Saturday, September 03, 2005

Katrina as a warning to ratify Kyoto?

The world has been shocked by Katrina destroying New Orleans and showing to the world certain weaknesses that exist in the US. What is just as shocking, but unfortunately less surprising, is the political exploitation of the disaster. Apart from the brainless America-bashing, Germany’s Environmental Minister Jürgen Trittin, member of the Greens, has found a different opportunity to exploit this disaster.

Citing Der Spiegel:

“The toughest commentary of the day comes from Germany's Environmental Minister, Jürgen Trittin, a Green Party member, who takes space in the Frankfurter Rundschau, a paper friendly with the Social Democrats, to bash US President George W. Bush's environmental laxity.

He begins by likening the photos and videos of the hurricane stricken areas to scenes from a Roland Emmerich sci-fi film and insists that global warming and climate change are making it ever more likely that storms and floods will plague America and Europe.

"There is only one possible route of action," he writes. "Greenhouse gases have to be radically reduced and it has to happen worldwide. Until now, the US has kept its eyes shut to this emergency. (Americans) make up a mere 4 percent of the population, but are responsible for close to a quarter of emissions."

He adds that the average American is responsible for double as much carbon dioxide as the average European. "The Bush government rejects international climate protection goals by insisting that imposing them would negatively impact the American economy. The American president is closing his eyes to the economic and human costs his land and the world economy are suffering under natural catastrophes like Katrina and because of neglected environmental policies."

As such, Trittin also calls for a reworking of the Kyoto Protocol -- dubbing it the uncreative title of "Kyoto 2" -- and insisting that the US be included.”

In a comment by George Taylor on Tech Central Station, analyses like this are being destroyed. Scientific evidence shows Global warning hasn’t got anything to do with the busy hurricane year in the Atlantic. Changing land use, and not changing climate, is the cause of the problem.

It should be a warning for the German people that they are governed by this kind of people. The upcoming elections offer a nice opportunity to outvote these from power.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cathy said...

this hurricane is not being used to politically exploit anything; the government of the united states fucked up, plain and simple. and the climate changing certainly does have a high liklihood of increasing both frequency and intensity of hurricanes; coupled with land use change...
Cathy in Canada

Pieter Cleppe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pieter Cleppe said...

Well, Cathy, at least according to my information not. Try to find some scientists who contradict.

However, what would you expect of people promoting a political agenda pro-Kyoto (for whatever reason: fundamental development-sceptical back to the woods supporters, lobbying companies trying to hurt their competers, politicians exploiting hatred against companies, ...)? That they would pay attention to carefullness in pretending these things?

Anonymous said...

It's just Claus Christian Malzahn, who is trying to use his position as online boss for politics with Der Spiegel, to make politics in Germany.

Here in Germany we will have elections in two weeks, the desired reaction is, that you should blame now Mr. Trittin and write many lettters to the Spiegel, so Mr. Malzahn and the opposition can ask Mr. Trittin to resign from his job as environmental minister.

I would like to make three notices to the FR interview, which was translated by Der Spiegel:

- the FR interview was made Monday, when people thought, Katrina caused some damages, but no one knew the desaster. So there is no regret for the victims in the article, because at time of writing people didn't think, that there will be victims and especially many victims there. Mr. Trittin was one of the first to offer the US any help they want. Just Bush said, the US don't need help.

- Mr Trittin is the politician, who made alternative energy politics government politics and was blamed for this by people like Mr. Malzahn, because energy prices are a bit higher due to this efforts. Due to Mr. Trittins politics we have in Germany lot's of electrical windmills and sun absorbers on houses roofs, more taxes on conventional energy like oil, coal and gas, harder rules to save energy with better isolations and burners. Mr. Trittin has made rather strict climate politics coming reality in Germany.

- Mr. Trittin said, there is no single and direct cause, that a specific hurricane is caused by climate changes, but that it is a fact, that the probablility of extreme weather like hurricanes changed. This, by the way, seems the central mistake of US responsables: the US officials said, a hurricane that will sink New Orleans is only to expect once in some hunderd of years, as statistical rows over long times proove. The officials ignored that the probability of hurricanes changed during the last years - because that would mean, that Bush is not right,that there is no climate change. The US scientists calculated with worng figures due to political reasons, because in Bushs view on the world, the climate changes do not exist.

Mr. Trttin asked to call for a Kyoto II, a better Kyoto protocoll, because what we see now, is just the consequences of what humans spoiled the clima some years ago - the consequences of what we are doing now, we will see in a couple of years.

Pieter Cleppe said...

Thanks for the word, Marcel.

Also Johan Norberg treats the Kyoto falacy that has been raised again at the occasion of Katrina:

Nicolas Raemdonck said...

The hurricane has showed that a government can not cope with a major disaster. Bush may have fucked it up but European politician also have fucked it up. Today 1500 people were evacuated in the south of France because of flooding.

A year ago some 10000 old people died from the warm temperatures during the summer in France. Government didn't do anything about it.

Anonymous said...

to Nickonomics:

Oh yes, they did!
They stopped paying their pension!