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Frack To Save The Planet
Why Europe's Greens Are Wrong, in Two Charts

For all of its green-friendly policies, Europe is lagging behind the United States when it comes to key indicators of environmental improvement. That seeming oddity can largely be explained by the American shale boom, which has provided the United States with a wealth of greener energy (natural gas emits roughly half the carbon that coal does).

Natural Gas Production & Consumption

Europe has so far snubbed shale gas and has been rewarded with rising electricity prices and a greater reliance on coal. The end result: America is reducing emissions faster than Europe:

Emissions from Consumption of Energy

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  • Fat_Man

    “Green Fade-Out: Europe to Ditch Climate Protection Goals” By Gregor Peter Schmitz in Brussels

    The EU’s reputation as a model of environmental responsibility may soon be history. The European Commission wants to forgo ambitious climate protection goals and pave the way for fracking — jeopardizing Germany’s touted energy revolution in the process.

  • Rick Johnson

    As Ludwig Von Mises warned nearly a century ago, whenever governments intervene in the economy, it produces an outcome that is worse from the government’s view than the problem it was trying to solve

  • Mavwreck

    Please don’t use such misleading graphs. The fact that you’re not showing a full Y axis creates the wrong impression about the data.

    Your first graph makes it look like Europe is producing almost no natural gas. It’s actually producing about half as much as the US (50% at the start of your time period, 40% near the end).

    Your second graph is also missing a good chunk of the Y axis. In general, it make the recent down-tick in US emissions a bit more obvious than it perhaps should be. When you look at year-over-year changes by percent, a different picture emerges – Europe is closely matching US emissions changes, but is a bit less volatile.

  • Boritz

    The main purpose of the policy is to make smart, sophisticated greens feel good about themselves and their efforts. And how could you ever graph that or put a price tag on the priceless?

  • teapartydoc

    Throughout history there has been a positive correlation between energy consumption and economic growth. One may like to get growth with less energy use, but it has never happened. Yes, we get improvements in efficiency and productivity, but the correlation remains. Purposely setting about to diminish energy consumption is tantamount to actually killing people by worsening economic conditions.

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