Friday, October 22, 2004

I Pity the Fool

Russia has joined the Kyoto treaty train. Too bad the US is still staunchly against it.

"'We do not believe that the Kyoto Protocol is something that is realistic for the United States and we have no intention of signing or ratifying it,' State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said."
. . .
BBC science analyst Tracey Logan notes that many experts believe that Kyoto will be largely ineffective as the world's two biggest emitters, the US and China, will not cut their outputs."
But even if the US did join, they could buy pollution credits from Russia (carbon-trading).

"Others claim that Europeans will choose to buy Russian 'hot air' rather than tackle the tough job of making emissions cuts. But EU countries have agreed to meet more than half of their emissions targets at home. Moreover, it is not in Russia's interest to dump its carbon credits and risk a price collapse. Since credits are 'bankable', Russia will do better to hold on and hope that America will enter the market in future, greatly lifting their value." - The Economist, Oct. 9th-15th
The treaty is not going to be greatly effective, regardless. Still, I agree with The Economist's assessment that "a less aggressive treaty that actually works is surely better than a failed one."

Of course, the main reason the US cannot sign such a treaty is because it could be used to hold the country accountable to set standards.

In an unrelated note - in that BBC page on the What the World Thinks of America - I found the results of a poll on The Greatest American:

Homer Simpson - 47.17%
Abraham Lincoln - 9.67%
Martin Luther King Jr. - 8.54%
Mr. T - 7.83%
Thomas Jefferson - 5.68%
George Washington - 5.12%
Bob Dylan - 4.71%
Benjamin Franklin - 4.10%
Franklin D. Roosevelt - 3.65%
Bill Clinton - 3.53%
37,102 Votes Cast. Results are indicative and
may not reflect public opinion.

Who knew Mr. T was so popular?