Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Carbon Emissions Soar. Will Bush Take Responsibility Again?

Take a few days off and the whole world goes to hell. In this case, literally. No, I don't mean the financial crisis, though I have no interest in looking at my 401(k) balance right now.

I'm talking about the new global carbon emissions figures released last week, which show a shockingly steep rise:
The new numbers, called "scary" by some, were a surprise because scientists thought an economic downturn would slow energy use. Instead, carbon dioxide output jumped 3 percent from 2006 to 2007. That's an amount that exceeds the most dire outlook for emissions from burning coal and oil and related activities as projected by a Nobel Prize-winning group of international scientists in 2007.

Meanwhile, forests and oceans, which suck up carbon dioxide, are doing so at lower rates than in the 20th century, scientists said. If those trends continue, it puts the world on track for the highest predicted rises in temperature and sea level.

The pollution leader was China, followed by the United States,
which past data show is the leader in emissions per person in carbon dioxide output. And while several developed countries slightly cut their CO2 output in 2007, the United States churned out more. [...]

Emissions in the United States rose nearly 2 percent in 2007, after declining the previous year. The U.S. produced 1.75 billion tons of carbon (1.58 billion metric tons).
As soon as we learned US emissions fell slightly last year, President Bush immediately held a news conference and issued a gloating statement taking credit for the fall. I'm still waiting for the news conference and statement admitting he was wrong.

Scientists say we need to be cutting carbon emissions two percent a year. Instead, they rose three percent globally and two percent here in the US.

The richest country in the world that should be taking the lead on energy-efficient technology. Instead, we're leading the way in race to the bottom, and the Bush administration and its Republican allies are leading the way.
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