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User Journal

Journal Journal: Measuring Proficiency in the Engineering Workplace

The current and most common paradigm for reviewing employee performance seems to be the standard annual review of accomplishments against the employee's goals and objectives for the review period. In my company, compensation is determined mostly by the outcome of the goal and objective review. However, titles and ranks (and therefore promotions and career advancement - or ending) are determined by a completely separate set of criteria, among them being engineering expertise. We do not currently have an established way to objectively measure employee proficiency, so I was curious if you've experienced being rated for your engineering proficiency, and if so, how was that accomplished, and also whether you have been promoted or demoted or received an adjustment in compensation as a result of it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Why Kyoto is Unfair 3

At the end of this missive is a list of countries that have commitments under Kyoto. Countries not on this list, including China and India, are completely exempt from any restrictions whatsoever. China, which has a standing army greater than 1 million, and the technology to build enough nuclear weapons to wipe our little country off the face of the planet, and plans to graduate over 600,000 engineers from its universities annually, is somehow a "developing" country. If you think jobs are moving to China and India quickly now, just imagine how fast our jobs would disappear when energy becomes three times as expensive here.

Also note that China is the number-two emitter of CO2, second to the US. How is it fair that the country next-most responsible for emission of greenhouse gases must do nothing to lower its emissions (or improve worker conditions, or human rights, or protect intellectual property, or......) ? I guess the world is afraid of threatening the economy of China. Well, the Kyoto has a provision that blames countries based upon their emissions over all of time. This provision is specifically designed to target the United States and ONLY the United States. The US was the first country to truly industrialize, and was thus the first to start increasing its emissions of industrial gas.

According to the information from the US DOE, China's energy-related usage produced 3,541 million metric tons of CO2, while the U.S. produced 5,796 million metric tons.

Under Kyoto, Annex I countries may trade greenhouse gas "certificates." A country that doesn't emit all of its allocated greenhouse gases may sell their certificates to other countries. I wonder how much deeper in debt we'll have to go to pay the bill? We expend our energy supporting the world economy by being huge consumers of everything. What will happen to the world economy when we have to also pay the bill for expending that energy? The world will essentially be charging us for the privelege of sending them all of our money in the first place... and we won't be able to produce anything here because of the restrictions that would make it prohibitively expensive to build factories.

Kyoto has the right idea - but miserable execution. ALL countries should be included in the requirements, developing or not. Indeed, developing countries might just select alternative fuel sources in the beginning rather than take the cheap oil (cheap because we couldn't buy it) for now and have to convert later. I think it would be far more effective for developing countries to start out using carbon-cycle fuels rather than fossil fuels. Good habits start in infancy, can't teach an old dog new tricks, and so on and so forth.

Unfortunately, though, Kyoto doesn't differentiate between CO2 emitted by carbon-cycle fuels and fossil fuels, so even if a nation did switch to ethanol that came from atmospheric CO2 in the first place, it would still have to count that toward its quota.

Also specifically unfair is the provision that requires the countries listed below to pay for and install industrial gas-cleansing equipment in the developing countries (all countries NOT on that list). How can we be expected to afford the cost of doing so - going into China, to whom we are already sending all of our jobs and our money - and paying for their industrial cleanups?

The correct implementation would be for Kyoto to preempt any country from restricting the implementation or research in alternative energy. Currently, we cannot build new nuclear plants because of the anti-nuclear movement, and we cannot build more refineries for alternative fuels because of the environmental movement (funny how they play both sides here). Injunctive relief in these areas is paramount to exploring alternative sources of energy.

I have the privelege of working with several Indians. From first-hand accounts, I can tell you that gasoline in India is filthy - full of sulfur. They say the air reeks of sulfur in Bombay and Bangalore. Smog is horrific there, only exacerbated by the intense heat and monsoon humidity. On a clear day you can see - a couple of miles. They have no environmental laws to speak of, or very few. No catalytic converters. No industrial pollution controls. They may emit far less tonnage of stuff, but the stuff they do emit, sulfurs, NOx, CO, etc, is far worse that the stuff we emit, which is predominantly CO2. They make their gas from the heavy crude because they have no incentive to do otherwise.

Kyoto certainly has a noble goal, but it is not written with the best interests of the global economy in mind. It selectively benefits the worst polluting countries while penalizing countries that already impose strict emissions controls and develop the cleanest energy technology.

Anyway, on to the list of countries that will have to pay the "we're successful and you're not" tax to the world's worst polluted developing countries. Notice the near-complete absence of just about any country south of the Equator. Australia and New Zealand are the only two.

Annex I Countries
Annex I countries are the 36 industrialised countries and Economies in Transition (EIT*) listed in Annex I of the UNFCCC. These countries have taken emission caps - regulatory devices that set a ceiling on emissions that can be released into the atmosphere from any one country within a designated timeframe.

In May 2005, the following countries were considered Annex I parties:

Czech Republic
New Zealand
United Kingdom
United States

Countries that have signed the Kyoto Protocol have the right to participate in the Conference of Parties (COPs). Since the Kyoto Protocol came into force in February 2005, so-called COP MOPs (Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol) were introduced, which may only be attended by representatives of those countries that have also ratified the Protocol, i.e. not, for instance, by Australia or the United States.

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