Greens Concede Kyoto Will Not Impact 'Global Warming'
- Marc Morano Senior Staff Writer
- 2004 12 Dec
Despite the fact that green groups at the U.N. climate summit in Buenos Aires called President George Bush "immoral" and "illegitimate" for not supporting the Kyoto Protocol, the groups themselves concede the Protocol will only have "symbolic" effect on climate because they believe it is too weak. Kyoto is an international treaty that seeks to limit greenhouse gases of the developed countries by 2012.
"I think that everybody agrees that Kyoto is really, really hopeless in terms of delivering what the planet needs," Peter Roderick of Friends of the Earth International told CNSNews.com.
"It's tiny, it's tiny, tiny, it's tiny," Roderick said. "It is woefully inadequate, woefully. We need huge cuts to protect the planet from climate change."
But just because Kyoto may end up having little or no impact on the climate, that did not stop Roderick from blasting President Bush for the White House's environmental policies.
Roderick cited "deep psychological reasons" as to why the Bush administration opposed the Protocol.
"[Bush] comes across as not caring," Roderick said. "I am sure he does care in his own life personally about many things, [but] I think also that he is scared, he is fearful, he is fearful about wanting to continue in power.
"Somewhere in their hearts [the Bush administration doesn't] seem to care about the future of the planet and I think that is bad news for the world," Roderick added. "It is obviously deep psychological reasons, as to why individuals would feel that way ... [Bush] seems to have a vision of the world which is not recognized by millions and millions of people around the world."
Kyoto: 'Symbolic importance'
While Roderick dismisses the potential impact of the Kyoto Protocol, he believes the treaty is vital for a reason that has nothing to do with climate change.
"[The Protocol] is important more in the political message and the inspiration it is giving people around the world. People can say 'yeah, our politicians do care -- they are not just interested in power and their own greed and in their own money. They do care about the future of the planet,'" Roderick explained.
"How inspiring it would be for the leaders to get together and say 'yeah, we are going to do this, we are all in this together. That's, I think, the sort of symbolic importance of Kyoto, not the the sort of nitty-gritty commas and dots in the text [of the Protocol]," he added.
Roderick believes a global climate emergency can only be averted by a greenhouse gas limiting treaty of massive proportions. "We are talking basically of huge, huge cuts," said Roderick.
The most positive description of the Kyoto Protocol centers on it fostering the spirit of cooperation in the international community, according to Roderick.
"The best thing that can be said for it, is it's the first time that with the exception unfortunately of the United States, that the international community has said, 'We need to get together on this and we need international action.' That's the really important thing of Kyoto," Roderick said.
Kyoto: 'Important architecture'
Greenpeace International agreed that the Kyoto Protocol should only be an entry point for controlling greenhouse gas emissions. Jessica Coven, a spokesperson for the environmental group, told CNSNews.com that "Kyoto is our first start and we need increasing emissions cuts.
"We need all types of actions, but Kyoto is the important architecture for how we are going to move forward to curb the problem [of climate change]," Coven said.
"Global warming, as its name suggests, is a global problem and we need an international framework like Kyoto," she added. And despite the Protocol's limited impact, Coven said President Bush's decision not to support the treaty is "immoral."
The Inuit Circumpolar Conference, the Arctic group that announced their intention this week to seek a ruling from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights against the United States, "for causing global warming and its devastating impacts," also denigrated the global warming treaty.
"The Kyoto Protocol, although again achieved with great difficulty, doesn't even go near to what has to get done. It is not anywhere near to what we need in the Arctic," said Sheila Watt-Cloutier, chairwoman of Inuit Circumpolar Conference.
"Kyoto will not stop the dangerous sea level rise from creating these kinds of enormous challenges that we are about to face in the future. I know many of you here believe that we must go beyond [Kyoto]," she said during a panel discussion.
See Related Articles:
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Study Claiming Rapid Arctic Ice Melt Refuted at Climate Summit (Dec. 14, 2004)
'Ignore Global Warming,' Says Former Greenpeace Member (Dec. 14, 2004)
UN Climate Conference Called 'Meeting About Nothing' -- (Dec. 13, 2004)
Essay Claiming 'Scientific Consensus' for Global Warming is Ridiculed -- (Dec. 7, 2004)
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