News: CCU Hosts Kyoto Agenda Debate

Global Warming: Is the Kyoto Agenda Warranted?

This April, the public is invited to hear Dr. James White and Christopher Horner discuss opposing views on the global climate debate, specifically in regard to the Kyoto Protocol. Sponsored by the Centennial Institute of Colorado Christian University, the debate is scheduled for April 8, 7:30-9:00 p.m., in the Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Pkwy., Lakewood, 80226.

The debate topic will be "Global Warming: Is the Kyoto Agenda Warranted?" Dr. White, taking the affirmative, is a professor of geological sciences as well as a fellow and the director of INSTAAR at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He specializes in global change, paleoclimate dynamics, and biogeochemistry. Christopher Horner, taking the opposite position, is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in Washington, D.C. As an attorney, he has represented CEI, scientists, and members of the U.S. House and Senate on matters of environmental policy in federal courts, and he is the author of two books on the climate issue.

"We are delighted to have these two nationally respected advocates facing off on one of today's most controversial issues," commented John Andrews, director of the Centennial Institute. "The two sides on global warming don't often directly engage, so this will be a notable occasion for civic dialogue in Colorado. We hope many interested citizens will attend."

The Kyoto Protocol is part of an environmental treaty produced at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. The treaty was intended to address rising levels of carbon dioxide and other gases linked to global warming, with a stipulation (Kyoto) for industrialized countries to reduce certain collective emissions by approximately five percent compared to levels in 1990. Proponents argued that such action should be quickly and fully implemented to avoid catastrophic harm to ecosystems and human civilization. Adopted for use in 1997 and put into force in 2005, Kyoto had been ratified by183 parties as of 2008. Across the last decade, however, the protocol has been criticized as flawed, especially in consideration of political and economic factors.

Neither the Clinton administration nor that of George W. Bush submitted the protocol for ratification. While President Obama has likewise not moved to ratify, he has indicated that the United States will take a front seat in the international climate effort. The America's Climate Security Act of 2007, commonly known as the Cap and Trade Bill, is an alternative agreement being proposed by the president before Congress. If passed, this legislation would increase U.S. alignment with Kyoto standards. Yet some authorities have suggested that the bill will slow economic growth and lead to the largest tax hike in U.S. history while doing little to reduce temperature increases.

The Centennial Institute is a think tank recently established by Colorado Christian University. The Institute sponsors research, events, and publications to enhance public understanding of the most important issues facing our state and nation, thereby fostering faith, family, freedom, and citizenship. Director John Andrews, a former Colorado Senate president, is also the host of Backbone Radio, a TV commentator, and a columnist for The Denver Post.