I Wondered Why They Weren't Pounding the US

Usually an article like this would blame the US:

Global carbon dioxide emissions in 2008 rose 1.94 percent year-on-year to 31.5 billion tonnes, German renewable energy industry institute IWR said on Monday, based on official information and its own research.

Several other leftish / alarmist sites picked up the story, but still didn't hammer the US, saying only that the US is the largest contributor to total emissions but not whether it contributed significantly to last year's rise.  It turns out there is a reason for this.  US emissions were actually way down, falling far faster than the drop in economic growth:  (from the EIA)

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The story tries to put a positive spin on Europe  (again, the preferred story line is always Europe-good-America-bad):

Carbon dioxide emissions from heavy industry participating in the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme fell 3.1 percent last year compared with 2007, the EU's executive Commission said in mid-May

This is a carefully worded cherry-picking on one sector of the economy.  I would be willing to bet almost any amount of money that the rest of Europe's economy saw less of a drop or even an increase.  Even so, the cherry-picked sector, the one subject to cap-and-trade, still underperformed the US.  Overall, US emissions have fallen since 2000 without any real regulatory program and just the normal incentives of economic efficiency at work.

The US is NOT the problem when it comes to future emissions growth.

  • Edward B. Boyle

    As often occurs, the actual data shows that the present CO2 flap is really a scam, created and manipulated as a way to make money and to get control of the economy.

  • Edward B. Boyle

    As often occurs, the actual data shows that the present CO2 flap is really a scam, created and manipulated as a way to make money and to get control of the economy.

  • Stan

    It's definitely not; China, India, and a few other booming countries are obviously. I was wondering if you've read 'The Economists View of the World'? I think the author has a chapter on Cap & Trade/environmental regulations... and if my memory serves me, he said carbon taxes or Cap&Trade would be good ways (at least much better ways) to alleviate such problems.

  • Bart Hall (Kansas, USA)

    We ought to step back a level or two. Is CO2 even a problem? If you look at absorptive spectra, CO2 absorbs only about 8% of the wavelength energy typical of a "black body" at 300 degrees Kelvin, or 80F, which is Earth's average temperature.

    More to the point. Greenhouse production of ornamental plants is a major source of my income. Plants are happiest at about 1500 ppm CO2, and most greenhouse operators actually generate additional CO2 for their plants. Now -- big surprise -- the long term average CO2 concentration in our atmosphere has been about ... 1500 ppm ... four times current levels. By long-term I mean about 500 million years or so.

    You'll find that the most vigorous scientific opposition to the whole concept of anthropogenic global warming comes from those of us trained in geology, astronomy, solar physics, and so on -- disciplines in which there is a significant focus on the fourth dimension: TIME.

    The Arctic Ocean was basically a fresh-water lake until about 20 million years ago. Fifty million years ago it had crocodiles and cypress trees. Now, tel me I should be $#|++ing my pants because of ice cover or ice thickness changes in the last 30 years.

    More carbon. Less carbon. It really does not matter. The left, however, have their solution in search of a problem. It's always the same 'solution:' higher taxes, greater regulation, transnational government, and income redistribution. That was their 'solution' to hunger, to 'desertification,' to poverty, to the status of women, and even to AIDS.

    When the AGW thing blows up on them, as it's doing now, they'll find some other 'problem' requiring the same 'solution.' The real issue is power elitism and the desire to control other peoples' lives.