Climate Change

Leftmedia Hot Air on 2018 Carbon-Emissions Increase

Ecofascists are warning that emissions are slated to take off once again. They're wrong.

Jordan Candler · Jan. 15, 2019

A paradoxical development in the U.S. of late has been its reduced CO2 footprint. This reduction has occurred even though President Donald Trump removed the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. Yet the Left assured us this feat was impossible to accomplish without acceding to a global pact. Now ecofascists are asserting that new data on CO2 emissions prove that the downward trend in emissions is unsustainable and that emissions are slated to take off once again. They are wrong on both counts.

According to the Rhodium Group, “After three years of decline, US carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rose sharply last year. Based on preliminary power generation, natural gas, and oil consumption data, we estimate emissions increased by 3.4% in 2018. This marks the second largest annual gain in more than two decades — surpassed only by 2010 when the economy bounced back from the Great Recession.”

Investor’s Business Daily says the report “has set off alarms in all the predictable media quarters.” But before getting our knickers in a twist, it’s important to consider why emissions might have risen. “Thanks to a booming economy set off by President Trump’s new trade deals, tax cuts and deregulation, in the past two years the U.S. has seen manufacturing jobs surge,” Investor’s explains. That surge manifested in roughly 500,000 additional manufacturing positions. “All those people going back to work in refurbished factories in America’s Heartland … helped push emissions from manufacturing up 5.7% last year alone.”

Other causes for the emissions increases might include jet fuel (33.1%), diesel fuel (3%), electricity producers (1.9%), and Old Man Winter. “That’s right,” Investor’s says. “Businesses and homes used more fuel for heat than they have in years. Rhodium noted that CO2 from this winter effect rose 10% in 2018.” A similar situation could unfold this year. Over the coming weeks, severe cold is expected to encompass a large swath of the country.

“A healthy economy always produces more CO2 when it’s growing fast than otherwise,” Investor’s observes. “Our current growth rate is roughly 50% higher than it was under President Obama. If it didn’t produce more CO2, that would be surprising.” The editors also point out, “By the way, those gains in CO2 won’t go on forever. The next slump or slowdown will take care of that, by causing many companies to close and many people to lose their jobs. And fracking will continue to chip away at our CO2 emissions. … The truth is, the world is getting much cleaner, when measured by CO2 output per dollar of GDP. So is the U.S. It’s decarbonizing. And as the world population begins to decline later this century and new energy technologies come on line … CO2 emissions won’t be a problem, real or imagined.”

In other words, when it comes to emissions rhetoric, our media need to cool it. A warming economy is far more alluring than a temporary increase in CO2 that, truth be told, may not even have anything to do with climate change.

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