After the Kyoto Protocol

September 7, 2000 - 12:00pm
Bldg. 90
Seminar Host/Point of Contact: 

The Kyoto Protocol is going to fail, and not simply because of the chaos and dissonance introduced into the climate negotiations by the carbon lobby.  Indeed, Kyoto's problems go even deeper than its "flexibility mechanisms," though, as constructed, these are almost certain to import lethal amounts of "inflation" into its emission targets.  At the end of the day, Kyoto will fail because its targets are not fair, because they're based on the contingencies of power politics rather than any ethically or even geo-politically coherent framework.  The key issue, as the Chinese delegate to the negotiations once noted, is that allocation must be done on a "rational"  basis. The "Son of Kyoto," whatever form it takes, will have to take account of per-capita rights to the atmosphere, and honestly promise at least long-term convergence to just allocation.  Anyway you grind the  numbers, even with trading and technology and transition times, it's not going to be easy.  The issues here, in any case, are fundamental, and prefigure a battle over equitable access to limited "environmental space" that will do much to shape the 21st centry.  Tom Athanasiou is a free-lance green critic.  He is the author of dozens of essays on environmental and technological politics.  Recently, his interests focused on inequity as a wellspring of ecological crisis.  He's also a realist, which explains why he holds a day job as a software engineer.  His first book was Divided Planet: The Ecology of Rich and Poor.  This talk anticipates some of the elements of his second book, a work in progress tentatively entitled "Plan B".

Add event to Google Calendar

Announcement List

To be added to our seminar annoucement list please, email ETA Seminars. Seminars may change without notice, stay informed by joining our seminar email list. 

Site Access

For site access please email your request to ETA Seminars. To arrive at Building 90 via the LBNL shuttle, take "Blue Uphill". Click here for the shuttle schedule. To ensure your site access is set-up send your request 36 hours in advance of the seminar.

Remote Access

Not able to attend in person? Remote participants can use ReadyTalk Audio & Net conference to phone in to listen, while viewing the presentation via the ReadyTalk site.

Web Access Code: 4864835

USA & Canada call-in number:
1 (866) 740-1260
Access Code: 4864835#

International callers:
Please visit this website to see if a toll-free call-in number is available for your international location.

If not, you will need to pay for the call yourself and use this phone number:

(303) 248-0285.