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On Truthfulness and Kyoto

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  • Eric Britton
    On Truthfulness and Kyoto Editor s note: The source of this piece, RedState.org, defines itself as follows: RedState.org is focused on politics, and seeks
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 3, 2005
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      On Truthfulness and Kyoto

       

      Editor’s note: The source of this piece, RedState.org, defines itself as follows:  “RedState.org is focused on politics, and seeks the construction of a Republican majority in the United States. We hope to unite serious, innovative, and accomplished voices from government, politics, activism, civil society, and journalism to participate in this work”. Still it is our policy here to listen to all sides. If we are to be serious, that’s a key part of the solution process.

       

      In the late 90's the Kyoto accords were signed by most all developed countries. Even the US under Clinton signed the accords, with the proviso that we wouldn't be actually agreeing to them unless the Senate ratified the treaty. It was never submitted to the senate for ratification. Virtually all European countries became a part of the accord that agreed to cut greenhouse emissions to 8% below 1990 levels.

       

      Over that last 6 years or so the US has been treated to various European Commissars lecture the US on obligations to the world community. Why can't the US be more like civilized Europeans and agree to do something to save mankind?

       

      So how are the Europeans doing on their quest to save the planet from the rapacious Yankees? Not very well it seems.

      Here's a rundown of the progress to date by industry:

      ·  Energy: +24 million tonnes (+2.1%) - increase mainly due to a surge in demand for electricity which was mainly met by coal-fired power plants

      ·  Households and services: +18 million tonnes (+2.8%) - one of the main reasons was the cold conditions that prevailed during the winter

      ·  Industry: +17 million tonnes (+2.1%) - Iron & steel and air conditioning & refrigeration are mentioned as being responsible for the rise

      ·  Transport: +6 million tonnes (0.7%) - Germany is cited as an example with emissions reduction recorded for the fourth consecutive year.

      There has been some reductions, but virtually all of those came by shuttering the old inefficient Soviet era industry in Eastern Europe. Capitalist competition did what the chattering class of Europe couldn't do. Western Europe (where the lectures originate) hasn't done well in reducing emissions: ·  United Kingdom: +10 million tonnes

      ·  Finland: +7 million tonnes

      ·  Germany: +6 million tonnes (almost)

      Which brings into focus the idea of truthfulness. Most Europeans knew when they were lecturing the US on environmental policy that they weren't going to make the changes necessary to bring about the Kyoto mandated emission changes. However moral superiority on environmental issues plays well with the Greens back home and nobody would be able to confirm the shortfall for many years. Rather cynical ploy.

      Bush, on the other hand, knew that the changes weren't going to be made and therefore decided to endure the lectures by various bureaucrats and morally superior cultural ministers rather than agree to do something that he knew wouldn't happen. Not a bad definition for integrity.

      The Democrats in the US have taken a middle ground on the matter -- condemning Bush for not backing the treaty, while at the same time actually calling for ratification. It's a muddled and somewhat dishonest path designed to gather votes from the Environmentalist lobby while not impacting the economy. A temporarily expedient path, but one that's destined to fail in the long run as the Europeans are discovering.

      Source: http://buckland.redstate.org/story/2005/11/2/102718/187

       

       

    • Eric Britton
      From: Stephen Plowden [mailto:stephenplowden@blueyonder.co.uk] Sent: Monday, November 07, 2005 7:37 AM The most effective way to reduce emissions from road
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 7, 2005
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        From: Stephen Plowden [mailto:stephenplowden@...]
        Sent: Monday, November 07, 2005 7:37 AM


        The most effective way to reduce emissions from road transport is
        through lower speed limits and more modest vehicle design.

        1. Set worldwide maximum road speed limit of 90 km/h

        2. Build cars with a top speed closely related to that and with much
        reduced powers of acceleration. (A London taxi takes about 24 seconds to

        accelerate from 0 to 60mph but can do all the manouvres, such as joining

        a motorway, for which a relatively high acceleration is required.) This
        requires regulation.

        3. Set a maximum weight for cars of each given carrying capacity and tax

        cars at the top of the range more highly than lighter ones of the same
        carrying capacity.

        These measures would be justified if there were no such thing as global
        warming, because of reductions in the number and severity of crashes
        and savings in non- renewable resources (also reduced noise etc).

        The benefits would come about in two ways: lower costs per mile and
        lower mileage because of the traffic-suppressing effects of reducing
        speeds and thereby increasing travel times. So the (alleged) need for
        road building would be reduced..

        Both developed and developing countries would benefit, but developing
        countries most, because of their huge and growing road safety problem
        and also because of the drain on their foreign exchange of buying
        vehicles and fuel.

        Can someone who is going to Montreal please put these points there?



        Paul Metz wrote:

        >1. TRUTHFULNESS
        >
        >Gabriel Roth makes a good point. It is, however, also fair to add the
        >perspective of that (in)famous 1997 Byrd-Hagel resolution, which was
        passed
        >6 months before the Kyoto Summit. It is only in hindsight interpreted
        as a
        >rejection of the Protocol. The text clearly bases a rejection on the
        >assumption that participation in the Protocol would seriously harm the
        US
        >economy. The resolution failed to include a fair comparison with the
        costs
        >of non-action, aka business-as-usual.
        >
        >Today, we know that the Kyoto Protocol includes a planned participation
        of
        >developing countries by 2010 and we know much more about the costs of
        BAU
        >(oil scarcity, hurricanes, floods, .. see reports of Reinsurers) and
        >benefits of alternatives.
        >
        >An American government specialised in preemptive policies and
        programmes
        >would be very well positioned to convince Congress that Byrd-Hagel were
        >(perhaps) right in 1997, but that their resolution no longer is in the
        >national interest. Many research institutes have presented peer
        reviewed
        >economic impact studies that convince everyone else ...
        >
        >Many Parties now go to Montreal with the sincere intention to design an
        >attractive way for developing countries to accept responsibilities by
        2010 -
        >beyond the CDM-peanuts. Then the US will no longer have reasons to hide
        >behind China + G77.
        >
        >
        >Note - full text Byrd-Hagel, July 27, 1997: "Resolved, That it is the
        sense
        >of the Senate that--
        >
        >(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."
        >
        >
        >2. TECHNOLOGY or KYOTO ?
        >
        >For those of us going to the World Technology Summit this remark may
        help
        >them. The Kyoto Protocol is challenged by industry sectors and some
        >governments arguing that "Technologies will save the climate, not
        >Protocols". This is a good example of comparing pigs and diamonds. It
        is the
        >design objective of Kyoto to stimulate innovation and boost the use of
        the
        >many existing carbonefficient technologies by giving greenhouse gases a
        >price that reflects their emission scarcity. In Kyoto the EU proposed
        >policies & measures to achieve this, the US proposed a cap & trade
        approach.
        >You all know the outcome and many may share my surprise if a choice for
        >"technologies instead of emission trade" would be made for any other
        reason
        >than delay and sabotage. All proactive business leaders know that
        things
        >only change under pressure and fundamental changes affect
        competitiveness
        >and will never be made voluntarily - by individual companies nor
        countries.
        >Everyone agrees that "global problems require global solutions" and
        that "we
        >need a level-playing-field". We then have to accept that a global
        >level-playing-field can only be constructed under the UN. If not, we
        are not
        >honest and will not create the best conditions for business and
        citizens.
        >
        >Paul Metz
        >www.integer-consult.com
        >
        >
        >-----Original Message-----
        >From: Kyoto2020@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kyoto2020@yahoogroups.com]
        >Sent: zaterdag 5 november 2005 12:13
        >To: Kyoto2020@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [Kyoto2020] Digest Number 58
        >
        >
        >_______________________________________________________________________
        _
        >_______________________________________________________________________
        _
        >
        >Message: 1
        > Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2005 18:51:01 -0500
        > From: Gabriel Roth <roths@...>
        >Subject: Re: On Truthfulness and Kyoto
        >
        >The writer might have added that, although the
        >Kyoto treaty was not presented by President
        >Clinton to the US Senate for ratification, a vote
        >on it was in fact held there. Ninety five
        >senators voted not to approve that treaty and not
        >one member, Republican or Democrat, voted in
        >support. So it is not truthful to assign only to
        >President Bush the odium of opposing this treaty.
        >
        >
        >_________________________________________________________
        >The Kyoto 20/20 Cities Challenge: http://kyotocities.org
        >A single ambitious environmental objective for your city:
        >*** A 20% improvement in 20 months, and within budget. ***
        >
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        >(It might be that your note is best sent to one person?)
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        >_________________________________________________________
        >The Kyoto 20/20 Cities Challenge: http://kyotocities.org
        >A single ambitious environmental objective for your city:
        >*** A 20% improvement in 20 months, and within budget. ***
        >
        >Please think twice before posting to the group as a whole
        >(It might be that your note is best sent to one person?)
        >Yahoo! Groups Links
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