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1 sliv_the_eli  Wed, Nov 21, 2012 12:46:45pm

For all the criticism (and self-criticism) directed at the US on this subject, the reality is that our carbon emissions are lower today than they were two decades ago.

PITTSBURGH — In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.

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.


Which is not to say that we could not do more, but let's at least recognize that on the issue of addressing pollution and its effects, the reality is significantly different from the stereotype.

2 Interesting Times  Wed, Nov 21, 2012 1:05:35pm

re: #1 sliv_the_eli

Which is not to say that we could not do more, but let's at least recognize that on the issue of addressing pollution and its effects, the reality is significantly different from the stereotype.

I thought of reductions in US emissions as well, when I first came across the report referred to about record-breaking CO2 levels overall for 2011. One reason CO2 is still rising is because of coal use in China (that would be coal to power their factories that turn out cheap Black Friday crap). Jobs aren't the only thing being outsourced there - so too is pollution. And since the atmosphere doesn't give a rat's behind about international borders, what's going on over there will come back to bite us soon enough.

(There are glimmers of hope in another BRIC country, though...)

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