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Home Climate Change Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Rise in Earth’s Temperature

From a reader:

What I can’t understand is this, supported by about every climate scientist on the globe: If the U.S. stopped producing 100% of all CO2, it would change global temperature by year 2100 a negligible amount (-.246°F)  according to Forbes. Why are we doing all the green revisions for this? Our money can be better applied elsewhere where it would really change the lives of people short term and long term.

Before I answer this, let me point out that virtually anyone can write for Forbes, and what a single author publishes there usually has very little regard for the scientific consensus on this subject or any another.

Another point to be made is there is no correlation between what the U.S. does re: carbon emissions and global warming to the thousandth of a degree.  What does exist are calculations that a range of emissions scenarios will bring us various levels in temperature rise, though, of course, this gets pretty fuzzy as we push further and further out into time.  (See graph below.)

Now, let’s turn to your message, that the U.S. alone can do very little or nothing that will materially mitigate climate change.

You are correct to point out that this is an international problem. The United States represents <20% of the world’s GHG emissions. The solution isn’t for one nation, the U.S. or any other, to cut out its fossil fuel consumption immediately, and have its economy grind to a sudden halt while people freeze to death in the winter.

The answer lies in global decarbonization in the shortest period of time feasible.

Outside of Asia, the world has made some progress in this arena. Emissions from China and India, however, are skyrocketing.  If we are to have a solution, it will come in the form of extremely inexpensive solar and wind, coupled by nuclear power, a package that all countries around the world can adopt.

This, in turn, can only happen if we find a way to say no to Big Oil, and refuse to let them roast this planet and its inhabitants alive.

energy, 2GreenEnergy

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