IR Synthesis

IR Synthesis - Before the Kyoto Protocol the worries over...

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Before the Kyoto Protocol, the worries over global warming seemed to be visible only on an occasional protestor’s sign. Now the issue of global warming has come to dominate the international stage because it is viewed as an imminent security threat. If our planet continues to warm, countries all over the globe will be greatly affected due to the changes in sea levels and climates. The Kyoto Protocol was the stepping off point of what has become a long, grueling international endeavor to decrease the world’s harmful habits that are regarded as harmful to the ozone. But with Kyoto’s time soon coming to a close and its failure to make a big impact on the world, many countries are at a crossroads. The countries that have rejected Kyoto recently created the AP6, an agreement that is less constricting than Kyoto. On the other end of the spectrum, many of the Kyoto members feel as though they need a more effective and strict Kyoto successor. While these countries are arguing over which policies to use, the world’s emissions are still increasing. In my discussion, I will use the realism theory to argue that the self- interested nature of countries have and will create an impediment to the world’s progress towards a cleaner earth and that they will allow emissions to continue increasing until there is nothing the world can do to reverse its actions. General GW facts and why it is such a threat The central issue of the Kyoto Protocol and AP6 is that carbon dioxide and other gases trap solar heat in the atmosphere, warming the surface of the planet. However, the burning of fossil fuels and clearing of forests, has dramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere and the temperatures are rising to very high levels. Such warming could prove catastrophic for our environment, economy, and
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society. According to World Vision chief Tim Costello, because the temperatures are increasing, storms and hurricanes are also increasing; as a result there will “be more refugees and displaced people, more conflict over diminishing resources and more disease outbreaks." It would disproportionately affect the world's poor, whose livelihoods are closely tied to agriculture and other natural resources. As a result, climate change is transforming the way we think about security. At the UN Security Council debate in April 2007, the Congolese representative said that this “will not be the first time people have fought over land, water and resources, but this time it will be on a scale that dwarfs the conflicts of the past"(). General Kyoto facts The Kyoto Protocol was ratified in 2005 by 141 nations, and it limits emissions from 35 industrialized countries. It is planned to expire in 2012. The main goal of Kyoto is to control greenhouse gases and slow the process of global warming. The member countries are assigned different goals of emission reductions that they must complete by a certain year. In addition, companies based in developed countries can apply for a form of
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course POLS 160 taught by Professor Notgoingtotell.. during the Fall '08 term at Beloit.

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IR Synthesis - Before the Kyoto Protocol the worries over...

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