Wednesday, February 16, 2005


American Government 101

On page 4A of today's "newspaper" the SAEN has a story about the Kyoto Climate Treaty. The treaty went into effect Tuesday without US involvement thankfully. Who gets blamed for this fact: President Bush. The story says: "...the United States agreed to a 7 percent reduction before President Bush denounced the pact in 2001." The problem is that this analysis ignores the Constitution. The Senate must ratify treaties so the US did not agree to anything. So blaming President Bush here is wrong, but even if Bush is to "blame" here, so what. Consider this: what would happen to the US economy if we had to cut levels of economic activity to 7% under 1990 levels as the treaty requires? And what would happen to the world economy as well?
This AP article, at least in the online version, seems to tell the story fairly straight. Bush did indeed withdraw the US from the Kyoto treaty. I thought most conservatives were happy with this, so would view it as getting credit rather than blame when this is mentioned.

The article also mentions the fact that the Senate would not have ratified the treaty, so the Constitution is not ignored.

And it also repeats Bush's claims about why he withdrew the US from the treaty.

It seems like a pretty even-handed story to me.

Of course, I disagree that reducing CO emissions is equivalent to reducing economic activity, but that is a whole separate discussion.
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