Dr-Fix-It! Notebook Archive:
No to Kyoto ...
The emission of greenhouse gasses, a by-product of human industrial activity, has been singled out as the cause of global warning. Noted scientists agree the the climate is, indeed, changing. But,They are reluctant to admit there is a trend toward global warming. They point to climate changes caused by factors such as El Nino and volcanic eruptions. Furthermore, they contend there is credible evidence that variations in solar intensity is the root cause for most global temperature changes.
Drafted in 1997, the Kyoto Protocol defined an agreement among the industrialized nations of the world to reduce emissions of six greenhouse gases. More than 170 nations signed the treaty, including the U.S., the European Union, Canada, and Japan. If the treaty had been ratified by the U.S. Congress, it would have required the U.S. to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to a level 7% below 1990 levels by 2008-2012.
Faced with projected costs of $350 BILLION PER YEAR to meet Kyoto Protocol emission levels, President Bush announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol in March 2001. Instead, he proposed the development of energy-efficient technology and economic incentive packages to encourage industries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on their own.
But, the European Union and other nations continue to pressure Bush to adopt the Kyoto Protocol. And, even our own Senate Foreign Relations Committee has passed a unanimous resolution calling for Bush to sign the Kyoto Protocol.
However, meteorologists maintain that there are huge discrepancies between data sources. Surface observations show significant warming is occurring and the trend is accelerating. But Satellite data and and measurements taken from weather balloons indicate small cyclical climate changes driven by such factors as ocean circulation changes or solar cycles. And long-term temperature data from the poles shows that the polar arctic regions are actually getting colder!
Yes, the world "Booed" the US when President Bush backed out of the Kyoto Protocol . But, I think he made the correct decision. I think $350 Billion per year for at least 10 years is a crippling price to pay for the forced reduction of greenhouse gasses when incentives could accomplish similar objectives within a free market economy.
Especially when it is still not clear whether climate changes are trends or cycles.
Especially since there is still a debate whether there actually IS global warming.
And especially since climate changes may, ultimately , be caused by ocean currents or sun cycles