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Kyoto Protocol Comes Into Force

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the better-to-use-this-than,-say,-tcp/ip dept.

Science 1336

Cally writes "The controversial Kyoto Treaty regulating CO2 emissions finally comes into force today. The BBC has several stories and backgrounders, and notes that international pressure is now mounting on the USA to take action as well, as the scientific consensus is well established. A key question is whether the US economy will benefit relative the rest of the world, with some arguing that new technologies such as clean power generation and energy efficient appliances will provide an economic boost."

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1336 comments

First Post!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687796)

Yes, I made it once again!

-DT

to the shizzle (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687797)

I am the man!

YOU FAIL IT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687803)

YOU FAIL IT

'gain a relative economical advantage'.. (5, Insightful)

Peeteriz (821290) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687801)

Looking at the question of 'will USA gain a relative economical advantage' is missing the point - it IS clear that there are certain economic disadvantages - ensuring that our children have a decent world left will have some costs.

Re:'gain a relative economical advantage'.. (2, Insightful)

damian cosmas (853143) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687842)

India, China, and Brazil aren't involved in Kyoto. Together, they make up a rather nontrivial fraction of the world's population, with the former two beginning to industrialize heavily. This treaty is, has been, and will continue to be a joke.

Re:'gain a relative economical advantage'.. (5, Insightful)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687914)

Yes, but considering the state of their social system I'd say we cannot expect them to first look out for the environment before feeding their children.

We live in relatively stable countries... it is OUR duty to show them how it should be done by example. Then they will follow this example.

Re:'gain a relative economical advantage'.. (1)

fatman22 (574039) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687989)

You are assuming they will listen.

Re:'gain a relative economical advantage'.. (1)

Peeteriz (821290) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687920)

Well, then the main political objective would be to get them to join Kyoto.
And if the world's richest country is holding back, then it will be hard to make a reasonable case for China and India to join.
The USA has the politic and economic clout neccessary to make sure that (in the long run, say 10+ years) either all the major players do join Kyoto, or Kyoto fails because of non-members polluting too much.

Re:'gain a relative economical advantage'.. (5, Insightful)

rsidd (6328) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687934)

This treaty is, has been, and will continue to be a joke.

It's a starting point. Much more needs to be done. But the US is not even willing to make a start. As of now, India and China combined emit about 14% of the world's CO2 (it was a lot lower when the treaty was being negotiated and India's share is still low), while the US all by itself emits 25%

Re:'gain a relative economical advantage'.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687940)

they make up a rather nontrivial fraction of the world's population
But, at present, a pretty insubstantial proportion of the world's carbon emissions. And there's a good reason they're omitted.

If they were given quotas in line with already industrialised nations of similar population, all that would happen is the heavy polluters would purchase their credits, and do nothing to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

If they were included with relatively low levels of maximum emissions, that would automatically give Kyoto an extremely limited lifespan. So at present they're omitted, with the clear and stated aim that when the contribution of their industries begin to be important in the CO2 balance equation, they'll get included.

Re:'gain a relative economical advantage'.. (5, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687947)

Then set them an example?

Honestly, it's a joke when the worlds biggest polluter stands up and complains about poorer countries who pollute less.

Sure it will have economic costs, but developing technology will create jobs and result in lots of energy saving technology which can be sold.

Re:'gain a relative economical advantage'.. (5, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687978)

Ah, the old "they're not doing it, so there's no point me doing it" attitude...

Look, it's perfectly simple. The more countries sign up, the better. Yes, it would be preferable to get every country in the world to sign up and adhere to the treaty, but that's not going to happen right away. Failing that, the more the better. Even if a couple of major polluters don't sign up, those that do can still make a positive difference.

Hey, not everyone obeys inconvenient laws like not killing people, not stealing stuff, not dumping toxic waste into rivers, and so on - that doesn't mean that no-one should bother.

Re:'gain a relative economical advantage'.. (1)

EaterOfDog (759681) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687852)

If you want to see something really scary, look up "CO2 tipping point." This is where the CO2 overloads the environments ability to absorb CO2, and there is a nasty backlash.

Re:'gain a relative economical advantage'.. FB!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687862)

The Kyoto Protocol is being adhered to in Old Europe! FB!!!

Re:'gain a relative economical advantage'.. (5, Interesting)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687884)

Looking at the question of 'will USA gain a relative economical advantage' is missing the point - it IS clear that there are certain economic disadvantages

Agreed, and I feel that the economic disadvantages have been grossly overstated: for example, a pundit on the BBC suggested that with Kyoto compliance it would take the UK until 2056 to achieve the same level of prosperity it would otherwise attain in 2053. I suspect there's grounds for error there, but that it's not far from the truth.

Re:'gain a relative economical advantage'.. (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687887)

Being less reliant on oil is a serious economic benefit.

Re:'gain a relative economical advantage'.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687975)

That depends on how many of your friends and your daddies friends own oil companies.

Re:'gain a relative economical advantage'.. (1)

solafide (845228) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687894)

Then don't go for more regulation(which this is), go for less!

If Russia would not have signed, then this would be a non-issue...

Billy

Re:'gain a relative economical advantage'.. (0, Troll)

Kafka_Canada (106443) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687957)

ensuring that our children have a decent world left will have some costs.

Yeah, somebody will have to pay the terrible emotional cost of killing all you environmentalist nutcases, so that our children are left with a decent world, free from inane blather.

Think of the Children!
Save the Planet!

FE (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687805)

First Emission!

Re:FE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687817)

Eat my penile emissions while YOU FAIL IT!

Re:FE (1)

northcat (827059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687918)

I for one laughed at parent. It's genuinely funny, after all those non-funny "in korea...only old people" and "i for one welcome our new ____ over lords" posts.

Seems to me... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687806)

If the war on terrorism is to continue then decreasing our reliance on oil (which comes from the Middle East) should be a priority.

There is no denying that oil revenue undoubtably finds its way into the hands of those that wish evil against the US. Clean technologies reduce our need to funnel more money into that part of the world.

Simple solution then ... (4, Insightful)

TheViffer (128272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687950)

let the farmer become the "oil" barrens of the 21st century and let them grow hemp for biodiesel production.

I believe estimates state that if 25% of all crop land was hemp, the USA would be self sufficiant. Not to mention, give farmers a "true" cash crop.

Column of Thomas Friedman (1)

Arleo (16712) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687964)

Thomas Friedman's has written a column about it [nytimes.com] . Interesting argument in fact on why the US should have to use alternative energy sources.

Re:Seems to me... (1)

eggoeater (704775) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687967)

Actually, one of the worst causes of greenhouse gases in the US is from the burning of coal.
The US produces so MUCH coal that we export it... we export a LOT of it.

We ARE the middle east of coal.

Re:Seems to me... (1)

Loco3KGT (141999) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687983)

Only 18% of our oil comes from the Middle East.

US economy? (1)

CVD1979 (718352) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687808)

Cally, why is that the question? As long as it doesn't break (by itself) the US economy, wouldn't it be just better for the future (our kids, our children's kids, etc.) to work on a better environment? An uninhabitable world would be far worse for the economy, I reckon. Or did I misinterpret those few lines?

Re:US economy? (2, Insightful)

REggert (823158) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687837)

If I'm not mistaken, the primary US objection to the treaty is that it does not apply to India or China, who are expected to be responsible for most of the world's CO2 emissions in the next couple decades. The reasoning is something like, "Why should we limit our emissions (and suffer the economic consequences), when the biggest polluters get to keep on polluting?"

Re:US economy? (1)

lanc (762334) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687872)


erm, AFAIK the US produces up to 25% of the total CO2 emissions.

Re:US economy? (1)

REggert (823158) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687988)

There wasn't a whole lot of detail in the article I read (it was on CNN.com, after all), but I think it meant to say that China and India combined would produce >50% of the total CO2 emissions in the next 15 years. As a developed country, the US emissions are high, but they're not increasing substantially, while countries like China and India that are still developing their economies have steadily increasing pollution. That last sentence was my reasoning on what was meant, so it could be off. The CNN article only mentioned "China", "India," "most CO2", and "next 15 years."

Re:US economy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687875)

India or China, who are expected to be responsible for most of the world's CO2 emissions in the next couple decades.
Yep. That is what the CIA is predicting. http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/01/14/194521 4&tid=99&tid=103 [slashdot.org] and http://www.cia.gov/nic/NIC_2020_project.html [cia.gov]

Re:US economy? (2, Insightful)

CVD1979 (718352) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687877)

Hm, I thought once the large countries would adopt it, they could 'force' (as in, political force) the rest of the world to comply? I'm not really into politics, though.

Even when your comment is correct, I still think the US could at least set an example, like Europe and Russia will do. It's not about solving the problem of others, but working at our own problems. Even when India and China will not comply to the agreements, having the rest of the world comply will still make a difference, if only by creating a frame of mind.

At least, that's my opinion.

Re:US economy? (1, Troll)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687942)

Yeah it will make a difference...

When everyone starts starving because we can't power the vehicles needed to transport food to the cities.

Re:US economy? (3, Interesting)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687974)

You've got the problem wrong. "Developing' countries are complying, in the manner set down in the treaty. For instance, under the terms of the treaty, China and India do not have to cut any emissions until 2012. It's like running a marathon, but the rules say that the 2nd and 3rd fastest guys are given an automatic 5 mile head start. They're just playing by the rules.

Fair?

Re:US economy? (1)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687880)

It may very well break the U.S. economy, given the exemptions on developing countries that are already absorbing business from the country, not to mention putting a serious crimp on individuals if they've got to buy more expensive equipment or gasoline for their vehicles (or pay for it through most other forms of transit).

Certainly given the current mood of those at the helm of U.S. corporations, only the short term matters. If the environment is reasonably good during our lifetimes and technology keeps getting better, why risk everything on a huge fix now if we can continue to make incremental impact improvements?

Re:US economy? (2, Insightful)

Krisbee (644227) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687885)

Problem is:
The economy crowd's horizon is the next quarterly report
The ecology crowd's horizon is the next quarter millennium.

Re:US economy? (2, Insightful)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687919)

Kyoto if it were fully enforced would only decrease global warming by 1/500th of a degree over the next 50 years. Its a $90 billion bandade on a bursting dam.

Re:US economy? (1, Interesting)

cartzworth (709639) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687960)

...and it would rape the US economy.

I'm glad we're not involved.

only scientists (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687809)

as the scientific consensus is well established.

The only people saying so are scientists, and we all know that someone with an MBA would know more about this sort of thing.

Re:only scientists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687965)

MBA's are trained to think about making money. The establishment/traditional view of making money is very short-term. It is based on power and greed, not vision and thinking.

Oh good a flamewar (2, Insightful)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687810)

US Good / US Bad ./ will decide

Re:Oh good a flamewar (3, Interesting)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687973)


US People => Tend to recycle, some buy hybrids and other good cars (some do buy SUVs though). So overall just people and in some cases pretty damned good.

US Legislature => A bunch of lazy pork riddled morons whose whole aim in life is to reject anything that comes from abroad and do what ever big business wants

US President => Commander in Chief of the "not invented here" syndrome: International Criminal Court (bad), UN (bad), Chemical and biological non-proliferation treaty (bad), Geneva Convention (bad), Kyoto (bad), Steel Tarifs (good) etc.

Re:Oh good a flamewar (0, Offtopic)

tarawa (215365) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687976)

Someone PLEASE mod this one up!!!

AMEN!!!

Who cares? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687812)

Honestly, who cares?!!? Unless of course, America misses out on some way of further extacting surplus value from observing the treaty...

Smoke Screen (3, Interesting)

fishdan (569872) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687813)

Part of what is supposed to make Kyoto work is that there will be a big market and alot of money to be made in the buying/trading/selling of carbon emissions. Morning Edition had a great story on the economic backbone of Kyoto [npr.org] but it won't be online till after 10:00am EST. If such a market develops and there are fortunes to be made, you can be sure the Americans will come. If it turns out to be an economic disaster, they won't.

The basic American claim that the treaty is unjust towards wealthier nations, while benefits countries like China and India, is true. There can be no argument that the US would be restricted much more than the #2 consumer of petroleum, China, under Kyoto. The question is, can the will of the world force the US into a position that it views as unjust towards itself? It's a thorny one, but recent history suggest that the United States will not be swayed by foreign legislation. Thus the financial incentive is the best hope of Kyoto ever being ratified by the US.

If Europe wants the US to ratify Kyoto, all they have to do is make the dollars and common sense will follow. One side is right here, and one side isn't. If Europe is right, and this does create a financial windfall, the US will follow. If the US is right, and Europe's economy suffers greatly, they will withdraw from Kyoto.

Re:Smoke Screen (1, Funny)

SamBeckett (96685) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687850)

In the current administration, our president actually has a pair, so I seriously doubt "World Pressure" will force the US (us) to join Kyoto. If the rest of the world believes in it so much, there is always force, no? Attack the states with your solar powered tanks and water powered machine guns! Force us (US) into submission!

Re:Smoke Screen (1, Funny)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687878)

In the current administration, our president actually has a pair

Yeah, and unfortunately that's what he uses for all his thinking.

Re:Smoke Screen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687902)

Don't worry, you'll have your chance to elect Estrogen and Progesterone in 2008.

Re:Smoke Screen (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687912)

That's just great. The US will keep polluting the world while other nations take the risk of damaging their economies in an attempt to save everyone from catastrophic environmental changes, but when the risk is gone the US will be on which ever side is making the money. May tornadoes, floods and ice storms devastate your land in ever increasing numbers and strength. Fucking egoists.

Re:Smoke Screen (0, Troll)

nharmon (97591) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687926)

alot of money to be made in the buying/trading/selling of carbon emissions.

And then you begin to realize that it would be virtually impossible for the United States to reduce carbon emissions to the levels that Kyoto demands. But wait, the United States can BUY points so that they are in compliance.

So let me get this straight, you want the United States to sign a treaty that would require them to buy "points" from other countries just so they can be in compliance with it?

Reducing carbon emissions is a good idea, using it as the basis for an international extortion agreement is offensive.

Re:Smoke Screen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687972)

The US, by being the country with the biggest per capita CO2 emissions, has the highest reduction potential. Other countries already use much more energy-efficient technology, so why do you think you can't do it?

Environment comes first (5, Insightful)

northcat (827059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687814)

A key question is whether the US economy will benefit relative the rest of the world,

It doesn't matter whether a country's economy benifits from this. The safety of our Evironment is more important than the economy of a country.

Re:Environment comes first (3, Insightful)

JPelorat (5320) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687861)

So then you think China and India shouldn't be exempt? I agree, there shouldn't be any exceptions made, if the stakes are that high.

Re:Environment comes first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687886)

So why would the USA have to pay so unfairly in the Kyoto Protocol when countries like China are exempt?

That's just bullshit.

Re:Environment comes first (5, Funny)

R.Caley (126968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687907)

The safety of our Evironment is more important than the economy of a country.

The environment is perfectly safe. Whatever we do there will always be an environment.

Re:Environment comes first (2, Insightful)

REggert (823158) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687945)

By that reasoning, we should immediately halt all factory production everywhere, forget about driving anywhere, and, oh yeah, shut down the power plants that power your computer so you can post on ./ The environment is more important, after all.

A Nail in the Coffin (5, Insightful)

NardofDoom (821951) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687818)

This will be just one more nail in the coffin of US dominance. While other countries are out developing new technologies, we'll continue to drive inefficient vehicles and burn coal for electrical power. Eventually, the rest of the industrialized world will have switched to fuel cells and renewable or nuclear energy, and we'll end up buying our cars and power systems from them.

So we better start getting really creative, really fast. Otherwise we'll have nothing to sell anyone.

Re:A Nail in the Coffin (3, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687845)

and we'll end up buying our cars and power systems from them

"Buying?"

heh.

Re:A Nail in the Coffin (1)

datastalker (775227) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687908)

Um, aside from the fact that most car companies are already either foreign or multi-national, I'm quite sure that here in the US we can already get some pretty decent hybrid vehicles, with more on the way. Yes, there will always be room for improvements, but with even "high-end" automakers getting into the act [lexus-hybrid.com] , I think you're a little off there. If for no other reason than automakers are slowly ensuring that their profit margins at least stay the same while satisfying people like you (and me).

Prediction (2, Insightful)

govtcheez (524087) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687826)

This is going to be a very very replied-to story, and at the end of the "discussion", no one's mind will be changed.

I, for one ... (1)

DynamicPhil (785187) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687827)

welcome our new Kyoto Treaty overlords! (It had to be done ;-) No, but seriously, this is a good thing (tm). Why newer (http://www.solardepot.com/ [solardepot.com] ) ways of generating power isn't used, is beyond me.

More news coverage (4, Informative)

Cally (10873) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687828)

I left this out of the submission cos it looked like there were enough links in there to keep anyone happy for a while...

There is plenty of other news coverage [google.com] of this. As I type this (2pm UK time) it's still the lead story on Murdoch's Sky News satellite TV channel. Although this is known to be generally right of center (by UK standards) the tenor of their reporting is much the same as the BBC's, with respect to the whole "pressure mounts on the USA" aspect, and the fact that the science has reached the status of accepted fact in popular discourse. (I know there are still plenty of areas of legitimate debate, disagreement, and continuing research amongst real scientists, but the basic thesis that anthropogenic CO2 can affect, and IS already affecting global climate is about as solidly accepted as anything gets in the public mind - over here at any rate.

Re:More news coverage (1, Offtopic)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687874)

As I type this (2pm UK time)
Holy Shit! A message from the future!

PS : Please tell me who won the 1:50 at Kempton Park.

history (-1, Flamebait)

tazanator (681948) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687832)

DIDN'T we fight a war so we could ignore europe??

Re:history (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687909)

DIDN'T we fight a war so we could ignore europe??

I fail to see what being whopped hard by a bunch vietnam gooks has to do with Europe.

Big money (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687834)

The US if full of large corporations who just don't care. I see the US politics only slightly bending in the public eye, but really doing nothing. The all mighty dollar - hang on to it even if it kills everyone. - Just my perspective of course.

Shouldn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687838)

this be sectioned "Politics" as most of the signee countries can't even make their reduction numbers?

Wikipedia entry? (2, Insightful)

northcat (827059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687846)

Err, Providing a wikipedia entry to support something like this isn't good considering how biased/wrong wikipedia can be. Especially since this topic has so much to do with USA and this is so controversial in USA (although everyone outside knows the truth) and Wikipedia is virtually controlled by US people (editors).

Re:Wikipedia entry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687938)

Nonsense, wikipedia isn't "controlled by editors", it's controlled by whatever the general consensus is on a topic, subject to their NPOV (Neutral Point Of View) rules.

Consenus Only in the Mind of the Beholder (2, Interesting)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687847)

"as the scientific consensus is well established."

This is pure FUD. The scientific consensus, if anything, is that the models currently used for global warming don't backdate, that global warming seems to be more natural than man-made, and that it seems odd that the data shows temperature increases dating back to before the Industrial Revolution, when for all intents and purposes human emissions were nil. You can't cite one highly suspect website and make up the claim that there's a "consenus" where none exists in your favor. This isn't science, it's feel-good eco-politics.

Re:Consenus Only in the Mind of the Beholder (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687881)

You can't cite one highly suspect website and make up the claim that there's a "consenus" where none exists in your favor.

then how about a whole bunch of peer reviewed articles [google.com]

Parent is correct (3, Insightful)

Alcimedes (398213) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687911)

I work with said scientists, and the consensus is about nil. Those who's funding requires that they find emissions to be the root of rising temperatures find just that.

For those who work in academic fields, funding means a lot. It shouldn't be that way but it is.

And when a scientist does a study that your funding source didn't like, no more funding for that scientist. Anyone who thinks that science is immune from politics isn't paying attention.

Re:Consenus Only in the Mind of the Beholder (1)

j.blechert (726395) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687954)

I'm no scientist and I have no idea what's the opinion of one sinlge scientist about it either but I find the idea that rice fields (CH4) by chinese people some 5000 years ago already were responsible for some warming quite interesting. (this was taken by another post here on slashdot by I don't know who, so all credit goes to him/her)

Question for the /,'ers (4, Interesting)

Underholdning (758194) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687848)

How do you guys think the US would have reacted if the situation was turned around? (I.e. the US was pro-Kyoto).

Re:Question for the /,'ers (1)

SamBeckett (96685) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687882)

What? Your question makes no sense. I think you meant to ask "What would the rest the US reaction be if Kyoto was Pro-US and anti-Everyone Else?"

Re:Question for the /,'ers (3, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687969)

well obviously the nasty terrorist polluter countries would require regime change.

Screw Kyoto (0, Troll)

SolRosenburg (859928) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687849)

So called "Developing nations" dont have to conform to it. China the 2nd largest economy and our #1 economic competitor is a "Developing" nation? That just doesn't make sense.

Re:Screw Kyoto (2, Insightful)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687904)

Yeah, screw those developing nations without stable economies, just let them rot.

Some nations can't afford the changes requried, they would be *devastating* to their already fragile situations. They need time for their economies to grow and stabilize before they can make such changes.

The US, and the rest of the 1st world nations, on the other hand, CAN afford to make some changes without collapsing their entire economic system.

Like it or not, China is still a developing nation, even if has 5x the population of the US.

Re:Screw Kyoto (1)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687928)

So called "Developing nations" dont have to conform to it. China the 2nd largest economy and our #1 economic competitor is a "Developing" nation? That just doesn't make sense.

China's only recently joined the WTO. I suspect the criteria may relate to that? I sympathise with your position: I'm prepared to support Kyoto (I'm UK resident), but I'll reevaluate that support if countries like China seem set to remain out "forever".

A plea (4, Insightful)

Ed_Moyse (171820) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687851)

Every time we get a story like this, a bunch of people write in about how global warming isn't happening, or if they accept that, then they write about how it's not certain* that it's caused by us.

Please PLEASE can people like this read the links, and read about the consensus. If they have specific points to rebutt with the evidence then this is interesting (especially if they have training in the area).

I'm not a climate scientist myself and so I feel a bit hestitant about posting anything on these topics. It would be nice if the self-appointed 'experts' who take over these threads would behave in the same way, and let those of us who are interested in learning more read comments from people who actually know what they're talking about. This does not mean you have to agree with Kyoto (it's clearly flawed in some areas), nor that you have to believe that global warming is our fault, but you should have some damn good facts and links! ;-)

*of course nothing can ever be proven to be certain in science, only disproven, but you all know what I mean.

Re:A plea (1)

Ed_Moyse (171820) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687899)

Gah - sorry for the bad english. I clearly need more coffee!

"If they have specific points to rebutt with the evidence then this is interesting (especially if they have training in the area)."

should be

"If they have specific points to rebutt in the evidence then this is interesting (especially if they have training in this area)."

And the rest of it isn't much better, but hopefully slashdot readers are smart enough to sift the meaning out of my jumbled words.

Slashdot poll (1)

product byproduct (628318) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687859)

Which source of greenhouse gas should we eliminate?

- fossil fuel burning
- deforestation
- rice paddies
- landfill sites
- Cowboy Neal

Dragging my feet, fa la lala! (5, Insightful)

Epistax (544591) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687866)

We're talking about the country which doesn't admit smoking causes cancer until ~ twenty years after it's proved. Then we don't admit second-hand smoking causes cancer until... wait have we admitted it yet? Wait, we're still using land-mines?

Calling the Kyoto treaty unfair is irrelevant. Pointing out other countries engaging in the same ignorance as our own is irrelevant. The US drags its feet when it comes to international and social issues. I don't know which is more depressing.

I hate to have to keep doing this: This not a troll. This post contains only facts (except the ~ twenty is a guess). If you feel a violent reaction to this post I suggest you start thinking before you post.

Re:Dragging my feet, fa la lala! (-1, Troll)

fnj (64210) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687981)

we don't admit second-hand smoking causes cancer

Have you stopped beating your wife?

Re:Dragging my feet, fa la lala! (1)

AB3A (192265) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687986)

Well, at least we're honest about it instead of those countries who pretend piety in these matters and still keep doing what they always have...

Kyoto Rules (5, Informative)

grqb (410789) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687867)

theWatt [thewatt.com] has a summary of the important details [thewatt.com] . Basically 127 countries have signed up (but not the US). Countries that have ratified the protocol must reduce emissions (such as CO2, methane, NOx etc) by 5.2% of 1990 levels by 2010, this is expected to be about a 29% cut if Kyoto was not implemented by 2010. If a country exceeds their target, then they can sell carbon credits (at about $30-40/ton in the US and $70-80/ton in Europe), if they're under, they can buy credits.


The second round of Kyoto starts in 2012 and will try to lure in those emerging countries like China and India. The omission of China and India is the big reason why the US isn't going for Kyoto.

Bush and Kyoto (5, Insightful)

poindextrose (640377) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687876)

Bush will never force the industry of his country (including power generation) to conform to the Kyoto accord. It's bad business.

In fact, he passes laws that relax the current regulations on pollution. His not-so-aptly-named "Clean Skies" initiative allows coal-fired generating stations to increase the amount of pollution they produce in favour of dumping more wattage on the grid.

This sort of behaviour disgusts me. I live in Toronto, and although we have a busy airport and traffic corridor, we don't produce nearly as much pollution as our neighbours to the south. Nanticoke generating station generates enough power for the city of Toronto without running at full capacity. It produces less emmissions than a plant half its size in Detroit. It does this with not-so-new-but-expensive technology that is invested in in favour of oh, say, being able to breathe.

I went down to D.C. recently, and when I left on the plane, looking east, I couldn't tell where the ground ended and the sky began. It was a disgusting layer of brown that looked like it spanned five hundered meters in the air... probably more.

I hope someone manages to bring sanctions against the Bush administration. His lack of regard for anything not minted or drilled or slipped into his pocket is disgusting.

Better in the long run (2, Insightful)

moz25 (262020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687888)

I think it's better to stick to these agreements in the long run: it is both an intuitive an scientific fact that (oil) supplies will run out sooner or later. If we reach near that point without well-developed alternative technology and infrastructure, that would be a bigger disaster.

It comes at a price perhaps on the short term, but it gives a number of benefits: not only can alternative energy resources potentially come cheaper than conventional ones, it is a given that a worldwide demand for these will grow at some point in the future. Having technology, research and patents ready gives a major economic edge... it is exportable technology after all.

So.. I don't think it will damage the U.S. economy that much within the next 10 years or so, but it will be relatively damaging in the sense that reliance on foreign technology and resources remains.

It's too late (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687890)

The sad thing is that the damage is already done. No matter how you put it we've already messed up the planet pretty bad. (Not just CO2, overfishing the oceans, killing off the corals, cutting down the rainforests etc.) Now all we really can do is try to minimize the damage ahead. In any case it's going to take hundreds of years to achieve an ecological balance, if at all possible any longer.

It's just profoundly sad that the majority of the people of this world still don't get it and still don't care. Unless we manage to change soon the collective war casualties of the world will pale in comparison to the ones of the potential ecological disaster ahead.

Personally I'm optimistic, if I weren't I would never have wanted to have kids.

Ah yes. I felt the force. There's something in (1)

1shooter (185361) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687898)

the air. A new .... no wait, never mind, somebody just farted.

My opinion (1)

Molina the Bofh (99621) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687901)

I believe the impact of such treaty is minimal. But it will do have an impact. I never saw anyone saying this, but I strongly believe this treaty actually WORSEN the global warming effect in the first decades, due to the reduction of the global dimming effect [slashdot.org] . It's easy to expect this once you realize that, in the 3 days following sept.11th the temperature ranges spiked, and that was the most abrupt change of such measurement ever recorded.

BTW, it's interesting to note that global warming does not mean that all the globe will be warmer. Just the average world tempeature. Some regions will be much colder than they were before, due, for example, to a change/reduction on the gulf stream.

Re:My opinion (1)

rsidd (6328) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687962)

this treaty actually WORSEN the global warming effect

Why would the treaty worsen it? You're confusing two things -- particulate pollutants (which were responsible for global dimming, and which are now diminishing) and CO2 (which is responsible for global warming and is going up). The treaty is aimed at CO2, not at particulate pollutants -- not that anyone is arguing for increases in particulate pollutants.

Fuck you America! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687906)

I'm 24 years old. I don't want to go through the next 50 years of my life living in an international air of worry and uncertainty. I don't want to live in a permanent state of fear, generated by a megalomaniacal American government taking advantage of the majority low IQ populous' capacity for being brainwashed.

I don't want to live like Israel, fighting militant Muslims round every corner. The problem of Muslim extremists exists and needs to be dealt with, not encouraged by invading innocent countries and waging war on people who have done nothing to deserve it. I want my children to grow up in a world free from military oppression and I want a government that understands that the wars of the future are guerrilla ones which can never be won, even if they are waged for noble purposes (which theirs never are).

The world is fu*cked up enough as it is. The food chain has been poisoned so badly the average human is full of chemicals normally found in plastics and toxic waste. I'm sick of global warning and environmental damage to the planet and the fact the all this time the greenies were right. I'm sick of America being the biggest wilful contributor to the pollution of the planet.

I'm sick of an American school system that produces children who are brought up to believe that America IS the world and anything that goes on outside is irrelevant. Children so stupid they think America invented the Internet, computer, motor car, light bulb, telephone etc ad infinitum....

The Internet or it's successor is the future of entertainment and I'm sick of stupid low IQ, ignorant Americans infecting every corner of it with their insular, jingoistic mindsets, their whiny voices and manifestations of their low self esteem driven by the fact that despite it being their turn as the world's super power, no one actually takes them seriously or gives them the respect that the British or the Ancient Greeks got because a superpower best known for producing mass produced crap is never going to get the respect that one who gave the world Shakespeare, culture, philosophy or mathematics will get.

I'm sick of hypocrisy and two facedness. I'm sick of Gangsta Rap and hamburgers, Political Correctness and TV programmes that begin with 'When' and end in 'go bad and attack people'. I'm sick of reality TV and I'm sick of news programmes that are more censored than accurate. I'm sick of tokens, token minorities, token universities, token degrees, token attempts at the truth, tokens. I'm sick of fat people, ugly people, stupid people, gay people, coloured people, female people, whiny people all complaining they don't have the opportunities in life they would like and it must be someone else's fault. I'm sick of women that act like men and femininity being a crime, unless you're a man in which case you're a new man which nobody ever wanted because there was nothing wrong with the old one. I'm sick of people falling over and suing the ground and people watching nipples and suing the TV and I'm sick of coffee cups with 'don't pour over yourself, you may get burnt' on the side to try and counter this.

I'm sick of stupid Americans who don't know the difference between patriotism and jingoism and who think flag waving should be an Olympic event. I'm sick of Americans who cry that people hate them or are jealous of them or who are anti them because someone dares to point out that the America they've been programmed to believe in from birth bears no relation to the one that exists in real life.

Kyoto makes no difference (2, Insightful)

zapster (39411) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687929)

China is on track to build 562 new coal fired plants in the next 8 years. India is looking at building 213 plants. The US 72...The US does not matter in this equation, talk about China and India. Any gains in CO2 emmissions are buried by 3rd world increases.

Controversial ? I think not (5, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687931)

The controversial Kyoto Treaty

This is the same way as Christian Fundamentalists in Kentucky et al describe Darwin's Theory of Evolution.

Quick Summary: Everyone in the world thinks that someone has to be done about pollution. Except the biggest polluter.

Basically this is the same as elements like the Chemical and Biological non-proliferation treaty (objected to by the US), the International Criminal Court (objected to by the US) and a host of other good ideas that the US President objects to because he didn't think them up.

The US Approach of "Build Bigger SUVs and let our kids sort out the mess" is a disgrace to the 21st Century on a par with any other act of wilful destruction that can be conceived. The US is deliberately increasing its pollution rates and refusing to do anything about it. This already causes increases in deaths in the US an abroad due to breathing disorders and toxic poisoning.

And if its about the economy, how about trimming that massive debt George ?

There has to be an incentive (0, Redundant)

kahei (466208) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687935)


If other countries want the US to do something, especially something difficult and expensive, they have to offer it an incentive. Relying on pure generosity on the part of Uncle Sam is -- well, strange. I'm amazed by how long it's taken for a reasonable answer to the question 'how do we make the USA do stuff, when it's too strong to just force it' to appear.

Of course, the size of that incentive is going to have to be pretty big -- huge, even. But if reducing CO2 emissions is as important as the Europeans keep saying it is, surely they'll be happy to foot the bill. If they _won't_ foot the bill for the US to reduce emissions, doesn't it sound a bit like global warming is a serious threat only when it's someone else who has to do something about it?

So, is global warming important enough for Europe to cough up some money to reduce US emissions? Because if not, I don't see why the US should make sacrifices to reduce it. ...

Heh, just kidding. The various fallacies in the comment above are pretty clear, as is the shortsightedness and unfairness of US policy. But for a second, I bet you thought I was a real libertarian, didn't you? Seriously, I almost convinced myself.

You may now mod me down :)

Greenland (1, Insightful)

zihamesh (662659) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687959)

When the vikings first discovered Greenland, they called it that because it was a green and relatively pleasent land. That's not a description that one would use today, despite the effects of a supposed global warming. The point is that climate change has always been a feature of the Earth, especially in the last few thousand years. Its seems to me that the USA are, for once, in the right.

Environmentalist have to take some blame (5, Insightful)

Nine Tenths of The W (829559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687963)

Modern nuclear power is cleaner, safer, cheaper and more efficient than it ever was, yet we continue to build toxic, filthy fossil fuel plants. Why?

Because of the relentless, unscientific green PR campaign that's portrayed every nuclear plant as a Chernobyl in waiting. Wind, sun and waves are not always an option, and anti-nuclear campaigning has left no choice but fossil fuels.

Pressure in Australia also (3, Interesting)

antic (29198) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687985)

FWIW, pressure is also mounting on the Australian Prime Minister to ratify the protocol.

He is arguing that "it would be against the national interest for Australia to sign the Kyoto protocol on climate change". (quote from ABC.net.au)

"Until such time as the major polluters of the world - including the United States and China - are made part of the Kyoto regime, it is next to useless and indeed harmful for a country such as Australia to sign up," he said.

The headline for the article on the ABC site is "Signing Kyoto virtually worthless: PM".
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