Monday, February 14, 2005


Kyoto Protocol

The Independent has an article telling us that China is putting the brakes on 22 major energy projects because of climate concerns. The article says that China’s move “calls the bluff of President George Bush, who has cited growing pollution in China as justification for refusing to join the Kyoto Protocol.” Whether that is true or not, the US government would use just about anything as an excuse. As George H. W. Bush said at the 1992 Earth Summit, “The American way of life is not negotiable.” And since the American way of life entails the profligate use of energy and resources, we shouldn’t count on the US to voluntarily initiate conservation or belt-tightening.

In fact, since President Dubya took over, the US has been downright hostile to the idea of cutting energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. An acquaintance of mine who attended COP 10 got the impression that the only reason the US sent a delegation was to disrupt the proceedings and obstruct progress.

With the Kyoto Protocol about to enter into force, I suppose we should rejoice, but many scientists and activists are of the opinion that it’s too little, too late.

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