Yesterday, 16 February 2005, the Kyoto Protocol for reducing greenhouse gas emissions went into effect, having been ratified by the requisite minimum of countries responsible for 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Consequences include the following:
– Thirty-five industrialized countries and the European Community are legally bound to reduce their combined emissions of six major greenhouse gases during the five-year period 2008-2012 to below 1990 levels.
– The international carbon trading market receives a strong market signal. The Protocol’s “emissions trading” regime enables industrialized countries to buy and sell emissions credits amongst themselves; this market-based approach will improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of emissions cuts.
Now, the Kyoto Protocol by itself is certainly not the answer to problems of pollution and anthropogenic climate change. Among its drawbacks are the facts that the emissions cuts it requires are fairly small, that it doesn’t impose emissions controls on large developing nations like China and India, and that major greenhouse-gas polluters like Australia and the USA have refused to participate in it. Whether it can accomplish anything significant, given these limitations, remains to be seen.
Nonetheless, it’s at least a step in the right direction towards mitigating human environmental impact, and it has now become legally binding—contrary to the predictions of many who alleged that Kyoto was just environmental window-dressing that would never be adequately ratified, and that even its pretended supporters didn’t really want it to go into force. Those cynical predictions were, as we now see, dead wrong, and I welcome this opportunity to mock them. Mock mock mock:
I have collected a few remarks from various Kyoto skeptics here at the SDMB, and I append them here for mocking purposes. (Note that I am not mocking people for having opined that Kyoto would be ineffective or counterproductive if it went into effect: the accuracy of those predictions is still unknown. I’m just jeering at the soi-disant realists who proclaimed that it would never even go into effect, and/or that nobody was seriously trying to implement it.)
(That was an interesting forage through the archives: boy, there sure were a lot of people saying all kinds of negative things about the Kyoto Protocol a few years back. Depending on how the economic costs of compliance work out, I may be able to start another mocking thread solely devoted to Sam Stone’s frequent gloom-and-doom forebodings about Kyoto being “economically crippling” with “trillions of dollars” in cost! :))