'Kyoto' Era Begins ; the Still-Controversial Kyoto Protocol, a Pact among 35 Countries, Aims to Curb Industrial Pollution

By Brad Knickerbocker writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, February 16, 2005 | Go to article overview

'Kyoto' Era Begins ; the Still-Controversial Kyoto Protocol, a Pact among 35 Countries, Aims to Curb Industrial Pollution


Brad Knickerbocker writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


More than a century ago, Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius warned that burning oil and coal could lead to an atmospheric buildup of carbon dioxide that would eventually warm the planet. It was a radical idea back in those horse-and-buggy days.

Most experts now believe that to be true, and this week a group of nations took an important if modest step in addressing the concern that motor vehicles, factories, and other development are changing Earth's climate in ways that could be dangerous.

The Kyoto Protocol, which goes into effect Wednesday, commits 35 industrialized countries to reducing by 2012 their emissions of six "greenhouse gases" that trap heat in the earth's atmosphere - principally carbon dioxide - by 5 percent less than 1990 levels.

Seven years in the making and ratified by 141 countries, the agreement - formulated in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997 - has been controversial from the start. Advocates see it as a baby step along the necessary road to reducing human impact on climate before the oceans rise and prairie songbirds emigrate to the Arctic. Of opponents who accept the notion of global warming at all, some say the accord is based on sketchy science and in any case would damage the economic growth most people demand.

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, scientists have established, the concentration of atmospheric CO2 has increased 35 percent. While debates have raged over the extent and causes, and even the reality, of global warming, the evidence of climate change keeps mounting. This has included record annual temperature levels, retreating glaciers, shrinking Arctic ice, and shifting global rainfall patterns.

Last week, NASA said a combination of weather conditions and greenhouse gases could make this year the warmest on record. Earlier this month, experts at a government-sponsored conference in England reported "greater clarity and reduced uncertainty about the impacts of climate change."

Countries will use a variety of means to comply with Kyoto. The European Union, for example, just launched a program in which some 12,000 power plants and factories can buy and sell carbon dioxide allowances on the way to meeting their carbon-reduction goals by 2012. They can also earn credits against their targets by financing clean-energy technology in developing countries.

While the US government declines to join the international Kyoto effort, businesses around the country already are moving in that direction.

A group of major companies (including DuPont, International Paper, and IBM), have formed the Chicago Climate Exchange to trade carbon dioxide emission reductions on a spot market basis. Member companies have agreed to reduce their greenhouse emissions by 4 percent by 2006.

Another group of major corporations has joined the Pew Center on Global Climate Change's Business Environmental Leadership Council. They agree that "enough is known about the science and environmental impacts of climate change for us to take actions to address its consequences." Businesses, they say, "can and should take concrete steps now in the US and abroad to assess opportunities for emission reductions; establish and meet emission reduction objectives; and invest in new, more efficient products, practices and technologies."

Members of this high-powered group include Boeing, CH2M Hill, United Technologies, and Hewlett-Packard. Some CEOs believe strongly that global warming is a threat that must be addressed; others - especially those with overseas operations - accept the inevitability of international controls on carbon emissions, and they don't want to be caught behind the competition. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

'Kyoto' Era Begins ; the Still-Controversial Kyoto Protocol, a Pact among 35 Countries, Aims to Curb Industrial Pollution
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.