Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Independent of the facts

The Independent today spreads a long-standing myth regarding Bush and the Kyoto Protocol. In a recap of recent history regarding "climate change", science editor Steve Connor writes:
2001: George Bush withdraws the US, the world's biggest CO2 emitter, from Kyoto, alleging it will damage America's economy - jeopardising the whole process.
This is false. George Bush did not withdraw the US from Kyoto, because the US was never a part of it. It is true that Bill Clinton (or, more accurately, a representative acting on his behalf) signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1998. However, the US Constitution only allows the president to enter into international treaties "by and with the advice and consent of the Senate." Despite signing the treaty, Clinton never submitted it to the Senate for ratification and, acting in the absence of a submission, the Senate even passed a resolution, by a vote of 95-0, expressing strong and specific objections to certains aspects of the treaty. Kyoto, therefore, was never, at any point or in any way whatsoever, an official obligation accepted by the US government. In a spectacular political two-step, Clinton appeased his international buddies by putting a signature on the treaty, and then appeased his domestic critics by allowing the signature to remain legally meaningless. President Bush, however, knew that, like Clinton, he was not going to submit the treaty for ratification, nor would the Senate ratify it if he did. So he made a more politically honest, if less internationally popular, move by rescinding the signature. Again...at no point, ever, was a commitment to Kyoto official US policy, and therefore it is absolutely false to portray Bush has having "withdrawn" the US from it.

Saying that Bush withdrew the US from the treaty is like saying that Robert Bork was removed from the Supreme Court. In other words...entirely false.

I don't know whether The Independent is simply ignorant of US law or is trying to demonize Bush (probably both), but it is dealing in falsehoods in any event.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're just playing with semantics, and mispresenting the relationship between the President and his senators, as if their decisions are categorically separate from the wishes of the GOP and its strategy.

The Republicans control the Senate, and, in turn, GWB nominally controls the Republicans.

GWB has stated unequivocally, in a letter of March 2001

"I oppose the Kyoto Protocol"

Regardless of whether the US was ever legislatively engaged in the Kyoto Protocol, GWB has chosen not sign it - and therefore has effectively withdrawn from it.

It's not absolutely false - it is semantically untrue but factually correct, unless you are saying that a) GWB couldn't have signed it b) GWB has no control over GOP strategy and GOP senators.

3:28 PM  
Anonymous TAE said...

It is impossible to "withdraw" from something of which you were never a part. For example, Britain cannot "withdraw" from the Euro because it has never adopted it as its currency. Likewise, the US cannot have "withdrawn" from Kyoto because it never adopted it. Plain and simple.

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Senate is an independant body that is not under direct administration control. It also switched to Democrat control shortly after Bush took office.

Also a 95-0 vote indicates that no Democrat Senator was really in favor of Kyoto either.

4:37 PM  
Blogger mamapajamas said...

anon: "GWB has stated unequivocally, in a letter of March 2001

"I oppose the Kyoto Protocol""

Uh... yeah. That's right. He does oppose the Kyoto Protocol. So does virtually the entire Senate, who would have had to ratify the treaty to make it legal. This is no secret.

You posted Bush's comment as if it were some sort of indictment against Bush. Of COURSE he's against it! Why is this such an amazing statement?

There's a reason the US government is against it. Kyoto is based on sloppy "science". There is no scientific consensus for the CO2 theory. In fact, consensus is shifting to a solar event.

You see, the fly in the ointment is global warming on Mars. How could our CO2 emissions be responsible for that?

A second fly is a rising belief that global warming is causing the CO2 increase, not the other way around.

The ONLY thing that accounts for everything, including Mars, is a solar event... possibly some sort of activity cycle.

So rushing into Kyoto wouldn't be in the country's best interests. We need to know what the FACTs are before we jettison our economy.

1:28 AM  
Anonymous Mark Miller said...

The reason why the human-caused global warming theory is running into some resistance is that climate scientists who have researched past climate cycles going back millions of years have learned that the climate we humans have been experiencing for the last few hundred thousand years is amazingly mild compared to the climate shifts that the Earth experienced millions of years ago. The rise in temperature over the past 100 years, when measured against past climate shifts is statistically insignificant.

Even if one takes into account the claims of us putting millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, you have to also consider that tons of CO2 gets put into the atmosphere via. natural causes as well, such as volcanic eruptions and forest fires. Forest fires put tremendous amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, on par with the amount that automobiles do. Same goes for volcanic eruptions. So basically, we could stop all of our hydrocarbon activity, and its likely the average temperature would still rise.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Simon Lazarus said...

The Independent lied? Do you mean that this is the first time this happened?

This is a constant problem with the left wing British media. Their hatred of Bush and the US is causing them to be stupider than usual.

10:51 PM  
Blogger mamapajamas said...

Exactly, Mark. Not to mention that the amount of CO2 put into the air by biological activity in the oceans is something on the order of 500 times the amount of the entire human race.

What we do is a grain of sand on a beach.

IF we're doing it at all.

A new theory that's being studied is that warming is causing the CO2 increase... it's increasing the bio activity in the oceans because of better weather, with is increasing the CO2 output. The increased CO2 output is increasing plankton and other plant growth, and so on in a circle. People really interested in the planet's health should go back to their basic 5th grade science and start thinking of CO2 as airborne plant food.

The ONLY thing that explains everything is a solar event. We could be experiencing an event similar to the Medieval Warm Period, which had a wonderful effect on the planet :).

7:35 AM  

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