Wednesday, September 28, 2005


But I suppose we are still stuck with the stupid 1987 Montreal treaty banning our most effective refrigerant gases despite the fact that the Antarctic ozone "hole" shows no sign of shrinking

Tony Blair has admitted that the fight to prevent global warming by ordering countries to cut greenhouse gases will never be won. The Prime Minister said "no country is going to cut its growth or consumption" despite environmental fears. Mr Blair's comments, which he said were "brutally honest", mark a big environmental U-turn and will dismay Labour activists. They were made earlier this month in New York, at a conference on facing up to "global challenges" organised by Bill Clinton, the former United States president. Mr Blair, who has been seen up to now as a strong supporter of the Kyoto Treaty, effectively tore the document up and admitted that rows over its implementation will "never be resolved."

Mr Blair told the New York conference: "I would say probably I'm changing my thinking about this in the past two or three years. I think if we are going to get action we have got to start from the brutal honesty about the politics of how we deal with it. "The truth is, no country is going to cut its growth or consumption substantially in the light of a long-term environmental problem. "Some people have signed Kyoto, some people haven't signed Kyoto, right? That is a disagreement. It's there. It's not going to be resolved."

His remarks, unreported at the time but now published in a transcript of the conference, are certain to spark wide-ranging criticism that he is again signing up to the agenda of President George W Bush. Under Mr Bush, the US has consistently refused to sign the Kyoto Treaty.

Mr Blair's comments have emerged as his biographer, Anthony Seldon, branded him a "weak man" who has been unable to stand up to rich and powerful figures such as Mr Bush and Rupert Murdoch.

Mr Blair admitted that there would probably never be a successor treaty to Kyoto, which expires in 2012, and said the "answer" was merely to try to introduce "incentives" for business and large-scale energy users to make cut-backs. He said: "To be honest, I don't think people are going, at least in the short term, to start negotiating another major treaty like Kyoto." One of the problems surrounding the Kyoto Treaty was that the harsh carbon emissions targets did not apply to developing countries such as China and India. Mr Blair said in New York: "China and India... will grow. They are not going to find it satisfactory for us in the developed world to turn around and say, 'Look, we have had our growth. You have now got yours so we want you to do it sustainably even if we haven't'."

More here


Or is it just clever propaganda?

The green revolution is sweeping the heirs to the industrial revolution. At a news conference in Washington today, the chairmen of six major corporations, flanked by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, announced a plan to set public goals and verification standards for companies to reduce their energy and water use, increase recycling and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.

The so-called S.E.E. Change initiative (for Society, Environment and Economy) was developed by the Business Roundtable, a collection of U.S. corporations with combined revenue that is equivalent to the fourth-largest economy on earth. The initiative, led by DuPont Chairman Charles Holliday, is at least partly designed to deter more aggressive government regulation, as the U.S. comes under pressure to join other nations in agreements, like the Kyoto treaty, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "We believe that business is more than just the bottom line, and we actually believe doing the right thing can help our shareholders," said Holliday, who was joined by the chairmen of Dow Chemical, Sun Microsystems, AEP, Xerox and Office Depot, at the news conference.

The diversity of the participants was designed to illustrate the difficulty of devising regulations that would control emissions and energy use across multiple industries. The Bush administration has opposed the Kyoto Protocol, in part because it would force all American companies to reduce emissions while giving their competitors in developing nations, such as China and India, a free pass. "Regulation is impossible to write and even more impossible to enforce," said Sun Chairman Scott McNealy. "It's a fool's errand."

S.E.E. Change will establish voluntary environmental goals and a transparent means for publicly announcing progress toward meeting them. That information will be shared among companies to accelerate the pace of sustainable technologies. The information will also give government officials the statistics needed to negotiate the next round of post-Kyoto treaties, Holliday said. DuPont, for example, has committed to a 30% reduction in water use. "The objective is not a law or regulation, the objective is a result," he said.

The Business Roundtable announcement comes four months after General Electric Chairman Jeffrey Immelt kicked off GE's Ecomagination campaign, also with a Washington press conference. Attendees downplayed the influence that GE's program to reduce emissions and develop energy-efficient technology had on the Business Roundtable, of which GE is a member.

Sun has been working on similar projects for at least five years, McNeely said. "It isn't like all of a sudden Ecomagination got us focused on this," he said. Sun has introduced new microprocessors, for example, that consume just two watts for a task like a Web information search, instead of 70 watts to 90 watts.

The main focus will be on reducing water use, Holliday said, because that is a theme common to every industry. Frist, in his opening remarks, applauded the group for tackling a problem with implications on both a global scale and in the U.S., where victims of Hurricane Katrina were devastated by the lack of drinking water. "Clean water is absolutely essential, and, thus, I appreciate the focus," Frist said.

Industry's attention to so-called "sustainable development" reflects the realization that it can eventually result in higher earnings, said Gwen Ruta, director of corporate partnerships at Environmental Defense, a New York activist group. Environmental Defense is working with FedEx, for example, to introduce a fleet of hybrid delivery trucks that use 50% less fuel and reduce emissions by 90%. "A lot of it is eliminating waste, and waste is not good for the environment or the bottom line," Ruta said. "That's sort of the 'duh' part of the equation."

The more subtle payoff comes from getting less attention from regulators and groups like Environmental Defense, Ruta said. Companies that are perceived as being environmentally friendly may face fewer challenges to expansion or in getting permits for new facilities, she said. "It's hard for companies to expand if they're seen as bad actors," she said.


Baptists, bootleggers and global warming: "George Monbiot expresses surprise and delight that big corporations would request regulation (Comment, September 20) . Monbiot has obviously not read enough in the field of regulatory economics, else he would have come across Professor Bruce Yandle's theory of 'bootleggers and Baptists'. As Professor Yandle pointed out in 1983, Baptists support the banning of alcohol sales for moral reasons; bootleggers support alcohol bans for very different reasons, and are therefore likely to back the Baptists in their efforts. To Monbiot, the ultimate Baptist, a regulation banning alcohol sales would be 'making a market' for the bootleggers. The public has fended off this alliance in the alcohol market to its benefit. It should come as no surprise that the government is defending the public from this unholy alliance in the environmental field also."


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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