Dueling Twins

Kyoto

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The 'Dueling Twins'

Every politician, clergyman, educator, or physician, in short, anyone dealing with human individuals, is bound to make grave mistakes if he ignores these two great truths of population zoology: (1) no two individuals are alike, and (2) both environment and genetic endowment make a contribution to nearly every trait.

Ernst Mayr

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Kevin Tuma - CNSNews.com material, copyright 1998-2001

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Point:

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Honor the Kyoto Accord

by James Hall, from the Left

It's time, past time actually, to recognize that we need the Kyoto Climate Accord, or something very much like it, now. The polar ice caps are thinning, glaciers in every part of the world are retreating, water levels and beach erosion are at record highs, as are global temperatures. Tropical disease organisms and their insect carriers are invading once-temperate climates. Even the oil men in the Bush/Cheney administration have stopped trying to deny that global warming exists. They just refuse to take responsibility for doing something about it.

It's easy to see why some Americans oppose efforts to change. We, who make up 5% of the world's population, create 20% of the gases that are changing the world's climate. American energy corporations, who have the most to lose economically if Americans go to cleaner sources of energy, are most vociferous in leading the fight against Kyoto. Other Americans thunder about the loss of sovereignty that comes from signing a treaty that would restrict pollution, as though that were somehow different from a treaty on trade or arms control.

These are wrong-headed approaches. We should embrace Kyoto as a dose of stiff medicine which will improve the health and well-being of our nation as a whole. Kyoto's imposed limits are flexible enough to permit us to choose our own solutions to reducing greenhouse gases. This offers us the opportunity to create tax and other incentives for businesses and individuals to reduce their dependence on energy that requires the burning of fossil fuels, and offer incentives to those who burn it more cleanly and efficiently.

It has been shown time and again that reducing pollution increases the efficiency of industrial processes. It leads to the improved health and safety of those living near roads and smokestacks. And it offers improvements in pollution technology which can then be exported to other nations eagerly looking for it.

Some major energy corporations like BP/Shell have already recognized that fossil fuel's days are numbered and are moving aggressively into alternative energy technologies like solar, wind, and fuel cell power. Others, like Exxon/Mobil drag their feet in hopeless rearguard actions which will in the short term preserve their profits at the cost of continuing to harm our environment.

The Kyoto Climate Accord is a flawed treaty. It exempts many third world nations from cleaning their pollution, including India and China, two of the larger culprits. But it was never meant to be the final solution to the greenhouse gas problem, only a stopgap to bring to global warming to a quick halt. It offers reduction guidelines for Western nations that are entirely reasonable and doable with flexible incentives for businesses. Exempted China recently has made enormous strides to reduce its pollution anyway, recognizing that it imposes problems for its own populace.

Frankly, we don't have to sign Kyoto, so long as we commit ourselves to honor its limits and use its guidelines to develop an energy policy that reduces greenhouse emissions. Last fall President Bush briefly committed to doing just that, before his energy company backers forced an about-face. But even the president recognizes that something has be done, and is groping about for a way that will restart talks on global warming emissions.

Mr. Bush, the way to get them restarted is to agree in principle with Kyoto, and pledge to take steps to reduce greenhouse emissions now. That shows the world and our energy companies that we are serious about a problem where we need solutions immediately--not ten years from now.

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Rebuttal:

While James is worrying about what the Chinese are doing (they are actually taking steps to reduce greenhouse gases and are on a track shortly to make us the #1 polluter in the world), the ice continues to melt. James has obviously allied himself with those who used to deny global warming existed. Then, confronted with overwhelming evidence, they denied that it was warming very fast. By the time these people acknowledge that the problem is serious, the Everglades will be underwater, along with much of the US coastline, and James will have nowhere to drop his pants.

Is it too much to ask that Americans do their share to reduce the destructive buildup of greenhouse gases? Improvements in technology make it possible to sharply reduce emissions in cars and powerplants by offering financial and tax incentives to spur them. A reduction in fossil fuel use makes us less dependent on foreign oil, or any oil for that matter. Of course this threatens the status quo, the power companies that support Mr. Bush,
and conservatives, who should prize the environment as our country's greatest natural treasure, are somehow deluded by the Bushies into thinking that leaky oil derricks, coal pits, and foul-smelling smokestacks are more beautiful
than our forests and coasts.

Wake up, conservatives, before a good part of our country sinks beneath the sea. We don't have to sign Kyoto. We don't have to consent to world government, either. We simply have to recognize that we aren't doing our share to limit the earth's polluting greenhouse gases, and take common sense steps like raising fuel efficiency standards, retiring or rebuilding older inefficient powerplants, and encouraging conservation of energy--all steps that will help us and help the world in the long run.

James Hall, From the Left

Counterpoint:

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Kyoto - Plan for Subjugation

"More than at any time in history mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly."
- Woody Allen

Having lived in Florida for almost ten years, the gut reaction is to melt those caps as soon as possible and extend the swamp over the entire state. But that altruistic relief may not be enough to solve the entire problem. Talking to the 'Green Extremes' is like wading through the Everglades hoping to find a civilized rest area where you could drop your drawers without the prospect of strange diseased critters visiting you as your duty prevails.

It is NOT a fact beyond any and all doubt, that global warming is occurring to the dreaded extent that some will want you to believe. The science is conflicted and 'so called' experts on different sides will give varied explanations. Should we attempt to reverse any negative effects of man made pollution to the world environment, is a question that few are willing to debate intelligently. There are those among the dizzy soothsayers who claim that only drastic government imposed regulations and punitive penalties will cause industries to clean up their act. But what is the real record? With the rush to transfer as many industrial facilities outside the jurisdiction of the EPA, companies have left the US, for greener pastures in the Third World.

Only the most tortured sophist would argue that a flawed treaty will cause compliance within the Asian Tiger region. Imposing the strictest of restrictions upon the US and the EU, while granting a pass to the cheap labor countries, is like feeding beans to pigs in the hope that you will run your lights on the gas produced. The issue is that the transnational corporations will just set up shop where there is the least interference. World treaties are foolish attempts to alter flawed and greedy aspects of human nature. The idea of more coercion as a solution stems from the mind of the demented.

Similar to the drug issue, reduced consumption provides the most practical answer by curtailing demand. Increased BTU efficiency is a worthy goal, as well as, incorporating design improvements in construction. But to assert that the US must reduce their standard of living, which is the implicit consequence of the 'Green Machine', because of population percentages, is the best argument yet to open the immigration gates even wider. Just who is breathing the pollution into their lungs? Not I . . .

Enshrining the consumer culture is not advancing quality of life. Those who equate improvements in a standard of living by the number of Nike shoes in their closet have lost sight of the issue. But to accept restrictions on travel, size of vehicles and a lower thermostat in the winter (another good reason to flood the Magic Kingdom) out of a guilt rational, is offensive to common sense.

Kyoto is one more move for global governance. The goal is much less saving the environment, than controlling the world economy. If those who are consumed with the spotted owl are serious, let them compel the elite's who devise these 'risky schemes' to give up their limousines and start riding bicycles. The day this happens, I will stop burning my wood in the stove and wear an extra Jimmy Carter sweater.

Being no fan of the Rockefeller legacy, I don't look to the plutocrats to solve problems of their own creation. So why would you naively accept a scam written by their stooges? A champion in the tradition of Huey Long is needed to break the Trust. But we all know what happened to him! What you completely ignore is that the cartel's business is in CONTROL, not oil. They only sell it as a by product of their real commodity; more Kyoto servitude to their plan of reduced expectation . . .

James Hall aka SARTRE

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Final Word:

Since ignoring facts is the staple of the Left, please note that leaving the Sunshine State waterfront for the pure air of the mountain environment has greater compensation than avoiding the storm watch. Leave folks like James to drain the Everglades, is reason enough to keep burning wood. This might be our best chance to allow 'fly over country' to prevail! Let the Manhattan in the A.I. movie to its fate . . .

We should all be offended when demands are made that we must forsake our life style out of a sense of false guilt, for the hordes of mankind. Get Real! Advocate sensible alternatives, efficiencies and new methods; but stuff that pious diatribe and teach the rest of the world how to create wealth as opposed to taking it away from us. You surely don't understand the choice that Woody Allen poses?

The air and water has improved in the last few decades from previous conditions. But you wish to disregard that fact. The more significant issue is the insatiable desire, on the part of the Third World, to accept the transnational capital infusion to become the new engine of world production. As population grows, so will commerce, manufacturing plants and energy demand. Instead of advocating reducing the amount that is used, let us develop the means to improve the quality factor of the additional energy that will be needed. This is one problem, to whatever degree that it is a dilemma, that can be solved with adopting a prudent lifestyle, that doesn't necessitate a Spartan existence.

The other option is to reduce the world population. War and disease has accomplished that most often in history. Hopefully we could agree that those means are not the most desirable? Civilization requires the fulfillment of dreams becoming reality. A healthy environment and increased energy use are not mutually exclusive. The responsibility that we each have is to be a respectful steward, but that objective does not equate diminished expectations. That is your formula, one that is over baked as much as your argument. Both have been in the sun for too long. Kyoto is a plan stir fried and eaten with chop sticks. I'll continue to dine on Chateaubriand with Florentine silverware.

James Hall - 'The Right'


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It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.

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