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View Diary: Climate Deal Cut, Kyoto Extended, All Nations Have CO2 Limits (122 comments)

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  •  the difficulty with these negotiations (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WarrenS, Amber6541, koNko

    is that they have to include even recalcitrant nations. And the US has to be included because we emit so much; a treaty without us would be useless.

    The US is too big to fail, and we're demanding to be bailed out or we will walk away. That is of course grossly unfair of us (and very shortsighted) but that has never stopped our politicians.

    This is not a unilateral issue. This isn't even like arms control, which could largely be carried out bilaterally between the two superpowers. This requires a level of multilateralism never previously achieved in human history.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:52:22 PM PST

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    •  US a "recalcitrant" nation????!!! (0+ / 0-)

      You are aware that the US is the #2 CO2 emitter, aren't you.  And that China already emits 19% more CO2 than the US.

      And that the moment that China would agree to curb 2005 emission by 50% by 2020, the US would do so as well.  China has refused to do so, arguing that it needs to "catch up" to the US.

      In the meantime, the median Chinese wage has increased by 9% a year over the past decade, while the US wage has been stagnant.  That means that over the last decade, the Chinese worker increased his real wage to almost 200 units from 100.  While the US worker has stayed at the same 100 units.

      Again, the instant that China agrees to curb CO2 emission by the same percentage as the US, off the same base year, I'm confident that the global community would have a deal.

      I agree with you that it's not a unilateral issue.  

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 11:05:18 PM PST

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      •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chrismorgan, WarrenS

        I don't think the US would agree at all.  Remember, Republicans can fillibuster anything, and they oppose action because they oppose science.  I don't think it has anything to do with what other countries are doing or agreeing to.

        After all, China is moving forward agressively, while the US is doing next to nothing.

        Intelligent, passionate, perceptive people will always disagree, but we should not let that disagreement, however heartfelt, lead us to become deaf to those better angels of our nature.

        by Mindful Nature on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 12:05:54 AM PST

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      •  And let's not forget (2+ / 0-)
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        WarrenS, Chi

        that in terms of the total emissions, the US is way, way way out in front, since China only caught up a few years back, but we've been polluting the atmosphere since we were at 280 ppm.

        Intelligent, passionate, perceptive people will always disagree, but we should not let that disagreement, however heartfelt, lead us to become deaf to those better angels of our nature.

        by Mindful Nature on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 12:07:53 AM PST

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      •  US still higher in terms of per capita emissions (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WarrenS, koNko, Chi

        which is the only fair way to do accounting.

        •  Per Capita Isn't Fair (1+ / 0-)
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          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:44:58 AM PST

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          •  A thoughful analysis- but I disagree (0+ / 0-)

            So, I like the fact that you are making the distinction between the rural China and the coastal, naufacturing China. So your point is that manufacturing China is allowed to skate just because they have a bunch of peasants who could help pull down their averages. While this is true, you are ignoring one key point. A lot of the pollution emitted by manufacturing China is for the manufacture of goods bound for the US.

            Suppose you are a wealthy trendy guy living in San Francisco. You decide to buy an Iphone XVII. The Iphone is manufactured in China. The pollution is put onto China's tab. One year later, you decide to throw away that phone to get the Iphone XVIII. The discarded phone goes back to China for disposal, and more emissions ensued, also put onto China's tab. While you the (green loving of course) San Franciscan, gets away with emitting an ostensible 0 emissions, even though your all-consuming lifestyles is wrecking the climate. So how is that fair?

            In other words- shouldn't the carbon emissions be put on the tab of the enduser or end consumer? Otherwise all we are doing is shifting the carbon emissions from the first world to the developing world. All it does is encourage the outsourcing of manufacturing, without doing a darn thing to discourage consumption.

            •  You Agree (1+ / 0-)
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              You just made an even stronger argument against per capita emissions quotas.

              I agree that Chinese manufacturing pollution is largely outsourced pollution, manufacturing done where pollution is cheaper than where the products are consumed - which is one reason they're not manufactured there. China exports about double to the EU what it exports to the US. Indeed, lots of Chinese manufacturing is outsourced from American brands, so the consumption happens outside China, and the profits are also kept outside China.

              But US manufacturing is the world's outsourced manufacturing, too. The US is the largest manufacturer in the world, 18% of global manufacturing; much of that is consumed overseas.

              This picture of the complex global manufacturing supply chain shows even more strongly how the total population of China is only arbitrarily related to its emissions.

              Which is why carbon emissions should be included in the cost of manufacture. Either at some accounting point of "embodied energy", where the total emissions to produce that item are accounted, or simply every place emissions are emitted, whether from energy consumption or by chemistry. The emissions themselves should be taxed. Which would encourage everyone to reduce their own emissions, especially the unnecessary emissions that don't make any profit.

              And as you point out, internalizing the emissions costs into the production would reverse the shell game that has moved manufacturing out of the US and other less polluting (and therefore more expensive) places, into the less developed world where they're storing those externalized costs in their environment (then passing them along) and in their people (ditto, eventually). Countries would compete for manufacturing on the basis of efficiency to reduce costs, not on the basis of ignoring the pollution which creates much more costs for everyone, just after the sale is done.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:11:07 PM PST

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      •  Ugh. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koNko, limpidglass

        What evidence do you have that any of that difference in wage increase was due to policies on emissions?  China's economy has been growing for all sorts of reasons.  National responses to global warming not among the top five, I would say.

        Also, pointing to increases can be meaningless.  9% of what?  0% of what?  What happened to cost of living in the US and China during that time?  What percent of the 9% was lost to other factors?  Taxes, etc.?

        Finally, why is an increase in Chinese wages, even if the rest of what you say is true, bad?  Are you really arguing that we should not pursue -even unilaterally - intelligent climate policy because it might mean better lives for the Chinese?  Really??

        •  Maybe I can answer that. (0+ / 0-)

          By inviting Ms Va to change places with those Chinese workers earning the hypothetical 200 units.

          It is true there is a correlation between money and emissions in this world. How the pie is sliced is always an interesting debate and one worth having; hence my linked response.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:13:24 AM PST

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    •  I think in this case (0+ / 0-)

      That the deal got done precisely because it was driven to the brink in a situation quite similar to MAD.

      And under the circumstances, neither the US or China wished to be the one to hit the red button.

      If the world is depending on any two countries in this case it is certainly the US and China.

      Now let's play nice?

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:09:28 AM PST

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