week 15: temporary pleasures > a safe future

The Kyoto Protocol came about at the convention for climate change that was being held in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997. The Kyoto Protocol was a treaty where any nation that signed it had to put in efforts to reduce their CO2 production. When this was presented, the Bush Sr.’s administration was in office. This week’s article/book written by Joshua Howe outlines different reasons why Bush was hesitant to sign the agreement.

Although it was signed, congress itself never ratified the agreement, therefore the US was never a part of it. Aside from strong opposition from most republicans and Bush’s desire to focus on ‘domestic’ issues, Howe sets the US’s “No Regrets Policy’ was the main reason for the resistance against the treaty. Keeping it simple, the US used the No Regrets Policy to stay out of any plan meant to help lessen the climate change issue unless the government knew for a fact the change wouldn’t hurt the economy [greatly]. This policy sounds a bit ridiculous.

The United States thrives off of risky industry that is known to cause negative impacts to the planet, and us. Industry leaders hold much power and have great influence on leaders, they know how to apply pressure. They care for the now, and not about what happens after them. Bush’s hesitancy to please the people and hope for reelection along with congresses denial of the Kyoto Protocol shows that those in power would prefer that our planet and future generations hurt instead of their pockets.

Although the Kyoto Plan was not successful in the long run, it served as a example that showed how much the US leadership cares for the future beyond them, and the people they are apparently taking responsibility for.  

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