www.whyville.net Sep 5, 2007 Weekly Issue

The Kyoto Protocol: Saving the Planet

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Authors' Note: Hey, Whyvillians. It's xo7joa7ox and rochrox here. This article isn't supposed to be controversial, but we know it will be. If you choose to read on, you have agreed not to argue about Global Warming in the BBS, or send us angry y-mails. This article is supposed to be about the Kyoto Protocol and how it is supposed to fight climate change, not about global warming. So if you agree, read on.

Fact or Fiction?

The Climate is changing. Fact.

Bonjour, et merci pour la lecture.
Hallo und thank-you f?r Messwert
Ciao e di ringraziamento per lettura
Hello, e thank-you para a leitura
Hola, y de agradecimiento para la lectura.

If you speak any of the above languages, then chances are you know what country they come from. But do you know what all of these countries have in common? They've all signed the Kyoto Protocol.

Some of you don't know what the Kyoto Protocol is.

Basically, Kyoto is an agreement made under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change designed to limit and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Countries that agree to this have committed to reduce their CO2 emissions, as well as 5 other greenhouse gases. Considering you know what climate change is, we take it you understand.

When the Kyoto protocol went into effect as of February 16th, 2005, 141 countries had ratified the agreement, including every major industrialized country, except Monaco, Australia, and the United States. India and China have also signed on, but have been exempt from the protocol until 2012 because they are considered developing countries.

The problem is, the United States are responsible for about 25% of the greenhouse gas emissions believed to be contributing to global warming. The United States have no intention of ratifying. And Kyoto has no control over the United States unless the Treaty is ratified. So why haven't they ratified, if it's to save the planet?

Well, my friends. The current President, George W. Bush, has stated that he has no intention of ratifying the treaty for the United States. He doesn't agree with the Kyoto principles. He doesn't like the fact that China, the world's leading greenhouse gas emitter, was exempt from the protocol. He also thinks that Kyoto would put too much strain on the U.S economy, and also thinks that Climate Change's reality is still too uncertain. Basically, the United States won't ratify. Not until developing countries are included, and even then what about the strain on the U.S economy?

Australia has also declined ratification. The Australian Prime Minister has said that reducing greenhouse gas emissions would cost Australians jobs. The government also argues that they are already doing enough to fight climate change.

Are these liable excuses?

But nowadays, over 160 countries are signed and ratified onto Kyoto, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Monaco, and France. The majority of countries have now ratified. Only Kazakhstan is signed but has not yet ratified and only Australia and the U.S have no intention of ratifying. About 20 countries have shown no position yet. Kyoto is expected to make a huge difference even without India, China, Australia and the US in the 2008-2012 round.

But let's face it, the whole planet is affected by the US and even Australia. So without these two crucial countries declining ratification, is Kyoto really saving the planet?

This is xo7joa7ox and rochrox, signing off.


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