How do these people sleep at night?

The excellent British newspaper The Independent quoth:
A detailed and disturbing strategy document has revealed an extraordinary American plan to destroy Europe's support for the Kyoto treaty on climate change.
The ambitious, behind-the-scenes plan was passed to The Independent this week, just as 189 countries are painfully trying to agree the second stage of Kyoto at the UN climate conference in Montreal. It was pitched to companies such as Ford Europe, Lufthansa and the German utility giant RWE.

Put together by a lobbyist who is a senior official at a group partly funded by ExxonMobil, the world's biggest oil company and a fierce opponent of anti-global warming measures, the plan seeks to draw together major international companies, academics, think-tanks, commentators, journalists and lobbyists from across Europe into a powerful grouping to destroy further EU support for the treaty.

Mind you, given that the Bush administration have now moved us to the point where most of the European public would rather drink toxic waste than be seen agreeing with current US policy, the American fingerprints on this plan are likely to render it dead-on-arrival.

It's also striking the fierce scepticism the British press brings to this, compared to the docile way the US press tends to get manipulated. The US press quotes global warming sceptics all the time without making it clear that the whole thing is basically an industry PR campaign with very limited backing beyond a handful of contrarian scientists. The Independent's reporting, and the very hard-hitting columns from George Monbiot in the Guardian lately are in sharp contrast.

Plus they don't put cartoons like this one from Steve Bell in US newspapers:

Did you see what I said here?
Yes, the Blair quote was demoralizing. I've been thinking that things will not change gradually without a major event. Like the lobster in a pot that is slowly getting hotter, I fear we will not realize the danger until it is too late and until then we will procrastinate. Humans (animals in general) respond much better to highly urgent and immediate dangers and are usually willing to do pretty much anything in those situations.

I've often thought that instead of gradually evolving into a new world, the adjustment will be more like a puncuated equilibrium, fraught with choas until a new equilibrium can be established.

What can I say...Oh my god...
"Tragedy of the Commons" makes it sound like an innocent Greek play.

In fact, it is Adam Smith's Magical, Invisible Hand once again working in its mythical intelligently-designed way to make sure that private greed trumps over that which is good for the community. It is no longer a cigarette company secret that what is good for Big Oil is bad for the Planet and vise versa. (Global warming? What GW? GWB don't see no GW.) It should be no surprise that Big Oil & friends oppose Kyoto and anything else that might cut into next quarter's profits.

No surprise there.

Now that you mention George Monbiot:
Excellent piece by him.

Nothing that this crew would do would surprise me - NOTHING.
I think Monbiot is overreacting. There are laws against inappropriate land use, admittedly not implemented too often by conservative governments. Here are several ways that biofuels can reduce conflict with other land uses
  1. use non-food biomass such as cellulosic ethanol and the Choren diesel process
  2. eat less meat and more vegetable protein
  3. genetically engineer biofuel crops that can thrive on land not suited to farming or parks
  4. substitute renewable electricity in transport such as plugin hybrids, electric trains, trams/trolleys  and hydrogen via hydrolysis
  5. produce more backyard food to enable broadacre fuel crop farming
  6. assess carbon tax on the before and after net emissions
All fine suggestions, they just miss one important point - the production of biofuels will not follow your plan, but will be governed by "the market." Right now that means giant plantations of palm oil in SE Asia and sugarcane in Brazil, most of which is being planted at the expense of rainforest and productive food land.

Your suggestions all require some sort of planning and forethought, not really the strength of our market based economy.

"The Market" knows all, sees all, and does right by all.

(just kidding.)

Meat that is fed by feed lots and other corn or grain fed systems.

But there are better methods of feeding animals for human consumsion.  The problem is that we can't eat as much meat as we are doing so today.  We have to eat more sustanible meat, and that means less.

But to totally take meat out of our diet is a no go, for the masses of people.

Reducing the masses of people on the plant might be a good thing, how to go about that is the issue, we need 10% fewer people in the next decade, not 5% more.

Death always seems to lurk around the corners or our discussions.

The best human protein is Whey that comes from milk.  we could make all the beef cattle milk cows and do away with the hamburger joints of the world, alone with the KFC's of the world, that leaves us most fish, which we have depleted to such a level that we might as well just deplete our own herd to make up the shortfall.  

 Oh gloomy day,  the human population falls by 10%.  

 Sorry, but as peak oil hits, we also hit peak food, no matter what we do.

They sleep fine because they don't believe in Global Warming.  I would guess that their disbelief was set in stone 10+ years ago and they haven't had an open mind since.

Global Warming is very real but the value of Kyoto is questionable.  The Bush administration gets pounded daily for its refusal to sign on while the Government of Spain is praised for it's support.  Maybe we should have signed the treaty and then ignored it like some other governments have done, it would have saved us the pounding.

What action will be more helpful in Global Warming, Kyoto supporting governments failed reductions or Bush's billions in research?

StoneDog wrote:

"What action will be more helpful in Global Warming, Kyoto supporting governments failed reductions or Bush's billions in research?"

maybe you want say "[...] or Bush's billions in invading Iraq?"

Bush is not using billions dollars to fund research to HOW eliminate Global Warming, he is funding research to prove that there is NO Global Warming. My guess that he will be less sucessfull than invading Iraq, but I am sure that he will say "Mission Acomplished" and say that there is no scientific proof that there is Global Warming. By the way he will give more billion dollars to petro and coal industry.

I am from Brazil and I think you discussion is funny because you ever blame that Kyoto is not working because the third world don't want help to low the global Warming. Let's see: you from developed countries where industrialized first, you had all 19th and half 20th century throwing carbon at the atmosfere before industrialization started at the third world, but now you want we stop industrialization (while you continue to be industriazed, see you) to stop the Global Warming that YOU CAUSED!!!!!

Sorry, but I need say it: It will be a happy day when the dollar finally crunsh and the USA go down the role. You deserve it...

Well, well. As a US Citizen I am not particularly proud of much of our behavior towards Latin America -- or the Bush Administration policy on peak oil or global warming for that matter. Having said that allow me to make two points.

  1. Most Americans did not vote for Bush in 2000 -- and given the facts that are now coming out regarding rigged voting machines, it is at least possible that most of us did not vote for him in 2004, either.

  2. If you take America down you will in effect set up China in our place. A country that under Mao murdered at least 20 million of its own citizens, and will stop at nothing to gain a global domination that will make American hegemony look like a picnic. A country that doesn't care at all for human rights, even part of the time. A country that will steal the intellectual property of others (including the very innovative work you Brazilians are doing on the environment) and make sure that you receive as little profit on it as possible.

Without trying to lecture Latin Americans (again!) you might just be careful about what you wish for, in case you get it.
It probably felt good to let me have it but I probably agree with your views on Global Warming.  Kyoto is hopeless Annex 1 countries have reduced emissions by 1,089.90 Tg CO2 Equiv.

Sounds OK until you remove the basicly free reductions of 2,494.63 from the FSU leaving the remaining  Annex 1 countries with an Increase of 1,404.73.  

China a Non-Annex 1 country has had a net increase of around 640 Tg over the same period.  If the US had joined Kyoto and met it's requirements it would only have resulted in a reduction of 302.76 Tg.

We, as in the world, can't even meet these relatively insignificant reductions let alone the 60%+ required to effect change.  

I wouldn't wish for a fall in America because it would hurt the rest of the world and enthrone China.  No matter how much people, including Americans, like to blame "Bush" for both climate and energy problems "We the People" are ultimately at fault.

From my perspective Human Nature will not allow any of us to overcome these problems before they slap us in the face.  Peak Oil and Climate Change both require massive changes in behavior by entire populations...... Don't hold your breath.


 6.5 billion of us caused it.

 If we all used trees as our fuel we would have caused it.

We are all to blame,  we should all stop all our use of fuels that can not be renewed.

Please do not totally blame the USA for it. When in the end most every man and woman on the face of the globe today is causing it.


 6.5 billion of us caused it.

 If we all used trees as our fuel we would have caused it.

We are all to blame,  we should all stop all our use of fuels that can not be renewed.

Please do not totally blame the USA for it. When in the end most every man and woman on the face of the globe today is causing it.

Bush's billions in research?

Get real.

Bush admin is cutting all R&D except its funding for DOD.
Neocon motto: "Make Guns, not Hybrids."

They often say Kyoto is dead-born child.
The truth is that without USA it is dead born. With USA spewing a quarter of the world CO2 in the atmosphere (and rising) it is quite an incentitive for the tiny Danmark for example to reduce its share from 0.1% to 0.09%. A single year of USA emission growth compensates for the efforts of the rest of the world and with coal replacing NG the perspectives are even worse.

And enough of excuses; if USA - the richest country in the world took the hard but the right way on this; enough power would be gathered to press China and India to follow. Basicly without the western markets these two countries are just paper tigers. I know I'm daydreaming but if USA did that, now we would not waste a minute to talk about PO, and we would have had a secure international strength to help us out the economic sh*thole we are in. Don't be fooled - without the silent support of the international financial institutions and especially the European central banks this country would have long been in ruins.

1990 Annex 1 emissions:                          16,821.86
Reductions required by Kyoto in US:            302.76
Annex 1 emissions changes without FSU: +1,404.73

The US should absolutely work to reduce emissions, but Kyoto barely dent's emissions and over half the committed countries will miss their targets.  Saying its all the fault of the USA because they didn't commit to cut 1.8% of world emissions from its hide.....

I guess doing something feels better even it has no effect.  If you think China or India are going to prevent their own climb to 1st world status to help "the world" I fear you will be disapointed.  I doubt the US, Japan, or Denmark for that matter would under similar circumstances.

I think you missed half of the point - that it is more then necessarry the most technologically advanced nation to lead the way if we are really willing not to boil our kids (or freeze according to some other scenarios).

According to the data here between 1990 and 2001 USA increased its emissions by 200 Tg. Given that these 1404 Tg include China and India (for which I have no data) I'd say that 200Tg is a huge blow (about 15% increase, compared to the world's total including developing countries 9% increase).

I'd rather say the following - Kyoto may not win us the war - this is absolutely obvious. But it can very well be the first battle that can the give us:

  1. Information of what we can and what we can not do
  2. Incentitives to find the ways to reduce emissions
  3. Buy us some more time before GHG have accumulated; have you asked yourself how much would have been the increase without Kyoto?

And yes, I prefer fighting a battle I don't seem to be able to win than waiting to be defeated. Actually PO also looks like such a battle but this does not stop us for taking the measures now, right?

P.S. I'm still waiting to see somebody say thanx to Russia for being the savior in the rye on the PO and GW fronts for now.

I wonder if we might meet our Kyoto targets for exactly the same reason the FSU did - economic collapse. Personally, I think there's a lot to be learned from the Soviet disintegration. We may well face some of the same hard choices. In some ways we may be better prepared and in other ways worse.

There's a good piece on potential comparisons here:

Yes, I've read Dmitri Orlov's article - definately the best reading on the subject I've come upon.

About the likehood of USA economy collapse, frankly I don't know. It all depends on how adaptive the currents system is to changes. On this front I'm more pessimistic because I see more reactionary trends in the country, but I can not asses what is its internal immune strength - in the face of the people who are critical and are capable and willing to search for new ways. From my personal window I don't see such people around me, but my window is is pretty small. BTW I don't fully agree that Russia was in better position because it was surrounded by functioning economies. As a person that has lived through an economic collapse I can say that it is of too little help, especially on the way down... Basicly when you're drowning nobody comes to "rescue" you, rather they seem to come when you start to swim up to the surface. If it get to there we will have to rely only on ourselves.

Smaller country smaller problems?

What I am afraid of in Sweden is a "democratic" collapse. We have more authorities (About 300) running then we have skilled politicians that can control and instruct them. We have during most of the 1900:s and even now have had a more or less socialistic government with an almost as socialistic oposition. This has been changing, both has gradually been getting less socialistic.  My country has a kind of consesus culture. :-( This has made people used to getting promises that the political sector will allways provide, this can not continue due to fiscal reasons, its impossible to raise taxes as much as would be needed. How will people react when they dont get what they have been promised? There are efforts to correct this, our pension system was redone a few years ago into one that is viable wich means that payments will be lowered automatically withouth any new decisions if the economical growth stops or the economy shrinks or when the baby boomers retire...

How will people react to these bad news? We have had new parties forming with sadly simple "give us or vote and all will be well as it used to be" promises and the worst of them had "evacuate the immigrants" on the agenda. So far they have attracted nutcases and failed, at worst after being a minority party for one election. But there is a risk that people will ask for a strong leader with stupid ideas.

What made us fairly prosperous even when we had a lot of socialism was a strong private sector that was more or less left alone untill 1970 with the major exeption being laws written in ways that was better for large corporations and worse for small. We had enough luck to survive the second world war unharmed and there were only two countries in europe where the marshall aid money could be spent Switzerland and Sweden. We also had and have plenty of forests, hydropower and minerals. The authorites had a major purge of the corruption in mid 1800:s and were since long run in a professional way to be independet of the kings power, some kings are worthless. Our major socialist party were actually competently run, they and the liberals had a strong emphasis on education, started local libraries and the leaders they elected understood common work and economy and were fairly unselfish. The second generation were not as good and the emphasis on education started to faulter. The third generation is from my point of view going realy bad, they have started to corrup the authorities by appointing relatives and trusty party  members as all kinds of officials. The system to resist a bad king worked fairly well during most of the 1900:s.

In the opposition party I am am member of there is a debate on how to do something about this when get into power. Can the old system be restored or will it change into a more american system where each new government change all the top officials? We need to change a lot of people out to make the country possible to govern in a new direction but how unseflish can we be with the new appointments? My guess is that we will try to restore the old "proffesional accountant" system.

I realy, realy hope there will be a change of power during the next election. Sweden could be so much better run and also developed from being a fairly peak oil resistant contry to a country benefiting from peak oil. Our current socialists needs to be humbled and find ther roots and educate their members instead of talking big and dumb people down. We will need their opposition to stay alert for a number of elections. ;-)

One part of our democracy that might aid during hard times is the fairly independant municipal governments wich has a a part of the income tax as their major income. We have cities/municipials that are exelently run and others that are quite badly run. Strange political coalitions, bickering, experimentation and a fair number of politicians that know their neighbours and are in touch with the state government. The current socialists have nearly wing clipped that part of our democracy by laws directing and centrally planning a lot of what they do. But it is still a working tradition that can be restored.  Our large number of district heating systems is due to our climate and the municipals tradition of building waterworks and sanitiation etc. Much of the building of new railways and new rail traffic is due to municipials trying to extend the commute radius to compete better with other regions.

There is a general feeling that we need to build infrastructure now before the baby boomers start to retire, the municipials at the bottom of the list wont get their railways untill the money dries up. I think peak oil will add to the haste and intensifie the competition.

I do not know how this compares to USA since I know far to little about that continent sized country. You seem to have more of the same kind of runaway autority size and number problem. Some people complain about the same kind of nomenclature forming within ruling parties. I think you have  a vibrant democracy for local elections of authorities, correct?

Sometimes I wonder if Sweden could be run so well that we get Americans to migrate over here. Our shool voucher system is probably the best example of a change from socialistic to a free and market based system. 7% ( between 0 and 25%)  of the pupils go to non municipial schools but we still have a problem with poor education results, our municipial run schools and government needs to learn lessons from Finland.

There are ideas about dismantling other parts of the big government systems in ways that open up for free enterprise, innovation and other ways of living. But introducing variations is like pulling teeth, people resist it and want things to be as they allways were even if it hurt all day untill they notice that it realy works better after the big change. It has been done with the state teleco company and that worked out well but the deregulation of the electricity production was a PR disaster even if it works fairly well if you analyze it. Our greens rased energy taxes and energy prices are getting higher and people blame it on the deregulation. Could have been worse, at least we did not do it California style. :-)

What kind of government and democratic traditions will work best during a peak oil resource crisis?

You make many good points
Discussions about what kind of government is best are as old as recorded time itself:
tyrrany of the majority
tyrrany of the minority
the philosopher king
etc. etc.

IMHO it is most important to educate our children into having a moral value system that honors Planet Earth and her limited resources (oil, water, air, fish, etc.), that honors science (laws of thermodynamics, Murphy's laws, etc.) and makes them understand about various modes of mental manipulation so they don't fall prey to the candyman politicians (vote for me, and I'll give you all you want for free!!!)

Sorry for the double post earlier.

 If the USA admitted that they needed to join the CO2 protocol, they would also have to admit that there was a problem, which as you can see we have not yet.

 I personelly do not see the USA admitting to a problem ever. Or at least until the problem is so manifest that they must admit to it just to save face.

 Look to the Saudi's for this Face saving method.
 They most likely know they have a problem, but can not admit it to anyone even their own sons lest it become public knowledge, so that they hedge their bets and hope for the best.

It's not that they don't believe it, its just that they can't afford to believe it.
Why the surprise at this revelation?

Climate and Biological scientists have been fighting this in publishing their data for 20+ years in the U.S..  Even the latest ice core samples published last week showing CO2 levels highest now over the 800,000 year period of the core are being trashed on national radio and print media.  Even the data set itself is questioned, not just the connection beteen CO2 levels and climate as used to be the case.

The average U.S. citizen is hopelessly confused due to all the disinformation aired on scientific subjects by non scientists and goups.

I challenge the posters at TOD to cite examples of where clear cut scientific data and consensus on pollution (water or air), Global warming, habitat destruction, Fossil energy (even with a peak looming)or other negative human impacts on the natural world (and even our health) have been accepted and acted on by the Federal Government and business in the U.S. since 1980.  

Because I have seen just the opposite pattern.  Scientific data questioned, reedited, buried, funding cut off, or actively refuted by those not working in the field.  There is a whole generation of people that have been influenced by the current climate (no pun intended) while working in the sciences.

Not to entirely disagree with your broader point, but the banning of CFC's did work, and was in direct response to work of environmental scientists showing the effect on the ozone layer.  

The US participation might not have been enthusiastic from the start, but there was nothing like the current administration's assault on the whole process, and in all it was only about 13 years between the first widespread scientific knowledge of ozone's effect on the atmosphere and the US ratification of the Montreal protocols in 1988.

And the CFC ban certainly did create losers, though not with nearly the clout of the fossil fuel lobby.  

I think there is reason for optimism with international environmental agreements, but there's a severe hurdle for any international issue (not just environmental!) that the US government isn't actively engaged in.  Local activism and work on greenhouse gases is great, but is still relatively small beans compared to what the feds could do.

You can not compare a marginal technology as CFC with something that would require a total change of the way we live and possibly replacing our infrastructure with something not invented and not thought of yet...

IMO the only efficient way to fight GW is a heavy carbon tax. If a product requires fossil fuel burnt - it is taxed accordingly. If a country does not ratify Kyoto and does not enforce the tax internally - all other countries impose penalty duties on the exports from this country which replace the carbon tax not enforced internally. IMO the Europeans are too soft on that and I thing too self-delusional that we can solve the problem just with "good will" and wishful thinking.

I don't disagree at all about the scale of the challenge of greenhouse gases vs. CFC's.  I was just pointing out that science doesn't always lose out in American government policy, even when there are some business interests arrayed against it.  The current administration is uniquely interested in thwarting the process, though.

I think it's more likely that the US would wait for scarcity-caused high prices to move away from fossil fuels, rather than global warming concerns.  But then we have to wait for peak coal, which would obviously be a climate disaster.  So we have to fight fossil interests anyway.  I do think there's some hope that a different US administration could get the ball moving further in the right direction both domestically and internationally.  Peak oil and domestic gas gives an obvious opportunity that is coming faster than I would have imagined 10 years ago.

As for effective solutions ... to your heavy carbon tax proposal I'd add strict country-wide caps on emissions, set to decrease each year and converge on equal (and decreasing) emissions per capita. These caps should probably be combined with an emissions trading scheme, ideally on the sub-country level if we could administer it.

If we wait for scarcity then according to the peak thoery we'll already have released more then half of the carbon stored in the ground through the eons.
Even an illiterate idiot as GWB should feel that there is something wrong with the idea of returning the atmosphere to its pre-biotic state.
Bush is an MBA and former executive.  There's a hallowed management technique that summarizes as "Stall until I change jobs and it's someone else's problem."
I rather used him figuratively for the people/companies standing behind him and the rest of the neocons. Personally I'm having a hard time to believe the incompentence version.
I see several options:
  1. They don't know (probably because they don't want to know)
  2. They don't care (because it's too far)
  3. They know and they care but they believe that things will get handled somehow by themselves.

I'm starting to believe that it is 3) and this scares the shit out of me because it makes me think these are really mad people. 3) implies not only "not in my term" passive behavior, it's more like "Gosh, I must not do anything, hell no! I might hurt our economy, and as we all know the invisible hand is the only hope to save us". Amen.
There is one more option. They know and they are taking care of themselves. It's the "last man standing" scenario posited by Heinberg. Witness the ongoing extreme expenditures in preparation for and conduct of war, and in the migration of the wealthy into compounds (aka gated communities) protected by hired mercenaries (as happened in Louisiana).
The deficit in this country is a bad thing, Bush 1 did the right thing and raised taxes to help deal with it...... The voters in America punished him.

Bush 2 isn't stupid, he learned from his father how accepting the public is of good deeds that hurt them.  Is there any doubt that dealing with GW or PO will be painless?

Where does your carbon tax money go?
Who gets to run the tax coffers?
Who gets the money?
Duh, Money in money out, Great gig that.
Con artist in the form of .. ( fill the blank here )
In the December edition of the "Smithsonian" magazine there is a two-page Ford advertisement - featuring Bill Ford, Chairman and Ceo - touting the company's innovation at producing the first SUV hybrid, 250,000 hybrids by 2010, and 250,000 ethanol-ready vehicles next year, with the slogan "Driving American Innovation."
With the ongoing wave of layoffs at Ford North America, including 4,000 in 1Q 2006, one thing is for sure. He's driving American innovation overseas. And in inimitable auto-company style, he's falsely fostering hope that the auto-culture will survive. How does Bill Ford sleep at night?
The same way you or I do, he forgets the bad things that happened today and goes to sleep.

 Its a mote question I know, but if you think that he worries about it all, forget it.

Like Karl Rove and Dick Cheney a coffin, with a cape.
I protest at the idea that the USA is somehow the richest nation in the world. Perhaps richest in its delusions and double standards. Certainly bankrupt when it comes to morals, ethics, equity and justice.

Regarding CFCs, the ONLY reason this was imlemented was because DuPont became convinced from a marketing POV that being seen as helping to implement the treaty was far better for its bottom line than being targeted as the main force hindering progress towards a solution. Its CEO informed the Reagan administration of its volte-face and the stonewalling stopped. A further note on this, methyl bromide, supposedly banned, through a loophole continues to be used, with such use increasing,

The quickest remedy for climate chaos is for 90% of the industrialized populace to die and at the same time render kaput their fossilfuel-powered machines, thus allowing the meek to inherit the earth. I personally don't think humans are going to create any sort of solution; rather, Gaia will solve the problem for us in her own good time taking no account as to which country or people are rich or poor, weak or powerful. 2000 years from now there will be many subsistence farmers just as there was 2000 years ago. There may be some bits of metal and a technological device or two that will distinguish the different time periods; otherwise, their lives and destinies will be much the same.

Well, you asked dept...

With Jack Abramoff

I have worked in the environmental field for over 30 years, and I can tell you that even most environmental professionals either have their doubts about how strong the relationship is between carbon dioxide levels and global warming, or they believe the relationship is real but that its effects are likely to be so uncertain and so far out in time as to be not worthy of much worry.  Rightly or wrongly, that's my perception of how the bulk of people in the environmental field (at least in the US) view the issue. So, if many people who work in the environmental field don't take it all that seriously, it should be no wonder that the less informed general public by and large hardly gives it a passing thought.

Furthermore, restricting carbon usage in order to lower carbon dioxide emissions runs counter to the desire to get more of our energy from higher carbon-content sources such as coal and tar sands. As we get more and more frantic to scrounge up all remaining sources of reduced carbon for fuel, I guarantee you that global warming, Kyoto, etc will be largely forgetten in the panic to maintain our present level of economic activity.

So, you can argue about Kyoto all you want; I predict nothing but rhetoric will come of it.

I would be interested in a reference to even one or two published, peer-reviewed scientific articles that support this view. Your take on the climate change issue contradicts the whole of the IPCC work.  Every one of the scenarios considered in the IPCC reports leads to global warming at levels beyond anything seen for the past several hundred thousand years, and CO2 is certainly an important forcing factor in those scenarios.  
I did not advance any 'view' whatsoever regarding the validity of the global warming issue, pro or con. You should not interpret my post to mean that I don't believe global warming is a potential threat to our collective well-being.

I was merely relaying my long-standing observation that most environmental professionals (as opposed to environmental academics and environmental advocacy groups) don't really think much about the global warming issue, one way or another. Maybe they should, but most of them don't.

I also stick by my contention that once push comes to shove, Kyoto will be all but forgotten as we scramble to get coal and tar sands projects up and rolling. A starving man doesn't think about what he's going to be eating next year: he wants his food right now, come hell or high water (the latter which we may very well get if the global warming projections  turn out to be correct).

   Quoting from Jaworowski, in a talk given to the US Senate
(, the data from shallow ice cores - widely used as proof of man-made CO2 ice content in the atmosphere - shows a HIGHER content of CO2 in ice deposited in 1890 that was measured in the atmosaphere at Mauna Loa in 1973.
    Anyone interested in this subject should read all of Dr Jarowowski's talk.
    In other words, there is some good evidence that mankind's actions are not increasing the CO2 content of the atmosphere.
Give me a break.  A scientist who studies radiation publishes a paper on ice cores in Lyndon Larouche's magazine and you call it "good evidence"?  That he was allowed to testify before the Senate just shows how little Congress understands science.

please go away and stop trolling on global warming here.

    Sorry, I've never heard of Lyndon Larouche's magazine.
Jaworowski points out, and gives references to the papers from which he got the data, that at least some of the measurements on atmospheric CO2 are higher in the past than they are in more recent measurements.
    You ought to realise that there is a great deal of exaggeration in this field.
    What is your response to my point that neither the Medieval Warm Period or the Little Ice Age are seen in the Hockey Stickj diagram? Do you think the Vikings never lived in Greenland?
    Jaworowski states that he has been interested in glacier studies for forty years. I would take his work on it particularly seriously.
    RJB, you might be interested in Jaworowski's work on CO2 in ice cores and how the 1890 ice core had a higher CO2 content than the earth's atmosphere's 1973 CO2 content.
     RJB, I don't know if you know that water vapor is a much more important contributor to warming the earth's atmosphere than CO2 is and we do not know the absorption coefficients for water vapor very well. This problem in computing global climate models is "solved" by adding a "fudge factor".
I'm rather disappointed in Stuart's hyperbolic writeup on this issue.

Opposing Kyoto is entirely justified given its high and unequal burdens and ineffectiveness.  It seemed always a political gesture covering anti-Americanism rather than a good-faith effort. It never would have worked, plain and simple.

I write this as one who would GREATLY benefit from real carbon dioxide emission limits since I build nuclear power plants, the ONLY real alternative.

I will agree that some of the public discourse from the anti-Kyoto side has not been up to the standards that I would like but the environmentalists and leftists have engaged in much worst.  Both sides have a perfect right to engage in public debate and make political alignments as they see fit.

Even viewing the EU as a competitor to American interests (including my own as an American), one hates to see Europe hobble itself with self-inflected wounds.  Worst, the EU is viewed here as fundamentally undemocratic and a potential threat to its own people.

Apart from your personal feelings I did not see anything to support these heavy accusations.

Kyoto is not unequal amongst developed countries. I can even say it favors USA as in this country we have much more larger margin of "fat" energy consumption that can be cut-off or replaced with nuclear and renewables.
It grants developing countries some priveleges but this is justified and would probably change when China & India are reclassified as developed countries soon.

And yes, Kyoto was and still is unrealistic. But is a step in the right direction. Carbon emissions must be regulated. This must be done using multilateral international treaty in order to be effective. We have no other choice, period.

P.S. As for EU being potential threat to it's own citizens - I'm not sure how to read that; I'd rather be concerned about the future of USA.


Democracy is alive and well in the oldest, freest Republic on the planet.  The last two hundred years of European history and what many of us see in the EU governmental structures and behaviors are not comforting.  We wish you well but Americans are largely descendent from people who voted with their feet.  Most of us are glad they did - on both sides of the Atlantic!

I too am glad we are seriously discussing mankind's impact on the climate and ecosystems.  However, Kyoto was not the way forward - and will not be.  Perhaps we can agree on other, more effective measures.  However, I'm a bit of a Darwinian and suspect that should rapid climate change occur, it will be better to be rich than poor.

These evil and incompetent Europeans just saved the U.S.'s ass from $4/gal gas prices just three months ago.  And you might consider that the U.S. has a lot more to lose in GW than Europe does.
Democracy is alive and well in the oldest, freest Republic on the planet...
where is that? San Marino? Switzerland?

On a more serious note I'm not sure where all of your logic leads to. Because we are supposedly the oldest and freest well being democracy in the world, then we deserve the privelige to get rich while depriving our kids of a world to live in? That is so touching...
I think I should note that I also dispise european beurocracy pretty much. But for me it is the least of the two evils. We can have a heavy semi-functioning government that does something (also semi effectivly), and have a "lightweight" government that does nothing on a term longer than 4 years.

And enough of the tale of the people running from Europe to US, it gets boring. Nobody from Western Europe wants to come to live here now, maybe to work for several years yes but to stay - I doubt it very much. The "new world" has long become like the "old world" but a little bit younger.

We digressed.

Do you have any proposals to replace Kyoto that will be agreeable to the citizens of the US?

What will work?

I would propose a massive nuclear power plant construction program to 1) replace the oldest, dirtiest coal plants, and 2) meet future electric demands in lieu of new coal and natural gas plants.

The US will gladly share it's nuclear technology with  countries that meet international nuclear non-proliferation commitments.  This has been US policy pretty much since the Eisenhower Administration's "Atoms for Peace" intiative.

It wouldn't bring a complete halt to rising greenhouse gas concentrations but it would make a major contribution to that goal and would still power our economies and maintain our standard of living.

I would back your proposal, though it envisions more the technical means to get to the end result not the political (which seem to be more important).

Kyoto's idea is to put caps on the emissions and to leave individual countries to decide how to deal with them, so it is more liberal in this respect. I don't quite agree with this approach because it doesn't give incentatives directly to individuals and companies, the incentatives are left for the governments - and that's why I think Kyoto ultimately fails.

The best solution IMO would be a heavy carbon tax applied world-wide. If some country does not ratify the treaty it should be enforced by the rest of them through the foreign trade. The tax should be made progressive so that the poorest countries are also able to apply it without causing riots. This by the way will improve a lot of countries finances. I don't particularly like emission trading because first they are again traded on government level, and second the price is usually too cheap - it turns a lot cheaper to simply buy quotas then invest in clean technologies.

If this is implemented, the necessity for a crash program for nuclear power plants will become self-evident. And I guess most of the countries will join if US proposes it. Until they can get by cheating and buying quotas they won't.