The Kyoto accord looks like yesterday's approach to yesterday's conception of tomorrow's problem.Here's the deal on the Kyoto Accord. Back when Clinton was president, the US Senate advised him by a vote of 99-0 not to sign the Kyoto accord. The accord is basically an agreement by some developed nations that they will make draconian cuts in their emissions of so-called "greenhouse" gases, like carbon dioxide. If the promised new limits are not met, the signers would have to pay humongeous penalties. The world's underdeveloped nations, like China, are not subject to these limits.
What these limits would have done, had the world's developed nations actually made an attempt to reach them, would have been to slow the economic engines of the world's developed nations way down so that the underdeveloped ones could catch up. In other words, people like those of the United States would have to suffer so that the Chinese and the Mexicans and the Brazilians and a big long list of others could recover from decades or centuries or millennia of mis-management, corruption and all around economic stupidity.
Bill Clinton, who only seemed to suffer from stupidity when a strange skirt was involved and George Bush, who only seems to suffer from stupidity when on his mountain bike and facing a hill that Lance Armstrong would choose to ride around, weren't going to present a treaty to the US Senate and suffer a 99-0 defeat. Nor were they going to present a treaty to the US Senate that guaranteed the demise of the US economy and the impoverishment of its people.
And what about all of the environmentally friendly and forward thinking and progressive developed nations that did sign the treaty? They ignored it. What the treaty demanded of them was too high a price for their people to pay. It couldn't be done. Now those nations are facing the "eye watering" financial penalties for failing to make their target emission reductions. What are they going to do? Refuse to pay, that's what they are going to do. The Kyoto Accord is dead, dead, dead.
The only two signers of the accord with any chance at all of coming even close to their respective targets are Great Britain and Germany. Britain because she has been able to convert many coal fired generating plants over to gas. Germany because she had an ace up her sleeve. As soon as Germany signed the agreement, it started shutting down the old East German high polluting industries, unemployment be damned. So Germany, which will not make its final target either - although it will come closer than most - suffers from 10-15% unemployment against 5% here in the good old USA.
When George Bush met with world leaders at the recent G8 summit in Scotland, did the G8 nations, with the exception of the US all signers of the accord, blast the USA and Bush for our position? Nope, they went along with the American's contention that the Kyoto Accord was a "blind alley" and that only technology, applied to the problem by every nation both developed and underdeveloped, will save the planet.
TAGS: Kyoto, environment, greenhouse gases, emissions, G8