The Electric Commentary

Monday, February 14, 2005

The Other Greenhouse Gas Treaty.

Gregg Easterbrook constantly points out that environmental trends continuously improve without regard to which party is in office. Of course Democrats are viewed as responsible environmentalists while Republicans continue to be viewed as the proprietors of Kentucky Fried Panda franchises (It's Finger LingLing Good).

In this New Republic article he mentions that the Bush administration just entered into a rather large greenhouse gas reduction treaty:

Last July, Bush announced an international agreement for global reduction in emissions of methane, the most potent of the common greenhouse gases. Discussion of action against global warming centers on carbon dioxide, which receives the bulk of attention for reasons we will get to in a moment. But molecule by molecule, methane has 23 times more atmospheric warming effect than carbon dioxide. The White House's July 2004 agreement requires the United States, United Kingdom, India, Ukraine, Mexico, and Italy to reduce global methane emissions by an amount equal to roughly one percent of all greenhouse gases released to the atmosphere by human activity. Surely you are thinking, One percent--that's not much. But the best-case outcome for the Kyoto treaty is roughly a one percent reduction in atmospheric levels of greenhouse gas.

Needless to say you've probably never seen a front-page article with a headline like, BUSH TAKES STEP TO CUT GREENHOUSE GASES. The press corps has relentlessly pretended the Bush anti-methane initiative does not exist. According to a scan of Nexis by New Republic super-intern T.A. Frank, no American newspaper put Bush's methane regulation initiative on the front page when the agreement was announced; most said nothing at all about it. Another chance to mention the initiative came in November 2004, when China, which is on a pace to pass the United States as the leading source of artificially emitted greenhouse gases, joined the anti-methane partnership. In November, Brazil, Russia, and Nigeria, a greenhouse player because of its oil industry, also joined. Again, very little notice from journalists; The Washington Post did note the development in a short article on page A24.

Read the whole thing.


  • Stupid Liberal Media

    By Blogger RyanSimatic, at 12:43 PM  

  • Greg's not really about the whole "liberal media" thing (being rather liberal himself). His focus is more on the co-opting of environmental science by interest groups, and their control of information. His intention in general is not to point out thatthe major media are pro-democrat, but that they're pro-disaster. (He also lays a large share of the blame for this on Republicans, who took a very hostile environmental stance in the late 80's and early 90's to appeal to the crazy portion of the base. But that's no excuse to not recognize generally positive developments.)

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 12:58 PM  

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