There are 2 Articles here, Most recent first, All with Voice
"Voice" (Kyoto and Diapers) ID Dia~905 Oct 9, 2007
Kyoto is by far the best opportunity we have at present to slow or stop pollution since it’s just about the only worldwide system in operation now. It’s not perfect by any stretch but it’s a beginning. It must first be admitted that the major weakness of Kyoto is the fact that it only addresses the greenhouse gas problem which is certainly the most critical but the whole picture of pollution is the main issue and damaging gas production is only a segment of it. This gas comes from a variety of sources and in all cases the root cause is human weakness and the primary one is monetary greed.
All things that are produced are either from factories or individuals and the method of production produces effluent, the product is most likely polluting, the delivery system is most likely polluting and solid, liquid and gaseous waste is most likely created by all three. The Car industry tops the list as the most hazardous of all manufactured items. Together with factory effluent, polluting autos and the leftover waste of autos, one must add the pollution created by places like Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada where auto fuels are created from tar sands and constitute Canada’s top single pollution source, bar none. Other countries are trying desperately to obtain Canada’s citizen to auto ratio which is about 1:1 if you count all the vehicles in everyone’s back yard. Beijing is host to the Olympics in 2008 and a prime example of the problem of playing catch-up to the so-called first world. If You click on the site, even the picture of the main stadium is partly concealed by a veil of auto, truck and manufacturing vapors that the Beijing government says won’t be there during the Olympics even if they have to shut everything down a week before the event begins.
If corporate production practices are the root cause of fouling effluent, why then do we allow this to continue? There are a considerable number of human weaknesses that foster this industrial demeanor and the clues are manifest in the oddest of places. Look around you. On your way to work you will see raw garbage in the ditches at the side of every road. People go to the fast food and just open the window when they are done and chuck out the trash while driving home. They empty their ashtrays, throw beer bottles, pop cans and anything else in an effort to keep their cars clean but they neglect the environment in doing so. Most people don’t do such things, recycle regularly and pay attention to minor things like the amount of plastic grocery bags that they get from the store. Both types of people are guilty of a variety of other misdeeds that they have considerably less control over. Things like fashion, not only in toys, cloths and electronics but in major items such as autos. The primary reason to get a new automobile is Canada and the US is fashion. The owner neglects to rust proof or do preventative maintenance because he/she knows full well that in ten years they will be quite willing to retire the old junker and get a newer looking model. This isn’t all bad concerning the auto since the new one may have better fuel economy and pollution control but this trend is getting worse all the time and the useful life of new autos is deteriorating rapidly. The companies pander to this human weakness and people revel in it. Children have every kind of new plastic toy when they are young and every conceivable electronic contraption when they get older and where do we put all this stuff? Most goes to the landfill to eventually deteriorate producing more greenhouse gas while just lying there.
Laziness and fashion are not the only human weaknesses that causes pollution by allowing companies to capitalize on public habits. Convenience can be isolated as being another major cause. Throw away items such as dusters, diapers and food containers are all unnecessary when one considers that this type of pollution may allow people to accomplish more with their time but is it really worth jeopardizing the very environment just for laziness and stupidity. People have been brainwashed into thinking that something like disposable diapers is actually a benefit over the cotton ones. The cost factor is enormous in comparison and the work required to afford this foolishness simply defeats the convenience. This idiocy gets worse when you take into account that the friends and neighbors will openly ridicule a family that does not use disposables, the daycare will bock as if you had committed an injury to the child and almost all thinking persons in Canada will not even consider the idea as if it were madness. Cotton diapers cost less than $50 and can be used for a number of children, passed on to neighbors or used a rags when they are worn. Disposables cost that amount in a week, plus one must pay three different taxes on the earnings to buy them, including income tax, plus the added garbage and pollution problem. It gets worse. We cut down our trees to make these things and use gas to go to the store every other day for more of them. How stupid are we?
What hasn’t been written about Kyoto? Is it really necessary to go over the protocol and explain any more than the fact that it’s all about the worlds burgeoning greenhouse gas emissions and the way they are increasing along with a myriad of other problems that don’t seem to have any immediate fix? Should we dwell on the idea that one country can buy emission points from another instead of curbing their own problem? Or perhaps we could make ourselves feel better about the whole global warming issue by concentrating on the newscasts that seem to at least show that we are talking about it and something seems to be getting done.
Short of lip service, very little is being done or will ever be done until it becomes an issue that can’t be ignored. By then it will be too late for many of us and that effect is happening to some extent today. El Nino is being altered, Glacial melting is occurring and California residents are dying of heat exhaustion the way others in Africa have been doing for years.
Kyoto Protocol: an overview ID Ky~over 1000 Sept 6 2006
The Kyoto Protocol is an agreement made under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an amendment to the international treaty on climate change, assigning mandatory targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to signatory nations.(UNFCCC) Countries that ratify this protocol commit to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases, or engage in emissions trading if they maintain or increase emissions of these gases.
According to a press release from the United Nations Environment Program: The Kyoto Protocol is an agreement under which industrialized countries will reduce their collective emissions of greenhouse gases by 5.2% compared to the year 1990 (but note that, compared to the emissions levels that would be expected by 2010 without the Protocol, this target represents a 29% cut). The goal is to lower overall emissions of six greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, Hydro fluorocarbon, and Per fluorocarbon - calculated as an average over the five-year period of 2008-12. National targets range from 8% reductions for the European Union and some others to 7% for the US, 6% for Japan, 0% for Russia, and permitted increases of 8% for Australia and 10% for Iceland.
Kyoto is a ’cap and trade’ system that imposes national caps on the emissions of Annex I countries. On average, this cap requires countries to reduce their emissions 5.2% below their 1990 baseline over the 2008 to 2012 period. Although these caps are national-level commitments, in practice most countries will devolve their emissions targets to individual industrial entities, such as a power plant or paper factory. This is the case today in the EU, and other countries may follow suit in time. This means that the ultimate buyers of Credits are often individual companies that expect their emissions to exceed their quota (their Assigned Amount Units, Allowances for short). Typically, they will purchase Credits directly from another party with excess allowances, from a broker, from a JI/CDM developer, or on an exchange.
Opposition to Kyoto
The two major countries currently opposed to the treaty are the United States and Australia. Some public policy experts who are skeptical of global warming see Kyoto as a scheme to either retard the growth of the world’s industrial democracies or to transfer wealth to the third world in what they claim is a global socialism initiative. Others argue the protocol does not go far enough to curb greenhouse emissions (Niue, The Cook Islands, and Nauru added notes to this effect when signing the protocol UNFCCC kpstats PDF).
Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate
The Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate is an agreement between six Asia-Pacific nations: Australia, the People’s Republic of China, India, Japan, South Korea, and the United States. It was introduced at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), regional forum on July 28, 2005. The pact allows those countries to set their goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions individually, but with no enforcement mechanism. Supporters of the pact see it as complementing the Kyoto Protocol whilst being more flexible while critics have said the pact will be ineffective without any enforcement measures and ultimately aims to void the negotiations leading to the Protocol called to replace the current Kyoto Protocol (negotiations started in Montreal in December 2005.)
Economists have been trying to analyse the overall net benefit of Kyoto Protocol through cost-benefit analysis. Just as in the case of climatology, there is disagreement due to large uncertainties in economic variables. Still, the estimates so far generally indicate either that observing the Kyoto Protocol is more expensive than not observing the Kyoto Protocol or that the Kyoto Protocol has a marginal net benefit which exceeds the cost of simply adjusting to global warming. The recent Copenhagen consensus project found that the Kyoto Protocol would slow down the process of global warming, but have a superficial overall benefit.
Position of Canada
On December 17, 2002, Canada ratified the treaty. While numerous polls have shown support for the Kyoto protocol around 70% IPSOS-NA Graves, Boucher (2002) (pdf), there is still some opposition, particularly by some business groups, non-governmental climate scientists and energy concerns, using arguments similar to those being used in the US. There is also a fear that since US companies will not be affected by the Kyoto Protocol that Canadian companies will be at a disadvantage in terms of trade.
Wikipedia free on-line encyclopedia
cbc and greenpeace
The UN-organized conference gathered all the parties in the Kyoto Protocol - and then some. Approximately 190 nations were represented by the 8,000 delegates - the largest intergovernmental climate gathering since 1997, when the Kyoto Protocol was adopted. That’s when 146 countries promised to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It all boils down to gas emissions. Power plants, factories and personal vehicles emit a mixture of gases that trap heat in Earth’s atmosphere, hence the term global warming. You go to a carbon broker and you say, I want to buy a hundred megatons of carbon. Can you find partners to offer me that? And the carbon brokers will go around, just like they’re shopping for money or a car, said delegate Bill Hare, a member of Greenpeace International.
Greenpeace has historically opposed carbon trading, preferring that nations first work at reducing domestic emissions. But the group says it has recognized that carbon trading is the only way for Kyoto to move ahead, and allow countries like Japan, Canada and Australia to meet emissions-reduction targets.
Ruth Greenspan Bell
Foreign Affairs online
Pessimistic experts who believe the world has already reached the point of no return advise that society adapt to the new conditions rather than try to correct them. Many politicians are more optimistic. In July 2005, leaders of the group of eight highly industrialized states (G-8) pledged to put themselves on a path to slow and, as the science justifies, stop and then reverse the growth of greenhouse gases. Assuming there still is time to act, the question is, how?
"AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH" is a riveting movie that promises to spark debate and may affect critical environmental change. The story weaves the science of global warming with former Vice President Al Gore’s personal history and longtime commitment to communicating the need to reverse the effects of global climate change. In Davis Guggenheim’s film, Mr. Gore indisputably correlates scientific evidence supporting global warming with exponentially rising temperatures, already responsible for dramatic climate shifts like ice-cap melting, drought and rising sea levels. Interwoven with this entertaining and insightful argument are intimate moments revealing the passionate, humanitarian side of Gore.
San Francisco Chronicle Sen John Kerry
British Prime Minister Tony Blair and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger met with more than a dozen top business officials to discuss climate change -- executives who have gathered in support of mandatory limits on greenhouse-gas emissions. Imagine that: Big Business stepping up to the plate, but the Bush administration refusing to take a seat at the table. That’s a conspicuous absence for a president who says that climate change is a challenge that requires a 100-percent effort; ours and the rest of the world’s. But it’s not surprising for a president whose preferred policy is to rewrite science to protect oil-company profits at the expense of the general public. Our gasoline-burning cars, for example, are the second-largest source of U.S. global-warming pollution. Americans will put more than 300 million new cars on the road during the next 20 years. If we give Detroit tax credits to retool their factories to build the best, most-efficient vehicles and give consumers tax credits to buy them, we’ll take a big step toward solving global warming. Finally, the United States is the world’s single-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, but the United States alone cannot solve the challenge of climate change. It is going to take action from other countries -- both developed and developing. We must re-engage in discussions with the international community and work together to plan a path forward. We must do it now. Carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere today are well beyond anything in the geological record -- going back 400,000 years. It is clear that the outdated policies that still drive our 21st-century economies have resulted in a dangerous interference with the global climate
Estimated methane emissions have been revised from 12.5 million tonnes (carbon equivalent) in 2004 to 14.1 million tonnes, an increase of 12.7 per cent. Equivalent revisions have been made for all years back to 1990. This is as a result of revised factors being used to estimate emissions from landfill sites.