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UNITED STATES: The presidential election crisis implications--The Kyoto treaty



From Borneo, Martin Storey, who has an international background as a consultant, writes:

"These elections are anything but a joke, but as you know by monitoring foreign news, the current confusion in the US of A is seen as very silly from Borneo, and it is no figure of speech to say that much of the world is laughing in disbelief.

As a sign of the times, I receive relatively funny jokes inspired by the current events almost daily on the internet. I write based on intuition only, but I feel that the damage inflicted to the US credibility by this unfortunate episode and whatever outcome it has may be long-lasting (how long does popular memory linger - a decade?) but paradoxically that it may have a global positive impact on the world economy, by desupergodizing the US and thus giving more self-confidence to struggling countries that are usually bullied by the big patronizing guy (so maybe after all the world is laughing in relief rather than in disbelief). And with the overall world economy on a booster, this may just come at the right time too. A quelque chose malheur est bon!

May I also say that while I shall express here no particular opinion one way or the other regarding the Kyoto Protocol, I find the expressions "environmentalist dream called the Kyoto Protocol" and "this foolishness" downright insulting to the nations that worked so hard to come up with it, whatever it's worth, and the people these nations' diplomats represented. Is Ms. Adams an environmental biologist? Or a diplomat maybe? Surely there is a more measured way to express an opinion on such an emotionally-charged subject. Aren't these environmentalist talking about the future of our planet, after all? Incidentally, Ms. Adams's hosts the Dutch don't feel as she does at all, and they, as well as the Germans, are proving to anyone willing to look that effective environmental policy improvements can be achieved with only winners economically too."

My comment: Raul Estrada-Oyuela, the distinguished Argentine diplomat (and a good WAISer) who presided over the Kyoto conference, will be coming to our 2001 conference, and he can present us wish a balanced view of the situation. As for the changing worldview of the United States (a central WAIS concern), that will be the subject of later postings.

Ronald Hilton - 11/20/00


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