Friday, July 01, 2005

Bush: Kyoto Would Have 'Wrecked' Economy

Well, assuming that he's right (which he probably isn't since he never is), what the hell difference does it make? Isn't he wrecking the economy, anyway? Or did he just want to do it on his own terms? And isn't the economy going to be a pretty moot point if the world gets wrecked instead?

"I couldn't in good faith have signed Kyoto," Bush told the Danish Broadcasting Corp., noting that the treaty did not include other nations — including India and China — that he called "big polluters."

Yeah, and the US is a big polluter too, moron. So, good job setting an example and trying to encourage those other countries to follow our lead.
He also says more study is needed to determine whether human activity is primarily to blame for rising temperatures.

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So, what if you do more study, and research it for 100 years, and then it comes back, that yep, it was human activity all along, but now, unfortunately, it's too late to do anything about it. On the other hand, if we go ahead and try to make changes now, and then it turns out that we didn't really need to, we haven't really lost anything. That is, of course, assuming that you're stupid enough to believe that it actually does require more study, which it pretty clearly doesn't. Common sense will tell you that the emissions we produce can only do bad things to the world. I guess this is the kind of shit we get when the President is fighting a War on Science. At least in that one, he seems to be having success, unlike in the War on Terror. Unfortunately, I'm rooting for science in this one.

Posted by


The Disgruntled Chemist said...


That son of a bitch is willing to ruin the globe (no, it's not hyperbole) to make a few extra bucks for his corporate masters.

Thinking about Bush's stance on global climate change makes me angrier than can be healthy. I saw this story yesterday on LiveScience but I couldn't bring myself to blog on it. It just pissed me off too much.

Christiana said...

Kyoto was a very bad treaty, (at least, it was bad for the US). The one time it came up to a vote in the Senate, it was voted down 98 to zero, and for good reason.

Basically, it required the US to shoulder a burden that was proportionally heavier even than our contribution to the problem, at the same time that polluters #2 and #3 (India and China) didn't have to do anything.

It had no way to enforce anything if nations fail to comply with it's requirements, and even it's proponents agree that, despite effectively requiring the United States to cut 25% of our economy, it wouldn't even come close to solving the global warming problem.

Clinton didn't want to sign it either for these very reasons. Basically, there is no way in hell that a treaty that punitively weighted against the US will EVER actually pass here, period.

Frankly, the only people in power who think we should sign it are, I think, disingenuous. Meaning, they can win points by saying we should do it, knowing that they won't ever have to live with the disastrous consequences it would have, because they know full well it will never pass.

Now, despite all that, I'm not saying that climate change isn't real or that we shouldn't do anything about it. (Though I will say that I think all the doomsayers are exaggerating the problem.) Still, I 100% support seeking non-greenhouse-gas technologies, and attempts to reduce emissions. I am completely in favor of those things.

But Kyoto was a very, VERY bad treaty that basically ammounted to the rest of the world trying to get an economic leg up by crippling the United States.

John Howard said...

I don't know the details of the treaty, you might be right, but my problem with Bush is that he refuses to even acknowledge that there might be a problem, and certainly is not in favor of doing anything about it. It would be one thing if he didn't sign the treaty, then suggested other, more effective ways to address the same problems, but he doesn't do anything, he just doesn't care.

Christiana said...

Oh, and also...

Regarding this:
So, what if you do more study, and research it for 100 years, and then it comes back, that yep, it was human activity all along, but now, unfortunately, it's too late to do anything about it. On the other hand, if we go ahead and try to make changes now, and then it turns out that we didn't really need to, we haven't really lost anything.

Sorry, but I have a news flash for you. It's already too late! Anything we do about it now will only MAYBE help make it a little bit less than it might have been otherwise. (Kyoto wouldn't have even done that, btw)

Further, "we haven't really lost anything?" Are you kidding me? The kind of stuff Kyoto would do would cost TRILLIONS of dollars! Do you really think that money couldn't be better spent on other things?

A hypothetical question using numbers that, admittedly, are mostly made-up.
Which is better? To spend 3 trillion dollars on greenhouse gas regulations that will make the climate only warm 1.3 degrees instead of 1.5 degrees? Or to spend 3 billion dollars trying to actually HELP the people who will be adversely impacted by climate change, and then have 297 billion left over to go buy a nice car, or, I don't know, create jobs or feed the hungry or something.

Also, the thing that is often left out of this debate is that, while there is no doubt that some people will be harmed by climate change, others will be helped. Who will fall into which category? It's impossible to know, because all we have are computer simulations that, for all we know, may be completely bogus. We can't predict the weather two weeks in advance. Why do we expect to be 100% correct when we talk about the climate 100 years from now?

Sorry, but Kyoto is a pet peeve of mine. I think it discredits the environmental movement.

Christiana said...

Sorry bout the stupid math there by the way, clearly 3 trillion minus 3 billion is not 297 billion. :p

The Disgruntled Chemist said...

Kyoto is not perfect, Christiana, you're right about that. Basically, people in the atmospheric chemistry community see it as a stepping-stone; if countries can get their emissions down to 1990 levels, they might be convinced to keep going once they're there. And yes, the fact that it leaves out India and China sucks, but it's better than nothing.

As for your hypothetical, I think it misses the mark a bit. I did a post on the possible impacts of global warming a little while ago, and they are legion. Drought, famine and disease are not difficult to imagine. Spending to fix these problems would have to be astronomical, and it's also not a stretch to say that the global economy will be seriously fucked if global warming gets as bad as it might.

Think about what percentage of the world's economy is due to agriculture. Now think about what happens to that sector if global warming leads to a reduction in clean water available for irrigation (and it's quite likely that it will). The way I see it, it's much cheaper to address the problem now adn possibly mitigate the effects rather than respond to those effects in the future.

John Howard said...

Yeah, I'm sure it probably is already too late, that doesn't mean that we should not do anything, though.

There could very well be better ways to spend the money, but I don't really think we're looking at those choices, I think the choice is some rich corporation getting richer, or spending the money to reduce emmissions.

It sounds like you know more about it than I do, my problem is just that Bush doesn't seem to care about it at all.

Me4Prez said...

He is just trying to "err on the side of life." Oh wait, that was something else