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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Why Kyoto Protocol?

U Newswire : Releases : "Citizens to Surround White House to Protest Inaction on Global Warming": "As the rest of the world moves forward on solutions, the U.S. government, dominated by oil industry lobbyists, still refuses to adopt the Kyoto protocol or take any meaningful action toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Citizens across the country are holding demonstrations this weekend to demand stronger U.S. action, ranging a 'Save New Orleans: Stop Global Warming' party in the French Quarter to Native American drumming in Arizona to the dumping of one ton of coal on the campus of Penn State University."

The Kyoto protocol is a U.N. amendment which if signed means a certain amount of reduction in the greenhouse gases. These protesters believe that if the protocol is enacted within the U.S. we will achieve a better standard. This writer makes the reference that the U.S. is not making any progress against the problem with global warming and greenhouse gas reduction. The fact is that the U.S. has installed the EPA in order to create efficient standards that maintain a "quality of life", that keeps polluting regulated. There has been a large decrease in most of the gases in the last few decades.

One reason the Kyoto protocol should not be ratified is that it could cause inefficiency. The fact is that the U.S. is still the largest producer of greenhouse gases and being the richest would have to put much excess efforts to achieve the requires standards put up by the protocol. This would make needs to make strict control and taxes to prevent pollution. If the external marginal cost is calculated, correct excise taxes on pollutants and their producers can be enacted. That creates an efficient amount of greenhouse gases.

Another reason the protocol should not be signed is that it is an international amendment dealing with a regional problem. Greenhouse gases don't travel from New York to London. The local government should be left to meet the demands of locals on pollution control. The national government is more liable for the decisions it makes, unlike the UN where we have no vote. The efficient amount of pollution should be calculated and decided upon by national and local government.

Last the protocol makes an overall value judgment leaning toward sustainable development. If the Congress were to ratify it the nation would be somewhat locked into that value judgment. If the U.S. were to break the protocol it would look worse than it does not signing it. It is better for our elected officials to come together and make the decisions, which gives an array of value judgments. If the people don't like way decisions then they can persuade them to different decisions or get new officials with different values. The Kyoto Protocol is well intended but not for America.

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