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America and Britain v. Europe ?

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Senior Member
since 11-05-1999
Posts 1413

0 posted 11-26-2000 03:59 PM       View Profile for Poertree   Email Poertree   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poertree

From the Sunday Times


Britain blamed for collapse of global climate talks

International talks to stop the threat of climate change collapsed because Britain conceded too much to the US, a French minister has said.
The meeting at the Hague collapsed yesterday after EU ministers failed to reach a deal with the US, which had been brokered by Britain.

The key stumbling block, EU splits over the amount of carbon dioxide America wants to be absorbed in carbon sinks, forests and areas of plants, without making any changes in energy use, proved insurmountable.

The US always insisted that the use of "sinks" was a key part of the Kyoto Protocol and they only signed up to it because they could use forests and plantations.”


From Jamie (Prometheus) in the Announcements Forum

“perhaps if fuel costs were not so high”


And heard on BBC Radio 4 in Britain the other day

“... the day after Thanksgiving Day in the US has been declared “BUY NOTHING” day.  A reaction against what some would regard as the almost obscene consumerism of North American society”


And now me.  Some questions

I’m interested to know what the ordinary poet on the streets of America (not of course to imply that any of you are either “ordinary” or, heaven forbid “on the streets”) thinks about global warming and the supposedly dire effect that the US “refusal to co-operate” is having on our world?  Should you be “doing more”?

Do you (the American nation) really believe that “fuel costs are high”?  Do you know that here in Britain ours are some four or maybe five times higher!  Are there other compensating costs maybe which you suffer but we don’t?

LOL ...i guess this is just the sorta lightweight topic that you want to wake up to on a Monday morning ...sorreeeeeee  


[This message has been edited by Poertree (edited 11-26-2000).]
Senior Member
since 08-15-99
Posts 1966
Sitting in Michael's Lap

1 posted 11-26-2000 08:11 PM       View Profile for Skyfyre   Email Skyfyre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfyre

Well, Philip, I wish I was in a position to charge in and claim that the US has this expense or that which makes up for the drastic difference in fuel costs between here and just about anywhere in Europe, but I'm afraid I can't -- at least not domestically.  Sigh.  I don't suppose that our military presences in the Gulf and elsewhere could be used as a write-off..?  

You have to remember, though, that "high fuel cost" is not only a matter of dollars, but also a matter of degree.  Last summer where I lived in Florida, unleaded gas cost a mere 88 cents per gallon -- two months ago it had skyrocketed to a whopping $1.60 per gallon.  While this might not seem like much to you, consider how you would feel if your fuel prices essentially doubled over the course of a year; how would it affect your household budget?  Moreover, as I'm sure you are aware, the cost of petrol for automotive use is not the only hit to the pocketbook when oil prices soar; there are also increases in the cost of oil-derived utilities, with the additional cost of heating oil in the winter.

Personally, I think petroleum is an outdated fuel source, and that the money we are all paying worldwide to keep up with rising oil costs could be better spent in dedicating real, practical research into alternative, environmentally friendly fuel sources.  Petroleum is a non-renewable resource which is used for so many other more important applications that using it as fuel for transportation is nearly a crime, especially when there are several viable prototypes of vehicles which use everything from ethanol to water to hydrogen to power themselves.

We will have to rely on another fuel source someday -- the oil won't last forever.  The question is, should we wait for the crisis first...?

Just my take,


Remember: maintaining a positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will certainly annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
Dopey Dope
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since 08-30-2000
Posts 15536
San Juan, Puerto Rico

2 posted 11-26-2000 08:56 PM       View Profile for Dopey Dope   Email Dopey Dope   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Dopey Dope

Well im going to be brief....

What do I think about global warming?
It sucks

What do I think about gas prices?
Too high

What do I think we should do?

I was born myself, raised myself, and will continue to be myself. The world will just have to adjust.

I hate your socks. I'd like to burn them!

Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US

3 posted 11-26-2000 09:39 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Gasoline prices in the US are lower than abroad for a number of reasons (not all economical), but I suspect a prime reason is simple - we aren't (yet) forced to import our entire supply. Our two largest states, Texas and Alaska, still produce considerable oil, but even beyond that, almost half of the states have at least "some" oil production.
since 01-18-2000
Posts 498
Muncie, IN, USA

4 posted 11-27-2000 04:04 PM       View Profile for Jannel   Email Jannel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jannel

i think we seriously need to explore our other fueling options.  alternative fuels exist!  the fact that no one knows about these options is a testament to the power of the oil industry as well as a wake-up call to anyone who thinks our politicians can't be bought.  has anyone heard of biodiesel? i hadn't until this summer. it is a renewable source of fuel made from recycled vegetable oil.  it is a safer and cleaner fuel, and can be made without dependence on unstable mid-east powers. (more info available at

sorry, this really didn't go with the original topic, but that's my two cents on the fuel issue.
Kevin Rose
since 11-20-2000
Posts 64
Liverpool UK

5 posted 11-28-2000 11:51 AM       View Profile for Kevin Rose   Email Kevin Rose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kevin Rose

I waited to post on this until some US views were entered... but here is another Brit's view:

What do I think of global warming:

does it even exist?  I havent yet seen one decent bit of proof to say that what climate change we are experiencing is anything to do with the actions the human race is doing.  There is circumstantial evidence yes, but there are a number of other things that could be causing it, such as increased solar activity, natural rhythms etc.  We just dont know... however it has brought environmental issues to the fore and that in itself is good.

On the fuel costs issue:

Skyfyre mentioned it was a matter of degree, well a year ago our fuel costs were about 80 cents a LITRE and now are approacing $1.20 a LITRE, so the scale of the increase is not that far off what the US experienced.  Over 80% of that price for us though is Tax... so the government gets nice and fat off what we buy.

Ron.... here in the UK we have something called "the North Sea" which provides a fair amount of oil, along with other smaller fields inland in the south of the country, so we are a fuel producer as well.  Still we have the highest fuel costs in Europe. so the production angle isnt the only one.  Basically we are getting ripped off by the government who claim thet the high tax on fuel is a "green" tax just to make us use our cars less...

Anyone got a spare room and a job in the states, I wanna MOVE!

I have heard of biodeisel, but in order for it to be produced in such high quantities to make a difference, we would have to be eating so much fried food that we would all die of obesity and heart disease.  We do have to look into more sustainable fuels though.... I like wind poewr and Hydroelectricity, and an advancement in electric cars myself.
Not A Poet
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since 11-03-1999
Posts 4427
Oklahoma, USA

6 posted 11-28-2000 12:53 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Interestingly enough, it has been determined that a major source of the so-called greenhouse gasses, the supposed primary cause of global warming, is bovine flatulence (or cow farts). Now I wonder what Al Gore and his buddies propose to do about that?

Never express yourself more clearly than you can think - Niels Bohr
Senior Member
since 08-15-99
Posts 1966
Sitting in Michael's Lap

7 posted 11-28-2000 01:23 PM       View Profile for Skyfyre   Email Skyfyre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfyre

LOL@cow farts -- sad, but true ...

... not to mention that every new pasture cleared for grazing more cows depletes the carbon-dioxide-reducing forests ...

And, interestingly enough, if you look at temputature trends worldwide over the past two decades, it is actually getting colder, not hotter ...  

The greenhouse effect IS real, but on such a large scale (worldwide) it will take many more years at current pollution rates to see any real change take place.  The more pressing concern is the prospect of running out of petroleum ... did anyone here know that more than half of our life-saving pharmaceuticals are synthesized from petroleum..?  As such, I'm in no hurry to run out of the stuff ...


Remember: maintaining a positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will certainly annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
Kevin Rose
since 11-20-2000
Posts 64
Liverpool UK

8 posted 11-28-2000 03:07 PM       View Profile for Kevin Rose   Email Kevin Rose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kevin Rose

Here is where the Mad Cow crisis could end up saving the world....

It is now illegal for beef from cows older than 30 months to become part of the human food chain... therefore all livestock for beef production is younger than 30 months, i.e. the male cows, as the females are more the milk stock.

Correct me if I am wrong, but once infanthood is passed, the biggest contributers to methane production from humans (i.e. those who fart the most) are old men.

Now extrapolate that to the bovine population, and the fact that all bulls now are slaughtered beneath the age of 30 months, and there you go... the bovine methane quotient is drastically reduced!!!

... or am I just being silly now?
Member Elite
since 07-31-99
Posts 3167
United Kingdom

9 posted 11-29-2000 12:14 AM       View Profile for RainbowGirl   Email RainbowGirl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit RainbowGirl's Home Page   View IP for RainbowGirl


Prescott is an overbearing, chauvenistic son of a overbearing, long forgotten ex labour party but oh doesn't he make good news..*g*

Poor tired, so forlorn and so UTTERLY right in her perception of him....oooops

Geesh, who would want John Prescott for a husband?...Not me....but he makes a good target for the firing squad which the French are good at or was that the guillotine...ooops...on the other hand, maybe we should just send him home, sounds like he misses his comforts....wonder what he means?  

Baby Prescott No??? ....Or does he mean our beef?...ROFL

Just following in the Blair tradition, when things get bad introduce another candidate/source of contamination to take the pressure off...*g* and have some fun at the same time...*wg*

[This message has been edited by RainbowGirl (edited 11-29-2000).]
Senior Member
since 11-05-1999
Posts 1413

10 posted 11-30-2000 10:04 AM       View Profile for Poertree   Email Poertree   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poertree


you're right of course, cost is all relative.  all i was getting at was whether, in these times of global information exchange, the ordinary gas buying person in the US actually realised the disparity in fuel costs.  and of course you are right about the knock on effect of fossil fuel prices rises.  these go into many seemingly unrelated sectors of the economy, although i guess the mechanisms are the same in most developed countries.

and your last point is also right as well i think , and from what i understand the car manufacturers are finally taking the issue seriously and have banded together to fund research into alternative forms of propulsion.  certainly many alternatively powered vehicles are now available but none (not even the hydrogen alternative) are quite capable of commercial production yet.  as for solar power and wind power for domestic and industrial use, i think they are both likely to be dead ends unless something alters radically in the conversion equation.

thanks for your thoughts Linda  

Thanks Dopey you should run for President you might do a good job..


Hmm..  see your point, but as Kevin points out we have resources over here (maybe not at the same proportional level), yet the "green" argument "allows" our government to raise a good deal of cash for the exchequer while appropriating the moral high ground.  Why doesn't the US do the same thing?  Are the barriers purely political or is there an economic consideration which would genuinely preclude such a move?  For example would higher tax on fuel damage the haulage business beyond recovery?  If so, why can our hauliers handle the extra cost but not yours?  Ok ok i know - far too complex to argue here, but these are the sort of questions i had in mind.


hummm..... interesting, and of course, like Linda, you are right.  I was under the impression though that the refining costs of these alternatives still make them uneconomic, but then of course this may only be the case when the cost of adapting all the engines, machinery and domestic appliances is taken in to account


well, i have all the same reservations about the causes of climate change (if it exists) that you have.  people these days are so short termist it really annoys remember only a few years back yorkshire water ferrying water round in tankers to its drought stricken population.  ohh, all the water authorities cried, the water aquifer is exhausted, it'll never recover etc etc look at us!!!  we practically have to swim to get to work!  Ok rant over, but the point is, it's all the same mentality - jumping to conclusions, and the media don't help either.  There's been climate change over millions and millions of years, severe climate change, and some of it occurring in very short periods of time, so why we should be arrogant enough to think that is going to alter and we're just gonna sail along with the same weather and temperatures for ever more, i simply don't know.... so i agree  

you don't like tax on fuel i take it...heh heh  

disagree with you about wind power (anglesey for instance is now blighted by whirling white monstrosities which produce about 10% of the island's requirement and believe me Anglesey is


I guess we all eat less burgers then?


Tell me the cow farts thing was a joke ...geez?

some pharmaceuticals we could well do without IMHO ...but that's a whole new topic ..hummm



yep you are being silly - but then feeding cows to cows was  and don't get me started on farmers ..  argggggggg

Sindy ! ~grin~

actually i was almost gettin' to like the self satisfied twit (despite the two jags and the forgotten principles).  Don't you think he's SUCH a statesman though?  i mean leaving the Hague with the parting comment:

"I'm gutted....."

geez........ mind you at least he's coherent ..  you need to take a crash course in alien to understand robin cook, and even then there's probably no point in learning anything other than the alien for "I'm the best thing since sliced bread" ..or whatever aliens eat .... etc etc...

yeah poor poor john missing his mummy ..or did you have something else in mind ~smirk~ ... cindy!!!!

you tellin' me seriously you wouldn't want to marry dear jp ... not even with his dual jags? ...~shaking my head~ ..sheesh don't know what you're missin' cindy

bye to all, and thanks

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