Friday, February 02, 2007

The Emperor has No Clothes

No, this post is not about Bush or even Harper. This is about Kyoto. Stephane Dion is barking up the Kyoto tree again. This time a resolution in the house. This might be politically savvy. It is also bad policy. I've written about the flaws of Kyoto before. I will simply say that the Kyoto process is dying. The post-Kyoto negotiations are going nowhere. In order to stop global warming, we must engage the entire world. This cannot be a white people plus Japan thing as it is now. The argument that the first world are the major polluters is only valid until a billion Chinese and a billion Indians are driving cars. Dion has credibility on the world stage on this issue. If the Conservatives want to steal our environment policy, let's steal theirs. A "made in Canada" solution is viable but not just for Canada. Let's find a way to engage the Americans, engage the Indians who are currently outside the Kyoto process. Let's see if there's any legitimacy to that whole "honest broker" and "middle power" thing. We can stop global warming. We can't do it through Kyoto. Let's lead the world and find a real solution. Let's give the emperor some clothes.


Manuel said...

I'm a conservative supporter, but on this issue im all on taking ideas from other parties to solve the issue, it's to important for name calling over who stole who's idea, a good idea is a good idea, and your absolutley right, unless China contributes to a solution anything we may tray to accomplish will just be made up by Chinese industry.

annie said...

For all the people that do not think too much of Kyoto... (my, how opinions change in a few years) there is a fee or something for getting out of the Accord, isn't there ?

Scott Tribe said...

Well then, if you have any solutions, leave them over at Mike's post here

Bud said...

This comment isn't partisan. It's fact.

The top 2 polluters in Canada are coal burning hydro electric plants. China is in the process of building and opening over 500 coal burning electric plants within the next several years. How is what we are going to do in Canada going to make a difference in the world with China not being a signator to Kyoto. Then add in the automobile sector in China and India that is projected and you have the makings of the 2 largest polluters in the world for years to come. Why not take our financial resources and our brains and assist those 2 countries in exploring nuclear engery instead? The sooner we eliminate the word "Kyoto" from our vocabulary, the sooner we will find a global solution to the environment.

aginsberg said...

Penalty? You want international law to have teeth? Keep dreaming. The EU might be upset but they'd get over it. At any rate, I'm not talking about pulling out. I'm talking about a major overhaul.

Gore talks about the population bomb in An Inconvenient Truth. He acknowledges that China and India are the growing concern. He fails to connect the dots to Kyoto's critical flaw which is unfortunate.

The Mound of Sound said...

Don't get lost in the confusion over what Kyoto was about. It was never supposed to be an answer, merely a symbolic beginning.

That said, you're right about China and India and others. I think Chirac has an answer - a carbon tax on all imports from countries that don't clean up their pollution standards. We're talking about a massive tariff that
will make access to Western markets entirely conditional on dealing with GHGs. It's easy, it makes sense and it protects our industries from unfair competition from foreign companies who don't have to clean up.

Consider it "reverse carbon trading"

canuckistanian said...

how is it fair to force reductions on countries that have never had the chance to use fossil fuels to develop their economies when we've been polluting for centuries??? certainly your view lacks a dimension on equity akin to the WTO's "special and differential" treatment clause. kyoto is a first step to a solution. you seem to be arguing to get rid of the first step. that the developed economies would and should be the first to make emissions reductions is beyond dispute....duh!

oh, btw, i hear tuvalu hasn't signed on; we should all agree to do nothing until they sign on.

aginsberg said...

The WTO clause on special and differential treatment is outdated. There is no room in this crisis for post-colonial guilt trips. It is impossible in a globalized economy to change the rules for only some of the players. Conservative fear mongering is overblown. However, the reality remains that there is incentive for industry to go outside of the Appendix I countries in order to avoid Kyoto restrictions. Kyoto is not a first step if the "greening" of the first world is simply a transferring of pollution into the third. I would love to extend a helping hand to the industrializing world. However, we should give them green technologies and strategies and not a free license to pollute.

We can little afford to wait until China's pollution puts countries like Tuvalu under water. Canuckistanian, you should do research. Tuvalu was the third country to ratify Kyoto. That makes sense for a low-lying island nation threatened by rising sea-levels. However, the exclusion from Kyoto of the United States, Australia and oil producing, if war torn, countries like Iraq and Angola is a serious challenge to solving the global warming crisis. If the United States is unwilling to join the international consensus, the entire movement is unlikely to succeed. We need all hands on deck. The 37, almost exclusively European, remaining countries that still are bound by Kyoto are not enough. Environmentalists in North America would be well served, if we separate ourselves from the Kyoto protocol.

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