Thursday, October 19, 2006

Canada Cans Kyoto?

No! Not the pristine Canuckians! Say it ain't so, Joe.

I wonder how the other signatories are doing....


allen said...

Old news. France and Germany have both quietly invoked a back door in the Kyoto Accords which allows them to escape the responsibilities they signed up for.

When the dust, or rather global warming gases, settle the number of countries that have met their Kyoto Accord goals is liable to be countable on one hand with fingers left over.

Darren said...

Exactly my point.

But global warming is George Bush's fault. Just ask any leftie.

Anonymous said...

Yep, you are right. I'm a lefty and I do think George Bush has been a terrible failure in this area. Through his appointments and the White House's heavy hand in squashing the vast preponderence of scientific opinion and censoring reports he has certainly done much more harm than good.

Look Darren, I've been teaching environmental science for fifteen years and before that I spent four years at the Smithsonian Institution as a biologist. I know how to look at data. The data says that global warming as a part of the global climate change package is a massive problem. I have two grandchildren. For their sakes I'd love it if the data said that global warming was a myth. That would be a dream come true for me.

But as a scientist I'm bound to follow the data. The earth is warming at an unprecidented rate. The chances that this will have a happy ending are quite small.

Darren said...

Atlas, President Bush has done such a wonderful job squashing and censoring reports that *everyone* has heard about global warming. Strike that excuse.

President Bush is responsible for the Canadians' essentially pulling out of Kyoto. I don't see that excuse either.

Anonymous said...

I'm having some trouble seeing how your response connects to my post. Let me ask. Do you think President Bush has behaved honorably and been a good steward of the environment? Do you think he has used the power of his office to further scientific progress in this area?


Darren said...

Your response to my comment that global warming is George Bush's fault is--you agree with that statement?

How else can I interpret your answer when I read, "Yep, you are right."

Foobarista said...

For my part, my crude observation is the more someone knows about atmospheric science, the more likely they are to be a global warming skeptic, on either the question of global warming itself (relatively few) or the question of whether global warming is driven by human-emitted CO2 (many more). Also, anyone who knows anything about climate history knows that the climate has been both hotter and vastly colder in historic and recent prehistoric periods, long before anyone was driving SUVs.

Another thing is the "truthiness factor". There is an undeniable rush by lefties to proclaim that global warming shows that capitalism is evil and that only some form of internatioal eco-socialism - or at best, carefully "managed" capitalism that always ends up benefiting the French - can save the Earth. This alone makes me darn skeptical, since this same trick has been used by lefties in the past: just look up "global cooling" in the 1970s, and numerous other gloom&doom stuff (Club of Rome, etc) in the past thirty years or so.

EllenK said...

Kyoto was a blatant attempt to hamstring the top producers while not really helping those further down the food chain. Does it make sense for the US to limit growth when India and China are not? Does it makes sense for us to be held to standards that would bleed the economy and restrain replacement level growth when Asia and the Middle East have done so little with their money to improve the lot of their average citizen? It was a money grab and Germany and France went for it because it made them look like they were standing up to the US. Now Germany has a different Chancellor and France is floundering in unwanted unemployed immigrant workers. Sure they want a back door-they have always been really good at telling other people what to do.

Nigel said...

But global warming is George Bush's fault. Just ask any leftie.

Naw. Clinton didn't help much either, sadly. I blame it on the "American" way of loving our gas guzzling SUVs and factories.

Damn Canay-dia.

...and no self-respecting "leftie" should blame Bush for ANYTHING. He isn't nearly intelligent enough to ____ up the environment single-handedly. Cheney...on the other hand. Regardless, Bush=No Kyoto/global warming just as much as Reagan being elected=American hostages freed in Iran.

There's no corrolation. Did I spell that right?
Anyways, Bush has done nothing to help the environment (well..not enough. Nothing? I'm not currently politically well-informed enough to say that much). You conservatives laugh at nĂ¼-hippies and lefties and our green party comrades (Actually, YOUR comrades—we liberals hate the green party. They helped you put a monkey into the Oval Office) but do you want to run out of oil? What IF all the scares about global warming are correct? Isn't it worth it to do something to try to better our environment? Save the forests, man. Seriously.
You think it's funny now, but your son's great-grandkids won't find it funny that you laughed at the guys in tie-dye that wanted to save the rain forests.

Because there won't be any then.

Melo-dramatic; I'll concede—but hey, I have a PSAT in 5.5 hours. I'm allowed a little melodramaticism.

rightwingprof said...

George W. Bush is the President of the United States. It is not his job to be a "good steward of the environment," particularly just to make guilty liberals feel good about themselves.

Darren said...

Nigel, you are not living by my code of "Well rested, well tested." And it shows in the political rant you just posted.

If the best you can do is call the President a monkey, you've already lost. I called John Kerry "Horseface", but I also identified why he shouldn't be President. So calling him Horseface wasn't the best I could do :-)

I love this "President Bush is stupid" meme. The cognitive dissonance that non-Republicans must experience on a daily basis is enough to cause veins to burst in temples--and probably the vein in the left temple, too!

Hope you're doing well on the PSAT. I was a National Merit semifinalist after I took the PSAT, but never submitted all the paperwork for the scholarships because I was sure I was going to the Air Force Academy. Ca-ca occurs, I guess.

Foobarista said...

As for Bush and the environment, he started and signed the world methane emissions protocol; methane is a far worse greenhouse gas than CO2.

He also signed the low-sulphur diesel law that recently came into effect.

He also set up several large wetlands areas.

Other than opposing Kyoto and not doing the Jimmy Carter sweater thing, I'm not sure where the notion that Bush hasn't been a good steward of the environment comes from. One may also note that Kyoto was ignored by Clinton - and John Kerry voted against it in a Senate vote - and is virtually impossible for the US to implement. (Not that it would do anything anyway.)

EllenK said...

That's not definitive science. There's also ample evidence that the shifting of the magnetic poles is causing weather aberrations. My daughter's physics teacher mentioned this five years ago. This week, PBS is airing a Nova episode covering the same ground. This could account for changes in El Nino, changes in wind currents and the hole in the Ozone.

allen said...

Atlas wrote:

Through his appointments and the White House's heavy hand in squashing the vast preponderence of scientific opinion and censoring reports he has certainly done much more harm than good.

Given the virtual Amazon River of eco-hyperbole on the subject of global warming the President doesn't seem to have done all that effective a job of "squashing the vast preponderence of scientific opinion and censoring reports". It is interesting to note that the same lefties who accuse Bush of all sorts of clever dark designs in virtually the same breath will dismiss him as stupid. Well, which is it? Does he suddenly get smart when the role of pinata has to be filled? And then does he get stupid when convenience requires an actor for that role?

Look Darren, I've been teaching environmental science for fifteen years and before that I spent four years at the Smithsonian Institution as a biologist.

What a coincidence! Me too! Do you also dance at the Bolshoi ballet? Do a little brain surgery just keep the old fingers limber?

Hey Atlas, this is the internet. No one knows if you're a dog so leave off the appeals to authority.

The entire debate revolves around two factors: recorded climatic data and computer modeling.

Climatic data is, as anyone with an honest bone in their body will tell you is, shockingly incomplete, of dubious reliability and variable quality. The highest density of weather observatories are, surprise!, in the U.S. and western Europe. Once you get outside those two areas the density of observatories drops off precipitously and there are vast swaths of the Earth's surface that have never seen a guy with a thermometer and notebook. The urban heat-island effect is both widely acknowledged and just as widely acknowledged, among people with an honest bone in their body, is that the urban heat-island effect has unpredictable effects on weather observation rendering information gathered from weather stations within the effect area of questionable quality.

Leaving the best for last, there's the computer models.

Of all the lies and misrepresentations thrown around in this particular debate the use of computer modeling is the most reprehensible. The limitations imposed by the cost of computing power necessitates models whose grain size gives them only tangential similarity to the observed atmosphere. If that were the only objection to the use of computer modeling to inform the political debate it would be more then enough. But wait, there's more!

Computer models are not only known to be incomplete with regard to phenomena that have been understood for decades but are necessarily incomplete in their handling of phenomena that have only recently been characterized or have only recently been seen as important climatic factors.

When global climate models incorporate megalightning, solar wind, solar weather, cosmic radiation, methane hydrates, changes in the Earth's magnetic field and, oh, any number of other phenomenon they'll have some claim to credibility. As it stands, they're useless and you don't have to have taught environmental science for fifteen years or spent four years doing something biological at the Smithsonian to know that.

The bottom line is that Kyoto is toast and for very good reasons. Talking the greenie talk is all good, clean fun but when it comes to signing the downside becomes a lot realer. Real enough that no nation that has to exert itself much is willing to go through with what the Kyoto Accords require.