…for once again making me embarrassed to be an American.
I mean, it’s not like Clinton was busting his butt to achieve the agreed targets in the Kyoto agreement, but at least he SIGNED the damn thing. And yes, greenhouse gas emissions have actually increased 12% in the US since the agreement.
But to be such a blatant dickhead as to say to the rest of the world “We don’t have to stand by this agreement and you can’t make us, nyah nyah” is just pathetic. This guy seems to fit every negative stereotype that exists about Republicans – he’s isolationist, caters exclusively to corporate interests (especially Big Oil), and doesn’t give a damn about the environment, the future, or the credibility of the country – and gives his own party a bad name.
So he’s managed to antagonise China by selling arms to Taiwan, Russia by expelling “spies”, the Arab world by his support for that bloodthirsty hawk Sharon and the whole world by his pigheaded determination to implement Son of Star Wars.
Now he is scrapping the Kyoto treaty because “It is not in the United States’ economic best interest”. Well of course its not you addle-pated gallivanting fool, it’s about restoring the damage the most polluting nation in history has done to the environment so there is still an inhabitable world in which to pursue interests, economic or otherwise.
Having successfully pissed off the entire population of the planet, apart from presumably the cronies who will be awarded nice terms to fuck up Alaska by drilling for oil, what does he do for an encore?
Why couldn’t he just have stuck to ruining America?
Oh and Spoofe, that’s such a dumb comment from a smart guy that you must surely be trying to rile us lefties, yes?
I’m not a fan of George either and his plans on turning wildlife reserves into oil fields has invoked my ire, but I find myself in agreement with him on the Kyoto treaty.
The treaty simply does not take into account the industrial level that the US is at yet, and please point out if I am mistaken, 3rd world nations, which understandably could not afford the cost of reducing emmisions, are not bound by the treaty to do so even though they are some of the world’s worst polluters.
Additionally it is quite doubtful that the US could abide by the treaty even if it wished to do so.
Heavier reliance on nuclear power my allow the US to come closer to adhering to the treaty’s restrictions but with our understandable reluctance to deal with nuclear waste that is not a very attractive alternative.
Its (Kyoto treaty) aim was to commit 38 industrialised nations to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, in order to slow down global warming. The target was relatively modest - a 5.2 per cent reduction of 1990 emission levels by 2012, or 7 per cent for the United States, which is responsible for more than a quarter of the world’s emissions.
Oh, yeah, I forgot the basis of your mighty philosophy…eternal economic growth is an American birthright, and screw the rest of the planet.
As a matter of fact, screw everyone on THIS continent who isn’t heavily involved in the stock market or oil/natural gas drilling, and who might simply want to see a tree or two left on the Eastern Seaboard.
Well, this is the one critique of Kyoto which I don’t agree with. There is a deceptive truth to the statement that 3rd world nations are the world’s worst polluters in the sense that most production facilities are far below developing world standards on emissions. However, their capacity is far lower and therefor contribution still trivial as compared to the developing world.
Ergo, this is a red herring. I’ve not looked at Kyoto in a while so I can’t say what the detials are, but there are mechanisms to deal with the developing world as they reach levels of development which (a) make their contribution meaningful on a global aggregate scale (b) have the capacity to make the reductions.
I’ll be frank, those advancing the 3rd World argument are either being disingenous or are ignorant.
It’s doubtful anyone could realistically reach Kyoto goals.
A better treaty should be negotiated post-haste with more flexiblity to address developing science and allow for efficient solutions over time.
In re Spoofe’s objection: I think in a general sense this is a false one. Insofar as many changes are recommended from an economic efficiency sense, they should not be harmful in the medium term. Insofar as the current economic tempest is but part of a long term fluctuation, that is no reason in and off itself for repudiating a treaty. And, to be frank, I don’t think it is the real reason behind Bush’s move (well for him since he’s none too deep, but in re his advisors) rather its an excuse.
I’d rather have had a good critique and a relaunching of revised negotiations than this sort of move since it rather puts the US in a weak negotiating position.
If there is a real pit critique to make is in re certain sectors of this administration being quite clueless in re good for relations management and placing yourself positively for future moves. My Colin(*) is just not getting the influence he should since, IMHO, he’s the only one to show so far a sophisticated grasp of managing our international interests.
This is a well reasoned arguement and I’m willing to buy into it.
Um… I choose disingenous cause it sounds better. Although since I’m dropping this objection I hope I can cast off this label as well.
Exactly my thought. I would like the US to seek to curtail its emmissions but it is foolish to set up a treaty by which no one can abide. Failure to meet it’s goals will only lessen the binding will that the treaty has upon its members. A more realistic treaty should be created.
BTW, there’s another thread on this in GD here (spoof and collounsbury: I know you already know that)
Picking one sentence from a post I made in there:
I’ll add this, fwiw.
I like the US and pretty much every USer I’ve met, both online and in person. I revel in the differences and admire much of what you have/are etc, so understand that this is directed at your administration, not you personally.
I will freely admit that there are flaws in the present agreement and in the ways the previous administration implemented it (or didn’t, as the case may be).
The point of my original rant, however, is that by repudiating the agreement in the manner he did, Bush made the US the subject of international scorn. The Presidency of the United States is a position with considerable influence and power in the world, and as such should be used in a responsible manner and with some degree of awareness of the consequences of one’s actions. This recent move makes the President – and by association all Americans – look selfish, shortsighted and inconsiderate. And that’s what I find most inexcusable.
P.S. According to the news last night, the US produces 25% of greenhouse gas emissions. In second place is China with 14%. We’re #1! We’re #1!
From a slightly outside perspective I think the more scary statistic is that 25% is being produced by about 5% of the planet’s population. That said, by using a per capita rather than overall tonnage statistic quite a lot of Western Europe can’t be very far behind.
In a funny kind of way this is evidence of the US’s success, and good luck to you too. Most rational people I know certainly are not jealous of the US’s pre-eminence (well, unless they’re French, but that rules them out on rational grounds ); the far more important question is… now that you’ve got there, reaped the rewards etc, what are you going to do about the negative consequences?
Sorry, that came out sounding a lot more prissy than it was meant to.
Actually, **vanilla[/b, it seems to me that this is happening precisely because people voted for Nader. Every vote for him was pretty much a vote for Bush, like it or not. Sure, it’s a simplistic reduction, but if all those Nader-voters who care so deeply for the environment had actually voted according to the candidate most likely to do shit about it when elected (and stood a strong chance of making it into office, which Nader never did), we’d have a president who shares their concern. Instead, we’ve got Dubya: the first president in a long time who actually reflects the stupidity of the general population.