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Kyoto Protocol Renewal Efforts Struggling

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the fizzle-sounds-better-than-countered-upon-resolution dept.

Earth 393

Hugh Pickens writes "Economics trumps the environment. The emission targets set by the Kyoto Protocol will expire next year, and negotiators are fighting to keep UN climate talks on track while efforts to save the Euro push the struggle to save the planet down the priority list. In the United States, seen as the biggest single obstacle to a new global climate deal, academic opinion says an 'iron law' means economics trumps the environment in times of crisis. Meanwhile, some leading voices on climate science have suggested the Kyoto Protocol be put to pasture, since clinging to hopes of a renewal of that agreement does more harm than good in achieving meaningful dialogue on how to fight climate change. When the agreement was negotiated in the 1990s, the world was more clearly divided into 'rich and poor' countries. However, China and India have seen unexpectedly strong economic growth since then, and currently make up 58 per cent of global emissions. 'Against this backdrop, it is no surprise that countries such as Japan, Canada and Russia adamantly refuse to assume new binding targets unless the other major economies at present outside Kyoto's reach — most notably, the United States and China — do so as well,' writes Elliot Diringer, executive vice-president of the U.S.-based Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. 'And for now, the odds of that happening are nil.'"

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393 comments

Priorities (3, Insightful)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38238948)

In all honesty, the European Union (as the first true step towards one world government) needs saving more than the environment.

Re:Priorities (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239000)

One world government is a horrible, horrible idea. Where can you escape to when the one world government becomes intolerable?
Truly representative government on such a scale is impossible--we might as well have a global hereditary monarchy.

Re:Priorities (5, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239054)

pray tell me, where can you escape to now ? Our multinational overlords are everywhere.

Re:Priorities (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239242)

Oh piss off. He made a completely valid point and you killed the possibility of rational conversation with your bullshit.

Re:Priorities (3, Insightful)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239362)

Oh piss off. He made a completely valid point and you killed the possibility of rational conversation with your bullshit.

Both points are perfectly valid and worthy of discussion.

Re:Priorities (4, Insightful)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239360)

Here's where you've missed the most important lesson the US had to teach the world - you're only ruled by those you accept ruling you.

The historic European model of being the chattel of your leaders is of course a barrier to accepting this.

OK, it's a horrible idea. Who's pushing it, though (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239410)

NOBDOY, that's who.

It's the "Hoddie wearing ASBO" of the rightwingnuts.

PS you already have a hereditary monarchy in the USA. Look at what happened when someone who isn't from an old family got into the top spot.

Old family? (4, Insightful)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239628)

you already have a hereditary monarchy in the USA. Look at what happened when someone who isn't from an old family got into the top spot.

Did you mean Richard Nixon or Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton?

Re:Old family? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239864)

Very good point none of the people came from old money.

You can also include Harry S. Truman, and Gerald R. Ford. Though Ford was not elected to the Presidency.

Re:Old family? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38240050)

you already have a hereditary monarchy in the USA. Look at what happened when someone who isn't from an old family got into the top spot.

Did you mean Richard Nixon or Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton?

Yes. All four of those (plus Obama) were consistently and repeatedly derided and/or hamstrung by their respective oppositions, whether said derision was deserved or not, and far, FAR more than "old family" politicians or their direct friends/associates.

Re:Priorities (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239454)

One world government is a horrible, horrible idea.

Yet it seems inevitable. Tribes became villages. Villages became cities became city-states became states became nations became trading blocks. There seems to be a pattern. The real question is will we have any say in the One World Government or will we deny that it is going to happen and allow it to be formed by politicians and CEOs.

Re:Priorities (2)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239946)

If you're living under a horrible government, what makes you think you'll be able to escape? See the Berlin Wall, North Korea etc.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239008)

sad but true. The cover story for the latest Economist is about the future possibility of the EU breaking apart within a couple of months. It's too high for comfort.

Re:Priorities (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239116)

Oh fuck no. They will fall on the sword for Urth Mother to save the planet. Which BTW is fine by me. At least they won't be polluting as much when productivity and consumption plummets amid an entire governmental and economic collapse. Keep it up guys! We know you can make this sacrifice for the rest of us. =)

Signed, Asia and the Americas.

Re:Priorities (3, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239172)

In all honesty, the European Union (as the first true step towards one world government) needs saving more than the environment.

No, the EU needs to die. Put a stake in its heart. It was never a great idea in the first place. You can't have a federal Europe when you have so many differing languages and cultures. Canada can barely manage with two languages. A nation... and that was the eventual goal of the whole EU dream... has to have something in common other than the currency. You were never going to erase the French from a Frenchman in an effort to make him some generic "European".

A common market for Europe makes sense. But a common currency still has practical problems (as we're seeing right now), and a common political structure? A disaster waiting to happen.

Re:Priorities (5, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239298)

Canada can barely manage with two languages.

This concept of yours is based on...?

A nation... and that was the eventual goal of the whole EU dream...

Quite simply wrong. The EU, as a concept, was formed in the crucibles of WW1 and WW2.

You were never going to erase the French from a Frenchman

More hyperbole. Where exactly do you get all these kooky ideas from?

Re:Priorities (-1, Flamebait)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239554)

Only on /. is the inflammatory dick awarded a +5 Insightful and the reasonable detractor made a Troll. Fuck you brainless mods. Google is right, this mod system is beyond crap.

Re:Priorities (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239788)

This concept of yours is based on...?

I'd say he get's it based on reality. If you live in Canada, you already know what he says is true. Then again the only reason why quebec sticks around is because the feds give them large sums of money. And the last time we had a national referendum on it, was just shy of the country at large telling Quebec to piss off and go away. That was after the ambiguous question to try and force separation.

That question was: ""The Government of Quebec has made public its proposal to negotiate a new agreement with the rest of Canada, based on the equality of nations; this agreement would enable Quebec to acquire the exclusive power to make its laws, levy its taxes and establish relations abroad â" in other words, sovereignty â" and at the same time to maintain with Canada an economic association including a common currency; any change in political status resulting from these negotiations will only be implemented with popular approval through another referendum; on these terms, do you give the Government of Quebec the mandate to negotiate the proposed agreement between Quebec and Canada?"

And just so you know, yes means you want separation.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239310)

Sure you can, but it takes some getting used to. One way or another we gonna have to work together with all of mankind or die out.

Its better to have a government that tested out and knows the problems in a smaller scale.

Re:Priorities (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239696)

a common political structure? A disaster waiting to happen.

It might be just me, but I think that the EU politicians tend to make much more rational decisions than the European national ones. The current crisis is not because of the EU, it's because of the mistakes of certain national governments. And if the EU had more power, we might have been able to prevent it.

Re:Priorities (3, Informative)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239712)

Uh, a federation is a collection of states or empires that have agreed to come together on certain issues.

EU started out with the goals of guaranteeing food security for Europe with agricultural programs to stabilize prices, and also to boost international trade by harmonizing safety and export legislation. They also allowed free movement of people between countries without the bureaucracy of visa permits.

Problem now is that basic foods are now traded on world markets, manufactured goods come from China, and we get illegal immigrants from South of Europe migrating to certain islands on West Europe. At the same time the UK pays 18 billion pounds/year to help subsidize other EU countries like Italy. It's like the Roman Emptre but 2000 years on.

Re:Priorities (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239802)

I disagree on the language argument. Switzerland is a prime example of a functioning nation with 3 different languages. On top of this, it is probably one of the "most" democratic countries in the world (ironically they are not part of the EU). And although there are slight differences in culture from one language region to another, they still see themselves all as one nation. Belgium is another example of a nation with 2 different languages.

Hence I don't think that the language is a main factor when it comes to federalization. Major cultural differences, of course, are an entirely different story. You may try to argue on that level.

Re:Priorities (2)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239846)

Canada can barely manage with two languages.

Don't know about that, but Switzerland manages with four official languages. In the UK English is the default language, but there are minorities speaking Welsh, Scots Gaelic and Irish. In France you have (among others) native speakers of German, Basque and Corsican. Belgium (somewhat unsuccessfully) has to manage with three official languages: Dutch, French and German. Germany also has Sorbian as an official language in a (rather small) region. Spain has as co-official languages Basque, Catalan, Galician and Aranese. Etc.

I don't believe there is any country in Europe which really has a single common culture. (Which doesn't mean that the inhabitants have nothing in common, though.) That's one of the reasons why Nationalism has failed in the past. Doesn't mean that the EU dream will work, but at it's core it's an attempt to find an answer to Nationalism's failure.

Re:Priorities (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239874)

What exactly is wrong with EU on such a grand scale? Even whiny moronic right in the UK that currently is in power is forced to acknowledge that EU is simply necessary at the moment, in spite of all their populistic bullshit.

Reality is, the future is in the hands of superpowers, and for European nations to be taken seriously in that environment, they will have to team up in some meaningful way.

EMU (monetary union) is the whole different story however.

Re:Priorities (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239896)

You can't have a federal Europe when you have so many differing languages and cultures

I hear ya....getting tough in the US.

More and more you're having to learn fscking spanish to be able to communicate in this country....is a PITA.

Why would you want one-world government? (2, Insightful)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239586)

In all honesty, the European Union (as the first true step towards one world government)

Why on earth would you want a one-world government? The more you remove power from the people, the less popular sovereignty they have, the less representative the government becomes. Bureaucrats in Washington are bad enough at ignoring the people. You want international Bureaucrats running the world? Why?

This is the real world, not Star Trek. Newsflash: People in the world disagree with each other, and frankly, I'd be scared of a Star Trek-like world where everyone on earth agreed on things. I'm almost certain I'd disagree with them.

Re:Why would you want one-world government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239898)

your afraid of warp drive?

Re:Why would you want one-world government? (3, Insightful)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239918)

I think the main key point in Star Trek is that it's really easy to get a majority of people to agree to a policy of "Hey, lets use our totally awesome technology to make life comfortable for everyone on Earth, and use the spare resources for R&D, exploration, and defense."

For a greater or lesser degree of comfort, I would say that this has been a possibility for the people of Earth for some time now, and that the major obstacle is the entrenched power blocs who continue to consolidate their hold on our resources.

As Picard says in First Contact "We have an evolved sensibility". I wonder what needs to evolve the most? The 1%, who need to grow up enough to realize that they could be happy and fulfilled just making things better for people and forgoing the 2nd yacht with a gold toilet, or the 99%, who are starting to realize that they are really pissed off with the oligarchs. Or perhaps the trekkers who need to realize that fictional techno-utopia may be beyond the abilities of the human race.

Re:Priorities (1)

rtp (49744) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239978)

The UN and EU are delaying the inevitable. The intellectuals from the early 20th century got it wrong. We need fierce competition among nations.

It will benefit the human race if the EU breaks apart and we return to many smaller tribes where some win and others lose, rather than all suffering in malaise together.

This is nothing but the ant & grasshopper story played out with millions of people.

Save the planet? (2)

Pastor Jake (2510522) | more than 2 years ago | (#38238976)

My fellow prayer-warriors,

While God granted us stewardship over the Earth and all of its creatures, we must prioritize what gets our attention. The economic mess in Europe and our most blessed USA is taking our attention away from what is most important in life--devotion to God! We must devote ourselves to saving the everlasting souls of those who do not know Him; after all, Hellfire and damnation is eternal!

Your Shepherd,
Jake

Re:Save the planet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239056)

DRINK YO PRUNE JUICE

The USA is the biggest obstacle?? (2, Interesting)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239050)

And here I would have thought that the biggest obstacle would be one or the other of the two nations that have already stated that they will NOT accept restrictions on CO2 emissions - China and India.

The USA isn't really likely to do so, but at least it's admitted of the possibility, unlike China and India.

Re:The USA is the biggest obstacle?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239108)

The 'biggest obstacle' is always whoever the author dislikes most.

Re:The USA is the biggest obstacle?? (3, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239438)

The USA won't accept significant change either, but there's enough of an ecomental vote that some token pretence of greenwashing is politically astute. China and India are at least being honest, and that has value as it shows that there's no mileage in beggaring ourselves voluntarily now before [insert current buzzword for global warming] beggars us later.

It's a technological problem, it needs a technological solution. Just setting goals and targets doesn't achieve that. Throwing a trillion dollars at fusion power might, and that's essentially what it's going to take to get us off the fossil teat before the last scrap of coal has been dug up, gas extracted, and oil squeezed out of it.

Re:The USA is the biggest obstacle?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239954)

I don't really get the point of fusion power in practice for solving the energy problems we've got now. Nuclear waste and disasters isn't really that much of problem, it only worries the public, and there is plenty of fission fuel available, so fission is already a perfectly fine power source. The point of fusion would be if that you can get by with more abundant fuel than fission, that you don't need as much safety and that there isn't a nuclear weapon material proliferation risk. I really doubt that the first two points can make fusion more economical than fission in any foreseeable future, when even just getting more energy out than you put in is a challenge now. It might be a fine thing for the far future in 2100, but it would only be a minor improvement, as far as I can tell. The main advantage of fusion seems to be PR since people are deathly afraid of fission, but throwing a trillion dollars at it for that reason seems silly to me.

Re:The USA is the biggest obstacle?? (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38240016)

Well, as it stands now, the only FEASIBLE technological solution is world war 3, which would annihilate most of the manufacturing base and humans that consume resources. There really are no other feasible "technological solutions" that offer either a reduction of total amount of people on the planet or reduction of total amount of resources consumed by each person to a meaningful level in any feasibly fast way without severe social incentives.

There are however many social solutions and incentives, one of which was Kyoto.

Re:The USA is the biggest obstacle?? (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239518)

And here I would have thought that the biggest obstacle would be one or the other of the two nations that have already stated that they will NOT accept restrictions on CO2 emissions - China and India.

Expecting China and India to abide by a regime wherein they have to trade emission credits with people who have a 100 year head start on the industrial revolution was probably always going to be a non-starter.

The USA isn't really likely to do so, but at least it's admitted of the possibility, unlike China and India.

When exactly did we do that? Some of us, like Bill Clinton, were for it, and some were against. The againsts prevailed, while allowing the fors a fig leaf to claim that we "tried" to get it ratified. South Park called it America's founding principle: "Democracy means you can have your cake and eat it too."

The difference between China and the US is that China has a strong mercantilist industrial policy that protects its native business and speaks with one voice -- that's why authoritarianism is good at foreign relations. The US government on the other hand talks a good game about protecting native industry but never actually does anything decisive, under the rationale that it would be "picking favorites" and any government action that supports American labor per se is "social democracy."

Re:The USA is the biggest obstacle?? (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239958)

I agree with you: the biggest problem now are China and India. It's no longer correct to put the blame entirely on the US.

That said, if the US would get of their ass, then together the West could probably force China and India to move as well. They are both dependent on trade with the West. (And the other way round, to be sure - but that gives both sides some leverage, no side has to accept entirely what the other one wants.)

it never should have had exceptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239052)

Without the original exceptions for India and especially China, the US might have signed on. It could also have chosen its targets more wisely to prevent the problem where the US and some other countries had already instituted big reductions, but developing nations hadn't, giving them a much easier time to improve.

If it had been "fair" from the start and gotten the US on board, it wouldn't have the problems it has now.

Anyway, almost no countries have met their obligations under the FIRST Kyoto protocol, so agreeing to something you don't intend to do accomplishes... what exactly?

The Economy Trumps the Economy (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239058)

This isn't just about the econmy trumping the environment, it's about the economy now trumping the economy in the near future. Global warming will have enormous associated costs... but not yet, so it somehow doesn't count?

Re:The Economy Trumps the Economy (1)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239252)

We of the human race can't be bothered to think ahead, afterall, we could all die tomorrow. Kindly keep your rational thinking to yourself.

Re:The Economy Trumps the Economy (2)

Bardwick (696376) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239656)

The US hasn't been planning in quite some time. Right now it's triage. If a non-breathing patient has a broken leg, setting the leg is not the priority. Doesn't mean the leg is not something that needs tended to. You really want torked off? You just paid (providing you pay taxes) $1,000,000 for a broadband soap opera.

Re:The Economy Trumps the Economy (2)

booch (4157) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239818)

I was going to say something similar. Perhaps when we start seeing the costs, we'll start working on the problem. Hopefully it won't be too late by then.

I don't understand why the environmentally-minded folks don't try to talk more about the costs. Basically, speak in a language that Conservatives/Republicans can understand, to get them to take actions in their own interest.

The way I like to put it is this: Imagine 9 out of 10 doctors tell you that you're going to die unless you take some specific actions. Most likely, you'd take those actions, to preserve your future self-interests. Now imagine 9 out of 10 experts on the climate tell you that if you don't stop/reverse global warming by taking some specific steps, you're going to have to spend trillions of dollars to protect or rebuild coastal cities, as well as severe weather situations away from the coast. If you're rational, you'd most likely take those actions, to preserve your future self-interests.

Re:The Economy Trumps the Economy (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239880)

Global warming will have enormous associated costs... but not yet, so it somehow doesn't count?

I'd be interested to see if you have reasonable estimates regarding these costs. A lot of people I've seen argue that it would be better to invest the money now into growing the economy, and dealing with those problems once we have a stronger economy (for example, Thailand is going to be much more capable of dealing with flooding once they have the economic capacity to build better levees and dams).

But if you have numbers I would be very interested in seeing them.

The struggle to save the planet? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239088)

It would be a lot easier to believe that Climate Change was about saving the world if their policy agenda didn't match up 100% with that of the old socialist bloc.

Re:The struggle to save the planet? (-1, Flamebait)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239264)

shut the fuck up bonehead, go read something without pictures

Re:The struggle to save the planet? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239582)

Ah, the reasoned, sensible debate we have come to expect from the socialists.

Yes, we're boned (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239092)

Here's the problem in a nutshell: You have a global common resource, in this case the ability to put CO2 into the atmosphere before it heats things up so much that we all die (regardless of whether you think the current warming trend is anthropogenic, there's very little argument that there is some point at which too much CO2 is a problem). But the short-term incentives for each actor using that common resource are to use up as much of the common resource as quickly as possible, because if they don't then somebody else will, and we'll all be dead anyways.

Now, in most cases, commons problems are solved by government action. For instance, when the population of lobsters off the North Carolina coast dropped precipitously due to over-harvesting, the government put severe restrictions on how many lobsters everyone could get, and it sucked for the lobstermen, but saved the commons and allowed the industry to survive. But in the case of a global commons like the atmosphere, there's nobody who has the ability to enforce that kind of rule, so each country has no choice but to use up the common resource as quickly as possible, collectively racing to disaster.

And it doesn't help that both of the worst offenders in this department, the US and China, are firmly committed to the path of destruction.

Re:Yes, we're boned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239320)

Now, in most cases, commons problems are solved by government action

You give good examples where gov is helpful. But there are also places where gov getting in the middle has created problems. Such as granting monopolies to some companies. Creating an artificial scarcity (and driving prices up). Removal of derivative trading boundaries.

So yeah gov *can* fix things but sometimes the cure is worse than the problem... Worse is when they cure a problem that does not really exist. Usually in that instance is just to give someone a slight economic advantage.

Re:Yes, we're boned (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239868)

But there are also places where gov getting in the middle has created problems. ... Removal of derivative trading boundaries.

Not that I disagree with your point, but I find it funny that you cite deregulation as a problem that government "causes". Most people would call that a *lack* of government.

There are many solutions to overreaching/unfair government, but anarchy is not one of them.

Re:Yes, we're boned (2)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239380)

And it doesn't help that both of the worst offenders in this department, the US and China, are firmly committed to the path of destruction.

Well, the way they probably see it, they're firmly committed to the path of "prosperity" (that is, using up as much of the commons as possible as fast as possible). It's the other side of the same coin, I realize, but it better explains their positions -- and why they are unlikely to change them.

Re:Yes, we're boned (3, Insightful)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239522)

"Here's the problem in a nutshell"

The problem in a nutshell is capitalism, countries will do everything to save their wealth over doing what needs to be done. This is what we get when we turn a political economic model into a religion.

Re:Yes, we're boned (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239848)

Exactly. Until we all stand up and cast off the capitalist shackles, we will continue to have this problem, as well as the current economic inequality with some people making a hundred million per year and taking almost the entire pie for themselves while they cheerfully watch other people starve in the streets.

It's time to cast off this system.

Re:Yes, we're boned (4, Insightful)

gutnor (872759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239976)

Nothing to do with capitalism - just good old fashioned geopolitics. Capitalism has actually improved a (little) bit the situation by interconnecting all the (richest) nations in such a way that you can no longer solve all your problems by nuking the country you don't like.

Re:Yes, we're boned (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239596)

there's nobody who has the ability to enforce that kind of rule,

So maybe the Nazis had it right?

Suggestion to moderators: 20% funny, 30% troll, 50% insightful.

Re:Yes, we're boned (-1, Troll)

rtp (49744) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239800)

Climate change is simply a variable that we'll adapt with through technology. Getting pushed out of our comfort zone is a good thing. Without winter and droughts the human race would still be frolicking in jungles with spears and arrows wearing loin cloths. Winter and lack of water has made us stronger, and resulted in technology development.

Peak oil will come and go, just as peak wood did before coal and oil were discovered.

A global government, shared economy, is like California trying to manage forest fires. The more humans tinker with the system to remove the highs and lows, the bigger the inevitable crash that will come, just as California experienced the largest fires in history after years spent tweaking the system, resulting in keeping too much undergrowth, instead of allowing nature to take its course. Wars are no different than forest fires. It's OK to compete. Every species does this, humans are no different.

The much bigger issue is population growth. Through increased population resources are depleted at an increasing rate, potentially faster than technology advances will accommodate. Where technology is unable to solve the challenges presented through population growth, we're likely to experience huge losses through famine, disease, and war.

The best thing for earth is more war. Culling the herd isn't evil. With cheap energy our population will continue to sky rocket, while resources are finite. There's no sense to everybody holding hands singing Kumbaya; somebody has to win, and somebody has to lose. We see that now in Europe. The ants should not be forced to carry the grasshoppers. The UN and EU are delaying the inevitable. The intellectuals from the early 20th century got it wrong. We need fierce competition among nations. The tribes must remain at war to keep the population under control. There are winners and losers, there is no middle ground. Economics is just another approach to war, and the current method of pulling down the strong so the weak can rise up is foolish - we're not all safer as equals, we're better off with highs and lows, rich exploiting poor. America should dominate, our system has proven to be a winner. When we clash with competing interests, war is the natural flow of things. Peace is impossible so long as different tribes are squabbling over the same dirt. Why allow the poor nations to rise up as equals...just so we can compete with stronger opponents? Why wait until the poor attain nuclear, nano, bio, and space technologies that could enable their dominance over America? We're on top of the mountain. It's our right to beat down any who try to climb to the peak. If we don't, we'll simply get thrown off and somebody else will beat down others. We're at least trying to do the beating in a humane fashion...aren't we?

Re:Yes, we're boned (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239948)

in this case the ability to put CO2 into the atmosphere before it heats things up so much that we all die

No scientist thinks this will happen. It's hard reasonably determine your course of action if you don't have an accurate view of the results of your various choices. Hyperbole serves nothing but to cloud your vision.

Of course the Kyoto Protocol failed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239132)

1. Climate change is caused by industry.
2. Industry translates fairly well to political power.
3. Industry promotes the economy.
4. The Kyoto Protocol punishes those who cause climate change.

The logical result:

Under the Kyoto protocol, the politically powerful countries have to sacrifice either some of their industry (in order to cut emissions) or some of their money (carbon credit trading), both of which harm their economy. What's their incentive again?

Huh?? (2, Insightful)

will_die (586523) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239140)

So the USA is the biggest problem in not getting a new Kyoto passed but China and India will not sign and produce more pollution also other countries have said they will not sign without limits placed on China and India?
Looks like some is upset that the USA realized the current Kyoto was a farce when refusing that sign that one.

Great.. More 'Climate Change' legislation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239144)

maybe it's time to invest in tin-foil.

Just not going to happen until (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239150)

They start erecting sandbags and levees around New York City and Washington DC. They the US won't just participate, but will be pushing the agenda with the threat of economic sanctions and possibly war to those who continue to pump out the greenhouse gasses.

And of course the response to anyone who says, 'Back in 2011 we told you so!' will be a not so diplomatic 'Shut up!'

Re:Just not going to happen until (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239286)

We informed you thusly. =P

Re:Just not going to happen until (4, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239338)

They start erecting sandbags and levees around New York City and Washington DC. They the US won't just participate, but will be pushing the agenda with the threat of economic sanctions and possibly war to those who continue to pump out the greenhouse gasses.

At the current rate of sea-level increase, in about 100 years, you'll need one row of sandbags around Washington DC or New York. And that's if you assume that both cities get water in the streets at high tide now (hint: they don't).

In other words, that particular problem is so far out in the future as to be safely ignorable right now.

If you are really concerned about AGW, I trust you're pushing for nuclear power plants to replace coal plants worldwide? Unlike entirely too many "environmentalists" who seem to think that electricity just happens, and that banning use of coal will magically cause paradise on earth....

Re:Just not going to happen until (1, Redundant)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239378)

I'm pushing for using less energy. Period.

and the best way to reduce dependence upon it is to raise the price of it. Of course, democracies being what they are, the stupid and venal people will oust the leaders who have the gumption to do the right thing and replace them with spineless lackeys who sup at the trough of the lobbies.

Re:Just not going to happen until (3, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239590)

I'm pushing for using less energy. Period.

But that's not what the Kyoto Protocol was about. It was about, "Hey, you rich countries. Stop! Us poor countries need to go through our dirty coal plant and Cadillac with tail fins phase just like you did."

Bullsh*t! Modern, low pollution technologies are available to everyone. And in the final analysis, they tend to be cheaper as well (more efficient). Everyone needs to adhere to the same set of rules.

The alternative 'just use less' philosophy is based upon some crazy idea that 7 billion people can just live in yurts. That is so crazy its not even worth discussing.

Re:Just not going to happen until (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38240006)

Modern, low pollution technologies are available to everyone. And in the final analysis, they tend to be cheaper as well (more efficient).

I'm not sure this is true........do you have examples of what you mean?

Re:Just not going to happen until (4, Insightful)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239484)

In other words, that particular problem is so far out in the future as to be safely ignorable right now.

That's exactly the type of short-sighted thinking that got us hip deep in shit in the first place. No regard for posterity because we'll be dead by then, right? What about the people who will have to live with the consequences of all our apathy, laziness and greed today? Fuck 'em? That's what you're saying. God-forbid that we as a species come together and do something for the good of the species, something without immediate payoff, something that might be hard.

Re:Just not going to happen until (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239650)

There's already an island nation where the highest elevation won't shelter them in a storm with the surge waves. Tide is one thing, tide combined with storm surges are quite another, as Japan's unfortunate Earthquake shows, coastal communities can greatly suffer from unforeseen circumstances / perfect storms - and great percentage of world population lives in costal cities or densely populated coastal provinces. One good storm at sea coinciding with high tide and New York City would be an interesting place to live (in the Chinese curse sense of 'Interesting').

The man who stands on a beach in fair weather and believes it can get no worse than it is at high tide must be from the inland.

Good riddance? (1, Troll)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239156)

The Kyoto Protocol has been criticized for years, so much so that it has its own Wikipedia page [wikipedia.org]. It's not so much that "economics trumps the environment" as it is that economics and climate legislation are actually intricately tied, as well as the fact that there is still new data coming out on climate change that proves we don't know as much as we think we do (global temperature hasn't risen since 1998, a fact that has led to a lot of sideways explanations and justifications). Emissions trading is an obviously ineffective system. Government regulatory agencies tend to have a poor track record in solving anything like this, and the apparent lack of visible evidence of a problem in the first place means societies don't consider it an urgent problem to solve.

Re:Good riddance? (3, Insightful)

arthurh3535 (447288) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239388)

It's a shell-game and always has been. Rich countries were supposed to pay for poor countries to pollute more heavily (because it was cheap) while they created less polluting technology that would trickle down.

It's no wonder it failed so spectacularly.

you Fail 1t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239198)

dickS produce3 and coders

The ONLY international GHG framework (4, Insightful)

Lexible (1038928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239392)

The Kyoto Protocol's emissions targets were woefully inadequate to avert the worst of greenhouse gas (GHG) related climate change. However, the Kyoto Protocol was the ONLY international framework for negotiating multilaterally on curbing emissions of greenhouse gasses. The Bush/Obama administration in the US and China sure did a good job destroying that framework putting multilateral efforts to ameliorate climate change on an even more glacially slow path. To quote Stephen Colbert "Enjoy that metaphor, by the way, because your grandchildren will have no idea what a glacier is."

Good, hair shirts won't save us (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239524)

Kyoto is a "no you may not", and that doesn't play in the sticks. Enclaves of the super rich (hello) telling the struggling impoverished that they can't aspire to the same standard of living is a risible strategy. We're trying to tell the rural population of India and China that refrigerators and showers are a luxury that they should live without.

What we need is a "yes we can" of Apollonian proportions. Throw a trillion dollars at fusion, see if it sticks. Heck, throw five, or ten trillion at it. Bet the farm. We can either make it cheaper to manufacture with clean energy than coal power, or we can start filling sandbags.

Re:Good, hair shirts won't save us (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239786)

Couldn't 5-10 trillion afford a mass switch to solar/wind? And that's based on well-established technology rather than theoretical physics.

Re:Good, hair shirts won't save us (1)

zugedneb (601299) | more than 2 years ago | (#38240000)

why this does not happen is the faults in "freedom and democracy", well apparent in my country (swe):

1: The concept of thigs, correctly, belonging in private hands has become a standard - the only initiative the government should have is to let go of what it has into private hands - so everything that is, is someones property, you are evil communist if u want to touch it :(

2: People are not used to there being a reson or argument behind something, they have made the "right to have an opinion" into culture, and the concept of a proof or deduction has faded... they do not think, reason and act, instead they "feel" and wait...

adgsdfgsdfgsdfg (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239534)

testing testing

It was a brain-dead plan from the beginning. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239550)

It always seemed like it was designed to punish wealthy polluters more than it was meant to end increasing CO2 concentrations and mitigate the consequences of of that CO2. What needs to be done is obvious:

1) Replace energy infrastructure with wind and solar (Nuclear isn't an option because people won't let the plants be built).
2) Replace the majority of automotive transit with electrically powered light rail.
3) Build appropriate flood control and irrigation infrastructure in countries where these are lacking.

Kyoto was all about targets and incentives. That makes no sense when the whole thing could only ever be solved with large scale engineering projects which Kyoto made no effort to directly address.

Re:It was a brain-dead plan from the beginning. (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239674)

The idea was that if you change the incentives around, you make those engineering projects seem more cost-effective, and thus more likely to happen.

It's the difference between getting more efficient gasoline engines by mandating 55 miles per gallon, versus getting more efficient gasoline engines by increasing gasoline taxes to the point where it's cost-effective to pay more for a car that gets 55 miles per gallon, causing car buyers to switch, causing car manufacturers to switch.

Re:It was a brain-dead plan from the beginning. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239984)

No, it's the difference between your heavy handed, brain-dead ideas, and actually building a better car. It's the difference between being a bully, and being an inventor.

Short term goals, one step at a time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239564)

They grand mighty lofty-goaled Kyoto Protocol(tm). The be-all, end-all, great and mighty. Long term targets, insurmountable goals. A few small players (perhaps 100 million people in all) expected to carry the load of billions of others. Yep. And what? Goal not reached? The hell you say! If you want climate change, you set up a 1 year target. You make a change. Best of all, you introduce another solution (a less polluting one). You don't just people "just stop", and expect them to. They are going to keep going to work. They are going to keep eating food, and reading books and buying stuff. The goal must be to change one thing, for the better, get that thing adopted everywhere, and then move on to another thing. No one is going to make gigantic leaps like Kyoto. Whatever you do, has to either be beneficial (easily adopted), or at least economically neutral (which will be harder to get adopted everywhere). Expecting only a few to take the environmental hit for everyone is like only asking environmentalists to take the economic hit for everyone else. Not-fair on a small scale is just as bad as not-fair on a large scale. Oh, and while we are on it, Canadas oil sands get a bad rap. Its always front-and-center, but US car pollution is more than 10,000 times as polluting, but it doesn't ever get 10,000 times as much bad press (it doesn't hardly get bad press at all).

Bacteria in a Petri dish. (3, Insightful)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239680)

We're supposed to be smarter, but really, not much difference when it comes down to it. Consume all the resources, over breed, destroy the habitat in which we live, die en masse.

I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38239734)

China and India have seen unexpectedly strong economic growth since then, and currently make up 58 per cent of global emissions

I get China, big economy = big emissions.
India is way down the list in terms of gross economic activity (strong growth != high gross output).
You would think countries such as (America already noted), Japan, Germany, ...would be mentioned before India.
How is India a comparable producer of emissions as China? (let's dispense with the curry B.O. jokes).

Re:I don't get it (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239916)

India is ranked 4th on GDP lists that are adjusted for "purchasing power parity" and 9th or 10th on nominal GDP lists. That does not put them "way down the list".

Is global warming science or a religion? (0)

RStonR (2471390) | more than 2 years ago | (#38239992)

When the "scientists" say that there is no evidence for warming, but we should believe in it anyway [in-other-news.com], I'd say it's a religion.

I believe in A LITTLE warming (1)

RoLi (141856) | more than 2 years ago | (#38240056)

When the "scientists" say that there is no evidence for warming, but we should believe in it anyway [in-other-news.com], I'd say it's a religion.

Actually I'm a bit between the tables as I believe that higher CO2 levels might make for a slightly warmer climate, but I don't subscribe to the "Florida will be gone" doomsday scenarios.

Indeed, it looks like we have already reached the plateau - We have warmer weather than we had 40 years ago, but it doesn't seem to get any warmer.

Too bad, I guess I will be modded down by both sides now...

We don't need no stinkin' humans (1)

laughing rabbit (216615) | more than 2 years ago | (#38240030)

The environment and the planet will do just fine thank you very much.

As soon as people finish themselves off, the forces of nature will clean up the shit left behind by the upright roaches. Enjoy life while you can afford it. Soon enough even the wealthy will not have the resources needed to breathe.

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