Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

CO2 times 4

The latest scare story on global warming and carbon dioxide emissions is out.

According to The Independent (UK), the rate of growth in carbon dioxide emissions was four times greater in the past few years than it was in the '90s. And, note who is responsible for a big part of that growth:

Data on carbon dioxide emissions shows that the global growth rate was 3.2 per cent in the five years to 2005 compared with 0.8 per cent from 1990 to 1999, despite efforts to reduce carbon pollution through the Kyoto agreement.

Much of the increase is probably due to the expansion of the Chinese economy, which has relied heavily on burning coal and other fossil fuels for its energy.

China was not required by the hallowed Kyoto Protocol to do anything at all to reduce its emissions, as everyone who recognized the senselessness of the Kyoto Protocol noted.

Neither were India and Brazil, among others, and here's what reported:

One likely contributor is China, whose emissions slowed at end of the 1990s before rising again. China is now the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US. On Tuesday, the International Energy Agency released a report predicting that it would become the world’s top emitter by 2030 (see World
faces 'dirty, insecure' energy future

Other growing developing countries, such as India and Brazil, are also fast becoming large emitters.

The Independent included one fact that is rarely reported, since it shows how impossible it would be to solve the problem (assuming arguendo that it is a problem needing a solution) by limiting carbon dioxide emissions anytime soon:

Professor Bill McGuire, director of the Benfield Hazard Research Centre in London, said: "This is more very bad news. We need a 60 to 70 per cent cut in emissions, but instead, emission levels are spiralling out of control. The sum total of our meagre efforts to cut emissions amounts to less than zero."

Try cutting emissions by that much without extraordinary technological changes to replace the power no longer generated by combustion of fuels. It isn't possible, unless you want to live in a stone-age, subsistence-farming society -- and even that would barely do it.

Attempting to "cap" emissions through government regulation offers no promise of success.


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