US greenhouse gases back up after decline

Apr 16, 2012
A natural gas powered factory pictured in 2009 in Long Beach, California. US emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for climate change rose in 2010, ending a brief downward turn as the world's largest economy gradually recovers from recession, official data showed Monday.

US emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for climate change rose in 2010, ending a brief downward turn as the world's largest economy gradually recovers from recession, official data showed Monday.

In a submission to the UN climate organization, the United States said that its grew by 3.2 percent in 2010 compared with the previous year after two consecutive year-on-year falls.

The data also showed that the United States -- the world's second largest emitter of after China -- would need to move aggressively if it seeks to reach President Barack Obama's targets for tackling climate change.

The said in the annual report that the rise in emissions was "primarily due to an increase in economic output resulting in an increase in across all sectors."

In what could be considered a chicken-and-egg dilemma in holding back rising temperatures, the agency said Americans burned more coal and gas in 2010 partly because an unusually warm summer raised demand for air conditioning.

US greenhouse gas emissions hit 6.82 billion metric tons in 2010, up from 6.61 billion in 2009, it said. The total was still below the 7.25 billion recorded in 2007 before the onset of the .

The United States emitted a net 5.75 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in 2010 when factoring in so-called sinks that balance off emissions, such as forests and carbon capture technology.

Obama took office pledging to take action on climate change, in a major shift from his predecessor George W. Bush who scorned the as unfair by not demanding action of major developing countries.

But Obama has faced a political backlash, with a plan to restrict dying in the Senate in 2010. Numerous lawmakers of the rival Republican Party challenge the science behind climate change and say that government-led requirements would be too costly.

In the run-up to the fractious UN climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009, Obama pledged that the United States would cut emissions by 17 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels.

According to the latest data, emissions fell 5.3 percent from 2005 to 2010, showing that meeting Obama's goal is possible but would require significant effort.

But some environmentalists have criticized Obama's goal as deceptive as the European Union and Japan calculate targets from the base year of 1990. Compared with 1990, US emissions are up 10.5 percent, according to the latest data.

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Lurker2358
5 / 5 (6) Apr 16, 2012
Obama pledged that the United States would cut emissions by 17 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels.


Unrealistic, since we import about 1 to 2 million immigrants per year. Our population grows faster than efficiency improvements and clean energy replacements, even though we have greatly decreased our native birth rates.

According to the latest data, emissions fell 5.3 percent from 2005 to 2010, showing that meeting Obama's goal is possible but would require significant effort.


Comparing an economic boom and bubble to the heart of the worst recession in 80 years isn't exactly fair.

Without exceptional efforts to promote wind and solar power, our pollution will not be significantly reduced.

Unfortunately, the "NIMBY" thing is horrible in the U.S. people would even rather pay a higher price both in money and health than to do the right thing, if the right thing involves a "lawn ornament" to capture wind or solar power...it's sad.
Lurker2358
5 / 5 (5) Apr 16, 2012
Given our current 10 year population growth rate is slightly more than 10%, that means our demand for energy grows about 1% per year, or close enough to 15% in 15 years.

Thus in order to cut emissions by 17% by 2020 we'd actually need to reduce average per-capita CO2 production by about the equivalent of 32% of today's values.

The only realistic way to do that would be if everyone converted at least 30% of their fossil fuels usage to wind and solar, including commercial and industrial consumption as well as transportation.
dutchman
5 / 5 (6) Apr 16, 2012
So what they are saying is, THIS is the US' contribution to a global greenhouse gas reduction: Global recession caused by unregulated Wall Street speculators.

And who said that Wall Street does not produce anything of substance?
axemaster
4.6 / 5 (7) Apr 16, 2012
Numerous lawmakers of the rival Republican Party challenge the science behind climate change and say that government-led requirements would be too costly.

I remember seeing Santorum say that global warming wasn't happening and thinking "wow, this guy just destroyed his credibility". Why should we trust the ultimate position of power to a person who's willing to say anything to get elected, no matter how counterfactual it may be? Romney is even worse since he has tried to act on global warming in the past and now pretends it doesn't exist.

Actually if Romney has any sense of national responsibility (you know, that thing Presidents are supposed to have), he'd recognize that he isn't going to win with a hopelessly fractured base. He'd use his stage to exhort conservatives to act on climate change, and try to drag them back towards the sane center and end the horrendous partisan political war.

We only have a few years left to avoid the worst outcome. We need to start now.
simplicio
4.6 / 5 (11) Apr 16, 2012
I remember seeing Santorum say that global warming wasn't happening and thinking "wow, this guy just destroyed his credibility".

What credibility? He never have any like all republican nominees at this time. Politics in America is a shameful joke.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.6 / 5 (39) Apr 16, 2012
I've given everyone here a 5 out of 5 because all comments have been reasoned, honest and logical.

Well done.
Bitflux
not rated yet Apr 17, 2012
/applause
Thank you America for doing your part.