Much to the surprise (and, one suspects, the chagrin) of the deranged doomsaying wing of the environmental movement, new forecasts of US CO2 emission are out and they point to an even steeper drop than the last set of predictions.
No cap and trade, no huge new taxes on oil, no draconian driver restrictions, no air conditioning bans, no rationing — and the US is on track to cut its CO2 emissions 17 percent below the 2005 levels by 2020 — and to keep cutting our emissions levels beyond that.
And this news doesn’t come from embattled climate skeptics banished to the fringes of the scientific community; these numbers come from the Obama administration and are sitting right up on Don Lashof’s well respected blog at the National Resource Defense Council website. Take a look for yourselves.
So, to summarize, the United States of America basically blew the global greens off completely, trampling all over their carbon tax and cap and trade agendas, and earning wails and shrieks of hatred at the Rio+20 Summit — while making huge strides toward reducing CO2 emission levels.
It’s almost as if there is no connection between the green policy agenda and environmental progress.
It’s a little more complicated than that, of course. As Lashof notes, fuel standards for automobiles play a role; American cars are more efficient than they used to be in part due to government fuel regulations, and policies already adopted to tighten those standards down the road contribute to the anticipated future reductions in CO2. And other regulations and incentives no doubt have a role to play.
(At Via Meadia, we’ve long believed that promoting telecommuting at least part of the time is a way to cut down the costs of highway construction, conserve fuel, reduce traffic congestion and cut CO2 emissions while making it easier for working parents and improving the country’s quality of life. Ideas like that can’t seem to compete in the imagination of many greens with grotesquely expensive, poor designed, and wildly impractical and punitive regulatory schemes. Go figure.)
In any case, the United States of America is living proof that there are more ways to address environmental concerns than the green movement as a whole is willing to admit.
And if the United States can achieve this while blowing off the panicky greens and their tiresome Malthusian agendas, so can China and India. That is a very good thing, because those countries have zero repeat zero interest in adopting any green measures that slow their growth.
The truth is that if CO2 emissions are going to come down, it’s going to happen the American way rather than the Greenpeace way. Instead of flinging muck and howling curses at the most successful carbon cutting large economy in the world, maybe a few more greens here and there will start thinking about how to spread the magic around.
And while they are at it, they might want to take another look at all those doomsday CO2 projections the green movement keeps using as justification for huge global boondoggles. It’s just possible that other countries, too, will not behave according to the models, and if that is true the whole green approach to climate issues may need to be rethought.