An American Triumph: US Carbon Emissions In 2012 Fall 4% & 12% From Peak Level In 2007

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    Jan 11, 2013 4:36 AM GMT
    Pretty remarkable... all things considered and compared to Europe where people claim care more about these things...

    http://johnhanger.blogspot.com/2013/01/an-american-triumph-us-carbon-emissions.html
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    Jan 11, 2013 6:04 AM GMT
    I wouldn't call that a triumph. We're still emitting more CO2 compared to 1990. The Europeans have steadily decreased their emissions since 1990 without a natural gas boom.

    And Europe isn't exporting coal for China and India to burn.
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    Jan 11, 2013 6:07 AM GMT
    This is more of a triumph:

    http://johnhanger.blogspot.com/2013/01/wind-power-to-provide-5-of-americas.html

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-21/wind-power-generation-beating-natural-gas-in-u-s-in-2012.html
  • PIccadilly

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    Jan 11, 2013 1:25 PM GMT
    Keep in mind that the recession has a lot to do with it.

    Russia was able to ratify the Kyoto protocol without lifting a finger.
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    Jan 11, 2013 9:32 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidI wouldn't call that a triumph. We're still emitting more CO2 compared to 1990. The Europeans have steadily decreased their emissions since 1990 without a natural gas boom.

    And Europe isn't exporting coal for China and India to burn.


    Um what were you saying about Europe?

    http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/tgm/table.do?tab=table&init=1&plugin=1&language=en&pcode=tsdcc100

    Europe's natural gas emissions are directly related to their economic troubles. The EU has *not* "steadily" decreased their emissions since 1990. The EU has seen significant economic stagnation in part directly related to their attempts to conform to the protocol.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/10/coal-shipping-europe-idUSL5E9CAAX320130110

    It's as if you want the US to be seen as a failure on this. The achievements the US has made should be considered greater in light of the economic growth they've been able to achieve while using considerably less green house emissions (and considering the incentives for corruption the EU ETS scheme has created).

    Americans pay considerably lower electricity prices as a result of using markets to manage pollution and energy availability. Meanwhile with the primary mechanisms you would have advocated in Europe, the costs of energy have risen. Which solution do you suppose is more sustainable?
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    Jan 11, 2013 9:33 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidThis is more of a triumph:

    http://johnhanger.blogspot.com/2013/01/wind-power-to-provide-5-of-americas.html

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-21/wind-power-generation-beating-natural-gas-in-u-s-in-2012.html


    How is the latter a triumph? Yes, the US has been a success as creating wind fields that are economically unsustainable without massive subsidies? You do realize that the world of subsidies globally has been collapsing...?
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    Jan 11, 2013 10:06 PM GMT
    OK, not steadily down uniformly, but still, European emissions are less than in 1990. And Eurozone GDP has mostly kept up in pace with the US over the years...the last few years not so due to austerity:
    gdp.gif

    And no, I don't want the US to be seen as a failure on this. I want its lack of foresight to be highlighted. Since the US is starting out from such a high baseline compared to everybody else, a little less emission because of natural gas power doesn't absolve the need to try to steer towards renewable energy.

    And how big are the subsidies for fossil fuel? Are they collapsing in Congress?
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    Jan 11, 2013 10:18 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidOK, not steadily down uniformly, but still, European emissions are less than in 1990. And Eurozone GDP has mostly kept up in pace with the US over the years...the last few years not so due to austerity:
    gdp.gif

    And no, I don't want the US to be seen as a failure on this. I want its lack of foresight to be highlighted. Since the US is starting out from such a high baseline compared to everybody else, a little less emission because of natural gas power doesn't absolve the need to try to steer towards renewable energy.

    And how big are the subsidies for fossil fuel? Are they collapsing in Congress?


    Your article pointed out that the reason there's been a boom in wind farms is that they have been rushing to put them up in time for the expiration of the subsidies. Your graph even shows how Europe has been in the shadow of US economic growth - and the differences as an aggregate aren't as insignificant as the graph shows. I suggest you compare the base measures between GDP 1990 EU/US to today.

    Are you aware of the cost differential of electricity between US and Europe? You seem to want to highlight their lack of "foresight" in what way? Is the US set to meet the Kyoto protocols despite not even signing it or planning for it? What you seem to resent doesn't seem so much that they aren't succeeding at achieving very specific environmental milestones but rather they aren't doing it the way you would like.

    And as for this claim that natural gas doesn't absolve the need to try to steer towards renewable energy... is that sort of like the ridiculous failed programs like cash for clunkers or electricity fueled vehicles that we are now told result in more emissions? Even without government support, we are seeing ongoing investments in solar by the private sector - because it makes economic sense rather than the cherry picking of failed investments the Obama Administration and Congress have supported over the years.

    Incidentally, I find it a bit odd you don't differentiate between austerity and just plain running out of money.
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    Jan 12, 2013 12:04 AM GMT
    We're digressing into territory that require different threads. For example, I don't agree that all electric cars result in more emissions, simply because you're using a dirtier source of electricity doesn't all of them do. All the more reason to invest in renewable power, right?
    http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/smart-transportation-solutions/advanced-vehicle-technologies/electric-cars/emissions-and-charging-costs-electric-cars.html
    And the cash for clunkers program had a net beneficial effect on emissions, even though its primary purpose was to stimulate the economy:
    [url]http://css.snre.umich.edu/publication/impact-cash-clunkers%E2%80%9D-greenhouse-gas-emissions-life-cycle-perspective[/url]

    Germany was able to reduce emissions AND achieve economy growth. It shows that growth and reduction in carbon emissions is doable with planning...you might say, "the way I like it."

    Suffice it to say that the fall from peak 2007 emissions in the US have multiple reasons, including the downturn in the economy (with people driving and flying less), natural gas, and renewables like wind/solar energy.