Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Kyoto Lives?

The Australian reports on the global warming debate, addressing the major problems with the Kyoto Protocol, but then noting the irony of demonizing Kyoto opponents:

The protocol requires 35 industrialised countries to lower their greenhouse emissions by 5 per cent below 1990 levels by 2012, and apart from the low-growth economies of "Old Europe" – who happen to be the chief barrackers for binding limits – many of them are nowhere near on track. Canada and New Zealand, for example, face heavy penalties for missing their Kyoto targets, illustrating the particular threat the treaty poses to industrialised nations with small populations. Countries with high per capita emissions suffer under Kyoto, even if their actual contribution to the problem is piffling. Meanwhile, huge polluters such as China and India, where peasants burn cow dung for fuel in villages and millions of city-dwellers putter around on two-stroke engines, remain exempt, because they didn't participate in an industrial revolution 200 years ago.

...adding to the irony is that Australia and the US, the two highest-profile Kyoto naysayers, are doing much better on emission reduction than many signatories, because of their commitment to new technologies and alternative fuels rather than inflexible targets. Indeed, it should be remembered that the US, which is the perennial whipping-boy of the hardcore Kyoto advocates, continues to underwrite the bulk of the world's global warming research.

The National Center for Public Policy Research reported from the recent UN global warming conference/convention/party:

One camp includes the United States, China, India, Japan, Australia and much of the developing world. This camp opposes strict greenhouse gas emissions caps on economic grounds.

The other camp includes the hypocrites.

Those paying the most lip service to the Kyoto Protocol have been amongst its most flagrant violators.

For example, Canada, whose Prime Minister, Paul Martin, lashed out against the United States for failing to support the Kyoto Protocol, has increased its greenhouse gas emissions from the treaty's 1990 baseline by between 22 and 24 percent. By contrast, U.S. emissions increased by between 14 and 18 percent from the 1990 baseline and actually dropped somewhat between 2000 and 2003.

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