In an article entitled “The heat is on,” the editorialist puts forth an argument advocating the importance of major world powers to be front runners in the talks concerning the Kyoto Protocol, which is due to end in its current form in the year 2012. The author’s thesis statement is that only with the prolonged and strong support of the Protocol by its most dedicated members (particularly England and to some extent Germany) as well as economic incentives for booming economic powers such as India and China, will the Protocol survive. Obviously, with the survival of the Protocol comes less greenhouse emissions due to mandatory standards.
A controversy concerning the prolonging of the Kyoto Protocol develops because many developing nations lack an incentive to slow down economic progress. Tired of living in the shadows of wealthy countries such as the United States (a non member of the Kyoto Protocol), these nations are doing what they can to achieve greater economic success and better standards of living for all citizens. Without an incentive to keep emissions down, these countries see little need to sign the Protocol and continue progress unregulated, as better living conditions trump environmental concerns. Other controversy sparks when there is a denial of the dangerous effects from greenhouse gases or an apathetic view towards the Protocol because some people see it failing as a result of conflicting government interests and bureaucratic inefficiency. One final source of controversy is the pressure the
In a clear and stark disagreement, author S. Fred Singer argues in his editorial that the Kyoto Protocol is “a radical initiative in launching economic and social policies that threaten democratic values, economic growth, and national sovereignty” (Singer). While he does recognize global warming, he points out that there are other, more important threats to mankind including nuclear war, bio-terrorism as well as poverty and social unrest. He also notes that the current Protocol requires countries to go back to 1990 levels of emissions and does not include heavy-pollution producing countries like
The major difference between these two articles is that one seems to take a more realistic approach while the other is more idealistic. The first editorial relies on the hope that certain nations will step up to the plate in order to get other countries to adhere to the Protocol, while the other editorial uses facts to back up the argument. The second article is somewhat outdated but the basic tenets of the Protocol have not changed, so much of the information would seem to currently hold true. Each author clearly has a bias towards the material; however, neither is overtly harsh towards the other point of view.
Personally, I favor the second article. I like to base decisions on facts, not “what if” proposals, especially “what if” proposals directed at countries like China and the United States that consistently seem intent on pursuing whatever means necessary to keep the economies booming. I agree that keeping the air clean is very important for both the preservation of our environment as well as human security, but I would put more of an emphasis on solutions concerning more efficient fuels, although economic incentives may also be something to try. The bottom line is that this is a real problem in need of real solutions. Yes major powers would ideally promote these measures, but realistically I’m not sure