Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Kyoto Protocol will not serve U.S. well

Just last week, the G8 met and one of their main concerns was the renewal of the Kyoto protocol, that began in 2005 and is set to expire in 2012. The new version is scheduled to be drafted at a meeting at   Copenhagen in December 2009.

President Obama needs to continue the current U.S. stance on the Kyoto Protocol and establish his own plan for reduction of greenhouse emissions enabling a gradual change in the lifestyles of Americans. I am not denying that global warming exists or that the reduction of greenhouse emissions can only be beneficial, but I am against the cap and trade system established by the Kyoto protocol.

One of the protocol’s main mechanisms to fight global warming is carbon caps per capita. So, countries with greater populations have the ability and privilege to emit more greenhouse gases.

The U.S. does not have a large population compared to China and Russia; these countries would gain an advantage on the U.S. when given more money to trade for “carbon credits.”

If the U.S. attempted to implement a cap and trade system, I would see problems with such a system. First off, it gives an unfair advantage to non-industrial communities as they will have credits that they can trade.

It might be argued that the treaty would be good for the transfer of power between world superpowers to those of third world countries.
This might appeal to environmentalists as an added incentive for people to adopt more energy-saving and environmentally friendly lifestyles.

The EU, however, despite its approval of cap-and-trade, has still built about 40 coal fired power plants since the ratification of the treaty. 27 of these are in Germany alone according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The protocol, it seems, has not helped Europe in the quest for green energy.

Since cars are one of the main carbon dioxide polluters, America’s transportation system would be strained as people use public transportation over cars. The public transit system in most of America is not ready for an influx in ridership.

The protocol would call for a drastic change in the lifestyles of Americans in order to meet the agreement to reduce emissions to pre 1990 levels. In this time, America is not ready for such a quick change.

The American lifestyle needs to change in ways that are more environmentally friendly such as driving less and eating less meat, but in a 10 year span, it is unreasonable to ask the American public to drastically change their habits.

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