manner of the debate over global warming, as it mirrors almost exactly the debate over smoking.

    Scientists and doctors have known (and have tried to tell people) since the late 50's that smoking was extraordinarily hazardous to people's health. The tobacco industry poured millions (billions?) of dollars into convincing people otherwise. They trotted out scientists and doctors who often had no relation to smoking-caused diseases (I'm a MIT-trained chemist, and I think smoking is fine, etc.) and who were happy to talk about epistomological studies can't "prove" anything. It took a generation or two of people dropping like flies for the general public to break through the smokescreen (so to speak), and even now people dispute the effects of second-hand smoking, though the scientific evidence has been in hand since the '70s.

    It's hard to believe, but as late as the mid-80's, you could be branded a 'zealot' by hospital administrators if you even tried to get them to enforce no-smoking zones in their hospital, let alone ban smoking (the hospital in question is MGH).

    I know this doesn't prove anything in respect to global warming, but let's just say that I'm more inclined to believe the rantings of climatologists than the oil industry or free-market capitalists when it comes to problems facing the climate. Similarly, I'd believe the oil industry more than climatologists when it comes to problems facing shale oil extraction, or the free-market capitalists when it comes to generating capital.

    Actually, the free-market capitalists aren't necessarily the ones to turn to for that, either, considering they generally bought into the New Economy bunk.

    Everyone's an ideologue, but scientists are generally ideologues interested with understanding how the world actually works, rather than convincing others how the world should work. That's why I believe it fair to question scientists in policy-making positions (then you get everything from the Peace Corps to urban planning), but I heed their warnings as much as I enjoy their inventions.

    Though I recognize creating these monolithic classes of identity (scientist, ideologue, capitalist, industry) is dangerous, I believe that the fuzzy-truth-value of my statements hasn't dipped below .5.

    Worried (none / 0) (#250)
    by Cameleon on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 06:44:07 PM EST

    And this is what worries me: something has to go wrong before people realise that something has to be done. As you pointed out, it was only when a large amount of people started dying due to smoking that people realised that something was wrong.

    If things go the same way with the climate and emissions, some major disasters will have to happen before people start to realise something is wrong. But by then, it might already be too late.

    [ Parent ]

    Reasons for higher CO2 from U.S. (2.80 / 5) (#148)
    by cameldrv on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 08:33:42 PM EST

    1) Lower population density means more transportation. 2) Europe and Japan use lots of clean, non-polluting nuclear power.

    Reason #2 (5.00 / 2) (#173)
    by Betcour on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 10:12:27 AM EST

    2) Wild capitalism is king in the US and everything that goes against profit is illegal, immoral or communist. Regulating the industry is taboo and rated XXX.

    [ Parent ]
    Conservatives know that global warming is real (4.50 / 8) (#157)
    by gbd on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:46:06 PM EST

    Call me crazy, but I personally believe that conservatives know full well that global warming is real. But that's not the worst part; they want its effects to hit the world in order to further their own political agenda.

    Let's say the average temperature rises by several degrees, melting away a sizable portion of the polar ice caps. What will happen in America? First of all, New York City, which is the Mecca of secular humanism (and home of the hated United Nations), would be wiped off the face of the Earth. Same thing for the majority of liberal New England .. it seems that they would consider drowning Vermont to be a particularly suitable punishment for the whole civil unions thing.

    Atlanta, which is where liberal Ted Turner and his Clinton News Network are headquarted, would go quietly glug-glug-glug into that sweet goodnight. Florida, with its large immigrant population, would be gone (along with all of Communist Cuba.) Southern California's liberal and tolerant society would vanish into memory, along with the rest of the Left Coast, which would take San Francisco's significant homosexual population and Washington State's environmentalists.

    The death toll abroad would also be significant, but remember that conservatives are not at all convinced that any place outside of the United States even exists.

    Yes, my tongue is firmly planted in cheek.

    Shame on you if you had to ask. :-)

    --
    Gunter glieben glauchen globen.

    Vermont (none / 0) (#179)
    by dennis on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 10:42:08 AM EST

    As a conservative, let me just say that Vermont is a very cool state. Only state in the union where anybody who wants to can carry a concealed firearm with no permit or background check of any kind. That makes up for a multitude of sins. :)

    [ Parent ]
    join the crowd (none / 0) (#233)
    by khallow on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 03:17:06 PM EST

    Call me crazy, but I personally believe that conservatives know full well that global warming is real. But that's not the worst part; they want its effects to hit the world in order to further their own political agenda.

    I don't think you are crazy, but they'll have to stand in line. The Environmentalists will be better positioned. I bet that when a real global disaster hits, you'll have a bunch of groups that will say "We can solve this problem, but you'll need to embrace our weird political ideology." To all these groups, a crisis will be a wonderful thing. "Fortunately" for the radical conservatives there will be other crises than just the environmental ones. :-(


    Stating the obvious since 1969.
    [ Parent ]

    WW3 (4.60 / 15) (#163)
    by henrik on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 07:56:19 AM EST

    [begin rant]
    I could see Europe going to war over enviromental issues in the future (not the near future, but in 50+ years). Among the generation of europeans growing up now is a growing conviction that the enviroment is far more important than quarterly profits.

    Like many thirdworld countries, the US is a single issue state: Profit über alles! Here are three shocking statements to any selfproclamied US liberal:

    • Unfettered capitalism does not solve *every* issue.
    • Individualism does not solve everything either.
    • Everything governments do isn't bad.
    There needs to be a balance between government, the people and the industry. This is an understanding that is completly lacking among most USians. They belive that a magic piller (if the government would just stop interfering) could solve all problems.

    Sorry, there are no magic pills. Goverment action is by far the best way to solve enviromental issues, simply beacuse neither the people nor corporations have the vision to see these isses. They are bad for everybody in the short term, but essential in the long run. But why should we care? Quarterly profits über alles! Europe has the necessary balance between government and the rest to do something about this. Europe also belives in the spirit of cooperation, To make international treaties for the longterm benefit of all while the US seem to think it can do what the hell it pleases. Anything to keep the stock market going up.

    Say, if the US doesnt respect the treaties it signs, why should we? If we start building lotsa nukes, take the US off the face of the planet. Problem solved, and we can have a world that's acctually livable (ahem, as soon as the readiation and nuclear winter goes away. Might take a while that too. But atleast we wouldnt have to listen to arrogant USians )

    Bottom line: The US can't be allowed to screw up the world for the rest of the world. This is the *major* issue. Some few rich selfish people cant be allowed to say "it's not our problem" and continue to do whatever they please when everybody else is trying to create a better place for all.

    As for global warming being a hoax, why dont you ask the citizens of kiribati? Just because *you* dont notice it, doesnt mean it isnt there. Even if there's just a 10% chance of anything happening, the results would be so bad it would justify spending a sizeable fraction of the worlds GNP (trillions of dollars) to prevent them (an ounce of prevention...). What will you say to your grandchildren if you're wrong?

    [end rant]

    -henrik

    Akademiska Intresseklubben antecknar!

    I agree (2.00 / 1) (#165)
    by WickedET on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 08:52:00 AM EST

    Yeah, Yeah ... that's the truth! This is an understanding that is completly lacking among most USians. They belive that a magic piller (if the government would just stop interfering) could solve all problems.
    But by the way USians: you should read "Noam Chomsky - Profit over People". You have people who do understand the real issues in this world, but it seems thar no one reads them.

    [ Parent ]
    Ignorance is the problem (3.00 / 1) (#195)
    by eean on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 12:18:27 PM EST

    As Noam Chomsky often proves, ignorance if usually the problem in the US. I'm sure, for instance, our foreign policy would be very different if people actually payed attention to it. I think it is this, more then the libertarianism you seem to be abscribing to all USians (that isn't a word, but it seems to be the only way in English to describe someone from the US without getting confused with the rest of the continent).



    [ Parent ]
    For crying out loud... (4.00 / 2) (#169)
    by Rasvar on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 10:00:37 AM EST

    Blame US for this Blame US for that. No one would miss the US, Sheesh. Give it a rest.

    The europeans are no more innocent then than the US. Yes, they make do with less; but not by a whole lot. Besides, you all have your own agricultural mess over there right now.

    All this country verus country BS won't solve anything. What is needed is a useful and fair treaty that includes the whole world. Not just parts of it. The reductions requested in the treaty were a joke. Too much money spent for what would be negligable impact on the problem. If you want to make a good treaty, demand a 25% across the board. That would make an impact.

    Its time to stop the nation bashing and do a treaty that is worthwhile and not a piece of junk like Kyoto!

    [ Parent ]
    You are deniying the problem (3.00 / 1) (#172)
    by Betcour on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 10:09:26 AM EST

    What the US (Bush and the Republican behind him in reality) does basically say is "look, someone didn't sign the treaty, so I won't sign it too". This is very childish and to be expected from a 5 years old that complain that one of his classmate didn't had to do his homework because he was sick.

    But you'd expect from a developped country a little more maturity and responsability. Since the US are by far the world biggest polluters and generate almost a quarter of CO2, it would only be fair that they show the example and start reducing their nuisance, instead of whining and complaining.

    But then I guess expecting maturity out of Bush Junior is a bit too much. And I guess the fact that he is closely tied to the petrol lobby is a pure coincidence...

    [ Parent ]
    I agree on many of those points. (3.00 / 1) (#175)
    by Rasvar on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 10:25:50 AM EST

    I don't think Bush is doing everything that needs to be done. I know his motives for not signing were probably not in agreement with mine.

    With that said, I don't think unilateral action will mean a hill of beans. I fully expect China to surpass the US in CO2 emissions in the next decade, with or without Kyoto.

    I think the US needs to develop alternative power sources. I also think that the government needs to do more to push hybrid cars. No the US isn't perfect. I just truely think Kyoto is a bad treaty. Signing a bad treaty is not going to help the situation.

    The real question is, do I think Bush is serious on doing something about it. Alas, no. I will admit that I am a Republican. However, I do not subscribe to the theory that business will solve everything. Government needs to step in and 'encourage' alternatives and make them more attractive. Yes, most of my fellow Republicans don't agree; but I can try to get my point across. The problem is that there is no room for the middle ground anymore. Until there is, nothing will happen either way.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: For crying out loud... (3.00 / 1) (#184)
    by henrik on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 11:30:52 AM EST

    All this country verus country BS won't solve anything.

    Right. The whole concept of a nation-state is very 20th century, but unfortunately Mr. Bush and most of the world leaders doesnt seem to agree with me. I hope the whole concept of nation-states will go away (it's probably caused more war and misery than any other idea.. except religion of course) The difference between Europe and the US is that the Europeans are *willing* to discuss and try to solve enviromental issues. The US is dragging it's feet, claiming various issues with the science/treaties/but-what-about-them. To justify it's claim as a "world superpower", "home of the brave", etc, the US should be leading the way, pouring billions into research, and making strict regulations. Instead, the political elite of the united states are acting more like scared chickens hoping the problem will go away while they make childish clames of i-wont-do-it-unless-you-do-it-too.

    What is needed is a useful and fair treaty that includes the whole world. Not just parts of it. The reductions requested in the treaty were a joke. Too much money spent for what would be negligable impact on the problem. If you want to make a good treaty, demand a 25% across the board. That would make an impact.

    Right! Totally agree! Unfortunately, reality sets in: if the world has this much problems with a 10% reduction, how easy do you think a 25% reduction would be? :(

    Kyoto may not be perfect, but the US is setting a dangerous precedent when it's ignoring international treaties it's signed. Like i said: What's to stop other nations from doing the same thing when something doesnt suit them? The US is behaving like the "rogue nations" your president is always fond of accusing other nations to be. Only difference I see is size.

    -henrik

    Akademiska Intresseklubben antecknar!
    [ Parent ]

    No... (3.00 / 1) (#189)
    by TheSpiritOf1776 on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 11:59:14 AM EST

    Kyoto may not be perfect, but the US is setting a dangerous precedent when it's ignoring international treaties it's signed. Like i said: What's to stop other nations from doing the same thing when something doesnt suit them? The US is behaving like the "rogue nations" your president is always fond of accusing other nations to be. Only difference I see is size.

    Sorry, but in the United States, treaties do not take effect until approved by 2/3rds of Senators present. 2/3rds of the Senators present have not approved the Kyoto Treaty, therefore it is not binding on the United States. The president's signature means nothing.



    [ Parent ]
    And this has what to do with me? (3.00 / 1) (#192)
    by henrik on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 12:05:55 PM EST

    Sorry, but in the United States, treaties do not take effect until approved by 2/3rds of Senators present. 2/3rds of the Senators present have not approved the Kyoto Treaty, therefore it is not binding on the United States. The president's signature means nothing.

    And this means what to me? It only tells me you have a screwed up system you need to fix. I'm about as interested in how your government works as you are in how mine functions. What is Iraq said the same thing "Yeah, Saddam promised we'd stop making nukes, but his signature means nothing. All treaties need to be ratified by our Ayatollah convention."

    -henrik

    Akademiska Intresseklubben antecknar!
    [ Parent ]

    well... (3.00 / 1) (#198)
    by TheSpiritOf1776 on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 12:26:31 PM EST

    It means that you are wrong.

    And what makes you think I care nothing about how your government works? Though I am a bit handicapped here, as I don't know where you are from.

    And this is not screwed up. This is the exact way it was meant to work. Take a spin through the Federalist Papers to see why.

    [ Parent ]
    Sweden (3.00 / 1) (#204)
    by henrik on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 01:02:45 PM EST

    Sweden would be the place. But the point is that it works both ways.. if i have to respect the internals of your government, you have to respect mine. (and while it makes sense not to allow one guy to go off and sign any treaties he wants, it creates problems like this one). Just proves that there are no perfect solutions i guess..

    -henrik

    Akademiska Intresseklubben antecknar!
    [ Parent ]

    Yet you didn't stop to consider (2.50 / 2) (#185)
    by Anonymous 7324 on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 11:31:43 AM EST

    that the US exports many of those precious products that you use, and that the pollution to produce those products with present day tech has to be generated somewhere.

    Too bad. -3 for not thinking.

    [ Parent ]
    The US is not the worlds factory (4.33 / 3) (#191)
    by henrik on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 12:05:06 PM EST

    that the US exports many of those precious products that you use...

    I walked around my house just now looking for products "Made in the USA". I found about as many "Made in the USA" as I found "Made in Russia"s. I suspect this is typical of most homes. There's no reason to assume my home is substantially different than the average household.

    • All the electronics is manufactured in Taiwan. (except for my monitor, in Finland).
    • The cars: In Japan.
    • All the paper: mostly printed locally. I found a few printed in the US though (probably because i bought 'em myself there)
    • The furniture is mostly local (from sweden)
    • Clothes? Asian or local.
    To summarize: Most all of my imports are stuff made in asia, not the US. Also, concidering the US huge trade deficit it doesnt seem probable that the US is the huge exporter of goods that you claim. I think most of the output from US factories is consumed locally.

    ....and that the pollution to produce those products with present day tech has to be generated somewhere.

    Right. It is, but not in the US. Like i said above, most of the stuff is manufactured in asia. And yet, the US still generates one quarter of the worlds pollution? (give or take a few).

    So how do you justify polluting as much as 1.5 billion would if pollution was distributed evenly? Most of that is things that are consumed locally. The US would need to reduce their pollution with a factor 8 to pollute "their share". (The basic idea being that every human being gets an equal pollution share)

    -henrik

    Akademiska Intresseklubben antecknar!
    [ Parent ]

    Because (3.00 / 1) (#225)
    by Anonymous 7324 on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 10:29:30 AM EST

    different goods have different costs in terms of pollution, and the pollution cost is not necessarily commesurate with the value of the item. It is impossible to just look at the US as a net importer, and then conclude that it is polluting more than it "should."

    [ Parent ]
    not really (3.00 / 1) (#213)
    by captain soviet on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 03:27:40 PM EST

    which would be those products we Europeans can't survive without? I can hardly think of any product from the US, that isn't produced anywhere else. You know, we do have heavy industry in Europe, too, yet they found a way to make it cleaner than yours.

    [ Parent ]
    Simple (2.00 / 1) (#214)
    by Anonymous 7324 on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 05:30:08 PM EST

    you guys don't do nearly the amount.

    [ Parent ]
    do you ever read what you write? (3.00 / 1) (#223)
    by captain soviet on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 05:16:57 AM EST

    The EU has about the same amount (or maybe even more) heavy industry than the US. Yet the companies are required to meet certain environmental standards. They have to equip their plants with certain filters and have to clear their sewage of various pollutants. They do it, and it works. It is widely known, that most of the US plants are inefficient (regarding their waste of energy and raw materials) and dirty. The average american car need 60% more petrol compared to a european car. The US didn't invent energy efficiency and Bush's latest statements make it seem as if they don't care very much about harming the environment or wasting limited natural resources.

    [ Parent ]
    You are wrong (3.60 / 5) (#196)
    by TheSpiritOf1776 on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 12:23:26 PM EST

    Capitalism can solve many, many problems that most people don't (or won't) give it credit for solving. And government is not necessarily the best way to solve environmental problems, in fact, sometimes it is the absolute worst.

    About 15 years ago, my grandparents took me into the US west. We spent a good bit of time in and around Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. While we were there, we passed near a private buffalo preserve. The buffalo were behind a tall fence topped with barbed wire. I vaguely remember men with rifles patrolling inside the wire, keeping an eye out for poachers. Contrast that with the park, it appeared to me that not a single one of the rangers took any action to look for poachers. Later on, in college, I read a little history of Yellowstone. Apparently, when the federal government created the park, there were something on par of 200 buffalo in the park. Now the number is in the thousands (maybe tens of thousands). Where did the buffalo come from? If you said the original 200 or so on the park grounds, you are wrong. All of them were killed by poachers. The park service had to bring in more buffalo from the private preserves. And that was not the first time. The information pointed out that the private preserves had a much better record of dealing with poachers.

    In the Pacific Northwest, for many years (and this may still be true), oyster beds were considered the property of the people or companies that worked them. If a company polluted the water and/or beach around the bed, the owners could (and did!) take the pollutors to court for damages. And, they won.

    At one time in Pennsylvania, people could own water resources (things like wells, rivers running through your property, etc.). Then in the name of environmentalism, the Commonwealth took over water resources. Once this happened, formerly clean water resources went downhill. I remember a lake my father took me to to teach me how to fish. Originally it was privately owned, and the owners kept it stocked for the fisherman. Then the Commonwealth takes over. My father stopped going there to fish because all the fish in the lake had cancer. Now don't get me wrong, not all water resources were prisine and beautiful under private ownership (for reasons I'll mention in my next paragraph). But those that were pristine (or relatively so) were generally privately owned, and then when the state took over...

    The profit motive, which you degrade in your post, is a powerful motivation to do things. In these cases, it happens to be conservation. Does this motivation mean that people will always do "the right thing" when confronted by these situations? No! Humans make mistakes, and sometimes conservation gets in the way of what the land was purchased for, and sometimes it goes hand in hand with what the land was purchased for (see the ranchers in Nevada). However, this keeps the government minimal (and anyone who has even the barest knowledge of history should see the evil that government run amok has done).

    "Arrogant USians" huh? Maybe you should put aside your arrogance and learn a bit about how the US works. If 2/3rds of Senators present do not approve a treaty, it is not binding on the United States, regardless of what the President says. Guess what? 2/3rds of the Senators present have not approved it. Kyoto is not binding on the United States. And it will not be binding on the United States until such a thing happens.

    And might I also point out that Europe's social and governmental beliefs have brought about things such as the Holocaust?

    There is evidence that global warming exists. I discussed this with a friend who is a meteorologist working at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.. He pointed me to some of the evidence that it exists, and also mentioned that respected opinion in the meteorology world is that no one knows who is blame, i.e. mankind or other natural causes? My friend thinks the cause is a mix of factors (both mankind and other natural causes). I'd hate to have to point this out to you, but if it is nature, there's not much humans can do except adapt.




    [ Parent ]
    Re:You are wrong (4.50 / 6) (#205)
    by henrik on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 01:10:39 PM EST

    I'm not going to say aaannnythiiinng about how those millions of buffalo originally grazing the continent disapperaed in the first place.

    If you look at my post, i dont claim that enlightened self interest doesnt work. I only said it doesnt solve *all* problems. Issues that have a negative impact for individuals but are net positive for society are things where enlightened selfinterest fails. A lot of enviromental problems are like that, where the drawbacks are immediate (who's going to tell me what kind of car i can buy?) and the benefits longterm and not obvious.

    And might I also point out that Europe's social and governmental beliefs have brought about things such as the Holocaust?

    Well... acctually, nazism is the antithesis of socialism/communism. (where most of europes attitude originates) Nazism advocates the right of strong individuals of a certain "race" (blue, blondeyed) to rule with an ironfist no matter what inferior races (like jews) thought. It basically said that the only real humans were germans. Communism is a different beast alltogether where individuals have a right to the work they produce (Marx acctually did a fairly convincing argument that communism is the ultimate form of fair capitalism, where the producer of the good gets what his work is worth without a middleman taking the profits without doing any work.). What was implemented in Russia is usually refered to as Stalinism ( there are about as many 5year plans and prision camps in capitalism as in communism). Socialism is an attempt to blend the best from communism (A social network thats always there for you) with capitalism (profit and advancement). Both have very little to do with the common picture the average american has.

    Socialist politics (which has ruled large parts of europe *since* WW2) has worked pretty well. No, there havn't been any prison camps, nor any mass exucitions or forced labour)

    Ok.. this has very little to do with the topic, so please dont reply to discuss the relative merits of capitalism and communism. Been there, done that.

    Not going to comment on the US congress - been covered elsewhere in this thread.

    I agree with your friend - it seems pretty plausible that global warming is a combination of both human and natural factors. But reducing the human part can only help, not hurt.

    -henrik

    Akademiska Intresseklubben antecknar!
    [ Parent ]

    Europe no Bastion of Good-Thinking Either (3.00 / 2) (#197)
    by eean on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 12:24:11 PM EST

    Most of Europe is part of NATO. And they have done some really stupid things. Take a look at Kosovo. The killings had not been increasing any (and were on both sides fairly equally) yet we can in and bombed. It was with the heavy support of both the US and Britain.

    To me, Britain is better at domestic policy then the US, but it more often then not agrees with our (US's) terrible foriegn policy. Other countries in Europe do a better job.

    [ Parent ]
    Umm .. (3.00 / 2) (#211)
    by gbd on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 02:46:22 PM EST

    Here are three shocking statements to any selfproclamied US liberal:

    Unfettered capitalism does not solve *every* issue.
    Individualism does not solve everything either.
    Everything governments do isn't bad.

    I'm going to assume you meant to say "self-proclaimed US conservative?"

    These statements are not particularly controversial to liberals (at least, not to liberals such as myself.)

    --
    Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
    [ Parent ]

    Pop Culture Science (2.00 / 6) (#167)
    by kc0dxh on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 09:40:17 AM EST

    Am I the only one that remembers that these same people that are telling us we are in grave danger because of global warming were telling us in the 1970's we were in grave danger because our culture was causing another ice age? The whole idea of huge swings in weather patterns is complete guesswork. Weather conditions have only been recorded for about 100 years. That means there is insufficient data to form an educated hypothesis. Political hack, talking head psudo-science has no place on the front page. Consider, then, that the USA produces the bulk of the food consumed on the globe. Then compare that percentage to the polution production percentage. Are we, the US, to stop making food in such quantity just because some of the countries that eat our food think we produce too much polution? This makes no sense. Laying aside the discussion of this... Haven't we had this discussion over and over and over in the last 6 months?
    _____________________________ My .sig can beat up your .sig
    Not True (5.00 / 2) (#188)
    by eean on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 11:59:05 AM EST

    In fact, we can see what the climate has been like for thousands of years by looking at ice from glaciers.

    Over the last 8,000 years or so the climate has been fairly steady. Before that the climate quickly changed. This tells us that climate is a very delicate. Indeed, global warming could, ironically, send us in to an ice age.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Not True (none / 0) (#232)
    by khallow on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 03:04:03 PM EST

    Besides this is a strawman argument. Few if any scientists made actual predictions of an "ice age" in the 70's while there is strong consensus that the carbon dioxide "greenhouse" effect is real. Models of weather and heat radiation of the Earth still have problems so the degree of warming due to the greenhouse effect is not understood. It would be foolish to confuse this uncertainty over degree with certainty that the elevated levels of carbon dioxide emissions reduce the amount of heat radiated from the Earth.


    Stating the obvious since 1969.
    [ Parent ]

    Kyoto was a bad treaty (2.80 / 5) (#168)
    by Rasvar on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 09:47:53 AM EST

    If they want to get serious about the problem, it has to include the entire planet, not just certain countries.

    I see in the 1994 stats that China was number two in emissions. Did you know that China is excluded under this treaty from reducing its emissions?

    Add to that, the emission reductions requested are a joke. They are too small to do any good. If the nations of the world are serious, all countires will sign a treaty to implement the technologies need to reduce CO2 emmisions, not just some. If other countries need finanical help, an international fund should be started and agreed upon by treaty.

    Kyoto was just a poor excuse for a treaty. It was feel good do nothing.

    Re: Kyoto was a bad treaty (4.00 / 1) (#194)
    by henrik on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 12:17:46 PM EST

    If the emissions reductions are a joke (5% below 1990 levels, isnt it?) why not just implement the damn thing and get over it?

    As for excluding different countries.. it makes sense to exclude developing nations (to give them a chance to do just that.. develop). Europe and North America is in a much better position to do something about emissions than China. That's why China isnt included. (This whole attitude of blaming others when you're the single biggest issue yourself is just childish)

    -henrik

    Akademiska Intresseklubben antecknar!
    [ Parent ]

    The USA are missing a chance (4.00 / 4) (#182)
    by WickedET on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 10:55:08 AM EST

    CO2 Emission is bound to the consumption of oil - everybuddy should agree with this.
    Now, CO2 emission is not the only thing, that's bad about this massive consumption of oil, as practiced by the industrialized nations:

    1) It's a fact, that oil resources are very strictly limited. see this link
    2) The industrial nations heavily depend on oil.

    So, for me those two facts are enough to see, that there are some bad things to come. If we don't change the way the industry depends on oil the industry will take a great damage once the worlds oil resources are about to be consumed. If you would open up your eyes, you could see, that this hole story already had bad effects. (How many US - Soldiers had to risk their live or even lost it, to supply the oil demand of the industrial nations? - Think of Iraq, etc.)
    So, I'm hoping that european governments will not make the same error as the us government. European governments should ratify the Kyoto trety.
    And, the USA is missing a chance: to make their industry independent from the limited oil resources - get it!

    re: oil reserves (2.50 / 2) (#186)
    by mveloso on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 11:49:49 AM EST

    The world has been running out of oil since the beginning of time. If you look back, someone or another has been saying "we'll run out of oil in 10 years." In fact, we've been finding lots of the stuff all over the place.

    Fossil fuel activits have been crying wolf over the limited supplies of oil for as long as people have been pulling it out of the ground. Enough!

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Oil reserves (none / 0) (#230)
    by WickedET on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 01:58:11 PM EST

    Your missing one point: Fact is that the oil reserves of the industrialized nations are coming to an end. So using oil means making yourself depend on the OPEC states.

    [ Parent ]
    simple maths (none / 0) (#261)
    by fantastic-cat on Wed Apr 04, 2001 at 11:18:25 AM EST

    It takes millions of years to make oil (not to mention pretty specific conditions) and we're using it a lot faster than new stuff is being created so it's going to run out soon and then what? It would be more productive to try to find ways of prolonging what we have rather than saying "it will be OK, people said we'd run out before and they were wrong then" (very weak argument) whilst becoming increasingly dependant on something which is clearly in limited supply.
    t.

    [ Parent ]
    The real way to reduce emissions (3.66 / 3) (#183)
    by nodnerb on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 11:16:22 AM EST

    Let's face it, even if the US stayed in the Kyoto agreement, the reductions the agreement talks about are at most 50%; and that 50% comes at a lot of expense, i.e. re-tooling of industry emissions standards (can you say beureaucratic cost), replacing obsolete polluting machinery, etc. And look at how long it's taken them to decide on all of this; it's been half a decade so far, and nothing's even in place!

    There's an easier way to reduce emissions, and it doesn't even require an international treaty. All it requires is a little self-discipline. Allow me to explain:

    Every day I stand waiting for the bus and watch single occupancy vehicles drive by me in droves; if you do the math on carpooling:

    • Picking up one other co-worker on your way to work cuts to 1/2 of their original value; and this happens when most emissions are being generated, during the drive to and from work.
    • Picking up two co-workers cuts emissions to 1/3.
    • Picking up three co-workers cuts emissions to 1/4.
    No technology required, and no treaty required. It's easy to condemn the states for withdrawing from the Kyoto treaty, but let's face it, they're only representing the real desires of the American public. I mean, if you're so outraged at emissions, but don't put in the effort to take the simple solution of taking a carpool or bus to work, then you're in no position to accuse them.

    Governments aren't magic solutions that don't require any effort on the part of their citizens. If you don't like the US stance on emissions, I challenge you to start a carpool at work, or use on of the many carpool organization web sites on the net (such as www.carpool.ca). If not that, then take the bus (you'll get more reading done, trust me). If bus service isn't good enough for you, join the Bus Rider's Union or start one in your region to fight for decent transit.

    Do that, and then you've earned the right protest the government's shoddy stance on emissions; otherwise, shut the hell up.

    No. (4.00 / 1) (#222)
    by pig bodine on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 04:32:57 AM EST

    If I urinate in a river, and then a corporation dumps 70 tonnes of chemical waste in the same river, I still have the right to consider what the company did to be wrong, and to criticise any governments that allowed this to happen.

    And I don't drive a car at all, despite a considerable commute. I take a train.

    [ Parent ]

    Hypocrites (none / 0) (#257)
    by Brandybuck on Wed Apr 04, 2001 at 03:04:19 AM EST

    It would be nice if people followed your suggestions. But the hard facts are that the environmental left are too busy telling everyone else what to do than to look after themselves.

    A friend of mine criticizes me for driving a mile to work in my well tuned and maintained car. He, on the other hand, never tunes his car, commutes 30 miles each way every day in one of the most congested freeways in the California Bay area. I chose to live near where I work. He chose to live amongst the redwoods far from work.

    [ Parent ]

    Hypocrites (none / 0) (#262)
    by prs24 on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 07:53:55 AM EST

    Even though you only travel a mile in a well maintained car, doesn't mean you couldn't do better by walking / cycling. You could ditch your car altogether and only hire a care when needed - cutting down the number of cars required.

    Just because you're friend is worse than you, you feel you don't have to do anything.

    "
    But the hard facts are that the environmental left are too busy telling everyone else what to do than to look after themselves.
    "

    As exlempfied by you.

    [ Parent ]
    Why should the percentages make a difference? (1.28 / 14) (#190)
    by mveloso on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 12:01:24 PM EST

    The US has 4% of the population and emits 22.4% of the CO2. Assuming that's true, so what?

    There's an assumption that the numbers of things should be equal, that 4% of something should always be 4%. If the US emitted 4% of the CO2, would that be OK?

    Balance and proportionality are wonderful, but they're not a basis for rational decision-making. What if the US emits 22.4% of the CO2 because, say, it's busy making and transportng foodstuffs that are used to feed 35% of the world's population? What if it's because the US has the best network of measuring devices, and therefore is over-represented in the carbon census?

    And to be honest, who really gives a fuck about Bangladesh? Bangladesh is always a wonderful example to use, because it makes people feel bad. But fuck them. What has bangladesh done for the world lately? Jack-shit. As far as I can tell, Bangladesh exists solely as a repository for large numbers of people who die off every time monsoon season comes around.

    Sheez... (5.00 / 7) (#201)
    by henrik on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 12:34:36 PM EST

    You argumentation sounds like the "the bad guys will always win because we take no prisoners" attitude found in a lot of bad movies.

    When concidering a situation, always imagine how it would be like if the situation was the reverese. What if you were a guy in Bangladesh that died of a global-warming induced flood caused by the rich bastards in the USA that didnt give a rats ass about anything but themselves? Would you be happy with that?

    And if you truly belive that one human live isnt worth as much as another.,, Isn't there a rather famous document that states "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person."- is that something that only applies to some? And if you dont think it's a universal right to live, i'd be happy to remove you out of your life. After all, if all men aren't equal, having laws to protect me from shooting you is stupid, beacuse I would be better (in a darwinist sense) than you (if i shot you; just by virtue of being the survivor). And if we dont need laws, why bother with civilization? The whole concept of civilization is founded on the assumption that all humans are equal.

    -henrik

    Akademiska Intresseklubben antecknar!
    [ Parent ]

    Your apathy and the US's efficiency (5.00 / 5) (#207)
    by Phaser777 on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 01:24:02 PM EST

    Feel free to replace "Bangladesh" with whatever third world country you want, if you hate Bangladesh so much.

    Believe it or not, a lot of people do give a damn about other people, even for those who aren't fortunate enough to live in an advanced country and can't contribute as much because they don't have any equivelent technology to help them and no money to research much-needed new technology.

    And according to this web page, The US imports $912 billion worth of goods while it only exports $663 billion worth of goods. According to that page, Germany exports almost as much as the US ($610 billion), imports far less than the US ($587 billion), and generates only 3.5% of the world's CO2 with a roughly 1.3% of the world's population. If the US only produced 14% of the world's CO2 your position might make sense. As it is, the US still produces far more CO2 than any other developed country and isn't making up for it with more exportable goods. They're just not efficient as other developed countries.

    ---
    My business plan:
    Obtain the patents for something (the more obvious and general the better)
    Wait until someone else adopts the idea and becomes rich off it.
    Sue them.
    Repeat.
    [ Parent ]
    Way to spin (none / 0) (#229)
    by gaj on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 12:47:11 PM EST

    Um, the previous poster hypothesized asked if it might be ok if the US created its current output of CO2 if we, in the process, created 35% of the world's food production. Not products in general. Of course we import huge amounts of stuff ... we can afford to. Lots of our imports are things like raw materials, cars, electronics and other consumer goods.

    Besides, his post looked to me like an indightment of your resoning, not a presentation of actual fact. Regardless, you make his point by, intentionally or not, twisting his point in making your rebuttal.



    [ Parent ]
    who really gives a fuck about Bangladesh? (none / 0) (#258)
    by prs24 on Wed Apr 04, 2001 at 08:11:46 AM EST

    You would if the rest of the world handed them a set of nuclear missiles trained at your house that came with a gift card bearing the message

    "
    You killed my family, now I kill yours
    "



    [ Parent ]
    unbelievable (4.50 / 2) (#260)
    by fantastic-cat on Wed Apr 04, 2001 at 10:58:31 AM EST

    that anyone can entertain such an ignorant point of view is , frankly, incredible. Developing countries are not economically weak because they choose to be so but because their natural resources are exploited by countries like the US and their corporations, this is particularly the case in Bangladesh where wide spread deforestation by international logging companies has caused the Ganges Delta to flood more violently and frequently than would naturally be the case.
    t.

    [ Parent ]
    Forgive me (2.70 / 10) (#209)
    by wonko on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 02:18:43 PM EST

    Bush is a drooling moron. I'm embarrassed to even be related to someone who voted for him.

    Bush is NOT a drooling moron (4.50 / 2) (#217)
    by entropist on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 08:17:02 PM EST

    He's a booger eating moron, -see for yourself.

    A drooler would have been unable to work that large of a booger out, under the steady gaze of ESPN's cameras, without developing a long trail of spittle dripping down into his lap. There is none present in the video.

    As to your secret shame.... I can't believe I am going to say this, but I too am related to persons who I think voted for Dumbass.
    There I said it.
    He is also a coke snorting hypocritical moron who'll gladly send you to jail permanently for doing things he himself did but was never punished for. He is moreover, a untouchable moron who deserted *his military post during wartime, still refuses to answer questions about his past drug habits, his past DUIs and the illegal abortion he procured for a girlfriend in the early 70s. None of which would be completely unforgiveable except that the moron has never been made answer for any of his actions and misadventures, some of which carry the severest punishments known to the Laws, and is now making a career out of punishing people who are dumb just like him, but without the rich daddy.
    1) It is medically incorrect to say that Dumbass is a "drooling" moron - at the present time. Will he ever become a drooling moron? Doctors hold out some hope, a 50/50 chance, that if he continues to take his vitamins and stays in his oxygen tent at night, W may yet improve to the point where we can hail him as "the drooler of the Free World".
    2) Why doesn't he drool now? He does! But it is hard to work up a mouthful of saliva when it is already full of chain forming proteins.
    ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
    Punitive Articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice(UCMJ) Article 85-Desertion
    4.9.1 a. Text.

    "(a) Any member of the armed forces who--
    (1) without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently;
    (2) quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service; or
    (3) without being regularly separated from one of the armed forces enlists or accepts an appointment in the same or another one of the armed forces without fully disclosing the fact that he has not been regularly separated, or enters any foreign armed service except when authorized by the United States
    [Note: This provision has been held not to state a separate offense by the United States Court of Military Appeals in United States v. Huff, 7 U.S.C.M.A. 247, 22 C.M.R. 37 (1956)]; is guilty of desertion.
    (b) Any commissioned officer of the armed forces who, after tender of his resignation and before notice of its acceptance, quits his post or proper duties without leave and with intent to remain away therefrom permanently is guilty of desertion.
    (c) Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, but if the desertion or attempt to desert occurs at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct."

    [ Parent ]
    Desertion link =www.awolbush.com (none / 0) (#219)
    by entropist on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 08:41:57 PM EST

    Moronicity is contagious.
    Good reading at awolbush.com: I especially enjoyed the photocopied documents that show W did not take his officer's physical (wonder why! sniffsniff) and the other one that shows his commanding officer marked him as basically being "invisible" or "not observed" for the evaluation period of a year. That was during the last year of the Viet Nam War. Which makes the default punishment for "being absent without leave with no intent to come back" rather a harsh one.

    [ Parent ]
    Action, not discussion, is what's needed (4.00 / 3) (#212)
    by imperium on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 03:17:42 PM EST

    Many in Europe and elsewhere have felt despair in the days following Bush's decision to abandon Kyoto. He announced his support for action to prevent climate change during the campaign, to counter allegations that Big Oil makes his policy. Now elected (and presumably under no illusion about his prospects in 2004) he clearly sees maximising the revenues of his "partners" for four years as the best he can hope for. Someone else, will, after all, pick up the pieces.

    Diplomacy, science and reason have all failed with this administration. Now Europe's Green movement is calling for a boycott of US oil firms (in practice, Exxon, a.k.a. Esso, Texaco & Chevron). While many Greens already avoid fossil fuels altogether, there are plenty of people here who still reluctantly use it, but will now source it elsewhere. As Bush said, the interests of American business come first for him. Only by making it obvious to them that it's in their interests to comply with the world's best interests will we get any results.

    x.
    imperium

    Not enough data for long term projections!! (3.00 / 1) (#224)
    by jsburch on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 10:28:37 AM EST

    I know this is fun to speculate about, but the fact is we don't know humans role in global warming. The NASA scientist that proposed CO2's roll has retracted his theory and admitted that CO2 can not account for the temp changes. To more rational scientist, these changes do in fact seem natural and are more likely caused by solar cycles. Please stop the knee jerk reactions to the scare tactics of environmentalists. Also look for the hidden politcal agenda of the nay sayers. That is the real driving force for these initiatives.

    Try this link: www.americanpolicy.org/un/thereisnoglobal.htm
    --Scott 8-}

    The hidden political agendas (5.00 / 1) (#247)
    by apm on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 03:13:20 PM EST

    That link is completely and totally ridiculous. On face, it reeks of bias coming out of a right-wing think tank. Show me a neutral scientific study that conclusively shows there is no global warming. The article claims that no scientist could honestly state that global warming is happening. That's just wrong. Just recently, a new study was released which proved more conclusively than ever before that the Earth is warming. This is not to say that it's 100% sure, or that we shouldn't be discussing the issue, but that sort of absolutist "it's not happening and nobody says it is" thinking just makes things more difficult.

    Here's a question for the skeptics: what do scientists and environmentalists have to gain by falsely claiming global warming? It's pretty clear what's in it for the corporations by denying it, but why claim global warming exists if you don't really believe it?

    [ Parent ]

    Global Warming as part of a cycle. (none / 0) (#248)
    by Mantrid on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 03:41:43 PM EST

    Sure there is Global warming, it has happened before and will happen again. There will also be periods of cooling. These things happened long before mankind came to be.

    What needs to be proven one way or the other is that it is, in fact mankind that is causing this current warming trend and that this warming trend is something unique and unprecedented.

    Clearly we must take care of our environment - I don't want to see crap pumped into rivers and lakes or every forest stripped to nothing. I feel that global warming is probably the least of our concerns when it comes to our impacts on the ecology of this planet. Climatic change seems to be a fact of life on Earth...I just want to make sure we can still drink the water!

    [ Parent ]

    Re: The hidden political agendas (none / 0) (#249)
    by wrffr on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:45:14 PM EST

    Here's a question for the skeptics: what do scientists and environmentalists have to gain by falsely claiming global warming? It's pretty clear what's in it for the corporations by denying it, but why claim global warming exists if you don't really believe it?

    Money. Duh.

    If you want to motivate people to send you money whether it's the government funding your research program or if it's the american public, it's far, far easier to get them to give you money if you tell everyone how the world is about to end because of X problem.

    Did you know that environmental groups like Greenpeace and The Sierra Club raised more money last year than both the Republican and Democratic parties combined?

    Did you know that the Audobon Society decided to change it's focus away from birds and instead toward the environment in order to raise membership numbers to get more money. Going far enough that they were explictly told by the president of the society to "downplay the whole bird thing" because it was viewed as less trendy to the younger members they were trying to attract.

    You should check out the book EcoScam: False Prophets of the Ecological Apocalypse. It's fascinating and full of lots of detail.



    [ Parent ]
    Not as bad as the spin (4.50 / 2) (#226)
    by funwithmazers on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 11:07:33 AM EST

    First off, what you are refering to is called the "Kyoto Protocal", not "Kyoto Treaty." This is important, because by breaking a treaty, the US could attract hostile action. Secondly, the US never agreed to this protocal. It's been a matter of debate for years, but we never signed it. Thirdly, it is a flawed plan. It allows industrialized nations to buy "reductions" from nations under the levels of emissions. This means, even if the US honored the agreement, it would probably just be done by buying reductions from underdeveloped nations. As a result, the air wouldn't get any cleaner, but unindustrialized nations would be encouraged to remain unindustrialized.

    wrong (none / 0) (#264)
    by ikillyou on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 08:01:53 AM EST

    First off, what you are refering to is called the "Kyoto Protocal", not "Kyoto Treaty." This is important, because by breaking a treaty, the US could attract hostile action. Secondly, the US never agreed to this protocal. It's been a matter of debate for years, but we never signed it.

    Er.. no. The US has signed the Kyoto Treaty. It just hasn't ratified it. See for yourself (CNN 1998 article):

    http://www.cnn.com/TECH/science/9811/12/climate.signing/index.html

    The United States signed the Kyoto treaty to reduce greenhouse gases Thursday as 160 nations in Argentina looked for ways to meet the treaty's emission reduction goals.

    But U.S. ratification of the treaty and action to implement it appeared some way off.

    [ Parent ]

    From a US leftie: (5.00 / 8) (#227)
    by spcmanspiff on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 11:53:16 AM EST

    Most people 'round here don't agree that global warming is real, or at least as real as large panesl of int'l scientists have found. I do, but that's fine. Let's pretend that it's all a big hoax.

    Having said that, what would happen if we in the US were forced to reduce C02 emissions anyway? I can see a number of things happening:

  • A temporary downturn in the economy. Aw, shucks. Anyone who argues that the market system will be forever shackled by emissions restrictions is a hypocrite: the market will overcome all obstacles, right?
  • Less SUV's. More public transportation. More carpooling. Less useless driving; more telecommuting. Increased awareness by the average Joe of just how much we burn each day.
  • Skyrocketing R&D in alternative technologies. Maybe the oil companies that pay for 'research groups' as a PR stunt might actually get some research into alternatives done.
  • More trees! Anyone else ever notice that the single easiest way to tell how nice a neighborhood is is by the number and health of trees in the area?

    The list goes on and on. As far as I'm concerned, the benifits of reducing C02 emissions go way beyond anything related to 'hypothetical' global warming, and far beyond the temporary costs of changing direction.

    I look at C02 emissions as a symptom, not a problem: Where there's smoke, there's fire. Does anyone realize how much crap we Americans burn through each day? The underlying issues are mostly social -- we live in a culture of consumption -- but that doesn't mean there are no policies that can address it.

    C02 emissions controls could be a fairly effective stab at the cancer in the heart of the American Dream, if only we'd turn our back on the voices of corporations for once and do something that improves quality of life rather than quantity of stuff.




  • OT: political culture in the USA (3.00 / 1) (#231)
    by WickedET on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 02:05:56 PM EST

    To me it seems like in the USA as a leftie your pretty much "last man standing", aren't you. Man, I'm glad we got a greeny party in the government in Germany right now. Althoug most people don't know what big luck this is.

    [ Parent ]
    RE: political culture in the USA (none / 0) (#238)
    by spcmanspiff on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 08:01:45 PM EST

    Marginalized, yes. Last man standing, no. Or at least, I hope not. :)

    The big problem with the US left (No, not 'third way' democrats!) is mostly one of media portrayal / public consciousness: Imagine if the Republican party was exclusively characterized in the media as abortion bombing, isolationist, racist, sexist, bible-thumping, assault-rifle toting lunatics. Would there even be a Republican party?

    Sure, the right includes all these horrid extremes and more, but the mainstream media portrayal is a lot more moderate: The limited government / family values Republican.

    Whereas the only media portrayal of far-left political activities focuses exclusively on the 20 or so kids who threw bricks through McDonalds' windows in Seattle and not on the thousands of peaceful marchers. At Bush's inauguration, US media devoted about a combined 20 min of coverage to protestors -- the most since Nixon's inauguration, and there is no Vietnam or draft to galvanize protestors. 20 whole minutes. Overseas coverage was far, far better: I saw tons of foreign reporters were working the crowds while, I guess, domestic TV people were hanging out to see if they could weasel their way into the balls to report on the new formal fashions there. (For those who care: It was fur. Ick.)

    Anyway, sooner or later, things should reverse themselves. The 'new left' is a young movement (although we have plenty of old people!) with a lot of momentum in the right direction.


    [ Parent ]
    Fatal flaw in good idea: exempting 3rd world (4.40 / 5) (#228)
    by JohnDecker on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 11:54:36 AM EST

    Have you been to Shanghai or Mexico City or, for that matter, the Mexican/USA border lately? Take an EVA suit. The pollution being spewed out makes the USA look like a pristine uninhabited planet. Go to Shanghai where stupendous skyscrapers are being hoisted on the ruins of workers crumbling "apartments" on every corner and see the Blade Runner-like blue-grey atmosphere, esp. at night. Go to Beijing where sometimes you cannot see accross Tiananmen Square through the choking rust-brown air. In addition to unbridled factory smoke, bicycles everywhere haul raw coal in coffee-can shapes to people's homes for heat and cooking. Go to the border of Mexico where factories that have moved south of the border dump tonne after tonne of unregulated pollutants into the air that sweeps through the southwest USA and the air in unindustrial border areas looks like that from 19th century London. After you've done this, as I have, then tell me why 3rd world countries are left free under the agreement to pollute at will and are just as free to lie about their numbers. You can go to Beijing and see vast armies of workers planting cottonwood trees to try to soak up the particulates, but the pollution rate is still skyrocketing. Oh, and those SUV's? Guess what the most popular vehicle is in Beijing? The "Beijing Jeep" -- the Chrysler Cherokee manufactured at a local plant. Now tell me why only requiring the non-3rd world to participate in this farce of a treaty is going to solve anything (in the way of carbon emissions) at all. Just because it "feels good" doesn't mean it will work. Show me a comprehensive and truly global treaty that has REAL teeth, and you'll have my support.

    Amen (none / 0) (#256)
    by Brandybuck on Wed Apr 04, 2001 at 02:52:55 AM EST

    Amen. I used to live in San Diego, and visted Tijuana occasionally. What a hellhole! Everyone, legal or otherwise, trying to get across the border and out of that nightmare has my sympathy.

    You could eliminate 99% of San Diego's pollution by merely moving it fifty miles north.

    [ Parent ]

    not seeing eye to eye (4.85 / 7) (#234)
    by khallow on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 04:40:05 PM EST

    One of the problems with the business versus liberalism war is that neither side is willing to concede anything to the other. Let's compare two global threats.

    First, we have carbon dioxide emission reduction. Industry isn't willing to even concede that this results in any sort of warming. Meanwhile the enevironmentalists (and other liberals) are seeing this as another opportunity to attack business in general. Someone mentioned the smoking controversy. It starts with a cigarette industry that lies blatantly for decades, and ends with a vindictive legal assault on that same industry.

    When the big energy and transportation companies look at that, they, of course, see the light. It's better to deny that global warming matters than to be destroyed. At least, you and your company get to live for a few more decades, maybe.

    Here's a couple of clues for would-be environmentalists. First, know your enemy. If you're after big evil corporations, then you should know how they work. Often an event or reform that appears completely irrelevant to you could work in your favor. For example, the recent SEC changes in US company accounting and various political pushes for greater share holder power, can mean more responsive companies. Also, activists' assaults on British biotech are very effective because they've bothered to study their victims. On the other hand, a number of liberal parties have portrayed businessmen as a rich, completely unscrupulous elite. It's funny that these people don't see themselves the same way.

    Second, give your enemies a way out. If the choice is between destroy and be destroyed, then don't be surprised when the other side digs in. There are a couple of tools at your disposal: compromise and rewards for good behavior. Let's look at an example that worked.

    While we've heard much of the Kyoto protocol, the much earlier Montreal protocol (late 80's) on the phaseout of ozone-destroying CFC's was equally noteworthy. Particularly since the chemical companies didn't obstruct or delay the proceedings. A time-table for eradication of CFC's and HCFC's was proposed and adopted. Currently, aside from some rouge producers, no CFC's are produced in any quantity in the world.

    Cynics can point out that the chemical companies benefited greatly because they got to make the new compounds that had to replace the older ones. And they would be right. The chemical companies got rewarded for supporting the Montreal protocol.

    About that time, I recall a Green party pamphlet (US that is) with a picture of the Earth in a frying pan and some noise about Du Pont "frying the Earth". Du Pont happened to be one of the more eager implementors of the Montreal protocol. That's typical counterproductive political behavior to fault someone for doing something wrong while neglecting what they are doing right.

    Incidentally, I happened to be working on a Du Pont site at the time, and the pamphlet in question was being passed around by management. Needless to say, the Greens didn't win any supporters at Du Pont facilities with that little piece.


    Stating the obvious since 1969.

    Not enough options (4.00 / 2) (#241)
    by NuevaRaza on Sun Apr 01, 2001 at 03:15:48 PM EST

    The "They are owned by the oil companies AND should shoot themselves" option wasn't there. This administration seems to think we are still powerful enough to screw with the rest of the world and not worry about repercussions.

    Renewable energy is the way forwards (4.50 / 2) (#245)
    by ptemple on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 02:12:37 PM EST

    Interesting debate, to which I feel I can contribute something. I think the cigarette arguments are spurious as a smoker will only kill himself. If you kill the planet however...

    The BBC ran an interesting article about how renewable energy can beat global warming, given the political will:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1202000/1202726.stm

    Bush is a living nightmare. Opening up the Arctic reserves for oil drilling, reversing his election campaign promise to limit CO2 emissions from coal-fired plants, etc. That man becoming president of the USA is possibly the greatest disaster so far this century.

    There is no doubt as to whether there is global warming. We can measure that without problem. The debate is whether man is a significant contributer (ergo whether we should be taking steps to change our behaviour or not). So there is evidence that points to man being at fault but we are not completely sure. It's fine taking a gamble on most things... but the fate of our planet (and mankind)? Is the risk worth it? Shouldn't we err on the side of caution?

    Despite the USA being the main culprit in generating pollution, there are many US renewable energy companies that contribute to Future Energies. There is hope yet. Vote with your pockets and buy only Green energy! I wonder if world-wide sanctions against the USA would have any effect...

    Phillip.

    Relevant link from Cato: (4.00 / 2) (#252)
    by Canimal on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 12:00:04 AM EST

    Here is a topical link from the Cato institute.

    Of course the folks at Cato are evil and you should probably not even visit the link if you value your eternal soul, but I thought it was interesting, and it was the sort of analysis that appeals to me.

    Some posters say that prudence demands we do something, even if the need or the benefits are uncertain. I point out (and the link above points out) that there are costs to doing something. (This is especially true for countries that are much poorer than we are. Nobody seems to have noted this yet. In countries where many people are already on the edge of survival, imposing energy restrictions will simply mean a bunch of people have to die.)

    I really think this needs to be studied harder, that some of these predictions need to be tested a bit, and some alternative solutions (besides CO2 restrictions) to global warming need to be explored. And the loud chorus of "if you question global warming you are evil and stupid" just makes me hope we proceed all the more cautiously.

    Matt

    Cost-Benefit analysis (4.00 / 1) (#253)
    by ajduk on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 09:08:03 AM EST

    Well, I've read through your link, you read this:

    Global warming summary

    Even if you refuse to believe this, then there is the economic argument: The best way to predict recession over the last 35 years is to look at the price of oil. Recessions in the 70s, early 90s and today all closely follow an oil price hike


    For third world countries, a reliance on oil means economic disaster when this happens. They would therefore be better off with renewable tech, even if the average price were higher, buisness works best with stable energy prices.


    Or do you prefer the economy of the US to be held hostage by OPEC?



    [ Parent ]

    Media sensationalism. (4.00 / 1) (#254)
    by jsburch on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 03:57:15 PM EST

    This is interesting reading and shows how non-science get out of hand like a grass fire.

    According to the London Times, Dr. John Christy, one of the world's leading climatology experts, was head author of the IPCC summary report. In response to the media's clamor over the reports, Christy asserted that "the world is in much better shape than this doomsday scenario paints." He should know. Christy is a professor of Atmospheric Science and is director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama. "There were 245 different results in that report, and this was the worst-case scenario," he says. "It's the one that's not going to happen. It was the extreme case of all the different things that can make the world warm."

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/2001/04-09-2001/insider/vo17no08_ins_warming.htm
    --Scott 8-}

    Well, on the bright side... (1.50 / 2) (#255)
    by yuckster on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 08:40:22 PM EST

    The increased CO2 levels are feeding the trees more of what they need. We're saving the Amazon Rain Forest!

    ;)

    t y

    Bush administration withdraws from Kyoto Treaty on Global Warming | 267 comments (250 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
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