A scientific focus on USA

This video was held by Michael McCracken in 2007. He is Chief Scientist in the Climate Change Institute in Washington DC, and I think it gives an excellent overview on the USA’s situation regarding Kyoto protocol. Kyoto protocol was international agreement, with serious and planned action for different kind of countries, were developing countries wouldn’t be pressed. So, why did the US walk away? The reasons that the government pointed out were the following:

-Developing countries don’t take action.

Developing countries pollution involve a small fraction, and even more, that energy is used just to try to survive. It was agreed that when those countries got developed, they would take the sames steps the rich ones should take.

-Scientific uncertainty.

Even if scepticals do exist, 150 countries ratified the agreement, and there’s really something more than just “green” measures in the protocol. It would mean a united action against a real threat.

-Economy is growing too fast, need to much energy

So, we have too much money, and we also expect poor countries to do it? Where’s the point there?

During the negotiations, it came clear that USA would have to face some problems that other developed countries didn’t have to.

It would hard to implement KP compared to Europe, because even if Europe’s new investments are replacing old sources of power supply, american population is growing 1% per year, and so it is necessary to keep all energy sources to cover the demand for more people. If carbon power plants were turned off, it would cause of shortages.

This could’ve been a valid argument, to explain US population and developed countries the situation. Another argument that the president pointed out was that we couldn’t do anything. Indeed efficiency improving is possible, but emissions still going up, because the government’s policy after resigning the protocol was a non doing anything attitude.

Not really focusing on the scientific and expert arguments, and this turning into not well based argument, is really hurting the real issue of the challenge we face and the things should be made.


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