PDA

View Full Version : From Kyoto to New Orleans


Arne
09-02-2005, 03:57 PM
From Kyoto to New Orleans
The enormous and international problem of global warming can no longer be denied

By Tom Plate
Pacific Perspectives Columnist

Los Angeles --- Beneath the endlessly horrific details surrounding the hurricane that swamped parts of New Orleans and the southeast United States lurks a monster question. Just how angry -- really -- is Mother Nature over the irreverent, careless way we humans and our energy-hungry machines have been manhandling our precious, precariously balanced planet?

The way this question is put may seem anthropomorphically fanciful, but the issue of worldwide warming has been on the global table top long enough to know that it's high time we did something about it. Most people understand that many scientists believe the issue to be nothing less than dire. It is also a fact that many eminent scientific seers directly connect the worldwide warming phenomenon with certain kinds of bad weather news -- to wit, the apparently growing severity of "natural" catastrophes.

Consider, for example, an alarming recent paper in New Scientist, one of the world's most respected professional journals. In it, Judith Marquand of Oxford University and Sergei Kirpotin of Tomsk State University in western Siberia report their finding of an astonishing degree of global warming in Siberia eating away at the permafrost over a land mass roughly equivalent to the expanse of France and Germany.

For the first time since the last ice age (about 11,000 years ago) "permafrost," as it is called, covering this entire sub-Artic area of Siberia, is starting to melt. Underneath the frost is vast subterranean goo (peat bog) that contains noxious methane, heretofore trapped beneath the ice. Once in the atmosphere, substantial quantities of this greenhouse gas will add to the earth's warming.

Similarly, scientists believe that the oceanic warming, however slow but steady, contributes to the increasing ferocity of severe atmospheric meltdowns, such as hurricanes. Future environmental disasters are in prospect. MIT climatologist Kerry Emanuel wrote a few weeks ago in the internationally respected journal Nature, "My results suggest that future warming may lead to an upward trend in tropical cyclone destructive potential and -- taking into account an increasing coastal population -- a substantial increase in hurricane-related losses in the 21st century."

Right now, America's attention is focused, understandably, on the crisis of the moment. This calamity has become problem number-one for President George Bush. In the end we may find that the human and economic damage from hurricane Katrina will exceed that from Sept. 11, 2001.

Life offers many lessons for us all; none of us is perfect, and the most important lessons tend to be the most surprising ones. A few years ago the Bush administration preemptively dropped out of participation in the greenhouse-emission-reduction protocol named after one of the world's most beautiful cities -- Kyoto. The treaty had been negotiated thanks to the determined and skilled orchestration of one of America's most important allies -- Japan. To say that the Bush administration dumped Kyoto unceremoniously would be to insult the word unceremonious. The White House acted as if the treaty had been put together in a nasty conspiracy of Communists working with Al Qaeda agents. The snarling disdain was insulting to many of our best friends who favored the Kyoto approach.

Global warming is a phenomenally important issue that can no longer be denied unless you are in some kind of severe psychotic state of transcendental delusion. To be sure, the Kyoto emissions-reduction approach was at best an imperfect blueprint, but it was better than nothing. But nothing was all that Washington offered in response until this June, when it and some of the other biggest polluters put out a new plan to cut greenhouse emissions.

There's nothing wrong with alternative proposals, whether to cool global warming or to the reform the United Nations, so long as they are presented with mature intent, a sense of respect for the views of others, and modesty about one's own prescience and brilliance.

The world is clearly embarked on a worrisome environmental course that will not and cannot be righted overnight. The evil-hurricane parable -- of trouble that crosses over many national boundaries and is fueled from below by a heated-up ocean -- illustrates what is at stake. The problem is enormous and international. Note how the United States government is very hard pressed to cope with tragic destruction just within its own southeastern arena. Alone, it has no hope at all of coping with the larger environmental problems that are sure to plague the globe in the future. For that, the United States will need many committed partners and must demonstrate uncharacteristic humility and self-effacing cooperation. For against a very violent and angry Mother Nature, even the mightiest superpower is little more than a relative peanut.

Link (http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/columns.asp?parentid=29339)

capitalcity
09-02-2005, 05:01 PM
Meltdown (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1930865597/104-2153913-8394355?v=glance)

Mavdog
09-02-2005, 05:14 PM
Originally posted by: capitalcity
Meltdown (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1930865597/104-2153913-8394355?v=glance)

I notice Meltdown is a markdown.....

FishForLunch
09-02-2005, 05:17 PM
If only the US signed onto the Kyoto treaty, hurricane Katrina may not have hit New Orleans or become a category 1 hurricane.

Rhylan
09-02-2005, 05:25 PM
So I wonder what caused the Galveston hurricane in 1903 (or whatever year it was).

Teddy Roosevelt?

Mavdog
09-02-2005, 05:45 PM
come on, nobody should be blaming bush for anything yet, and hurricanes have been around and destructive since recorded time.

there is no record of the same intensity and frequency of hurricanes such as have been seen over the past 3 years. from what i've read, it's unprecedented.

the data says global tempertures are increasing. models say higher temps, greater chance of tropical storms.

doesn't it just make a ton of sense to limit our emissions? we have the ability, we need to deploy it.

screw kyoto, we should be doing all we can to protect our environment without that agreement. I'm more concerned that other countries sign on to kyoto rather than if the US will.

Arne
09-02-2005, 06:29 PM
So you're saying that other countries are gonna jump on the Kyoto protocoll if the US do so? That's not the most important thing about this all, because the US are the, by far, most important part of saving our environment. Because right now the USA are the biggest Polluters, again BY FAR:

Carbon Dioxide Emissions of the three biggest polluters:

----------------------The USA | EU Countries | China | Total
Population of world: -4.6% | ---------6.3% | -21% | 31.9%
World economy: -------30% | ---------23% | -3.2% | 56.2%
CO2 Emissions: --------24% | --------14% | --13% | 51%


"China and the EU, both lesser polluters than the US, have one thing in common: They are both committed to further reducing their rate of emissions. Despite economic growth China has cut emissions by 17% since the mid 1990s. The odd one out is the USA. Immensely richer than China, but with less population than Europe, it emits more harmful chemicals than both of them. In addition, it has so far stubbornly refused to endorse international protocols designed to reduce such emissions. The world looks on flabbergasted as the world's greatest polluter cares not to take care or responsibility in the face of international pressure."

Mavdog
09-02-2005, 07:02 PM
The chart you provide tells the story.

the US has 30% of the global economy yet only 24% of the emissions. the US has decreased their emissions during most of the last decade. the us is in the top 5 of pollution control spending as a per cent of GDP. only austria and the netherlands devote more.

Look at china. 3.2% of the global economy yet 13% of the emissions. hmmm...

the emission/production ratios are way too high in third world economies.

Drbio
09-02-2005, 08:54 PM
Ignorant frenchies crack me up.


One good thing though...mavdog seems to be normal in this thread...kind of.

LRB
09-02-2005, 10:39 PM
Originally posted by: Mavdog
The chart you provide tells the story.

the US has 30% of the global economy yet only 24% of the emissions. the US has decreased their emissions during most of the last decade. the us is in the top 5 of pollution control spending as a per cent of GDP. only austria and the netherlands devote more.

Look at china. 3.2% of the global economy yet 13% of the emissions. hmmm...

the emission/production ratios are way too high in third world economies.

Mavdog, this is actually a great post to support concern over enviromental issues, especially global warming. I give you props for this. The real threat here is China, whose exploding industrial growth is fueling the rising price in oil and according to this chart correspondingly fueling the rise in emissions.

Arne
09-03-2005, 02:46 AM
Originally posted by: Mavdog
The chart you provide tells the story.

the US has 30% of the global economy yet only 24% of the emissions. the US has decreased their emissions during most of the last decade. the us is in the top 5 of pollution control spending as a per cent of GDP. only austria and the netherlands devote more.

Look at china. 3.2% of the global economy yet 13% of the emissions. hmmm...

the emission/production ratios are way too high in third world economies.

And then quote the article right under my chart. It tells you that only the US are not committed to reduce their rate of pollution. While China has already reduced their pollution by 17% since the mid 90's.

Now thing about it in this way:

"Many environmentalists understand that developing countries do not have the technology or means to use the most modern or environmentally friendly industrial equipment. But when such a rich country as the USA fails to take responsibility for it's own pollution it really annoys a lot of people worldwide."

Then again saving our in environment is not only about the economy, it's also about the people and when you're having a billlion people living in your country, then it's more understandably to be a bigger plluter than when you only have a "small" country like the USA who would actually have the power to stop all this shit, but doesn't do it because of pure ignorance.


And if you're talking about how other countries would jump on to the KYoto protokol if the US did then read this:

"All industrial nations except the USA accept it
73 countries have become signatories to this pact . Nearly all countries have ratified the pact including Japan and all 15 European Union states. In 2001 the United States provoked widespread international criticism by rejecting the Kyoto protocol as soon as President Bush was inaugurated. "

Mavdog
09-03-2005, 10:44 AM
Originally posted by: Arne
And then quote the article right under my chart. It tells you that only the US are not committed to reduce their rate of pollution. While China has already reduced their pollution by 17% since the mid 90's.

Now thing about it in this way:

"Many environmentalists understand that developing countries do not have the technology or means to use the most modern or environmentally friendly industrial equipment. But when such a rich country as the USA fails to take responsibility for it's own pollution it really annoys a lot of people worldwide."

Explain how the US is "not committed to reduce the rate of pollution" when the US <u>IS</u> reducing the rate?

I don't care very much who our policy "annoys", the US has become more proactive on environmental regs. We are reducing our emiisions, and will reduce them more. I don't agreee with the current administrations leniency with some polluters, yet even their efforts won't allow an increase in emmissions.

The fact that the lesser developed countries don't stress the need for the technology is just why want them a part of the treaty. the us is doing it without the treaty.


Then again saving our in environment is not only about the economy, it's also about the people and when you're having a billlion people living in your country, then it's more understandably to be a bigger plluter than when you only have a "small" country like the USA who would actually have the power to stop all this shit, but doesn't do it because of pure ignorance.

And if you're talking about how other countries would jump on to the KYoto protokol if the US did then read this:

"All industrial nations except the USA accept it
73 countries have become signatories to this pact . Nearly all countries have ratified the pact including Japan and all 15 European Union states. In 2001 the United States provoked widespread international criticism by rejecting the Kyoto protocol as soon as President Bush was inaugurated. "

you misunderstand whjat I'm saying about kyoto. if the rest of the world signs on, great. we don't need it,

in the US the public puts pressure on and for all intent and purposes new polluters are not allowed to operate. those who want to continue must agree to upgrade of controls. the bush administration has delayed many of these upgrade rules, but they are inevitable. look at what just went doen in Midlotian, TX when Texas Industries wanted to start a kiln. the community forced them to agree to controls with a lower level of production.

the only way to gauge a relative level of emmissions between economies is to index that amount to the amount of goods produced. that measurement shows that the us is very much environmentally conscious.

Arne
09-03-2005, 06:27 PM
So give me some numbers. How much has the bush gouvernment reduced pollution during its reign?

mercury_rev
09-04-2005, 03:58 AM
An imperialist drained a precious wetland in order to establish a colonial slaveowning oligarchy. Two centuries later, the chickens have come home to roost.

Screw global warming, it's all Napoleon's fault.