Skip to comments.Rebuffing Bush, 132 Mayors Embrace Kyoto Rules
Posted on 05/13/2005 10:06:06 PM PDT by FairOpinion
SEATTLE, May 13 - Unsettled by a series of dry winters in this normally wet city, Mayor Greg Nickels has begun a nationwide effort to do something the Bush administration will not: carry out the Kyoto Protocol on global warming.
Mr. Nickels, a Democrat, says 131 other likeminded mayors have joined a bipartisan coalition to fight global warming on the local level, in an implicit rejection of the administration's policy.
The mayors, from cities as liberal as Los Angeles and as conservative as Hurst, Tex., represent nearly 29 million citizens in 35 states, according to Mayor Nickels's office. They are pledging to have their cities meet what would have been a binding requirement for the nation had the Bush administration not rejected the Kyoto Protocol: a reduction in heat-trapping gas emissions to levels 7 percent below those of 1990, by 2012.
On Thursday, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg brought New York City into the coalition, the latest Republican mayor to join.
Mr. Nickels said that to achieve the 7 percent reduction, Seattle was requiring cruise ships that dock in its bustling port to turn off their diesel engines while resupplying and to rely only on electric power provided by the city, a requirement that has forced some ships to retrofit. And by the end of this year the city's power utility, Seattle City Light, will be the only utility in the country with no net emissions of greenhouse gases, the mayor's office said.
Salt Lake City has become Utah's largest buyer of wind power in order to meet its reduction target. In New York, the Bloomberg administration is trying to reduce emissions from the municipal fleet by buying hybrid electric-gasoline-powered vehicles.
Nathan Mantua, assistant director of the Center for Science in the Earth System at the University of Washington, which estimates the impact of global warming on the Northwest, said the coalition's efforts were laudable, but probably of limited global impact.
"It is clearly a politically significant step in the right direction," Dr. Mantua said. "It may be an environmentally significant step for air quality in the cities that are going to do this, but for the global warming problem it is a baby step."
Mr. Nickels said he decided to act when the Kyoto Protocol took effect in February without the support of the United States, the world's largest producer of heat-trapping gases. On that day, he announced he would try to carry out the agreement himself, at least as far as Seattle was concerned, and called on other mayors to join him.
The coalition is not the first effort by local leaders to take up the initiative on climate change. California, under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, is moving to limit carbon dioxide emissions, and Gov. George A. Pataki of New York, also a Republican, has led efforts to reduce power plant emissions in the Northeast. But the coalition is unusual in its open embrace of an international agreement that the Bush administration has spurned, Mayor Nickels's office said, and is significant because cities are huge contributors to the nation's emission of heat-trapping gases.
Michele St. Martin, communications director for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said the Kyoto Protocol would have resulted in a loss of five million jobs in the United States and could raise energy prices.
Ms. St. Martin said President Bush "favors an aggressive approach" on climate change, "one that fosters economic growth that will lead to new technology and innovation."
But many of the mayors said they were acting precisely out of concern for the economic vitality of their cities. Mr. Nickels, for example, pointed out that the dry winters and the steep decline projected in the glaciers of the Cascade range could affect Seattle's supply of drinking water and hydroelectric power.
The mayor of low-lying New Orleans, C. Ray Nagin, a Democrat, said he joined the coalition because a projected rise in sea levels "threatens the very existence of New Orleans."
In Hawaii, the mayor of Maui County, Alan Arakawa, a Republican, said he joined because he was frustrated by the administration's slowness to recognize the scientific consensus that climate change was happening because of human interference.
"I'm hoping it sends a message they really need to start looking at what's really happening in the real world," Mayor Arakawa said.
Mayor Nickels said it was no accident that most cities that had joined were in coastal states. The mayor of Alexandria, Va., is worried about increased flooding; mayors in Florida are worried about hurricanes.
But Mr. Nickels has also found supporters in the country's interior. Jerry Ryan, the Republican mayor of Bellevue, Neb., said he had signed on because of concerns about the effects of droughts on his farming community. Mr. Ryan described himself as a strong Bush supporter, but said he felt that the president's approach to global warming should be more like his approach to terrorism.
"You've got to ask, 'Is it remotely possible that there is a threat?' " he said. "If the answer is yes, you've got to act now."
This country is going down the drain.
Is it remotely possible that you could die the next time you get on the road in a car? If the answer is yes, you've got to stop driving now.
Part of the blame goes towards Bush, for not calling these environmentalists the spade that they are.
I'd be interested to see the statistic on what percentage of the nation's greenhouse gases that would be cut if Kyoto were implemented are from these cities.
Ohhhh, look. A perpetual motion machine.
(could thes people be more stupid?)
I don't really have a problem with this. If the idiots in a particular community want to implement certain standards, then they should be free to do so. However, I would have a problem with the federal government implementing Kyoto.
Net zero greenhouse emissions doesn't imply perpetual motion. There are a number of methods for generating electricity that don't produce greenhouse gases.
Though I do remain skeptical.
Doesn't matter. When has that stopped a bunch of Libs?
Every one is bitching about the weather, but no one is doing anything about it! (s)
They think oppressing humans will cure a natural earth cycle.
We had hot days long before the industrial revolution. What were they caused by? Too much horse poop?
You should post an idiot alert warning on this one.
Good idea. Let those who believe in Global warming shut down their own factories, and leave the others who don't alone. That way the air would be cleaner, right? Problem solved!
These idiots all look good on camera...but if you go back in 12 months...and ask them in front of a camera what exactly they did in twelve months to back up their "embrace"...they will all turn from the camera and walk away. This was a publicity scene...nothing more. Lets be honest...none of these cities have any extra cash...every penny is allocated. Any attempt to change the local environmental sector, will result in lawsuits from various companies because there is no law to back up the Mayor. And finally, the election chances in the next twelve months might improve for some of these folks because they look really pro-environmental...but for the rest of them...they really gained nothing more than a line on their political resume...nothing more.
You know of a way to turn an engine without burning fuel?
Well, ok, let me back off - I do. Solar power. Burns about ten times as much fuel as the dirtiest oil, when all is accounted for.
Wind power. Bird blender. Need I say more?
Environmentally, dirty as heck.
How about tidal power?
That might actually work. Hmmm.
I bet you are correct.
I have to disagree with you inquiry. There are no green house gases unless you think there is actually global warming attributable to them.
Don't fall into the trap of accepting the terms of the debate as you go about fighting what they want to do.
Then let the citizens vote. They must be more intelligent than you idiots! Have any of these people researched the countless reports debunking global warming? What a crock. Don't fall for it PRESIDENT Bush.