Monday, January 26, 2004

Kyoto Spin?
Last week's edition of NOW with Bill Moyers on PBS featured coverage of the COP-9 meeting in Milan, part of the overall Kyoto climate change treaty process. NOW's report presented a picture of a monolithic energy industry, skulking behind the scenes to delay, obfuscate, and otherwise impede the world's response to global warming. Where were the interviews with companies such as BP, Sunoco, Cinergy and PG&E that have signed on to the Pew Center's voluntary reductions or joined the Chicago Climate Exchange, to trade CO2 emissions credits? You'd think from this program that every energy company in the world is conspiring to stop the Kyoto Treaty, and that every right-minded person is supporting it wholeheartedly. This kind of narrow-minded oversimplification serves no one and is not up to the sort of journalistic standards to which PBS aspires.

From the other side of the fence (more or less), we get this from former Energy Secretary Schlesinger in the L.A. Times (free registration required). While citing the lack of a clear linkage between global warming and anthropogenic causes, he acknowledges the value of not waiting before we undertake any action at all.

There are in fact a host of low-cost emission-reduction strategies that could begin to make a dent in the rate of increase of the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, at a much lower price tag than the $300 billion he refers to. For more on the subject, see my inaugural post of the year, in archives.

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