Cfalk: I simply refuse to believe that any of the industrial countries actually planned to implement Kyoto. It was a PR stunt - give the people a big show that they are doing something about global warming, but don't actually do it.
If that were so, why did the european nations throw their entire weight
into the negotiations, when it would have been extremely easy
to just let the USA kill the treaty? Just for the fun of it?
Why are our governments and businesses investing billions
in improved efficiency of energy use and in development of regenerative energy sources?
Why are governments in Europe risking their re-election chances by making the (ab)use of energy more and more expensive?
Refuse all you want; But please ask yourself how realistic
your suspicions really are...
Cfalk: Look at Germany - they are actually taking their nuclear reactors off-line over the next 2 decades, and all of that capacity (and more) will have to be replaced by fossil fuel plants.
Ah, no, actually. There´s indeed a risk that some
of the capacity may have to be covered by fossile power plants for a transitional period.
But we´ve already
made several originally projected nuclear plants redundant
through increased efficiency and regenerative energy sources. We know from experience
that it´s not only a feasible
approach, but it´s also an efficient
one. Ecologically, politically and
Cfalk: Bush did these guys a huge political favor - he gave them a scapegoat so that they can say "we won't do it without the U.S. because without them, it is useless."
had been the idea, they would have loved
to take their chance when it was still time. At this point now, it would be very
painful to take that road.
Cfalk: Well the arguement works both ways - one of the problems with Kyoto is that other huge polluters like India and China are exempt. I have spent time in both those places, and the pollution problem there is truely horrific, and is growing at double-digit rates annually. China is currently the number 2 polluter and will become number 1 in the next few years - is it fair to leave them carte-blanche?
They´ve got no summary exemptions. They will have some more leeway in the implementation, but they´re still in
. It should be noted that the implementation of the Kyoto protocol is an important first step to install a global mechanism to cope with the future challenges. Toughening
that already existent framework over the following years will be far easier than establishing
it in the first place. But many third-world countries will still need considerable financial, technological and political support from Europe, Japan (and hopefully the USA) to reach the common goals.
Cfalk: You seem to write off Hoffa's arguement about cost-benefit relations.
Indeed. Doing nothing
would become a lot more expensive
in the long run!
Cfalk: Are you truely willing see your country turn into a third-world nation?
If things were as simple as Exxon and others would have you believe, we (Germany) would already be
a third-world country by now, since the policies they´re so afraid of are already under way
Cfalk: A simple mandate of reducing pollution levels would require electricity rationng (you loose your power 6 hours per day, for example).
Nonsense. We´ve got plenty
of energy - we´ve just stopped wasting
all that much of it!
Cfalk: Simple government mandates don't work you have to make it interesting for the consumers and producers to do what you want them to do.
Exactly. In Europe, energy is expensive
. And the governments (national and EU) are doing a few other things as well (I´ll use Germany as an example):
- Driving a gas-guzzler is possible, but it´ll cost ya.
- Fuel-efficient engines and cars have become fashionable.
- Improving the efficiency of heating or cooling your new or renovated house with more efficient equipment or by better insulation or by other means is supported by the government.
- Generating energy from renewable sources is also supported. (Just remember that nuclear energy has been massively subsidized by national governments for decades.)
- Efficent use of energy has become a topic of public interest. Manufacturers even use it as an argument in advertising.
You see, there´s absolutely no magic required. All it takes is the determination
to actually solve
the problem, instead of just denying its existence