Monday, August 22, 2005

USA Leads on Effective Global Warming Measures

The United States has signed an agreement with China. India, Japan, Australia and South Korea that will go well beyond the limited steps of the Kyoto Protocol, but Europeans and liberals, in general, are more put out than happy over the arrangement. The countries named above account for half the greenhouse emissions in the world.

Kyoto, which could easily cause a depression here and in some other developed nations, gives to developing nations great opportunities for rent-seeking. That is the case, for example, of the former Soviet Republics, which are going to make a lot of money in the next few years by selling hot air -- that is, emissions credits that they would not use otherwise -- to European countries unable to meet their Kyoto targets. Yet, that is just a trade in hot air: the process will result in little or no actual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The US plan focuses on energy innovation and research and development of cleaner technologies, as well as technological transfer to the developing world in order to address global warming. As such, the plan follows closely that which the G8 leaders endorsed in Scotland last month.

I’ve never bought into the idea that man-made activities have had a significant effect on global warming, but to the extent they have, this partnership plan will do much more to reduce emissions than Kyoto ever could. Once again, President Bush has trumped the weary Europeans.

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At 9:31 AM, Anonymous steve said...

First, I cannot believe that you have still not accepted the commonly accepted view that our factory and auto emissions contribute to global warming. This is widely accepted by even most "opponents".
Second, I'd want to see specifics. I find it hard to swallow that Bush would have endorsed anything that is restrictive of his energy sponsors. Hopefully it's better than the falsely named "clear skies" initiative.

I hope this IS good news, But I'm very skeptical.

At 11:09 AM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

What I have said and I believe, as do the scientists associated with the Science and Environmental Policy Project, is that manmade emissions constitute a negligible percentage of the emissions leading to global warming. We should try to reduce them, but there is no reason to sacrifice our way of life to do so as Kyoto would have done.

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous steve said...

I say consider your source. This appears to more a propaganda site than legit. The vast majority of emissions causing warming are from burning fossil fuels. Check out NCSE, Nat'l Research council, IPCC, the AGU (over 40k scientists from around the world)or the EPA "Scientists know for certain that human activities are changing the composition of Earth's atmosphere. Increasing levels of greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide (CO2 ), in the atmosphere since pre-industrial times have been well documented. There is no doubt this atmospheric buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is largely the result of human activities."
I can give more...
The vast majority of scientists have concluded this is legit. It only makes sense to limit the impact and lessen contribution in the most reasonable manner.


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