A Few Things Ill Considered

A layman's take on the science of Global Warming featuring a guide on How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.

Friday, February 24, 2006

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Kyoto is Ineffective

(Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic guide)

This article has moved to ScienceBlogs

It has also been updated and this page is still here only to preserve the original comment thread. Please visit A Few Things Ill Considered there. You may also like to view Painting With Water, Coby Beck's original fine art photography.

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48 Comments:

  • At March 08, 2006 7:16 AM, Anonymous Joel Shore said…

    First of all, Coby, great site!

    In regards to Kyoto, what I always try to emphasize is that it is not so much about the specific emission cuts as it is about putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions so that the market will respond by developing the technologies to minimize (and/or sequester) those emissions.

    In the absence of any treaties or regulations, the atmosphere is being used as a free sewer...with us all sharing the eventual costs of this. In such a situation, the economic incentives do not exist to minimize emissions. Thus, Kyoto and similar mechanisms is a way to force the costs to be "internalized".

    It is ironic that those who argue against Kyoto often do so under the mantle of market economics. In reality, those of us who support the internalization of the externalized costs of greenhouse gas emissions are the real ones who believe in markets in any sort of scientific way. Those who don't support this apparently believe simply in magic (or at least non-market forces) to cause the development of the technology to minimize emissions.

     
  • At March 08, 2006 10:18 AM, Blogger coby said…

    Thanks Joel!

    I agree with your points whole heartedly. I think I will add a "The Free Market will Save Us" article and raise them there. The political side of the issue is generally too messy for my tastes but the broader principles like externalized costs of pollution are pretty clear and worth pointing out.

     
  • At March 14, 2006 9:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The problem with Kyoto is that it cannot create a marketplace for CO2 emissions as long as there are countries (like China and India) that will not have restrictions on CO2 output. Doing so (under the current treaty) would just drive even more production to China and India since they would not have the added cost of compliance.

    Even worse is that China and other developing countries rely heavily on coal for power, which is a large CO2 contributor (as well as other pollutants that China does not regulate well).

    Therefore the current Kyoto scheme would only serve to drive production from developed countries to developing countries, without reducing CO2 production (in fact, it would likely increase).

    Just like an individual state in the US cannot opt of EPA regulations, developing nations should not be able to opt out of the restrictions of Kyoto. Otherwise, the US / Australia and other nations will (wisely) not participate.

     
  • At March 14, 2006 6:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ==The Kyoto treaty, even if fully implemented, would only save us half a degree of future temperature rise many decades from now.==

    This is true. Kyoto would have virtually no effect. And to accomplish Kyoto, we in Canada would have to reduce our CO2 emissions by 30%. Can we do that without riots in the streets of Canada? Possibly, but despite widespread support for Kyoto, that same support is very shallow among Canadians.

    Talking about Kyoto Two, Three and Four is just plain foolishness. There would be a civil war in Canada. I'm serious.

    I have a big credibility issue with people who talk about Kyoto Two, Three and Four when we haven't taken the first steps in implementing the Kyoto agreement as it stands right now.

     
  • At March 14, 2006 11:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think you have misquoted - the calculation of Kyoto temperature savings by mid century was actually done by NCAR's Senior Scientist, Tom Wigley and refers to a complete implementation saving of -0.07°C (see Geophys. Res. Lett., 25, 2285-2288) - that's 7/100°C, I've never seen quotes as low as ?/1,000°C but that's irrelevant. Parts per hundred for complete implementation is still too small to measure.

     
  • At March 16, 2006 5:23 PM, Blogger Glen said…

    The skeptic suspects the "Something" falacy is active. That is, Kyoto is being justified with the following logic:

    (1) there is a Problem
    (2) something must be done!
    (3) this is something.
    (4) therefore this must be done!

    When it turns out that this (Kyoto phase one) has large projected costs and trivial projected benefits, the proper reaction is to reject that plan.

    It's not incumbent on the skeptics to come up with a better plan because they aren't the ones who are obsessed with solving this particular Problem. Absent compelling evidence favoring a specific course of action, they might rather keep our options open so we are best prepared to solve whatever problems happen in the future.

    Incidentally, the claim you are responding to is just about Kyoto Phase One - the part that has been negotiated - and the possibility of other phases down the line is irrelevant to the objection.

     
  • At March 17, 2006 8:27 AM, Blogger Mikko Särelä said…

    My understanding is that Kyoto protocol is extremely costly. That is, costs rocket to the sky (order of not billions, but much more per year).

    The question is: why are we sure that costly reducing gas emission now is better strategy than investing the same amount of money in research into how to make alternatives cheaper? Surely poring tens of billions of dollars into renewable energy sources should give us cheap renewable energy a lot faster than we otherwise get.

    My guess to the reason why not like this is two fold. Firstly, many and especially the most vocal environmentalists have a strong dislike of market economy - and secondly it is easier to sell to people the tax you don't see than one you do see.

    By the way, with the case of global warming the better way to go forward should be to require all GHG emission producers to have a global warming insurance, which will 'cover' the costs that are created by global warming.

     
  • At March 17, 2006 10:41 AM, Blogger coby said…

    Hi Glenn,

    Kyoto is much better than just "something", it is modelled on the Montreal Protocol's that very successfully dealt with the ozone hole crisis. It is a proven effective approach, but of course relies on international cooperation as any solution will.

    I reject completely the idea that Kyoto must be judged on its first part, especially considering its first part has been undermined by the worst global polluter.

    Mikko,

    It is illuminating to see who it is that is predicting the alledgedly catastrophic costs of emissions reductions. An interesting data point from a decade and a half ago is Sallie Baliunas testifying before the Senate about the Montreal protocol "A short-term cost of $2 trillion will rip through the U.S. economy" yet we survived.

    Like a teenager deciding what the right thing to do is based on how hard it will be, this is not a rational way to deal with a potential problem. Once we all acknowledge what has to be done, we will do it.

    The only economic losers will be those companies (and countries) that cling to the old paradigms and refuse to embrace the future.

     
  • At March 17, 2006 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Coby says:
    ""I reject completely the idea that Kyoto must be judged on its first part, especially considering its first part has been undermined by the worst global polluter.""

    Coby, I am disappointed that you would raise that old shibboleth. Per capita, aka you and me, we in Canada are far worse CO2 polluters. Again, you are attempting to waylay blame for Canada's failure to implement an accord we freely signed.

    And of course, absolutely, Kyoto must be judged on its first part. If we in Canada can not meet our obligations for the first stage, it becomes absurd to even contemplate further reductions.

    The responsibility for implementing the Kyoto Accord in Canada rests upon our shoulders and no one elses.

    =Paul=

     
  • At March 18, 2006 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This article has several problems.

    1. You appear unwilling to answer the simply question: What will be the effect of implementing the currently signed Kyoto treaty? When there is a Kyoto II, the effects of that can be debated. Claiming we cannot say anything about what is down in black and white is absurd. What comes after will add or subtract, but the signed Kyoto has a result.

    2. Your link to Junk Science completely refutes your claim as to what is said on that site. The site says very clearly, there is general agreement on savings of "~0.07 °C by the year 2050". This mistake appears to be due to a misreading of their money and temperature clocks.

    3. Supposedly we are talking about science here. Performing critiques is a basic part of science. Deriding someone as being not credible in critisizing Kyoto because they haven't written a better treaty is absurd.

    4. Curiously, in spite of the fact you are unwilling to admit that the results of Kyoto will be small, you make an argument as to why the results will be small.

    There is no shame in being a cheerleader for a particular cause. Science on the other hand is about giving both sides of the story. If you want to be a cheerleader say so; and go "fight the good fight". If you want to lay claim to being scientific then describe the issues that don't have good answers as well as those that do.

    I will judge your credibility (at least on this site) by whether you are capable of correcting your article or refuting my arguments.

     
  • At March 18, 2006 3:46 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Re "This article has several problems"

    1. Sorry, I will be more forthcoming: the effect of implementing the currently signed Kyoto treaty will be to get the international community united and focused on an urgent problem. It will result in a slowing down of the rate of growth of CO2 concentrations in the air and begin the inevitable shift of the world's economy away from furious burning of fossil fuels.

    2. You should not believe Junk Science, no matter how clearly they state something. The way they have mislead you is a perfect illustration, my article explains how, reread it.

    3. Critiques of political treaties are generally not science. I have only touched on some Kyoto issues because people confuse the politics of the Kyoto treaty with the science of Global Warming. What I am deriding is arguing we shouldn't do anything and trying to use the ineffectiveness of Kyoto as a reason.

    4. The important results of Kyoto are listed above, and they are essential as a first step. Trying to calculate the effect on global temperature in 2050 is a red herring. If I stopped to calculate how long at my current speed it will take me to get to work between opening the door and taking my first step, I would conclude, like you and JunkScience, that I should just stay home.

    Science is not about "giving both sides of the story" it is about understanding demonstrable reality, but you have curiously chosen one of very few articles about Kyoto (politics) to make this remark. Anyway, I hope I have clarified a thing or two, thanks for the comments.

     
  • At March 18, 2006 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Re Re "This article has several problems"

    You want to argue that Kyoto is going to do some good things, fine, do so. Unfortunately the title of your article was a specific question about the temperature change to be expected from Kyoto. I would be more convinced if you answered it and told me its a red herring rather than telling me I shouldn't ask the question in the first place. You seem to admit Kyoto has issues by stating I am "trying to use the ineffectiveness of Kyoto" against it. Quantifying its effectiveness is good science and policy. Kyoto after all is entirely performed on the basis of scientific research.

    Your unwillingness to address your incorrect reference to JunkScience is disappointing. I am not a common reader of JunkScience. The fact you made an incorrect citation does not burden me with an association with them nor prove anything else they say right or wrong -- even the .07 reference itself. The mistake is quite clear. Just correct it and move on.

    Science is an attempt to model reality with theories. Theories have imperfections. Hence my comment about giving both sides of the story (aka theory). I really should have said "all sides of the story", but in your case I would settle for hearing two sides. Your unwillingness to describe the temperature savings from Kyoto is clearly a "side" you don't care to hear.

     
  • At March 18, 2006 10:11 PM, Blogger coby said…

    No, the title of the article is not specific to temperature.

    "I would be more convinced if you answered it and told me its a red herring rather than telling me I shouldn't ask the question in the first place"
    This doesn't make much sense. What is a red herring if not a qestion that shouldn't be asked in the first place?

    I reread the JunkScience junk and I have corrected the figure I attribute to them. My confusion was over what they mean by "fully implemented" and they are of course using the incorrect sense of phase one only. Thanks for pushing that point.

    Nice sentiments about science again. Why don't you read the articles about science instead of dwelling on this Kyoto argument? My "unwillingness" to discuss temperature savings of Kyoto Phase I is because it is a red herring.

     
  • At March 19, 2006 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks for the correction to the citation.

    You are right about the title, I meant to refer to the "Objection". It specifies temperature and notes the claim from Junk Science of .07C savings by 2050. You describe that claim as "unjustifiable". (BTW, the "more extreme" wording doesn't seem to fit anymore).

    Your "Answer" section makes no attempt to refute the number that is claimed to be "unjustifiable". It is odd to villify Junk Science for a number and then say you don't care what it is and make no attempt to justify your claim that it is unjustifiable.

    I wonder who gets to decide the questions "that shouldn't be asked". Given the purpose of Kyoto treaty (the one that exists) was to reduce temperature, it seems odd not to be able to ask its contribution to that effort. Will it be okay to ask that question on Kyoto II?

    You say Junk Science is using Kyoto in the "incorrect sense of phase one only". And yet that is the only "Kyoto" that is currently defined on which numbers might be generated. Arguing that the commonly accepted definition of "Kyoto treaty" is wrong just muddies the water. It has a definition, go with it. You can still make your arguments for a Kyoto follow on.

     
  • At March 19, 2006 7:51 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Re "villifying JunkScience", don't worry, the deserve every derision they get, and if you have to ask me why, it is only because you don't really care.

    We can all decide for ourselves what questions to ask, but not every question deserves respect. I will modify my article a bit to better address your concerns.

     
  • At April 17, 2006 2:16 AM, Anonymous Tom Brogle said…

    The winter sea ice in the Antarctic
    is increasing slowly and now has reached an extent similar to what it was in 1914 when Shacleton was prevented from reaching the Rohnne Ice Shelf because of pack ice.
    The Rohnne Ice Shelf is in the same position as it was when Filchner discovered it even though we are told tht large chunks have broken off in recent years.
    Are polar temperatures increasing ?

     
  • At April 17, 2006 10:32 AM, Blogger coby said…

    Ignoring the weakness of such anecdotal arguments, the fact is that the Antarctic has shown very little trend so the claim that sea ice there has not changed much does not really contribute anything.

    Temperatures in the Arctic have risen dramaticly as evidenced by the surface temperatures, sea ice extent, melting permafrost in Siberia and Alaska.

     
  • At April 25, 2006 2:23 AM, Anonymous Peter K. Anderson a.k.a. Hartlod(tm) said…

    It is that whilst there is ice to melt, temperature of either air or water in that region will NOT show any particular trend.

    If the redistribution of kinetic energy can be dissipated in production of phase alterations, it cannot then be measured as an alteration to recorded TEMPERATURE.

    As such the most useful statistic is 'melt rate', as a record of kinetic energy redistribution into (and within) the Polar Region(s). This would include ice shelf alterations.

    There is little 'anecdotal evidence' in this, and much stronger observational inference than can be made on behalf of a supposed a 'greenhouse link' to such events involving as they do redistribution of kinetic energy i.e. turbulence based events.

    The Sub-artic permafrost is simply part of the 'frozen fresh water reserves' and it's (re)liquefaction, which will reawaken the lands involved, & will shift the balance tween percentages of fresh 'free' (retained as liquid) or 'trapped' water.

    Are these considerations pertinent to your question Tom?

    Your's, Peter K. Anderson a.k.a. Hartlod(tm)
    From the PC of Peter K Anderson
    E-Mail: Hartlod@bigpond.com

     
  • At May 08, 2006 5:35 AM, Blogger Lab Lemming said…

    So Coby, do you have an answer to the following proposition:

    Kyoto encourages corporations to move their manufacturing plants to developing contries, thus increasing the total amount of carbon used in producing and transporting the goods they produce.

     
  • At May 08, 2006 3:34 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Well, it strikes me that manufacturing is doing this pretty much as fast as it can already! But this sounds like a valid concern. But if these developing countries are committed to future controls then will corporations still find such a move worthwhile?

    That said I would be interested in schemes that take into account the ultimate consumer of emissions producing manufacturing as well as, or maybe instead of, just the manufacturer.

    But if fossil fuel prices reflected their true cost I doubt transportation would remain so cheap.

     
  • At May 09, 2006 5:42 AM, Anonymous Peter`Wilson said…

    Coby
    What makes yout think that fossil fuels do not currently reflect their true cost? Admittedly at the moment they include a lot of cost due to political uncertainty and war, but that should pass eventually, especially as the higher prices encourage more investment and exploration. The long term trend, as always, will be downward.

     
  • At May 09, 2006 2:16 PM, Blogger Mike Habersack said…

    Actually, the true cost of gasoline is much less than what you pay at the pump. In the US, 50% of the price is due to direct taxes added onto each gallon and in Europe, the tax rate is much higher.

    Therefore, if taxes were eliminated, the cost of gas at the pump would be about $1.50 per gallon (as of May 2006), instead of the $3.00 we now see.

     
  • At May 09, 2006 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    first of all, the true cost of oil:

    In most developed countries, oil products are heavily taxed. However, oil companies are also heavly subsidised. For example, a large portion of the state and defense department activities focus on stabalizing oil-producing regions. In addition, some pollution-related damages, particularly in producing countries with lax standards, are not passed on. Neither are global warming-related damages. I have no idea whether these hidden costs are more or less than the taxes that are imposed on petroleum fuels.

     
  • At May 10, 2006 9:32 AM, Blogger coby said…

    Yes, the above are the kinds of things I am referring to: environmental costs, subsidies of many, many kinds both direct and indirect, health effects of smog, and the cost of geopolitics which has been oil driven for almost a century.

    Peter, regarding the long term "always downward" trend in oil prices, do you have a chart showing that? What I find with google doesn't support that. (eg here)

     
  • At May 12, 2006 4:02 AM, Anonymous Peter Wilson said…

    Coby

    What the chart shows is in fact a long term downward trend, interrupted by 3 major price spikes, in 73, 79 and 05. It is notable that the oil price in 1997 was lower than in 1947.
    The spikes in the 70's were entirely manufactured by OPEC for political reasons, and should properly be discounted from any analysis of the long term trend. The recent increases are the result of a more fundamental imbalance of rapidly increasing demand from emerging economies, mainly China and India, and 2 decades of under investment in exploration, production and refining capacity, as a direct result of the very low prices of the 1990's. Although this problem is severely exacebated by political instability, especially in Nigeria,Iraq & Iran.
    The point is that you dont want to get too impressed by short term blips in long term trends. There is so much oil in the ground, in various forms, that it may as well be limitless. And don't forget that what we require from oil is not oil itself, but the energy it provides us. Given the history of human invention, it is inevitable that some superior substitute will be found, and we will stop using large quantities of oil for the same reason we no longer make flint tools.
    The IPCC scenarios completely miss this point, and as a result their models are based on the assumption that everyone in the developing wrld will be consuming coal and oil at the same rate as today, scaled up by a huge degree of economic growth. Far more likely is a future where economic growth continues at high ate, but consumption of carbon fuels fall rapidly due to the increasing viability and attractiveness of substitutes. This process can be seen already, as the western economy now uses only half the amount of oil to produce a dollar of economic output that it did in the 1973 (rendering the present fuel price spike much less economically damaging than it was in the 70's). I see no reason at all this trend will not continue, or spread to the developing countries as their wealth increases.

     
  • At May 14, 2006 5:44 AM, Blogger Lab Lemming said…

    Peter,
    One of the reasons that investment in all resources has been decreasing is that since the early 90's, the return on exploration has been declining. Not only do exploration geologists find fewer and smaller deposits per dollar than they used to, but the deposits that they do find are generally more expensive to extract. If exploration and extraction technologies develop faster than resources are exhausted, then the prices will drop (as they did for most of the 20th century). Currently, however, that is not the case. So you can expect prices to rise until either another technological exploration/extraction breakthrough occurs, or until the resource prices become high enough to cover development costs.

     
  • At May 16, 2006 2:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "The IPCC scenarios completely miss this point, and as a result their models are based on the assumption that everyone in the developing wrld will be consuming coal and oil at the same rate as today, scaled up by a huge degree of economic growth."

    It is my understanding that the IPCC scenarios (plural) represented a range of carbon outputs, not just climate sensetivity uncertainties. A brief google perusal confirms as much.

    sam

     
  • At May 19, 2006 5:49 AM, Anonymous Peter Wilson said…

    Sam

    It is true that the IPCC models have a range of scenarios for future carbon emissions and concentrations, but ALL of them are badly flawed, and fail to take nto account a number of crucial factors, most notably technological change (leading to greater output for less fuel input, as has been the case so far throughout human history) and the observed slowdown in population growth. Also, the effects of using exchange based values rather than PPP badly understate the current output and wealth of the third world, and the growth rates projected for the developing nations range from very optimistic to just plain looney.

    One major problem with the IPCC is that they dont have any serious economists, or anyone who is capable of pointing out the gross errors in their economic predictions.

     
  • At May 19, 2006 7:34 AM, Blogger coby said…

    Peter,

    Where can I find the emissions scenarios from "serious" economists? I would very much like to see this.

     
  • At May 21, 2006 6:43 AM, Anonymous Peter Wilson said…

    Coby

    That is the point there aren't any!

    The best known critique of the IPCC scenarios is probably that by Castles and Henderson.

    http://www.lavoisier.com.au/papers/articles/IPPCissues.html

     
  • At May 22, 2006 5:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Peter,

    It was my impression that it is not the area of responsibility of Climate science to provide economic predictions.

    They can note the current trends of CO2 growth and provide Climate predictions based on that; they can make predictions based on if all CO2 productions was halted now. Or they can make Climate predictions based on fractional reductions or growth in CO2 output. These are easy to do.

    But it just doesn't seem to be their place to even try to see where the economy is really going; or how it would go if we were to try to meet any arbitrary target.

    Critizising the climate scientists for not also being Economists is just dumb.

    -sam

     
  • At May 22, 2006 5:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    p.s.

    Peter,
    your link isn't working.

    -sam

     
  • At May 22, 2006 8:26 AM, Blogger coby said…

    Peter,

    I wasn't sure if there were any or not. Yes, that is an interesting point. I remain open to scenarios from "serious economist" but frankly find it a little annoying that any economist would prefer to spend a decade complaining about the unrealistic scenarios used by the IPCC and not offer something they consider better.

    I won't file this fact with, but it is right next to, the fact that climate sceptics complain that warming predictions are suspect because models can be made to show whatever you want yet have never produced one that does not show continued warming with continued CO2 rising.

    There is a thread on a new google group started very recently about coupling economic and climate models, you may be interested in it:
    http://groups.google.com/group/globalchange

    This group is intended as an alternative to the usenet forums that have been overrun by trolls.

     
  • At May 22, 2006 8:27 AM, Blogger coby said…

    Sam,

    Maybe try again, that link worked for me:
    http://www.lavoisier.com.au/papers/articles/IPPCissues.html

     
  • At May 23, 2006 6:08 PM, Anonymous Peter K Anderson aka Hartlod(tm) said…

    What is missed in this 'entire discussion' is that the "Kyoto remediations" are not dealing with a 'real & existent' problem process, i.e. there is not a valid 'carbon-climate' link made in valid SCIENCE.

    However the near rabid pursuit of 'greenhouse issues' is leading NOT to use of the oft mentioned renewables, but to Uranium. The 'renewable technologies' are NOT being limited directly by the 'technology', and so 'more research' will NOT make these any more practical for backbone generation utilities. Solar energy is limited by the energy IN surface incident Radiation (see slide of atmospheric absorbance in links *). Also over 80% of this energy is being 'converted' already to 'electrical energy' by present technologies. There is simply not enough energy available to begin with however. Wind power is restricted by remote locations of installation and the SCIENCE of the Metal wire grid technology still used to distribute 'electrical energy'. Also, development in turbine/generator technology will advantage ALL utilities including Uranium fuelled processes.

    For realistic development of a Generation & Distribution system of electrical energy, Performance is the primary criteria (electricity IS needed), if unfulfilled secondary or tertiary criteria (like 'renewable') are not considered as electricity is NOT a luxury but a vital tool in maintaining basic living standards and community health. Hence, with Gas (and Coal Oil) utilities constantly rounded upon by 'greenhouse protestations', Uranium is firmly entrenched NOW in the path to a persistent future. After 20 years it is now that 'enough is enough' is the 'attitude motif' behind recent events and actions.

    This is NOT as an action to 'reverse' (supposed unnatural) 'global warming', but action to generate the required amounts of electrical energy. There are 20 year old utilities needing rapid replacement, so there is NOT more 'conference time' for 'debate of opinion'. It is NOW that the supposed 'greenhouse issues' should be removed, being unrealistic in the 'inferences' they have presented to begin with, or there WILL be Uranium installed as the major backbone Peak Load generation fuel with the Metal Wire grid. Valid SCIENCE will readily allow Gas (and Coal) processes as fuel for such purposes, and I have been warning of this Uranium outcome for years, NOW however is when 'it is happening'.

    It is readily observed; 'greenhouse platforming' will only lead to wider use of Uranium, and then once Uranium is widely used, 'greenhouse platforming' will become irrelevant. Better to make 'greenhouse platforming' irrelevant NOW rather than AFTER Uranium is installed...

    Your's
    Peter K Anderson aka Hartlod(tm)
    hartlod@bigpond.com
    (The word 'Hartlod' in the registered Trademark of Peter K Anderson.)

     
  • At November 14, 2006 5:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    about the critique this article criticising the JunkScience article...

    Are you somehow incapable of understanding what Coby has said? They may extend the timeline to 2050, but that is only taking into consideration PHASE 1. This is absolute garbage, as Coby has said, because as the other phases are taken into account, there will be more reductions by 2050 than if it was JUST PHASE 1 IN ACTION, which is what junk JunkScience implies.

     
  • At November 16, 2006 2:04 AM, Blogger jo_bobtwc said…

    In regards to the arguement that Kyoto was designed not to reduce global temperature but to induce change toward the development of new technologies, talk about the longest distance between two points! If we are going to spend billions of dollars on a mandate with a negligible effect (.07 degrees is a negligible effect to me) I would say that it would be much more effective to spend the same amount on the development of new technologies (I'm with Mikko Särelä) on this one. My impression was that Kyoto was not intended as a "first step," but it is referred to that way because in light of all the information it is otherwise obsurd. If we must have a political mandate in order to induce meaningful change, then I'm all for a mandate that requires money to be spent on the devolompent of said new technologies. I also find it interesting that the U.S. gets a lot of flack for not signing Kyoto, yet they lead the world in the development of alternate energy sources. This seems to be a better approach to have a meaningful and lasting effect on the environment than propagating an ineffectual mandate such as Kyoto.

    By the way Peter, I imply by your tone that uranium as an energy source is undesireable, but I don't know anything about the subject. Would you care to enlighten me why uranium use is worse than fossil fuels?

     
  • At December 20, 2006 3:36 PM, Anonymous Mike Petrie said…

    I can think of a much better way to do the job than Kyoto. Instead of imposing onerous carbon taxes or caps, do research into new technology. For example, British researchers are coming up with new cattle feed formulas that can reduce bovine methane by about 80 percent. Likewise, over in the US, spend a small quantity of funds on private companies and universities in the form of tax-breaks and, if necessary, subsidies for research into AGW mitigation.

    This action won't require any new taxes: cut all the pork-barrel spending and you'll have about 25 billion dollars a year; cut out all corporate welfare, and you'll have 60 to 80 billion. That's certainly a lot better than making people miserable in the wintertime.

    As a matter of fact, the eeeeeeeeevil Bush administration has entered into a compact with a number of other countries to find technologies to mitigate AGW. I have yet to find any endorsement of this pact from Our Lord and Savior Al Gore.

     
  • At January 28, 2007 10:06 PM, Blogger Ryan said…

    Your defense of Kyoto seems to boil down to "Yes, it's ineffective. But later we'll do more of it." If the purpose of Kyoto is to establish some kind of international body then taking ineffective action like implementing caps is an unneeded corrolary to Kyoto, and this body should switch to actions which would work. (Assuming for the moment that international regulation really is the best way to combat global warming. )

    Global warming is not the same issue as regulating CFCs, and there are numerous ways to reduce greenhouse gasses that don't apply to CFCs. So regulatory structures based on CFC regulation are not the best models for help with global warming.

    Like a teenager deciding what the right thing to do is based on how hard it will be

    The correct way to solve a problem should certainly consider how effective a given response would be compared to competing responses. China would implement Kyoto about as effectively as they've cracked down on video piracy. They'd put on a show and avoid taking any effective action, if possible. That's a huge problem with a negative solution (caps), as opposed to a positive one. Teaching for a semester in China, I'm totally disenchanted with that nation's capacity to enforce anything not in its immediate political interests. They have environmental problems far far worse than CO2 there.


    What I am deriding is arguing we shouldn't do anything and trying to use the ineffectiveness of Kyoto as a reason.


    The ineffectiveness of Kyoto is an excellent reason for not implementing it, and I can't think of any better. Since the market increases in efficiency if left to its own devices, it's incumbant upon any supporters of Kyoto to demonstrate that the benefits and costs of Kyoto outweigh the benefits that would most likely be generated by an unfettered economy. It isn't really possible to "do nothing."

    Those who don't support this apparently believe simply in magic (or at least non-market forces) to cause the development of the technology to minimize emissions.

    There are already market pressures to reduce the energy consumption of various devices. The government could certainly help make that information readily available to people. Noone believes in 'magic' and it's a bit much to deride a legitimate point this way.

    Even without carbon taxes, there are still economic incentives to decrease any form of waste.

    To name a few possible alternatives; Iron fertilization of the ocean's dead zones combined with some kind of sequestration or harvesting of the resulting algae bloom, promotion of nuclear energy, promotion of more efficient technology, and methane reduction. Any supporter of Kyoto needs to demonstrate that Kyoto is more cost effective and could be implimented more effectively than these other competing solutions.

     
  • At February 01, 2007 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think this comes mostly from Junk Science's website, and their version of it is even more extreme (.07 C by 2050). It is simply an unjustifiable statement.

    ___________________

    You are outright rejecting, at face value, all criticisms.

    In science you are suppose to analize opposing viewpoints, and even play devil's advocate to strengthen your position. However, global warmists like yourself do not practice science, you practice a religion. A rediculous atheist based religion based on nothing but lies, speculation, deception, and pure evil motives.

     
  • At February 09, 2007 5:48 PM, Anonymous MarWi said…

    1. The Kioto Protocol is one of the worst treaties ever:

    - It was signed by over 100 countries but only 36 of them would actually be affected. Of those affected, 34 have signed it (w/o USA and Australia). 3 of the world biggest polluters by 2012 are not affected (China, India, Brazil).
    - The target (to reduce co2 to 8% below 1990 average) was set only to make enough countries sign it, but has no "real" justification whatsoever: Between 1990 and today many countries in Eastern Europe (which are now blended into the EU's account) and Russia (Soviet) had economies that polluted the air at far worst levels than today. Thus, their "8% below '90s" reduction is in fact an increase in co2 output.
    - The overall effect is questionable. Taking into account the developing countries which are not affected by the protocol, the effects will be superficial (Copenhagen Consensus).

    2. The costs of implementing the protocol are enormous and it is far from know if the cost (incl. the ones from future treaties) will be lower than the cost of adjustment to GW (given its existence).

    3. The "Good Precedence". I am not sure if a flawed treaty really is a good precedence.

    - The auctioning system in the EU is merley a joke. Governments has given it's businesses far more certificates than they should have. Costs are not internalized but shifted to the least cheating country.
    - Other signees have already stated that they will not meet their targets, so why should anyone else.
    - If, somehow, the protocol is still implemented: The costs will be very high, money-wise and due to companies shifting their business to countries like China. The people will be much more reluctant to accept any further treaties, and what actually was suposed to be a good precedent will become a really bad one!

    As for your example with measuring your first steps and extrapolation it: If you break your ankle on your first step - You will not arrive at your destination for sure !!

     
  • At February 10, 2007 3:21 PM, Blogger coby said…

    "If you break your ankle on your first step - You will not arrive at your destination for sure !!"

    and here we have the US strategy in a nutshell.

     
  • At February 20, 2007 3:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Kyoto Protocal, "It's the thought that counts."

    Uuhhhhhuh.

     
  • At February 20, 2007 3:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    At February 10, 2007 3:21 PM, coby said…

    "If you break your ankle on your first step - You will not arrive at your destination for sure !!"

    and here we have the US strategy in a nutshell.

    ________________________________

    If you are an US Citizen you are engaging in insurrection. A neo-Communist insurrection against the Constitution of the United States.

     
  • At March 30, 2007 8:41 PM, Anonymous inkling_revival said…

    The Kyoto Protocols will essentially demolish the earth's most productive wealth-producing force, the US economy, thus ensuring decades, and possibly centuries, of prolonged human misery. If this is just the first of several, more powerful steps to be produced, then phases 2 through N will undoubtedly ensure a dark age lasting for millenia. We may as well just let the planet blow up and slide quietly into oblivion.

    This is especially true if, as you say, the climatological momentum is such that the die is cast until at least 2050; and if there's any merit to the AGW predictions, you are correct in this. So what we're saying is, we can wreck our wealth-producing ability, and we're still facing global cataclysm. This does not sound like a sensible response to me.

    Your fire analogy is particularly useful here. Frequently when a homeowner is facing the destruction of his life's accumulation, he'll be so frantically and futilely trying to rescue something that the most appropriate way to help is to literally club him senseless, to keep him from killing himself. If things are really as dire as you say, the only sensible response is emergency survival measures along the lines of Deep Impact's plot line. Kyoto is, at best, a highly destructive waste of time.

    Of course, the truth is that none of the dire predictions will come to pass, so -- borrowing your fire analogy again -- what we're really doing here is trying to get our delusional neighbor to stop breaking the windows and causing immense water damage to a perfectly good house threatened by nothing but it's delusional owner.

     
  • At April 02, 2007 4:58 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Wow, talk about alarmist..."centuries of prolonged human misery"...riiigght.

    Reminds me of the similar pedictions of economic collapse before the Montreal Protocol was implemented.

    As for the rest, so many strawmen, so little time.

     
  • At April 07, 2008 7:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i dont get it!!!

     
  • At July 11, 2008 10:53 PM, Blogger yezi said…

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