Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Kyoto and America

A nice note on Kyoto by John B over on his Shot by Both Sides blog today, arguing that - as much as we would like to blame Bush for America's refusal to ratify the protocol - US resistence runs a lot deeper than the top man.

"As Bush apologists frequently point out, he didn't kill US support for Kyoto. Rather, the Senate voted 95-0 in 1998 to say it would not ratify any such treaty. Americans don't like being told by experts that they probably ought to stop being greedy fucks or lots of people will die."

Worth reading, too, for John's always appealing prose - any article which throws in a reference to Bush being "stupid, crooked and venal", much less a "smirking prick" is alright by me.

Over at Mark Lynas's blog, he's jubilant,

"It's been declared 'dead' by everyone from anti-capitalist protesters to George Bush. But Kyoto will go down in history as the treaty that refused to die - and as Kyoto lives, so too do our hopes of still greater efforts in future to avert the threat of catastrophic climate change."

And he finishes, "One last thought: the US saw fit to stand outside this historic global effort. History will judge its leaders accordingly."

On the day that Boeing launch their new 777 airbus, meanwhile, Mark had some cautionary words to say about it on yesterday's Today programme. Looking back on his appearence, he remarks,

"I was trying to get across a ... general message in a very short time. Most people haven't the faintest idea that flying is the most climate-destructive thing they ever do, so I wanted to mention this whilst simultaneously sounding reasonable about the opportunities that it offers for travel and so on. My point about short-haul flights being worse is because *proportionally* per mile travelled they use more fuel because more time is spent taking off than cruising. Also there are more easy alternatives for short-haul travel by rail and so on rather than flight. I think the most important thing here is not to try and find the most fuel-efficient journey, but - given many tonnes of CO2 will end up in the atmosphere either way - to reassess the need to fly at all."

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