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Good Green News
Global CO2 Emissions Stall, Helped by Shale

We’ve reached a plateau in global greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report from the Global Carbon Project. In a rare bit of positive climate news, carbon emissions stayed flat for the third year in a row, though the report’s authors cautioned that it’s still “far too early to say we’ve reached a peak in emissions.” Reuters reports:

Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and industry were set to rise a tiny 0.2 percent in 2016 from 2015 levels to 36.4 billion tonnes, the third consecutive year with negligible change and down from three percent growth rates in the 2000s, it said. […]

“So far the slowdown has been driven by China,” [the report’s co-author Glen Peters] said, adding Beijing’s climate change policies would also be the dominant force in future since it accounts for almost 30 percent of global emissions.

But let’s not give all the credit to Beijing. Here in the United States, CO2 emissions are projected to fall 1.7 percent this year in large part thanks to a decline in coal consumption. The dethroning of Old King Coal in America is well known at this point, but contrary to the claims of President-elect Donald Trump, that important shift in our national energy mix hasn’t come about from onerous federal regulations under the Obama Administration, but rather through market pressures applied by cheap, plentiful natural gas.

And where, you ask, are we getting all of this cheap gas? From fracking, of course. Natural gas, when burned, emits roughly half as much CO2 as coal, which goes a long way in explaining why our national emissions are expected to drop this year.

Greens love to rail against hydraulic fracturing and paint it as an environmental catastrophe, but when it comes to mitigating climate change, there are few tools more important in America’s eco-toolbox than the shale revolution.

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  • Andrew Allison

    The news is full of claims that 2016 will be the hottest year on record (and you may be sure that it will be even if, as in the past, the historical record has to be adjusted to make it so), and yet carbon emissions stayed flat for the third year in a row. Where’s the linkage? What would the temperatures have been absent the clearly non-AGW El Niño, which typically adds 1.6 degrees? What will it take to demolish the so-called “settled science”?

    • JR

      fanatics can’t be persuaded by facts. definitionally.

    • rpabate

      I truly hope that Trump has an outside firm audit the raw data and the adjustments that are kept and massaged NOAA and the other U.S. keepers of the data.

      Regarding 2015 and 2016 being the hottest years, in addition to the El Nino impact, how about this for influencing temperature. Over a 3.5 year period ending about 2014 China used more cement than the U.S. used during the entire 20th century. That factoid can be Googled. Then add the cement used by India, Brazil, Indonesia and all the other developing countries, plus the cement used by the developed countries over the years since satellites have been taking the earth’s temperature. The impact must be huge. It’s been my understanding that the IPCC will not reveal how they adjust for this huge UHI effect.

  • rpabate

    The Progressive Eco-Left’s alarmism is not really about CO2 and climate change. They are using climate change as a front for their real objective, which is to reverse economic and population growth. Their standard of value is “no human impact on nature”, which is hugely at odds with a standard of value that places “human flourishing” first. Alex Epstein writes about this in his book “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels”. You can get a taste of this book by listening to a lecture he gave at Wellesley College, which is on Youtube as is also debates and a lecture at Vassar..

    If there is one book that has it all on CAGW, it is Michael Hart’s “Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics and Politics of Climate Change”. The issue at the heart of the “alarmism” is the corruption of science by ideology and money. Hart covers it all, but adding further evidence of the corruption of science is “The Rightful Place of Science; Science on the Verge” which is a compilation of chapters by Europeans working at the interface of science and policy. Rather than having “evidenced-based policy” we now have “policy-based evidence”, which is what President Eisenhower warned about in his Farewell Address.

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