Monday, November 06, 2006

UN Climate conference opens

From the Associated Press: "At the opening of a two-week United Nations conference on climate change, the negotiator, Harlan Watson, also told reporters that the United States was voluntarily doing better at restraining the emission of such gases than some of the countries committed to reductions under the Kyoto Protocol."

Although the actual metric Watson uses - annual emissions increase over only one year - is totally ridiculous ("oh officer, I was only going 60 mph", when in fact you were driving 85 mph for three hours and slowed down a minute ago upon spotting the police car), he does have a point. US greenhouse gas emissions have grown 16% since 1990, hardly a point of pride, but slower than Kyoto signatories New Zealand (21%), Ireland (23%), Canada (27%), Portugal (41%) and Spain (49%).

Watson also confirmed that US policy on climate change is unlikely to change under the current administration. Maybe some of candidates in tomorrow's mid-term election will respond to his statement, or at least mention this week's UN conference. It has to garner some attention: including both houses of congress, all the state assemblies, state comptrollers, state attourney general and dog catchers, I'd say there are roughly 6.7 million people on the ballots here tomorrow.

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