Kyoto already fails to meet its objectives in European countries that ratified the accords. Non-signatories like India and China, on the other hand, will soon become the biggest CO2 emission polluters. Neither nation has or will likely sign on to Kyoto. Thus any benefits -- and again many scientists expect only negligible, if any, post-Kyoto benefits -- will be offset by polluting nations like India and China.
Why does government need to mandate our way "out of this"? The Toyota Prius caught the public's fancy less because of government inducements and government R&D, and more because the company provided a product that consumers wanted. Understand this: the more prosperous a nation, the more its citizens can afford to demand "clean" means of production. Poor nations face bigger concerns -- like feeding their population, and providing housing and other basic services. Right now, neither India nor China can afford the luxury of "green" policies before things like food, housing and clothing.
The environment, like people, adapts. Entrepreneurs, right now, pour billions into "alternative" technologies as the costs of fossil fuels -- both financial and political -- go up, while the price of "clean" fuels go down. These things take time.
Even some United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scientists say it's too late to reverse global warming. If so, oh well. Still others expect the "damage" to materialize centuries down the road, giving us plenty of time to change or adapt.
Why does speculating about things like global warming replace direct and immediate threats? Iran, for example, seeks a bomb. If they use it -- and they threaten to -- imagine the environmental damage to the planet, to say nothing about the genocide-like loss of human life. But where is the urgency?
Soon baby boomers will join the ranks of those on Social Security and Medicare, thus requiring younger workers to substantially increase their payroll taxes in order to allow boomers the same benefits enjoyed by their parents and grandparents. Where's the urgency?
Policy-makers face immediate, predictable and foreseeable -- and especially in the case of Iran -- serious around-the-corner issues. Yet we divert time, money and energy fretting about hypothetical "calamities" of global warming rather than dealing with real world/real time threats.
You've gambled on global warming. I just hope we're alive to place a bet. -- Larry