Opinions on Kyoto?
Well, if you've all been following the news then you must have noticed that the Kyoto Treaty has gone ahead and 141 countries have signed it.
I was curious what other people made of it? The general opinions of people I talk to vary massively, and not allways in ways you might expect. Although my group of friends and people I know is not huge, I've noticed that the most criticism is coming from the more environmentally aware people.
I consider myself quite environmentally aware, and I'm also sceptical. I'm not writing this post just to say about my own opinion, but I suppose should say what I think as I'm asking everyone else. My reservations are numerous, but one of the main ones is that the deadlines are very soon. I know, climate change (assuming our current belief in it is accurate) is not waiting for anyone, but if large numbers of country's don't meet the deadlines then it's simply not going to work. I'm convinced a number of those 141 will fail, but in the worst situation that number may even exceed the number that succeed. I also believe that it is less focused on 'climate change' and more on 'climate change caused by carbon dioxide'. If climate change is being affected by humans as we believe then it's a multi-angled issue with many causes. Reductions of CO2 are good, but they could be easily negated entirely by mass deforestation, or other gases with global warming potential being released. Also, they have made no distinction between CO2 from fossil fuels and CO2 from renewable sources such as wood, as despite it technically being the exact same thing, CO2 from non-fossil fuel resources is from this carbon cycle and has almost no global warming potential. Swapping some of our coal power plants for wood fired ones and encouraging the use of wood burning in homes is a positive move, but the Kyoto rules make it unlikely to become popular. I also strongly believe that many of those 141 countries will meet their Kyoto obligations by simply building a large number of nuclear stations in a hurry, it is perhaps the only way they can acheive the results in this time span. Nuclear may not release CO2, in fact it may even be a good move at this time, but swapping CO2 for nuclear waste is not ideal.