Bam: Trend of CO2 emissions falling toward 1991 levels

posted at 6:01 pm on July 3, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

This is ten different kinds of glorious.

Greenies are always lamenting that we need big government to force humanity to treat the planet with their idea of respect, and bemoaning the toll that prosperity ostensibly takes on the environment. It’s a darn shame that they’re stuck on one speed in that line of argument, because in reality, a thriving economy and environmental quality are not mutually exclusive forces: rather, economic growth often means increasing environmental quality. Case in point:

John Hanger points out on his energy blog that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions have fallen so sharply in the first three months of 2012 according to new data from the EIA, that total CO2 emissions this year are on track to drop to the lowest level since 1991, see chart above.

The key driver for the “shockingly good news” that CO2 emissions will probably fall this year to a two-decade low according to John is “the shale gas revolution, and the low-priced gas that it has made a reality, especially in the last 12 months. As of April, gas tied coal at 32% of the electric power generation market, nearly ending coal’s 100 year reign on top of electricity markets (see related CD post on this energy milestone).  Let’s remember the speed and extent of gas’s rise and coal’s drop: coal had 52% of the market in 2000 and 48% in 2008.” …

There are obviously a lot of factors in play here — population, productivity, etcetera — which can account for a lot of the increase of the past couple of decades. But what’s up with the sudden dropoff? I’ll tell ya’ what: As time goes on, never-ceasing innovation and increasing technological efficiency mean that we’re continuously getting more bang for our buck when it comes to our natural resources. Recent technologies have given us the ability to take better advantage of our abundant domestic natural gas supplies, which in turn provides jobs and economic growth and diversifies our energy portfolio, all at the same time.

Natural gas, by the way, burns more cleanly than traditional coal. Take note, environmentalists: The free market provided a viable, affordable, practical substitute for coal, just by pursuing a profit! Who’da thunk it?

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air


Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.


Trackback URL


Comment pages: 1 2

blink on July 4, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Give me YOUR definition of CAGW.

oakland on July 4, 2012 at 10:58 AM

blink on July 4, 2012 at 10:47 AM

That may be what it looks like to you, but not to those who used millions of bits of data, compiled by the best available technology.

So, why the divergence?

Why didn’t it work out the way the strong skeptics and denialsts insisted that it would?

oakland on July 4, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Nice broken link. Care to try again?

Count to 10 on July 4, 2012 at 8:54 AM

left off the suffix;sorry for the inconvenience

oakland on July 4, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Where the heck did they get that temperature graph? It is completely missing the drop in temperature that happened in the early 2000s.

Count to 10 on July 4, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Fixed it for you.

blink on July 4, 2012 at 11:09 AM

and what are those “biased assumptions”?

and what are the REAL data?

oakland on July 4, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Count to 10 on July 4, 2012 at 11:12 AM

What “drop in temperatures in the early 2000s”?

The reference for the graph appears under the graph.

oakland on July 4, 2012 at 11:18 AM

oakland, why are you only able to assert argumentum ad verecundiam assūmere instead of at least trying to discuss the actual science? Do you really hate science that much?

blink on July 4, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Yes. Real science bad, scientific dogma good!

Dunedainn on July 4, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Do you really hate science that much?

No, I actually love science (three degrees).

Show me the science.

What about the graph? Why the difference between what the denialists were screaming at me all through the 90s and what actually happened?

oakland on July 4, 2012 at 11:20 AM

blink on July 4, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Sorry Blink, but you haven’t answered any or my questions, and have provided no data or information from expert sources.

Once again, why the divergence between what I was told by the strong skeptics and what actually happened?

oakland on July 4, 2012 at 11:27 AM

From link:

Skeptical Science is maintained by John Cook, the Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland

From Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland’s
Our Work link:

Transforming Institutions, Policy and Society:
the GCI will seek to promote the adoption of technologies and solutions to address the challenges of global change…
Communications and engagement activity will foster debate on critical issues, and promote the uptake of credible information and knowledge to ensure long-term, sustainable resource use.

Yay science.

rogerb on July 4, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Yay science.

rogerb on July 4, 2012 at 11:27 AM

The caption to the graph on the link:

Figure 1: Global temperature (red, NASA GISS) and Total solar irradiance (blue, 1880 to 1978 from Solanki, 1979 to 2009 from PMOD).

So, tell me, do the guys at NASA just have it all wrong? If so, then who has it right?

oakland on July 4, 2012 at 11:35 AM

In fact, you continue to refuse to admit that you know what is meant by CAGW.

Yes, Blink, I do refuse to admit… Because you haven’t educated me as to the meaning of the term.

Why won’t you? I suspect because you don’t know either.

oakland on July 4, 2012 at 11:36 AM

BA’s and MA’s don’t count.

Correct. But my two BSs and one MS do.

oakland on July 4, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Third, your chart uses GISS. Explain why GISS is diverging from HadCrut.

What’s HadCrut? Provide a reference. The data have been processed by NASA.

oakland on July 4, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Erika Johnsen:

Did it ever occur to you in preparing this article that the MOST OBVIOUS explanation of the CO2 level decline is that the “prevailing theory” linking CO2 to human activity is TOTALLY WRONG????

The greenies and their apologists keep skipping by the inconvenient “validation” which true science requires. They keep trying to substitute “concensus” (aka “politics”) for “science” (aka “search for TRUTH”)!!! As a result, we can expect more and more of their increasingly dire and loony predictions to become exposed as FRAUD.

While it may be satisfying to claim “private sector” credit for a result which greenies say can only be obtained by “big government,” this assertion really begs the bigger question: “was human activity of any kind ever a significant causal factor in climate?”

I see the long-term scientific evidence as responding with a resounding NO: the climate is caused by cosmic forces infinitely larger than anything man can produce or control, and puny life species can either adapt to the climate or die.

Our ability to survive depends upon our ability to adapt: NOT our use of hair spray or SUV’s. There is absolutely no need to concede the greenies’ false premise in order to refute them.

landlines on July 4, 2012 at 11:43 AM


You’re not about citing science, and only about exchanging insults.

If this is about who can insult the most, I declare you the winner.

Oakland out.

oakland on July 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

two BSs and one MS

oakland on July 4, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Don’t sell yourself short, you’re full of BS.

That said, Bachelors degrees (especially more than one) don’t mean much of anything and in any hard science, Masters are generally given out as consolation prizes for those who don’t (or can’t) finish PhDs. A Masters degree in a hard science is nothing to be overly proud of.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 4, 2012 at 11:57 AM

But of course no one really cares about CO2 emissions, CO2 does NOT drive temperature as all the good science has clearly shown.

The Cap & Tax schemes aren’t about reducing CO2, they are about robbing you blind with ever increasing taxes for a HOAX problem. So the powers that be, will not be convinced by this data because their objective is to get your money.

If we don’t put the man-made Global Warming HOAX into the proper context, we will never beat it. Step #1, should be to cut ALL public funding for so called Global Warming research. Only then will the Global Warming fraud be defeated.

If you don’t believe man-made Global Warming is a HOAX, then watch these.

The Great Global Warming Swindle

Global Warming Doomsday Called Off


Axion on July 4, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Definitely, heads should roll at the IPCC… Skeptics should be welcomed into the debate, as they help keep the process honest.
oakland on February 7, 2010 at 1:29 PM


Denialists were blue-in-the-face…
oakland on July 4, 2012 at 8:12 AM


rogerb on July 4, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Holy cow! That’s what’s causing our Great Midwestern Heat Wave. No co2 emissions to keep the heat out! AlGore!…..Calling ALGore!

Herb on July 5, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Comment pages: 1 2