The United States is ruining the world's environment. Many other countries, indeed most of the world's countries, have signed an agreement to reduce greenhouse emissions thereby reducing global climate change. But the US refuses to do so based solely on economic grounds; it would hurt our nation's pocketbook and so we won't do it. Global warming will continue to worsen because the world's largest polluter doesn't have the guts and fortitude to do what the rest of the world has shown a willingness to do.
Well, actually it's the world's largest polluter's current governing political party that doesn't have the guts and fortitude to do what the rest of the world has done. Republicans have long been known to be anti-environment, and Democrats are pro-environment. President Clinton wanted the United States to enter into the agreement and even sent Vice President Gore to symbolically sign it. However, the Republican-controlled Senate passed a resolution stating they would never pass it into law. Our country's anti-environmental stance is not necessarily our nation's fault as a whole. It is the fault of the Republican party.
The aforementioned agreement is known as the Kyoto Protocol. The meetings to design the agreement began in the early 90's, even before President Clinton took office. It was organized through the United Nations, and many countries were involved. Vice President Gore signed it in November of 1998. However, the signing was merely symbolic as it had to go before Congress to really take effect.
It never officially came to a vote in Congress. Why? Surely it was because the Republicans in Congress blocked it?
On July 25, 1997, which was before Vice President Gore signed the Kyoto Accord, a Democrat sponsored resolution was passed by the Senate on a 95-0 vote barring the United States from ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. This resolution gives the Senate's reasons for refusing to sign the agreement. The reasons are:
"Whereas greenhouse gas emissions of Developing Country Parties are rapidly increasing and are expected to surpass emissions of the United States and other OECD countries as early as 2015"
"Whereas the `Berlin Mandate' specifically exempts all Developing Country Parties from any new commitments in such negotiation process for the post-2000 period"
"129 countries, including China, Mexico, India, Brazil, and South Korea, as `Developing Country Parties'"
I might add that the Kyoto Protocol would require the Developed Nations to finance the industrialization of the Developing Nations, without any restrictions on how the funds were to be used.
Perhaps more importantly, according to the United States Senate, Kyoto would allow the "Developing Countries", including China and India, to continue to increase their pollution unabated. So much so that eight years from now their pollution will be greater than that of the Phase I countries'.
Kyoto started as a worldwide pollution control mechanism. It ended up as a free pass to developing countries.
Our Senate, in a bi-partisan 95-0 vote, saved our country from the disaster that would have been further US involvement in the Kyoto Protocol. Hurray for them.