November 24, 2012
Guess which country lowered its carbon emissions most

Would you guess the United States of America? Yes. The USA lowered its carbon emissions the most over the past six years; that's the years since Kyoto Protocol went into effect. Blame Bush. President Bush and the US were vilified for not ratifying Kyoto. Instead we got results.

But the UN is not happy with mere results; they want more talk!

Michigan Capital Confidential

Over the past six years, the United States has reduced its carbon emissions more than any other nation in the world.

Efforts to curb so-called man-made climate change had little or nothing to do with it. Government mandated "green" energy didn't cause the reductions. Neither did environmentalist pressure. And the U.S. did not go along with the Kyoto Protocol to radically cut CO2 emissions. Instead, the drop came about through market forces and technological advances, according to a report from the International Energy Agency.

Breakthroughs in how natural gas is extracted from underground shale formations were the key factors that led to the reductions, the report said. Natural gas has a low carbon footprint and is widely available in the United States. As a result, entrepreneurs are flocking to extract it from new areas.

"It's good news and good news doesn't get reported as much," John Griffin, executive director of Associated Petroleum Industries of Michigan, said of the lack of reporting about the CO2 reductions. "The mainstream media doesn't want to report these kinds of things."


But the UN is not happy with these results; they want more talk, more meetings, more declarations.

UN climate bureaucrat-in-charge Christiana Figueres hopes Hurricane Sandy will wake up the US and get us to her meetings. Successful results only count when the ring is kissed.

Washington Examiner

Christiana Figueres, who leads the United Nations negotiations to get governments to reduce carbon emissions in the world, regards Hurricane Sandy as "yet another wake-up call" for Americans to get on board with her climate change policy.

"Yes, I certainly do think that this is yet another wake-up call," Figueres said of Hurricane Sandy to Yale Environment 360 in an interview published by The Guardian."I did hear President Obama say quite categorically in his acceptance speech that he is not going to have a future that is threatened by increasing warming . . . I do think that this mirrors the growing awareness in the United States. So I do think that Sandy has contributed to this. Is it the tipping point? That remains to be seen."

Figueres also spoke if international frustration with the United States for failing to sign onto UN global warming initiatives such as the Kyoto Protocol.

"[I]f the United States does not strengthen its participation in the global climate regime under the newly re-elected president I think there will be increased frustration with the United States," she said.

Job-killing policies such as cap-and-trade, which would limit and tax carbon emissions in the United States, died in 2010 due to the harm it would cause the economy. Figueres, though... [blah blah blah]
See also: Lowest energy-related CO2 emissions in 20 years. NY Times

This isn't a "Sound" topic, but there is a shortage of reporting good news on the enviro scene.

Cross posted on Economic Freedom.

Posted by Ron Hebron at November 24, 2012 05:20 PM | Email This
Comments
1. Blame it on fracking ! Actually fracking is responsible for lowering the CO2. There may be an increase in methane partly due to this, according to the NYT.

The green weenies want to have it both ways. There is already a carbon tax, which I always thought was only for convenience - since there has been found to be statistically insignificant correlation between surface temperature and CO2. Methane is more difficult to tax than carbon as it is less widespread, but there is a higher correlation between surface temperature and methane. Soon there will be a taxing scheme for methane to go along with carbon.

Posted by: KDS on November 24, 2012 07:22 PM
2. Guess which country tanked the world economy in the past six years? Was it Greece or the United States?

So, you think because the United States failed to sign the Kyoto Accords in Bush's pathetic tenure, that that is the reason U.S. emmissions have gone down -- in addition to the beneficial effects of fracking that KDS has noted?

You're pathetic. There's a difference between being the loyal opposition and just the opposition. One is a friend and one is an enemy.

Posted by: red hiney monkey on November 25, 2012 07:29 AM
3. Inconvenient truths like these and dozens of federally subsidized green energy failures will not waver Obama voters from their devotion to the religion of Gaia nor the gospel of climate alarmism.

Posted by: Leftover on November 25, 2012 08:41 AM
4. The Kyoto protocol was ill conceived and is basically a redistributionist scheme. It has gradually been made less ill conceived with modifications, but China, India and US still do not like it.

What is the religion of Gaia ? I have referred to that particular religion as leftism. Green energy will have its day, but it has not occurred yet and won't until the benefit/cost ratio becomes favorable - probably beyond 2016. Trying to force Green Energy over the next few years by more Federal subsidies will only make the economy worse besides be seen as more cronyism - which is has been. Many Americans think Green Energy is sexy, but the economic benefits show that it is anything but.

Posted by: KDS on November 25, 2012 09:16 AM
5. Redass baboon @2: "Guess which country tanked the world economy in the past six years?"

Wasn't that when the Dems took control of the Senate and House? Talk about inconvenient truths.

Posted by: It Takes a Village to Convene a Grand Jury on November 25, 2012 11:06 AM
6. One could argue its because of UN pressure that we lowered our carbon emissions. I say kudos to the UN - keep it up! Tighten the screws, close every last coal-fired power plant and retire every ICE vehicle. Electric power forever!

Posted by: SmoledMan on November 25, 2012 11:23 AM
7. @6 - The UN can say it was implementing part of Agenda 21 with the decrease in carbon emissions, sustainability in the name of marxism. Ubiquitous government is their primary aim. Don't tell us that you think we would be better off with Agenda 21 by the UN.

I remind you that the UN is comprised of primarily by rogue nations (Iran, Somalia, Russia, Venezuela, China, Pakistan, Syria, N. Korea - just to name some), who would love to see the demise of the USA.

Posted by: KDS on November 25, 2012 11:38 AM
8. re 7: "The UN can say it was implementing part of Agenda 21 with the decrease in carbon emissions, sustainability in the name of marxism. Ubiquitous government is their primary aim. Don't tell us that you think we would be better off with Agenda 21 by the UN."

What is the real difference between the world being controlled by international corporations and banking and the world and it's governments being controlled by international corporations and banking?

There is none. You are fighting a chimera -- as instructed by wingnut central.

Posted by: red hiney monkey on November 25, 2012 01:24 PM
9. From the NYT link:

The agency attributed the decline to a combination of three factors: a mild winter, reduced demand for gasoline and, most significant, a drop in coal-fired electricity generation because of historically low natural gas prices.

So, the first we cannot control, the second we do not want -- it is a function of economic downturn-- and the third leaves us dependent upon an unsustainable resource with a large carbon footprint. Oh, and the decline was for one quarter of one year out of twenty, and if you look at the graph, the decline was small.

Also, the use of natural gas may reduce carbon emissions when compared with coal, but as coal has always been one of the dirtiest sources of energy, that's not really a big accomplishment, now is it?

Natural gas has some other problems:

...in addition to carbon dioxide emissions, natural gas wells contribute to other ills. When shale gas is taken from the earth, researchers suggest, "fugitive methane" - a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide -- can escape into the atmosphere through fissures in the ground.

If that's the best we can do with this approach, that alone suggests we try other approaches.

Since pollution is socialism of cost, we could introduce free-market discipline via a cap-and-trade scheme. I'm sure the proponents of free-market would applaud such a --

Job-killing policies such as cap-and-trade, which would limit and tax carbon emissions in the United States, died in 2010 due to the harm it would cause the economy.

While we have some debate over whether the market in pollution would harm jobs, we have no doubt the small decline touted here has come at the cost of American jobs. (If you guys are going to posit a false dichotomy between the environment and the economy, could you please pick a side and stick with it? Thanks.)

Meanwhile, atmospheric gasses continue to ignore national boundaries, thus implying an international approach is required. Keep pumping out the hot, Bircher-nonsense gas about the UN, though; I'm sure that will solve our problems.

Posted by: tensor on November 25, 2012 01:57 PM
10. What is the real difference between the world being controlled by international corporations and banking and the world and it's governments being controlled by international corporations and banking?

There is none. You are fighting a chimera -- as instructed by wingnut central.

Posted by red hiney monkey at November 25, 2012 01:24 PM

Well, then - you are part of the problem. You don't have the discernment or critical thinking skills to figure out what the difference is. You show your ignorance and wingnuttiness by what you wrote. Maybe this will get through - How would you like Iran, China and Russia having a say in how we are governed ?

The left are just as much in the pockets of large corporations as the right, in spite of the propaganda and talking points you buy into - what's good for the goose is good for the gander. The reason ? The Federal Government is much too large and corrupt, but less so than the UN. Wake up and smell the coffee & bring some facts to the table for a change in place of baseless propaganda.


(If you guys are going to posit a false dichotomy between the environment and the economy, could you please pick a side and stick with it? Thanks.)

They are connected when it comes to whether or not to ramp up the use of green energy, when it hurts the economy. Back to your point - my side is the economy with common sense.

Posted by: KDS on November 25, 2012 02:58 PM
11. Tensor: Oh, and the decline was for one quarter of one year out of twenty, and if you look at the graph, the decline was small.

Lowest in 20 years means lowest in 20 years in the NYT. Comparing first quarter of each year 2012 was the lowest. That's good news too.

Everyone, see the graphic at my own blog
Economic Freedom
( I can't put in this comment. It is secondary to the original post, so I won't put it there.)

The countries in Europe signed Kyoto. Why didn't they beat the US on lowering CO2? Not having natural gas shouldn't stop the smart Europeans.

Posted by: Ron Hebron on November 25, 2012 04:31 PM
12. More Democrat vote fraud:

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/11/25/Democrats-vote-the-mentally-disabled

Manipulating mentally disabled people who have no clue about what they're doing and just doing what their 'caretakers' tell them to! Blatantly fraudulent.

Posted by: daisy on November 25, 2012 04:57 PM
13. Manipulating mentally disabled people who have no clue about what they're doing and just doing what their 'caretakers' tell them to!

How is this different than any other Democrat voting?

Posted by: Leftover on November 26, 2012 05:59 AM
14. It's taken all you wingnuts a few weeks, but I see youve found a way to get your thinking caps off again.

Posted by: red hiney monkey on November 26, 2012 06:26 AM
15. One spam so far. When it gets to five - last post got 50 - I will close comments. Regular commenters posting to tell me there is more spam - which I already know about - will be included in the count.

Posted by: Ron Hebron on November 26, 2012 06:58 AM
16. Spam = Disagreeing with Ron Hebron and wingnuts in general

Posted by: red hiney monkey on November 26, 2012 08:23 AM
17. @16 - Your mindless wingnut posts embody spam. You are an empty vessel.

Posted by: KDS on November 26, 2012 09:30 AM
18. One of many great videos you can watch that will show you why Climate Alarmism is bunk. This one from famous aeronautical engineer Burt Rutan.


Posted by: Leftover on November 26, 2012 12:41 PM
19. As most anyone (but liberals) know, one of the lagging indicators of economic activity is the generation of carbon. Less activity, less carbon. The Obama Economy has us on our asses and there is another recession looming as well as the huge debt and more taxes to squeeze out of "the rich" (that would be over 200K a year). Expect a lot less carbon out of the US in the very near future.

Nothing like a little Keynesianism to total a country. Japan has been doing it for decades and still hasn't figured it out. China has, they are lowering taxes . . .

Posted by: Oscarphone on November 26, 2012 05:56 PM
20. Lowest in 20 years means lowest in 20 years in the NYT.

Have you a point? If so, your typically-poor writing must have obscured it. By contrast, the NYT is very clear. Their story leads with the graph, the caption of which reads (emphases mine):

"In the first three months of this year, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were lower than in any first quarter in 20 years."

The graph shows a very narrow range for first-quarter carbon emissions. At no time does the data reach 1,600M tonnes; it seems never to have dipped below 1,350M tonnes, even for one quarter. Most of the high peaks are in recent years, so IF there is a trend-line to this data, it is slightly upwards over time. (Since when is being the shortest player on an NBA team anything to brag about?)

The first paragraph of the main text of the story re-iterates this point (again, my emphases):

"Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the United States from January through March were the lowest of any recorded for the first quarter of the year since 1992, the federal Energy Information Administration reports."

So, the decline is for the first quarter only, and only when compared to other first quarters. The evidence says nothing about the other three-quarters of the past twenty years. Nothing. The other three-quarters of the time, our carbon emissions could have set high records for each and every year, for all this evidence tells us.

Why didn't they beat the US on lowering CO2? Not having natural gas shouldn't stop the smart Europeans.

As I already noted, above, our having natural gas was THE most important reason for this slight decline:

The agency attributed the decline to a combination of three factors: a mild winter, reduced demand for gasoline and, most significant, a drop in coal-fired electricity generation because of historically low natural gas prices.

We used "historically low natural gas prices" to effect a slight reduction in this one greenhouse gas. The Europeans lacked the key resource needed to (temporarily?) effect this small reduction in this one greenhouse gas. Blaming the poor for their poverty is exactly the unsportsmanlike and vindictively cruel judgement we've come to expect of this site.

Posted by: tensor on November 26, 2012 10:53 PM
21. Three days. I am closing comments.

Posted by: Ron Hebron on November 27, 2012 04:16 PM