Those sneaky Russians

Today, the Kyoto pact, a treaty designed to ease the globes sufferage of mankind through strict reductions of global warming gasses went into effect, although without U.S. involvement. The lack of involvement has caused fourteen U.S. Senators to put foward a bill to force this country to go along with this economic disaster. They accuse President Bush of doing nothing.

The President is simply not interested in the Kyoto agreement. He is far from doing nothing.

“We are still learning about the science of climate change,” White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Tuesday. In the meantime, McClellan said, “We have made an unprecedented commitment to reduce the growth of greenhouse gas emissions in a way that continues to grow our economy.”

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the United States is devoting nearly $5.8 billion this year to scientific research, new technology, foreign aid and tax incentives for nonpolluting energy development.

You see, its not that the President is doing nothing, its that this is Repulican President George W. Bush.
Dianne Feinstein, one of the bills co-sponsers, and a first rate “Bush Basher,” is quoted as saying

“More than 140 nations, including all 25 members of the European Union (news - web sites), Russia and China, have ratified the agreement to reduce man-made emissions of greenhouse gases,” Feinstein said, in introducing the bill on the Senate floor

If the U.S. economy takes a nosedive, it is better for Feinstein and the Democrats. As long as things are looking down for the U.S., they are looking up for them. With everyone in this country saying that skyrocketing oil prices are driving inflation and hindering job growth, how can a reduction of an already low supply be good? Also, she said, “the E.U., China and Russia.” Is she not aware of Buenos Aires?

Alan Wood, a writer for the Australian, had this to say

The aim of the European Union and its allies among the green non-government organisations and lobby groups was to use Buenos Aires to both celebrate the coming into force of the Protocol and to prepare the way for its extension beyond 2012

Kyoto will expire in 2012. The countries signing on wanted emerging countries to have stricter regulations seeing as how by that time, they would be “all caught up” so to speak, in their economic developement.

Instead the European Union was isolated and rebuffed by the developing countries, notably India and China

India and China are well aware that if other countries make it difficult for business to operate within those countries’ borders, those bussinesses would flock to them, a pair of countries who would be free of the economically hindering parameters of Kyoto.

wood also points out

So, importantly, did Italy - an EU member. Its environment minister declared there was no point in trying to replace Kyoto with something similar after 2012 when it was unacceptable to the US, India and China

The Italians are well aware that with those three (not one…not two…but three, including China), there is no future for Kyoto. The Italians don’t want their fragile economy to worsen in the name of “European Union.”

And all of this brings us to those sneaky Russians.

The only reason Kyoto was enacted today, is because the Russians agreed to sign on to it. One condition of the Russians signing on, was that they only had to reduce their emissions to 1990 levels. What has happened in Russia since 1990? I’ll tell you. The Russian economy has tanked. Many industries have shutdown. Russia would have to actually grow in order to be at 1990 levels.

Why is this important? It is important because the Russians, whose reluctant agreement allowed Kyoto to come into effect, can sell the excess credits between their 1990 levels and todays (which are below 1990 levels) to countries who find themselves unable to comply with their own obligations to this treaty.

UPDATE:

Steve has just commented with some information about the Byrd-Hagel Resolution. I have found this to be an interesting piece and have decided to link to it.

6 Responses to “Those sneaky Russians”

  1. Jessica Says:

    I have a hard time with this one. On the one hand I totally want to buy in to the notion that global warming is hogwash, but on the other I know that pollutants in the air just can not be a good thing. They say living in New Delhi is the equivilant of smoking 2 packs a day (from all the smog) and I can attest to the fact that if you are there the inside of your nose gets full of black…bugers. Can I say that without giggling? Anyway, I don’t know what to say about Kyoto… except that its probably more about politics than “green house emissions”. There has to be a middle path here, I think. I mean smog is real, pollution is real and its not good for us. The damage its doing to global climates may be uncertain–but that doesn’t mean its nothing to worry about.

  2. Bob Says:

    Those sneaky Russians…

    How can that be? ANY country can do that.

    I, for one, do not blame this on Bush. Yes, he could have signed it. But so could have Clinton.

    We obviously aren’t doing enough to reduce emmissions. Will this treaty do anything? Not really. There is no punishment clause. Nothing to stop a country from breaking it.

    We do have to do something, however. Child athsma rates are skyrocketting. Yes, its controlable. But athsma sucks big time. Take it from someone who developed it as an adult.

    I am definately NOT qualified to determine what we should do. But right now, whatever we are doing isn’t having any real affect.

  3. Allen Says:

    Yes Bob,

    any country can do that. The point is that Russia, with its 17 “usage points” signed on and caused the treaty to go into effect. The Russians will have no problem meeting 1990 levels because they are already below them. Not too long ago, the Russians were against the treaty because they didn’t want to ruin their economy. No industrialized nation in Kyoto will be able to meet their goal, except Russia.

    By signing on, they validated the treaty and instantly had “over use” credits available for sale. Yes, any country can indeed do it, but Russia will be the only industrialized nation able to do it. Seems very sneaky to me.

    Jessica.

    One of my points is that China and India will never accept stonger regulations against them. The Italian environment minister says long term adherence to the treaty would be a failure because of this fact. The Indians and Chinese are more than happy to vote and cause other countries to adopt these economically hindering directives as they will be the ones offering a cheaper alternative to doing bussiness to those companies forced out of industrialized Kyoto countries.

    As far as New Dheli is concerned, India is an emerging country and has no regulations against it in Kyoto.

    I agree with the both of you that more needs to be done. Whether it be more research or incetives to companies which try to be more environmentally friendly. The Bush adminstration is looking into these types of incentives.

    The Bush administration is against Kyoto. Certain members of congress are trying to push a bill forcing them to “join up.” I agree with President Bush’s approach. I think Kyoto is a bad deal, and countries who are a part of it will soon regrete being so.

  4. Jessica Says:

    Allen,

    I agree, and I didn’t know that much about Kyoto so thanks for the schooling. I love how Bush sticks to his guns all the time too. Its a shame that we always end up looking bad somehow though…

  5. Steve Says:

    I wonder if any of the 14 senators were the same ones who voted 95-0 on The Byrd-Hagel Resolution back in 1997? I’m pretty sure Ms. Feinstein did. Just as a refresher, it said:

    (1) the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol to, or other agreement regarding, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change of 1992, at negotiations in Kyoto in December 1997, or thereafter, which would–

    (A) mandate new commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the Annex I Parties, unless the protocol or other agreement also mandates new specific scheduled commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for Developing Country Parties within the same compliance period, or

    (B) would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States; and

    (2) any such protocol or other agreement which would require the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification should be accompanied by a detailed explanation of any legislation or regulatory actions that may be required to implement the protocol or other agreement and should also be accompanied by an analysis of the detailed financial costs and other impacts on the economy of the United States which would be incurred by the implementation of the protocol or other agreement.

  6. Allen Says:

    Thanks Steve, for that information. I’d never heard of that resolution before. It is interesting to me how few people realize the controbution of “developing” nations as far as “greenhouse gasses” go. It seems that part 1.a. addresses that point. A point I see as a major flaw in Kyoto.

    Of course China is all for a treaty which would essentially provide a bigger chunk of the worlds resources for its own use while limiting those same resources to what are essentially its economic competitors.

    I was very interested to see the names at the top. Its funny how this was Al Gores baby and the Senate, which was still controlled by the Democrats, was against some of the wording. I think I now know why President Clinton did not sign it.

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