Saturday, December 10, 2005

Kyoto and its discontents

A good CNN/Netscape article on Clinton taking the current administration to task for its Kyoto stance. What's interesting about the article is that no matter how neutral the presentation of the information, the truth itself makes the U.S. look so bad that it can't help but put our country in a negative light.

It's hard to disagree with Bill. Technological progress will not only benefit the global climate, it will also benefit the U.S. economy, both directly and indirectly. Directly because technological development spurs the creation of high-paying jobs that will go to other countries if we're left behind, and indirectly because the effects of climate change will undoubtedly have a deleterious if yet undetermined effect on our economy. Furthermore, the benefits to consumers of being more mandatorily energy-conscious are appreciable and certainly must be considered. By continuing to value short-term profits for big energy conglomerates more than the health of the world, the U.S. under this administration continues to abdicate any remants of its position as a global moral authority.

Especially interesting is the last paragraph:

While rejecting mandatory targets, the Bush administration points to $3 billion-a-year U.S. government spending on research and development of energy-saving technologies as a demonstration of U.S. efforts to combat climate change.

Hmm. $3 billion a year. That'll buy 15 days in Iraq. It also amounts to one-fifth the amount given away to big oil in subsidies in the latest energy bill, and a little more than one-seventh of the annual $20 billion cost of extending the tax cuts on capital gains and dividends.

Shit happens when big oil runs the government--and everyone suffers, except--you guessed it--big oil.

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