Monday, February 14, 2005
Two things America should be a part of
goes into effect this week:
After seven politically painful years, the Kyoto Protocol finally enters into force on Wednesday, reining in industrial emissions of carbon dioxide and other "greenhouse gases" in a first attempt to control climate change.
The global pact negotiated in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, remains a small step, potentially eliminating only one-tenth of a projected 30 percent rise in worldwide emissions between 1990 and 2010. Its supporters already are looking beyond it, toward bigger steps once the agreement expires in 2012.
Progress will be limited without the United States, however. The world's biggest emitter rejects the Kyoto pact and balks at discussing future mandatory cuts. European environment ministers, key Kyoto supporters, say they will step up efforts this year to win Washington over.
and alternative energy sources
Marine power is in its infancy. But an experimental wave project run last summer by Ocean Power Delivery Ltd in the Scottish Orkneys successfully provided power to 500 homes through Scottish Power .
Marine power research has received millions of dollars worth of government subsidies in Scotland, but the United States currently has no federal program.
Tidal power, like wind power, solar power, biodiesel, and fuel cells, is not "the" answer to the double-edge energy crisis in the next decade. These technologies have at least three things in common: none may ever be practical sources of large amounts of power, all are domestically producible, and all are better ideas than ethanol.