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Pedal Power solutions to petroleum dependence and polluting vehicles: Arcata Library Bikes, Pedal Power Produce, and more!

CAOE - Committee Against Oil Exploration - stop offshore oil drilling to protect sensitive habitats and cut petroleum dependence.

Culture Change through music! The Depavers eco-rock!

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Arcata city council's proclamation against war on Iraq and Kyoto Protocol proclamation.

Overpopulation has become a reality.  Overpopulation Resources and News Tidbits

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Global Warming Crisis Council

Russia supports Kyoto Protocol

Russia's support for Kyoto delights and baffles

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin surprised the world Friday by throwing the U.N.'s Kyoto treaty on climate change a lifeline, disregarding official advice to kill it off.

The United Nations and many environmentalists hailed Putin's decision, which revives the 1997 protocol as the main plan to reduce gases that cause global warming. The protocol stalled after the United States pulled out of the deal in 2001, but Russia's support would enable it to take effect anyway.

Speaking after talks with European Union officials, which agreed to terms for Russian entry to the World Trade Organization, Putin said Russia would move rapidly to ratify.

Just the day before, high-level sources said Russia planned a new lengthy round of consultations lasting until August.

"This is a very welcome and positive signal," said Klaus Toepfer, head of the U.N. Environment Program. "It is vital that the Kyoto protocol enters into force as a first step toward stabilizing the global climate," he said in a statement. "Ratification by Russia is the last crucial step needed to make Kyoto operational."

The pact has hinged on Russia since the United States, the world's leading producer of greenhouse gases, pulled out, arguing it was too costly and wrongly excluded poor nations.

Kyoto cannot come into force unless countries responsible for 55 percent of rich nations' greenhouse gas emissions ratify it. Kyoto has reached 44 percent, and Russia's 17 percent will tip the balance without Washington's 36 percent.

Putin had previously refused to back Kyoto and had demanded state bodies first send official recommendations.


The two reports so far prepared — by the Academy of Sciences and a Putin adviser — criticized the pact, and observers were baffled that Putin would go ahead and back it before the process he set up had concluded.

"I really did not expect this," said Alexei Kokorin, a Kyoto expert at the WWF environmental group. "He spoke without official advice, but it shows that he is well informed. Putin always has the last word."

Kyoto seeks to restrain emissions of carbon dioxide, mainly from cars and factories, as a step to slow climate change that may spread deserts, trigger mudslides and typhoons, and melt glaciers.

Analysts had long expected Putin would only give in to E.U. pressure on Kyoto in return for an agreement for Russia to enter the WTO. They say the pact was a minor issue for the Russian president and mainly of use as a bargaining chip.

Putin explicitly linked the events: "The fact that the E.U. has met us halfway in negotiations on the WTO could not but have helped Moscow's positive attitude to the question of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol," he said.

But observers warned that Russia had a lot to do to prepare for the pact and that approval was still not definite.

"I'm cautiously optimistic. It's not a cut-and-dried promise, but it will be much harder for Russia to decide 'no' to Kyoto now," said Steve Sawyer, climate policy director at the Greenpeace environmental group.

And no one made big promises to Moscow, which hopes to attract new investments.

"Russia's signature would be of crucial importance" for Kyoto, said Frauke Stamer, spokeswoman for the German Environment Ministry, adding that Moscow would not benefit from ratifying until it entered into force.

Russia will have no problem complying with Kyoto's goals because its emissions have crashed along with the collapse of Soviet-era industries, giving it spare "hot air" to sell abroad.

New York–based Evolution Markets, which trades emissions credits, said that Putin's decision could spur interest in the market. "Canada and Japan are most likely going to be net buyers," spokesman Evan Ard said.

Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded energy company, said in a statement that it opposes caps on greenhouse emissions. But spokeswoman Lauren Kerr said Exxon complies with regulations on its operations around the world.

(Additional reporting by Alister Doyle in Oslo, Timothy Gardner in New York, and Moritz Doebler in Bonn)

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the above material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Culture Change has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Culture Change endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

See Culture Change's United Nations Climate Change Conference page.
Check out the website of the Campaign against Climate Change/Rising Tide  
and The Independent's report on the alarming findings of the World Meterological Organisation
Climate change could be next legal battlefield: Climate Justice Programme 
The ABC's of global warming from Environmental Defense, Inc.
Hear Have a Global Warming Day by The Depavers
See City of Arcata's adoption of Kyoto Protocol's goals  
For general global warming information visit and
Climate Crisis - a Briefing for Funders,
a book by the Climate Initiatives Fund, is available on request by contacting Jon Cracknell at or Simon Retallack at
See SEI's/Culture Change's Donate page 

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Articles of interest:
Anti-globalization protest grows, with tangible results.  WTO protests page

Tax fossil-fuel energy easily
by Peter Salonius

UK leader calls War on Terror "bogus"

Argentina bleeds toward healing by Raul Riutor

The oil industry has plans for you: blow-back by Jan Lundberg

It's not a war for oil? by Adam Khan

How to create a pedestrian mall by Michelle Wallar

The Cuban bike revolution

How GM destroyed the U.S. rail system excerpts from the film "Taken for a Ride".

"Iraqi oil not enough for US: Last days of America?"

Depaving the world by Richard Register

Roadkill: Driving animals to their graves by Mark Matthew Braunstein

The Hydrogen fuel cell technofix: Spencer Abraham's hydrogen dream.

Ancient Forest Protection in Northern California . Forest defenders climb trees to save them.

Daniel Quinn's thoughts on this website.

A case study in unsustainable development is the ongoing crisis in Palestine and Israel.

Renewable and alternative energy information.

Conserving energy at home (Calif. Title 24)



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