CO2 levels in US at lowest levels in 20 years … and some lessons as to why
Print This Post
The US Energy Information Administration reported this month that CO2 levels in America are at their lowest rate in 20 years:
That should make all of us happy but for some in the environmental movement, apparently good news just isn’t good enough.
That’s because the drop in CO2 levels is largely attributed to the country’s increasing use of natural gas.
And while the study indicates the use of natural gas — which the US and New Mexico have in abundance and runs very cleanly — is supplanting the use of coal, for many in the environmental movement, natural gas should be verboten because they claim hydraulic fracturing (called “fracking”) is dangerous — something natural gas advocates strenuously deny.
“The Sierra Club has serious doubts about the net benefits of natural gas,” Deborah Nardone, director of the group’s Beyond Natural Gas campaign, told Associated Press Thursday (Aug. 16).
Here’s more from the AP story:
Many of the world’s leading climate scientists didn’t see the drop coming, in large part because it happened as a result of market forces rather than direct government action against carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere.
You mean the free market that is so abhorred by those in the green movement actually spurred this dramatic decrease in CO2? That maybe there’s an alternative to top-down government directives when it comes to making the planet cleaner?
This reminds us of an interview we did back in March with Todd Myers of the Washington Policy Center in Seattle, who describes himself as a free-market environmentalist. Here’s Myers with his argument that market forces seen in today’s CO2 report are actually common and more effective than government programs:
Even Michael Mann, a climate scientist from Penn State who has been the center of much controversy, told AP the CO2 decrease demonstrates that “ultimately people follow their wallets” on global warming.
“There’s a very clear lesson here. What it shows is that if you make a cleaner energy source cheaper, you will displace dirtier sources,” Roger Pielke Jr., a climate expert at the University of Colorado, said in the AP story. But Pielke says natural gas is not a long-term solution to the CO2 problem.
Yet EIA data show that wind energy contributed just 3 percent of the nation’s electricity and solar power was just a fraction of the percentage of wind.
Posted under Capitol Report.
Tags: Associated Press, Capitol Report New Mexico, fracking, hydraulic fracturing, Michael Mann, Rio Grande Foundation, Todd Myers, US Energy Information Administration, Washington Policy Center