US Carbon Output Forecasts Shrink Again
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  • How long before we decide that more CO2 is good for the planet? Certainly from a real estate perspective: moving the temperate zone northwards would greatly expand its size.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    “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.”

    Like maybe there isn’t any Global Warming from CO2 at all, and their whole Chicken Little freak-out has been completely bogus all along, that the so called scientific consensus and data have both been manufactured, and that many of the participants like Al Gore are only in it for the money and power. I’m just saying… follow the money in scientific grants, green energy subsides, green energy grants, green energy loans, carbon trading, expensive conferences in exotic locations, donations to environmentalist NGO’s, etc… seems to me the Tax Payer’s wallet has been getting looted by a bunch of criminal fraudsters.

  • Yup, it sure looks like the trend is going downwards! Eight years to go, and that chart is .. um .. OK, perhaps it’s upside down.

    Brilliant analysis.

  • SteveP

    The claim that CO2 regulates climate is one of the most successful lies ever told.

  • How much of this decrease in CO2 is really because of the stinking economy? Few people working, fewer people can afford to drive because they don’t have jobs, etc.

    Fewer manufacturing plants, less electrical usage – think of all the closed businesses no longer needing electricity.

  • Dantes

    Perhaps you underestimate the degree by which our permanent Obama depression has stifled growth. In any event, if the wackos really believe that we aren’t buying the CO2 greenhouse gas doomsday scenario watch out…they will just create another one.

  • asdf

    This isn’t the good news you think it is. Carbon emissions are directly related to energy production. (Wind, solar and nuclear remain a rounding error and while nuclear could someday become a major fraction of our energy production, it currently isn’t.)

    Energy utilization is so highly correlated to GDP that economists often use it to estimate “shadow GDP” due to corruption, and to correct biased official estimates.

    And sure enough, if you look at the graph of current CO2 output (not projected), you’ll find that it pretty much mirrors GDP over the past few years– fits and starts, but an overall period of extended decline.

    This isn’t public policy– good or bad. It isn’t adoption of alternative energy, efficiency initiatives or the “go green” movement. It’s just a symptom of a sick economy.

    So the bad news for greens is that as soon as the economy picks up again, so will CO2 output. The worse news is that, despite an activist Administration that’s pretty much catered to their every demand, CO2 hasn’t dropped MORE than can be accounted for by the economy.

    This illustrates Freeman Dyson’s point, that human-caused global warming is happening, but that the potential cure is far worse than the disease.

    Solar/Wind/Etc (at least with current technology) are not viable for more than symbolic gains. Reducing carbon emissions requires either widespread adoption of nuclear power, such that it replaces our fossil fuel infrastructure.

    Or, it requires entering a permanent, government-mandated economic depression.

  • Koblog

    Look. You still have to convince me that carbon dioxide, a gas every living creature breathes out and is consumed by every living plant as a natural cycle, is bad.

    Or that warming the earth by any means (including by the sun) is a disaster.

    The whole thing is a scam. How else to explain how Al Gore is now a billionaire living is a giant cliftside mansion in California, burning fuel and using water at an alarming rate?

    Just look at this phony’s “green” house he lives it up in while telling the rest of us to freeze or sweat:

  • BooMushroom

    Yup, it sure looks like the trend is going downwards! Eight years to go, and that chart is .. um .. OK, perhaps it’s upside down.

    Brilliant analysis.

    Really? You’re using the co2 measurements from ON TOP OF ONE OF THE WORLDS MOST ACTIVE VOLCANOES as a proxy for American co2 output?

    Either stupid or dishonest, Ultraverified.

    • Walter Russell Mead

      @BooMushroom: Your quarrel is with the Obama administration and the NRDC, not me. They have no reason to fudge these numbers downwards. But thanks for your courteous reply!

  • KevinF

    I blame George Bush.

  • @BooMushroom: Does not represent measurement of atmospheric CO2 levels, instead it represents the U.S. fossil fuel projection of future emissions.

    And to really drive the deranged doomsday greens over the cliff, here are the global temps over the last 15 years through May 2012. No warming!

  • Snorri Godhi

    “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.”

    Surely Dr. Mead is familiar enough with Marxism to realize that greens* are simply acting to protect their perceived class interests?

    * including many political leaders; and I’m not talking about Al Gore, I’m talking about pretty much all Western governments.

  • Bill Woods

    Boomushroom: “Really? You’re using the co2 measurements from ON TOP OF ONE OF THE WORLDS MOST ACTIVE VOLCANOES as a proxy for American co2 output?”

    It’s not a measure of US emissions, but of the average level in the atmosphere. Mauna Loa is a good location because it’s a long way down-wind from anywhere, and its elevation mostly isolates it from local activity. The long-term trend is clear, as is the annual variation.

    “The [volcanic] CO2 emission rate follows a very predictable exponentially decreasing trend which is established after each eruption. The slope of these trends have been different for each eruption. Current concentrations of volcanic CO2 (2006) are at their lowest levels since the record began in 1958.”

  • Leon0112

    A big chunk of the decline in CO2 generation comes from the move from coal to natural gas in the generation of power. This shift is made possible by the introduction of fracking technology. Interestingly, no one is discussing the fact that much of the radical environmental crowd opposes the use of fracking to extract natural gas and oil…despite the fact that it is the primary cause of reduced CO2 generation in the US.

    Is that irony?

  • Micha Elyi

    Speaking of failed “projections the green movement keeps using as justification for huge global boondoggles,” the ozone hole – the excuse to ban cheap Freon and force the junking of millions of perfectly good air conditioners – has also turned out to be a phoney eco-scare.

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