So when the rest of the world and science ends up looking stupid, we need to make sure we're in that boat with them...just so they aren't mad at us and all?
That's one silly way to look at it. More importantly, if they (the rest of the world: Eurpope, Japan, Asia, Australia, South America, et.al.) beleive it and they set standards to comply with Kyoto--AND WE WANT TO ABLE TO COMPETE AND SELL OUR PRODUCTS INTO A WORLD MARKETPLACE--then we need to be on a level playing field with our competition to facilitate that. It makes economic and marketing sense.
I've written this before but some didn't see it, so here goes again.
Large international retailers and others (McDonalds, WalMart, Carrfoure, Tesco, etc.) are all beginning to respond to their customers' concerns about climate change and want to offer products that are more environmentally friendly. (You may have noticed that McDonalds has gone back to paper--only now it's recycled--packaging for Big Macs. etc.) They have ntoified their suppliers that they will comply with Kyoto and ascertain their "carbon footprint" which will include all inputs from cradle to grave.
Cradle to grave carbon footprinting, say for McDonalds French fries, includes the fuel, fertilizer and energy used by the farmer; transport to the processing plant; processing energy and chemicals; delivery to retail distributors; and packaging. This same approach will apply to any product or activity in all industries.
So, if we as a nation want to have an economy that goes beyond our borders we need to respond in the same way our trade partners are even if carbon cap and trade legislation does not come to fruition here. It's a de facto reality.
If you're curious how anyone would establish their carbon footprint or how it would be enforced, I can go into it, but have written enough here for now to at least respond to your comment.