Refusing Ratification: The US's Big Blunder
Measured in parts per million by volume
"The world's got a pretty simple choice here. It's between President Bush and grandchildren."
-- Australian Senator Bob Brown, calling for a U.S. oil boycott because of George Bush's refusal to sign the Kyoto climate change treaty (Green, Kyoto Accord, Internet).
The United States has but 4 per cent of the world's total population. Yet it produces an embarrassing 25 per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. To top it all up, the Bush administration refuses to lower the emission by even as little as 5.2 per cent. They wrongly claim that this would be too burdensome for the U.S. industry (Bush Defends..., Internet). But 38 other developed countries have agreed to cut emissions and thus prevent global warming by adopting the Kyoto Protocol (Bong, Kyoto Agreement, Internet). This treaty was developed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Control to lower gas emissions to about 5 per cent of 1990 levels by 2010. The protocol establishes that countries may limit their emissions in many ways, like simply being energy efficient or even by trading carbon credits (Craig, Australia's..., Internet). Under the carbon credit trading system, each country will be given a particular number of credits. These credits will allow the country to pollute to a certain level. Should a country deem it necessary to pollute more, it can purchase credits from countries that do not need to pollute as much (Wilson). But even though the Kyoto Treaty has many economic benefits, the United States still rebuffs the treaty. It can profit greatly from the creation of new jobs and businesses by putting in place policies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but if the Bush Administration continues to act negligently, the consequences could be exceptionally dire for American citizens and the world at large.