07 December 2008

Why Kyoto will fail

From New Scientist:

Our new-found love for flat-screen TVs could come back to haunt us. Earlier this year, researchers warned that the growing popularity of this technology was releasing increasing amounts of a powerful greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. Now, researchers say levels of the gas are four times as high as previously estimated, and warn they are rising "quasi-exponentially". Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) is 17,000 times more effective at warming the atmosphere than an equal mass of carbon dioxide. Yet the Kyoto protocol does not set limits on NF3 emissions because it was made in tiny amounts when the protocol was agreed in 1997. Warm glow of TV, 'New Scientist', 1 November

There we have it. Kyoto does not aim to reduce the rate of climate change. It does not even aim to reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. It is concerned solely with reducing those gases that were throught to be greenhouse gases at the time it was devised. A Climate Stability Bond regime would be a big improvement. If we want a more stable climate, then we should reward people who help us achieve one however they do so. Our scientific knowledge is rapidly expanding. We cannot rely even on today's science to tell us what will be the best ways of stabilising the climate throughout the necessarily long time it will take us to do so. Relying on 1990s science, as Kyoto does, is even worse.

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