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The only aggresion I see here is on the side of the German media. This is just another anti-democratic propaganda attack against American sovereignty. If the Germans want to introduce hysterical, crippling environmental measures to combat a nonexistent climate problem, then they should go ahead and do so. But what the US does should be determined by US voters, not by a cabal of wannabe dictators. Spiegel's attack on the right of American citizens to voice their opinions through their elected leaders is an attack on America and the right to free determination that America stands for. Of course, like their ancestors, that is exactly what the Leftists at Spiegel want to destroy.

To: Americans

About: Environmentalism

Dear Americans,

please tell your leaders (including President Bush) not to choose the easy way. Here in Europe, "global warming" has become one of the most important themes, because it provides politicians with (literally) a lot of hot air and opportunities for beautiful words with which they can cover up their failures in other issues and their cluelessness in regard to threats we are facing. Your leaders should stay focused and not try to please our old-European left-wing media and (thereby) public - that can't work anyway, because the US would be the scapegoat even it would outlaw all cars and shut down all industry tomorrow.

Yes, again evil Mr. President Bush and the imperialistic pig people, the Americans, are doing it all wrong. They want to get involved in the environment now. What does that mean...?
Well look at all of the German/European success stories of late -
Airbus (2 Bush hating countries can't even decide how to run the show)
Galileo Project (another socialist tax bail out is on the way.)
Toll-Collect (German software developement at it finest)
Siemens / Ben-Q (explain that to me again Siemens, you sell somebody something and you pay them!! What happened to the almost 35% or more market share you had.)
Clinton / UN / EU - Rhuwanda - need I say more.
EU Impotence on Bosnia (at least the Evil US finally did something)
Chirac - Oil for Food
Kofi Ahnan-los - Oil for food (my son made me do it...)
Schroder - Gasprom school of controlling international politicians
Putin - Did I once say I support freedom and democracy? Wasn't me bubba...
Did I mention Galileo - oh yes, we Euroweenies need our own GPS to be free of the US military, they were only trustworthy enough to protect us for over 50 years so we could spend our money building US hating socialist populations that blindly keep us in power.
Moon Walking - well all Euroweenies know that was faked, just as the WTC was a Jewish/Bush plot to give Stoiber more power in Bayern...

No, thank GOD President Bush goes it alone, as in Iraq (so what was Britian doing there along with so many others if Bush went alone?). Yes, thank a big GOD - yes (DELETED - BAD LANGUAGE - KEEP IT CIVIL), I said GOD....that Bush did it alone and is doing Environmental policy alone..I want results..

Even if the world is not falling apart as Al the idiot Gore says, as a Christian conservative I see it as a duty to take care of the earth. As a highly technical society, we have the capabilities to be VERY effiecnt with our resources. I look forward to the day of cars that run on water, electricty that totally comes from renewable resources. I look forward to coal fired plants that create no emmsissions. I look forward to Nuclear power production that has the problems of waste and safety answered...

Bush and conservatives will do it..thank God..

SPON are simply morons, interestingly the Left hand doesn't know what the second Left hand does: A remarkably balanced article in SPON (summary only).

But Bush doesn't only have negative publicitiy: as he himself writes in BILD, he doubled the amount of money the US gives for AIDS victims. Interesting that he writes this for Bild, largest European tabloid...

Under Kyoto and the current negotiations, China, India and the Asian countries are exempt from emissions controls. Does it make any sense to have a greenhouse gas treaty when the biggest green house gas polluter (i.e., China, which surpass the US in 2008) is exempt? Seems like a moron could answer that questions correctly. Seems like European anger would be more appropriately directed at China and India. Or even Australia which, despite the fact that they are one of the biggest per capita greenhouse gas polluters, negotiated themselves a cozy 8% increase in their emissions allowance in the Kyoto protocol.

Kyoto was such a flawed policy that even Al Gore rejected it when he was Vice President. Ok. Fine. Get over it, world. America went a different route with the Asian Pacific Climate Agreement. What difference does it matter if both towards the stated goal of cleaner air?

You have to keep in mind.....Americans aren't much on 'vacant words'. They want actions. It would have been a lot easier if the US simply signed on to Kyoto and then ignored the benchmarks like everyone else. But, what does that solve?

UK and Germany have had some good results; but, let's face it.....most of Europe and the other countries that signed on to Kyoto have failed greatly.

So, why all the hypocritical complaints about America? What of America? Well, let's see.....

----------------------------

U.S. Carbon Emissions Fell 1.3% in 2006

By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 24, 2007; A14

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions dropped slightly last year even as the economy grew, according to an initial estimate released yesterday by the Energy Information Administration.

The 1.3 percent drop in CO{-2} emissions marks the first time that U.S. pollution linked to global warming has declined in absolute terms since 2001 and the first time it has gone down since 1990 while the economy was thriving. Carbon dioxide emissions declined in both 2001 and 1991, in large part because of economic slowdowns during those years.

In 2006 the U.S. economy grew 3.3 percent, a fact President Bush touted yesterday as he hailed the government's "flash estimate" that the country's carbon dioxide emissions dropped by 78 million metric tons last year.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/23/AR2007052301510_pf.html


My impression has been that part of the reason Bush rushed into the Corn Ethanol boondogle was European pressure that we "do something, quick...rejoin the family of nations,...". Of course, he was also handing corn farmers a bonanza. As it turned out, corn has risen in price so high here that hog farmers have switched to feed their animals 'trail mix'! Stuff that yuppies, young and old, munch while hiking made of raisins, nuts, candies, dried fruit,....to make them feel like 18th century pathfinders in the primeval American wilderness.

As it turns out, anyone with the least bit of scientific sense could have told you that that you expend more energy producing ethanol from corn in the US than you get out of it. Perhaps this is not true with sugar cain in the Brazilian outback where they use what amounts to slave labor in the process. And that furthermore, the ethanol produces its own dangerous emissions (e.g. ozone) and its own corrosion problems.

The mixture of politics with science is lethal...a mixture strongly advocated in Europe to sabotage American industry and by the American Democratic party to sabotage Bush and the Republicans.

One of the fatal flaws in Kyoto is that it did not think through how goals should be set. An East European country (anyway converting from antiquated industries to more modern energy conserving ones), is treated like countries in recession (like Western Europe who reduce pollutants with no sacrifice), is treated like countries which are industrializing madly using whatever fuel they can (like China), like countries who are still engaged in little more than basketweaving industry, or banana harvesting,.... All are given the same benchmarks!?

Countries should make efforts commensurate with their abilities---which is the U.S. policy. That should be in any treaty and, by the way, should be included in any statistics you present, otherwise they become mere propaganda sheets, It is disinformation to compare U.S. and, say, German pollutant reduction, especially graphically, without including these other factors. (Change in oil use - Change due to GDP slowdown)/ population for example, is a small step forward. Also, taking into account energy to stay alive in winter needs in Germany versus those in Peurto Rico might be helpful. And so on, and on.

I´ve been saying this before, and I´m saying it again...

The Kyoto treaty has nothing to do with climate change, it is all about projecting the fear of the Apocalypse.

Being the Japanese equivalent of Mecca, Kyoto was removed from the target list of the "prompt and utter destruction" threatened against Japan in the multilateral ultimatum of 1945.

The purpose of the Kyoto treaty is to create conditions which ensure that only terrorists can use nukes.

From this perspective any attempt to find a practical solution how to get the oil system out of the clutches of the terrorists will be perceived as confrontational.

Of course, with these ideas I can spare the effort to apply at Augstein, I wouldn´t even make it through the first day. But where then?

And, I would like to know what President Bush is talking about on that photograph. I´d guess it is from some press briefing, but is he answering for the hundredth time the same simple question about Iraq, or is he talking about some domestic issue with no reference to Europe...? Probably we will never know, the photo archives are full of pictures with all kinds of facial expressions but none of them is properly attributed to a situation.

@ FranzisM

Bush was giving the speech we've linked above in parentheses.

I would like to point out another instance of spectacular dishonesty in the same page, this time not connected with the US - not directly, at least. One heading says: Italien - Kommunalwahlen ohne Sieger, which, if I remember my little German correctly, says: Italy - local elections without victors. But in Italy, even the left-wing press - beginning with Prodi's house organ La Repubblica has reckoned these local elections as a clear opposition victory! What is it - cannot SPON accept that the Italian electorate has decided that the Prodi government is even worse than Berlusconi? Tough, I know, but facts are facts.

@RayD - Thanks. So this one was attributed correctly. I´ve just seen too many such inaccuracies to be not sceptic about them.

@ FranzisM - You are right to be skeptical. I know it is correct because I saw the speech on C-SPAN yesterday.

Yeah, well, even von Marschall's article is hardly a eulogy now, is it? I agree that SPONs criticism of the Bush administration's environmental policies is a little over the top (der Ton macht die Musik).
However, in essence, they do have a point.
The administration has been in constant denial there even was such a thing as global warming for years. It took them until 2004, when a governmental report on global warming was drawn up which proved that there was indeed a problem, to accept the facts (more or less). So now they start to adopt measures like the emission-free power-plant and the Ethanol placebo? Too little too late, methinks.
Mind you, I'm not saying that the Europeans are angels by comparison. The fact alone that quite a few of WWF's "dirty thirty" power plants are in Germany means that they haven't exactly been role models either.
Personally, I agree that both the Europeans and the Americans have done too little to solve the problem.
However, how does that justify Bush's refusal of the German proposals in the G8 talks? David, you say that the American position has been misrepresented in the German media. Fair enough, so what is the American position? Or perhaps we should start with the German position first and then have a look at the reasons for Bush's refusal.
Merkel's proposal is as follows: binding reduction of emissions to 50% of the pre-1990 levels; a cap on global warming at 2°C (3.6°F) over pre-industrial levels.
Bush refused the German proposal of binding emission reductions. He did not want to make a binding commitment for the US yet. He wanted to start talks with several countries to maybe agree on goals in 2008.
A quick reminder: Bush's reasons for refusing binding emission reductions are: 1. potential loss of 4.9 million jobs in America 2. Exemption of big polluting states like India and China.

There are quite a few flaws in the administration's argument. The main one is: we're running out of time here. Scientists have agreed on the fact that if we don't reduce emissions very substantially in the next five to ten years, there will be irreversible planetary damage. A very large part of the damage has already been done.
And of course the job loss argument: alright, apart from the fact that I don't know where Bush got this 4.9 million figure from (I researched, honest, but I couldn't find anything; if somebody could enlighten me on this, I'd be thankful), the US are the biggest polluter around in terms of global warming, and by a confortable margin as well. So quite honestly, who pollutes pays, meaning if they really have to lose jobs because of emission caps, well, tough. The US have profited most for decades from having no caps, so now what goes around comes around. And it's not like the Europeans won't lose quite a few jobs as well. They're the third-biggest polluters (n°2 being China).
Also, if the US administration already knows they're going to lose jobs in the future, well, why not plan for it and try to re-create those jobs elsewhere? In renewable energies or non-polluting power plants, for example?

So what about the second argument against enforcable caps: India and China aren't on board. True enough, both countries still refuse to agree to caps on the rationale that it will slow down their emerging economies. True as well: this is a major disadvantage of the Kyoto agreements since it leaves a loophole for American and European big business to build their polluting plants without any of that bothersome restrictive legislation.
But how, one has to ask, does the fact that other countries do nothing justify that the US and Europe shouldn't do anything either? Especially when both China and India have argued that they won't sign Kyoto because the US won't sign.

All in all, I have to say I don't agree with SPON's tone, but I do agree with the content.

The main one is: we're running out of time here. Scientists have agreed on the fact that if we don't reduce emissions very substantially in the next five to ten years, there will be irreversible planetary damage. A very large part of the damage has already been done.

I've been hearing that since I was in middle school in the late 80's and early 90's. Irreversible planetary damage? Your whole argument hinges on the reader buying into alarmist claims.

Maybe Bush should get Kyoto approved. German automobile manufacturers (BMW, Porsche and Mercedes) have some of the worst fuel efficiency ratings in the world. Yes, even worse than the American manufacturers. It's time that 1 in 7 of German workers stop making these expensive high margin cars for the rich and start making fuel efficient low margin cars for the masses. Let us not forget, it was in Germany that the automobile was invented. Perhaps some compensation is due to the rest of the world for their inventing the ultimate planetary death machine. I'll consider that debt paid when Germany sends me a Rohloff.

@icarus: "Irreversible planetary damage? Your whole argument hinges on the reader buying into alarmist claims."

Well, for starters, I'm not the alarmist saying that there is indeed a problem with global warming. Scientists did that, notably the scientists who drew up a study for the Bush administration in 2004 ( cf. http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6334 ). If even they agree that global warming is a real problem and that it's due to human interference, that's when you can't talk about "alarmism" anymore.

As for "irreversible damage": again, not me saying it. This comes straight out of a study by Dr. Jonathan Pershing about the status of global warming scientific research (cf. http://www.wri.org/climate/pubs_description.cfm?pid=4261 ). We're not talking about some environmentalist nutcase here, but about a guy who is a consultant on global warming to the UN, some US legislative bodies, multinational corporations etc.

As for the German automobile manufacturers, Charlie, you're absolutely right. Fuel efficiency should be a very high priority both in the US and in Europe as well. And of course, nobody needs a luxury car in Europe where public transport is widespread and where you can usually get from A to B in a train just as well as in a car. Again, if putting caps on car-induced pollution costs jobs in Europe, well then, that's the way it has to be. Though I seriously doubt it would really cost that many jobs, actually. If you have a global agreement on these caps, it's more likely to create jobs than destroy them.

@mbast
I admire the equanimity with which you view the loss of 4.9 million US jobs. I can assure you that Americans do not have your nerves of steel. Even the loss of 1 million jobs would lose any president the support of the people. Of course 'morally' you are on the side of the angels! We Americans are bloated, domineering, ruinous in our energy usage, and so on. We DESERVE to suffer at least a bit, for humanity. Unfortunately, the moral stature of international organizations (whose lead we are not following in this last ditch effort to save us from Gorean Global Warming) is generally below the level of whores--and you know how backward we religious fundamentalists are about whores compared to you Europeans. Consider, e.g., the UN, whose human rights commission has blithely found only one country with a blemished record on all of Earth, or who rages in moral indignation at each and every error in decorum made by the US (panties on prisoners!! think of that, what would Himmler, Stalin, Franco, etc, have said) while staying oh so cool as nuclear holocaust from Iran approaches (luckily), the only UN certified morally blemished nation on earth--even more rapidly than global warming.

@mbast, re: "The administration has been in constant denial there even was such a thing as global warming for years. It took them until 2004, when a governmental report on global warming was drawn up which proved that there was indeed a problem, to accept the facts (more or less)."

Perhaps, up until now, the Bush Administration has been actually reading the numerous press releases coming from NASA over the past 6 years... the press releases about the global warming on Mars, Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, Triton, and Titan, and the press releases about the solar activity of the past century being overactive. His caving on CO2 emissions is evidence of listening to the wrong people, IMHO.

The science on global warming is NOT "settled", and it's looking more and more like the problem is the SUN, not CO2, as evidence of global warming on other planets in this system continues to gather (unless you think the Aliens are out there driving around in SUVs!).

And another fact: Environmental organizations in the US are starting to drift away from CO2 as The Big Bugaboo and are starting to move toward methane as The Culprit.

Why would that be? Would it be because the geological record indisputably shows that temperature increases go BEFORE CO2 increases? That it is warming that causes CO2 increases, and NOT CO2 causing warming?

They're also drifting away from "global warming" and toward "climate change", as if the Earth's climate has not been changing for billions of years.

It appears to me that Europe is a bit behind the curve on this one! Europe is NOT keeping up with the Crisis du Jure! Get with it, people... you're out of fashion! LOL!

Oh... and BTW... suppose methane turns out to be a bigger culprit than CO2, as the Global Warming people here in the US are starting to suggest... what does that mean? Answer: It means that Africa and South America (particularly Argentina and Brazil) are in HUGE trouble... aside from volcanos, the regular grass fires in the Pampas and the Sarengeti (as well as Asian rice paddies) are the largest producers of methane on earth!

@mbast

"Merkel's proposal is as follows: binding reduction of emissions to 50% of the pre-1990 levels; a cap on global warming at 2°C (3.6°F) over pre-industrial levels."

The reasons this proposal is unacceptable to the US are the same as the reasons Kyoto was unacceptable. It will be far more difficult for the US to cut its emissions to 50% of pre-1990 levels than it will be for the European Union and other European countries. The reasons have nothing whatsoever to do with the superior virtue of the Europeans when it comes to concern for the environment. There are three major ones. First, the economy of the United States has expanded significantly faster than European economies in general since 1990. Second, many European states have found it profitable to replace coal and oil-fired power plants with natural gas, as large new natural gas resources have become available to them from the North Sea and Russia. Burning of natural gas produces only about half the greenhouse gas emissions of coal or oil. The US has had no equivalent new sources of natural gas. Finally, the European countries get a huge, free "head start" as a result of shutting down unprofitable and heavily polluting industries in the former Communist countries, such as East Germany. That's why Russia's "concern for the environment" was so superior to the European Union's during the 1990 to 2000 Kyoto target period, during which it reduced its emissions 30%. Paragon of environmental virtue Ukraine reduced its emissions by a whopping 40%.

In a word, increases in the rate of increase of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe have been less than those in the US since 1990, for reasons that have nothing whatsoever with superior concern for the environment. I have never seen the three reasons cited above, significant as they are, mentioned in the German media. Any reporting on the environment that relates in any way to the US there tends to take the form of hysterical, finger pointing propaganda. It goes without saying that the same media's response to the lying duplicity and hypocrisy of the Schroeder regime in response to Clinton's frantic efforts to get Kyoto back on track in the closing years of his administration was to ignore it.

This then, is what the German government and Europe in general consider "fair;" A bar set much lower for Europe than for the US and cheerful acceptance by the US of a far greater level of sacrifice in the form of lost jobs and damage to the economy than that required of Europe. Any suggestion by the US that a level playing field be restored is condemned as, in SPON's words, a "lazy compromise." This "solution" to global warming could only be considered "fair" by people who, in the words of James Dean in "Rebel without a Cause," have been "reading too many comic books," in the form of media propaganda grossly biased against the US.

As so often, the ineffable fear is masquerading as a colourful fear.

The irony in all this is that behind the smokescreen of the emission control craze, there is a real problem which causes permanent damage and is getting worse over the time.

With every day a significant share of the fossil resources remain under the control of tyrannies, tyrants are collecting ever more money to bribe their subjects and corrupt the rest of the world.

Here is the root cause of terrorism. Tyrannies which do not run out of money like the Soviets can only be outperformed on the field of inhumanity, and that´s precisely what the terrorists do. Only when the Al-Qaeda is more barbaric than the Al-Saud it has a chance to replace it. That´s how the Al-Saud replaced all the other tribal clans in the first place.

How comes that a handful of barbarians can collect all the money from the exploitation of the fossil resources? Why isn´t it equally distributed among free individuals? Does this planet belong to them alone, or to all of us alike?

Well, Helian, I am pretty sure that mbast never looked at the problem from the angle you are presenting. In fact, he probably never heard about that angle. Something tells me though that he will eventually find ways to minimize the angle and keep blaming America.

from wc

I think you unfairly deleted three words I used. I understand you may not be a native English speaker, (that I do not know about), but those words are not offensive in most parts of the USA anymore than the words those people use to describe me - neo-con, globalist, capitalist, right wing, homophob, Christian, Fantatical Christian, war hawk, chicken hawk, redneck etc...although you would not delete any of those words, you chose to delete pinko, communist, fags...

which as I said, are not any of the 7 dirty words George Carlin told us not to use...

By the way, I chose those words because they are somewhat of a regional saying as used in this example from the deep south - "look at all of those pinko commie fags on tv protesting honey. Glad they ain't here in hickville...."

You should read Jeff Foxworthy's book, "You know you are a redneck if:"
I am sure he could add a page - You know you are a redneck if you refer to protesters on tv as pinko communist fags....

I think you get the picture...

keep up the excellent work you guys are doing..and if this post is not revelant, please delete it, but I wanted to explain to you that those three words are not anything other that typical stereotype insults that we all make when angry.......


I admit that in San Francisco fag might be an insult, but those people hijacked the wonderful word "Gay" in the 60's so fag should also not be offensive to anyone anymore.

@wc - Languages... in German, the gays "hijacked" the equivalent to the word fag (schwul) and turned the cuss word into a proud label.

But then again - your screen name invites flushing.

Oh boy, here goes: I dare to say that the Bush administration has done something not completely right, and all of a sudden I'm an ugly US hater.

Right, first things firts: where did I say that the US are solely responsible for global warming? Perhaps I didn't stress enough that I don't blame the US alone. As Ray's article stated correctly, the European states have not met (or will probably not meet) their Kyoto goals either. So it's not about blaming America. As for the 4.9 million jobs: where does that figure come from anyway? Is there any evidence that the US will actually loose that many jobs if they sign Kyoto? Nobody until now has given me even a shred of evidence that this job loss will be inevitable. Believe me, I've looked for the factual basis for that figure all over the internet. Now if anybody could give me at least half a reason for that estimate, I'd be thankful.
As for the job loss itself: I'm not gloating about the potential job loss in the US. Indeed, if the US loose jobs because of that, the Europeans will probably loose quite a few jobs themselves. So if we are prepared to take that loss, then the US should be prepared to do that as well.

Sagredo: do you have an argument to make other than "international organisms are whores" or "the Europeans are more open minded about whores"? Because that's not an argument, that's simple name-calling and as such will not be dignified with an answer, at least not from me.

to all the rest: haven't got the time to respond right now, but rest assured I will.


this isn't hicksville, wc

there might still be places in the south where people are called f... (that would translate as schwuchtel rather than schwul, btw.).
this, however, doesn't justify using such expressions to denigrate others.
the fact that gays nowadays call themselves gays doesn't mean you should use gay slurs.

mbast -

A quick reminder: Bush's reasons for refusing binding emission reductions are: 1. potential loss of 4.9 million jobs in America 2. Exemption of big polluting states like India and China.

I think there is a third reason, which may actually be the main one, since it is not a matter of practicalities but of principle:

It´s not governments that produce emissions, businesses and individuals do.

Using government as an instrument to regulate this, as you are suggesting, will only result in ever more bureaucracy.

As the oil prices are surging, and will continue to rise in the future, why do you apparently think that the market is not capable of regulating this out of itself?

And BTW, I agree with your disagreement with the comparison of international organisations to whores. E.g. in the United Nations, tyrannies decide on human rights, and scorched earth states on sustainable development, while no whore will go sadist on you unless you specifically ask for it. I´d rather believe in the virginity of a whore than in the justice of the United Nations.

You are missing the point..first of all it was not meant as a slur and if anyone was offended Sorry..

the point was that anybody that supports the President is a redneck hick. Just ask Howard Dean about that....

Therefore in the context of being a hick that supports the President I used a common hick expression for Liberals, etc...that being the Commie Pinko Fags expression...

As I said, there was no offense intended..

btw...I did not know that schwuchtel was comparable to fag..I hear that all the time watching soceer games and other events like that..maybe the part of Germany I live in like comparable to Hickville in the south!!

The overall point of my comment, I am glad that President Bush is doing something about Climate change because although the Europeans can talk the talk I think they can't walk the walk. (I hope that saying is not outdated now!)

@ wc

my main problem was this statement: I admit that in San Francisco fag might be an insult, but those people hijacked the wonderful word "Gay" in the 60's so fag should also not be offensive to anyone anymore.
it is offensive. that gays call themselves gays doesn't mean they can also be called 'fags'.

maybe the part of Germany I live in like comparable to Hickville in the south!!
not only that part. homophobia is to be found in almost every football stadium throughout the world (the us might be an exemption since sporting events there seem to resemble more of a family day out than anything). football/soccer is a male/macho sport. the only professional football player who ever had his 'coming out' committed suicide in 1998. there are exeptions, like the president of fc st. pauli who is openly gay, but in general football is quite homophobic.
interesting read: http://sport.independent.co.uk/football/news/article357363.ece

@ lars

point taken...thanks for the information

maybe a better word for the entire European attitude against confident conservatives such as President Bush is a common radio term, Euroweenies....

you know the type I am sure...and there is no sexual insult in that term.

Basically, so many European attitudes could also be classified as wimpy. (And not the hamburger restaurants in England.)

I think you get the point. Thank God that President Bush is taking on this project of the environment. He has the stamina to see it through, which the recent record of European projects demonstates they do not.

case closed...

Alright, got more time now.

The crisis du jour, Mamapaiamas, is that the science of global warming is as settled as can be. Jeez, even the scientists paid by the US administration say that, so what more proof do you need? Your own house under water or ripped apart by a tornado? I'd say: "suit yourself" if this wasn't a global problem, meaning it will affect everybody, not just the US. As for methane: yup, you're right, methane will speed up global warming. So where does methane come from? Well, methane in large quantities is actually a natural phenomenon rather than a human-made gas. The problem is that quite a lot of methane is trapped in permafrost or ice, notably in the Antarctic and in the tundra. So what will happen if the athmosphere heats up due to CO2? Well, the ice/frozen ground will melt and will release the methane in question. End result: even more global warming. That's one of the secondary effect of CO2-induced global warming. So this is just another reason why something needs to be done about it and fast.

Helian: you argue that a reduction of greenhouse gases would be much more harmful to the US economy than to the European one. Ok. Why? Because the Germans shut down a few power plants in eastern Germany (which, of course, cost them quite a bit of money and not a few jobs as well) in the ninetees? Sorry, can't follow you there. Like I said: nobody has as of yet given me any halfway serious evidence of that "huge harm" to the US economy. Neither is there any proof that the US will take a bigger hit than Europe.
And the fact that Europe will probably not meet it's goals doesn't mean the US are exempt from doing something. It only means that the Europeans should respect their goals. If somebody does something wrong it doesn't mean you should imitate them.

And last not least: at least try to think long term: the alledged damage to the US economy is nothing compared to the damage the US (and the rest of the world) will take if global warming continues.

FranzisM: in what way are the fossile fuel resources (which, btw, the US control or have access to for a good part) and the (most disputable) "fact" that they're all controlled by a bunch of looney dictators related to global warming? Actually, if what you say were true, then it would be all the more reason for the US (and everybody else) to move away from fossile fuels and look for alternative sources of energy. So what's your point?

WhatDoIknow: right. Sure. "Mbast is a US-hater. Therefore it doesn't matter was mbast says, it will always be wrong. So we don't have to actually prove him wrong, he's just wrong because he's mbast and a US-hater." Classic show trial argumentation. Do you actually have a point to make? Apparently not....

FranzisM: you say we don't have to regulate emissions because businesses will do that all by themselves. Ok, so why haven't they done so already? I'm all for non-interventionism, but come on, you do need at least a little realism. It's a bit like asking a wolf to cut down on sheep hunting "because it's the right thing to do". I mean, do we really seriously have to discuss this?
As for the UN, yeah, right, cool "argument". Again: name-calling is not argumentation. Give me some facts and we can discuss this (though I don't think this would be the right thread, but fair enough). Otherwise never mind.

WhatDoIknow: right. Sure. "Mbast is a US-hater. Therefore it doesn't matter was mbast says, it will always be wrong. So we don't have to actually prove him wrong, he's just wrong because he's mbast and a US-hater." Classic show trial argumentation. Do you actually have a point to make? Apparently not....

It would be extremely appreciated if you could point me to where I said, or implied, that "Mbast is a US-hater".

"Well, Helian, I am pretty sure that mbast never looked at the problem from the angle you are presenting. In fact, he probably never heard about that angle. Something tells me though that he will eventually find ways to minimize the angle and keep blaming America."

Bingo!! Note his reply above. My point was, of course, that the Europeans are not proposing a fair and reasonable sharing of the overall burden of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In no way, shape or form did I ever object to such a fair and reasonable agreement, as mbast falsely claims, demonstrating either his duplicity or inability to follow simple lines of argument. My point was that basing the emission reduction goals on the Kyoto formula or the clone of that "fair deal" proposed by Merkel would force the US to shoulder a disproportionate share of the overall burden. I clearly cited three major reasons why this was so, and also clearly pointed out that the period starting in 1990 is relevant because that is the starting date for the Kyoto target period. Maybe you should actually take the time to read the treaty you've been pontificating about mbast. Since you appear incapable of making the connection on your own, allow me to point out to you how you can defeat my argument. You can do so by demonstrating that the three reasons I cited in my original post for the rejection of Kyoto by the US don't hold water, because they don't really force a disproportionate share of the overall burden on the US. Good luck, mbast, because facts are facts, and the European governments and their negotiatiors, who, unlike you, have actually bothered to read the text of the Kyoto treaty, are either idiots, or have been lying hypocrits from the start. In the case of the Schroeder regime, it is certainly the latter.

If the Europeans really want a fair treaty that, unlike Kyoto, goes beyond propaganda window dressing, they might try ending their attempts to foist a disproportionate share of the necessary sacrifices on the American people, relying on their lapdog media to cover their behinds with the usual pious anti-American propaganda. It seems to me there's a lot at stake here. Don't you think it's high time the Europeans started negotiating in good faith? Don't you think they might try leading by example? That would make all their self-righteous lectures a great deal more convincing, don't you think? So far, all we've seen from them when it comes to reducing greenhouse emissions is cosmetic window dressing and hypocritical, holier-than-thou posing from the moral high ground.

Check out the latest excrescence of Bush Derangement Syndrome over at SPON. At least they got the subtitle right; "Self-righteous Knights of the Environment." I'd say that describes the European Greens to a tee. What has the evil Bush done now in his never-ending quest to destroy the environment? Plotted the next oil spill with Halliburton? Wrong! Approved funding for a toxic strip mine that will cover the entire state of West Virginia? Wrong! No, that sly devil is much more subtle than that. He's cutting the funding of a grossly over budget satellite program, and removing just those very instruments that are critical to keeping track of global warming!! What, say you? SPON is really scraping the bottom of the barrel this time in its never ending search for propaganda red meat to throw to its hungry legions of America-hating morons? Not a bit of it! Let me connect the dots for you here. You see, without these very satellites, we will never notice that the ice caps have completely melted. When Expedia calls to tell us our flight to Disney World has been cancelled because the recent dry spell in Florida has ended, and Orlando is now under six feet of water, we will all just scratch our collective behinds, shake our heads, and conclude that, by golly, that really was a heavy thunderstorm they had last night. And how will that evil Bush explain the sudden disappearance of Holland beneath the briny deep. Probably by suggesting that a sudden and unexpected shift in wind direction suddenly made all the windmills run in reverse! I wouldn't put it past him.

What can you say. The guy responsible for today's anti-Bush lead at SPON must have been hit on the head with a rock at the Rostock peace demonstration. Either that, or it's just a really slow news day.

@Helian

Just read the SPON article you mentioned...
Also checked the web site they reference, of course it looks like a reliable source, until you look deeper and see this quote from the web site:

----from http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/index.php/csw/C24/
Gerald R. Ford: 2 quotes
Posted on Thursday, December 28, 2006

"I believe that truth is the glue that holds government together, not only our government, but civilization itself.”
--Inaugural address, 1974
“I must say to you that the State of the Union is not good.”
--State of the Union message, 1975

Maybe the next president should use these again.

---------------

With a statement like that it is obvious which side of the political spectrum these guys are coming from..of course SPON doesn't care about that though...SPON uses them as a reliable neutral source...what a joke

@mbast - OPEC - in which there is not a single democracy, except for maybe Iraq - controls 78% of the proven crude reserves, and although Western economies are working to cure their oil addiction - the Bush administration is no exception to that - smooth transformation takes its time. I think the main reason why oil consumption (and with that the level of emissions) is still so high because crude oil prices are still so low, in comparison to the timespan our species will continue to live on this planet and access the fossil resources.

As to the UN, I provided you facts and links already. What do you make of a supposed world government where Zimbabwe leads on sustainable development?

Mblast:

[The crisis du jour, Mamapaiamas, is that the science of global warming is as settled as can be.]

E=MC(2)- now that's science that's as settled as can be. Global warming on the other hand.....so please, lay off the hyperbole.

[Jeez, even the scientists paid by the US administration say that, so what more proof do you need?]

Scientists paid by a political administration are not exactly the best arbiters, and I highly doubt these scientists you hereby reference would go to the same lengths as you do with the alarmist rhetoric.

whatdoiknow: "It would be extremely appreciated if you could point me to
where I said, or implied, that "Mbast is a US-hater"."

May I cite: "Something tells me though that he will eventually find ways to
minimize the angle and keep blaming America"

I still fail to see how I "blame America", and, I might add, I still
haven't seen even one single point relating to the subject of the post in
what you write.

Helian: Oooh, aren't we the touchy one. Getting personal or condescending
usually means you're running out of arguments. Just thought I'd point that
out.
You don't need to tell me the reasons why the administration's argument doesn't hold water because I already told you. Re-read my post please.

And as for facts, ok then, let's get down to those facts you claim to know so well. So what does the Kyoto agreement actually say:

1. the overall plan is to reduce greenhouse gases by 5,2% below the 1990 standard by 2013.
2. the distribution of emission reductions is done according to a ratio spelled out in the articles. Developing nations have preference over industrialized nations. Thereby, the EU as a whole has agreed to reduce emissions to 8% below the 1990 levels. By the same rules China, having been
rated a developing country, has no binding commitments.
3. the US has as of yet not agreed on fixed goals (since they signed, but
did not ratify Kyoto). It is believed they would need to cut down quite a
bit to get to 5% of the 1990 levels, which would mean, well, a little
effort, fair enough. But since they're the biggest polluter.... well, you
can only stop CO2 emissions in countries where CO2 is actually emitted.

And btw, I've still seen no evidence to support the argument that
ratifying Kyoto would actually hurt the American economy as badly as the Bush administration thinks it will.

icarus: "so please, lay off the hyperbole."
Hyperbole, eh? Sure, and 1+1=5. Fair enough, if you want to wallow in denial, why don't you tell me in detail which scientist actually still doubts that global warming is a fact?

"Scientists paid by a political administration are not exactly the best arbiters, and I highly doubt these scientists you hereby reference would go to the same lengths as you do with the alarmist rhetoric."

Right. Of course. Truth is: no proof in the world will ever be enough for you because you've already made up your mind that there is no problem.
Everybody that says otherwise is an alarmist and, in the undying words of whatdoiknow, only wants to "blame America" . Never mind the facts.
That's all good and well, but pray don't take it out on the German media.
They're not being "alarmist", they're just reporting what everybody including the scientific community as well as the American media are saying.

Now if you want to argue "unfairness", people, it's got nothing to do with your favorite scapegoat Europe. You might have a much better argument
saying that China will be the problem in a few years, and therefore China should cut down on building coal-fuelled energy plants (they're curently building 1 every week on average). Now that would be an argument.
Although the fact that China will be the biggest polluter pretty soon is still no argument for the US administration to do nothing. Actually, if the
US should join Kyoto (which they probably won't do, but bear with me for argument's sake), then China will be hard-put to say no to at least a few reductions. At the moment, China's biggest argument is, lo and behold, unfairness because the US don't ratify and, just so you don't accuse me of blaming America again, the fact that the EU won't meet its deadlines. So how about the US and the EU stop squabbling like schoolkids about this and don't give the Chinese a reason to bug out?

Or even better, instead of squabbling over the ratification of the Kyoto treaty, demand Persia to ratify the NPT Additional Protocol?

Mblast:

I never one denied the existence of global warming. Stop your emotional pontificating and read what I write. My beef is with your 'irreversible damage' assertions and the level of human contribution to the warming.

Anyone who takes a cursory look at the global debate can see that "the science of global warming" is emphatically NOT "as settled as settled can be" and I am clearly not the only one here who agrees. Your 1+1=5 retort is hyperbole at its finest.

mbast

I see you reposted my exact words, and nowhere do those words claim or imply that you are an "US hater". You accused me of something that isn't true. But hey, I did say that you will blame the US, so I guess your accusation is after all "fake but accurate".

It's just as icarus said; if you stop relying on emotions when debating you'll eventually stop seeing things that aren't there and start dealing with realities.

"1. the overall plan is to reduce greenhouse gases by 5,2% below the 1990 standard by 2013."

Obviously mbast isn't going to get beyond the talking points he's learned by rote, but for Europeans who still have a semblance of an open mind, this is the "root cause" of the problem with Kyoto from the U.S. point of view. Let me spoon feed it to you one more time. According to the provisions of the Kyoto treaty, both the U.S. and the nations of the European Union, taken as a whole, were to reduce their emissions to some arbitrary percentage of the 1990 standard. However, this standard requires the U.S. to reduce its emissions by an amount disproportionate to that of the Europeans, because its emissions increased faster than those of Europe as a whole in the intervening period. Did this have anything to do with the superior environmental virtue of the Europeans? No! Did it have anything to do with conscious and heroic efforts by the Europeans to stem global warming? No! Did it have anything to do with any noble sacrifices the Europeans made in the ensuing years to save the planet? Again, no! In fact, the smaller growth in European emissions was due almost entirely to the three reasons I cited above.

Let's consider those three reasons once again. To begin, the European economies grew more slowly than that of the U.S. during the period in question. Did that result from the superior morality of the Europeans? No! They were doing their level best to reduce their much higher unemployment and spur economic growth. Secondly, the Europeans gained access to large new natural gas resources during the same period, and found it profitable to switch from coal and oil-fired power plants to natural gas. Was the US remiss in its concern for the environment because, for reasons that were completely out of its control, it did not gain access to any similar new reserves of natural gas in the same period? No! Finally, the Europeans picked up another greenhouse gas windfall by shutting down unprofitable and, coincidentally, heavily polluting industries in former Communist regions, such as East Germany. Did the Europeans sacrifice jobs or money or economic growth by shutting down factories that produced nothing in particular that anyone was interested in buying? Did their rationale (or, for that matter, the rationale of the Russians, the Ukrainians, etc.) for shutting down these plants spring from an enlightened commitment to save the earth? No, and again, no. They would have shut down these plants regardless.

In a word, the Europeans got a very significant head start over the U.S. in meeting their Kyoto targets, for reasons that had nothing whatsoever to do with their concern for the environment, and required not the slightest sacrifice on their part. They then insisted that the U.S. pretend that this head start didn't exist, and accept a disproportionate share of the global responsibility for reducing greenhouse emissions. Why, if the Europeans have really been sincere in all their hand wringing about the environment, aren't they willing to accept a level playing field? The fact that they aren't is particularly incomprehensible in view of mbast's sage pontifications to the effect that, "I've still seen no evidence to support the argument that ratifying Kyoto would actually hurt the American economy as badly as the Bush administration thinks it will." Are we to believe, then, that, while the U.S. economy won't be hurt by reducing greenhouse emissions, the European economies will, for some reason comprehensible only to mbast, be greatly harmed? And, if it is really so obvious to all rational human beings (or, at least, to those as rational as mbast) that the economic effect of these reductions will really be insignificant, and, in fact, benign, how is it that the Europeans are not stampeding to reduce emissions regardless of what the U.S. does? If reducing greenhouse emissions is so harmless, why, then, haven't the Europeans actually started doing it? More to the point, how is it that they are not even willing to reduce their own emissions by amounts at least equal to the reductions they are demanding of the Americans?

I have some advice for the professionally virtuous saviors of the environment who have been shouting their anathemas against the evil, polluting U.S. Are you really concerned enough about reducing greenhouse emissions to stop striking pious poses and actually do something about the problem? Then accept a level playing field. It's as simple as that.

Fair enough, if you want to wallow in denial, why don't you tell me in detail which scientist actually still doubts that global warming is a fact?

Here's a handful. Here's a few thousand more. There's a difference between scientific consensus and media consensus.

Curiously enough, it seems that this was predicted by a German. "Indeed, back in November 2004, German climatologist Hans von Storch, director of the GKSS Institute for Coastal Research (IfK) in Geesthacht, Germany, foresaw that claims of alarmist consensus would be made by non-scientists and even some scientists."

mbast wrote:
"The administration has been in constant denial there even was such a thing as global warming for years. It took them until 2004, when a governmental report on global warming was drawn up which proved that there was indeed a problem, to accept the facts (more or less)."

mbast is misinformed (by his favorite media?).

Just five months after the current administration took office, President Bush said:

"My Cabinet-level working group has met regularly for the last 10 weeks to review the most recent, most accurate, and most comprehensive science. They have heard from scientists offering a wide spectrum of views. They have reviewed the facts, and they have listened to many theories and suppositions. The working group asked the highly-respected National Academy of Sciences to provide us the most up-to-date information about what is known and about what is not known on the science of climate change.

First, we know the surface temperature of the earth is warming. It has risen by .6 degrees Celsius over the past 100 years. There was a warming trend from the 1890s to the 1940s. Cooling from the 1940s to the 1970s. And then sharply rising temperatures from the 1970s to today.

There is a natural greenhouse effect that contributes to warming. Greenhouse gases trap heat, and thus warm the earth because they prevent a significant proportion of infrared radiation from escaping into space. Concentration of greenhouse gases, especially CO2, have increased substantially since the beginning of the industrial revolution. And the National Academy of Sciences indicate that the increase is due in large part to human activity."

President Bush, June 11, 2001, 11:10 A.M. EDT

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/06/20010611-2.html

mbast - just another troll who proudly unloads his ignorance and gets lost when things get serious.

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