April 17, 2001

Kyoto Agreement On Hold; More Negotiations Planned

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Kyoto Now! supporters demonstrated enthusiastically outside of Day Hall yesterday at the Kyotopalooza rally as six students met inside with administrators to discuss Cornell’s possible actions toward carbon dioxide emission reduction. Another meeting, scheduled for 4:30 p.m. tomorrow, will continue those talks.

“Our goal was to keep up an audible support for the negotiators inside,” said Craig Fasullo ’02, an organizer of the protest. “I think we attained that. There were talented people from Cornell and Ithaca College, I think that we made our voices heard,” he added.

Inside Day Hall, six members of the Cornell Greens, Emily Cikanek ’04, Doug Kirsch ’00, Frankie Lind ’01, Lindsay Saunders ’03, Dorothy Stowe ’04, and Moss Templeton ’03, negotiated with administrators regarding the Kyoto Now! campaign in what Kirsch called a “brainstorming session regarding the implementation of goals.”

The Kyoto Now! group of the Cornell Greens is demanding that Cornell accept the Kyoto Protocol, reducing greenhouse gas emissions seven percent below 1990 levels by 2008. President George W. Bush recently rejected U.S. entry into the international agreement, but Cornell Greens hope that individual universities will take on the protocols independently. The goals are aiming to start a trend of addressing the issue of global warming.

“We had some useful discussions today,” Lind said, “We don’t have any details; we are still working on wording [of a possible agreement].”

“It was a productive discussion,” said Susan H. Murphy ’73, vice president for student and academic services.

Henrik N. Dullea ’61, vice president for university relations, agreed, stating that he thought discussions yesterday were “very useful,” adding that “we had a good exchange, [and] we are going to continue talking.”

“After today’s meeting, I feel as though we are moving in a direction in which both sides can go home feeling as if they had won,” said Kirsch.

A noticeable difference between yesterday’s rally and those held earlier in the week was the presence of an opposing view, represented by Scott Bergeron ’02, who carried a sign reading “Kyoto Never.”

“I am opposed to the United States ratifying the Kyoto Protocol,” said Bergeron, citing economic reasons and noting his view that while “people should reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a good faith basis, no one should be forced.”

“I don’t believe that global warming exists,” he added.

In response to Bergeron’s actions, Fasullo said, “I think in every movement there are going to be some people who are not really familiar with the issues and just want attention.”

During the rally, it was announced that 3,243 signatures had been collected since Saturday, and protesters hope to collect more to present at tomorrow’s meeting.

“I feel very optimistic that Cornell can make this happen without hindering University activities,” said Lind, speaking of the implementation of Kyoto Protocol standards. “We have solid, solid ideas of how to make this happen.”

General suggestions, according to Saunders, include education, alternative fuels and more efficient use of fuels on campus.

“This human rights issue is so important,” Kirsch said. “We need to find a way to make this happen.”

In the meantime, protesters will remain encamped outside of Day Hall, day and night.

“Mother nature is smiling down on us and holding back the inclement weather,” Lind said.

Archived article by Stacy Williams