By Sam Foster
Looks like recessions are pro-environment. According to a new report, the recession has reduced carbon emissions by 1.3%. Not really a big shocker. A worldwide recession cuts worldwide consumption, which cuts worldwide production and thus less electricity is needed. What you need to pay attention to, is not that the recession cuts carbon, but just how little it cuts.
USA Today reports:
The emissions decrease of 1.3% from 2008 to 2009 was directly related to the economic crisis, says study lead author Pierre Friedlingstein of the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. "There is a close link between the world's gross domestic product and emissions of carbon dioxide," he says.
Over the past century, human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil, have added increasing amounts of carbon dioxide into the Earth's atmosphere. Production of cement also contributes a tiny amount of carbon to the air.
The 2009 drop was less than half of what was expected, says Friedlingstein, partly because the drop in global GDP was less than expected. The total of 30.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide was the second highest in human history, just below the 2008 emissions.
The study projects that if the economic recovery proceeds as expected, global fossil fuel emissions will increase by more than 3% in 2010, approaching the high emissions growth rates observed from 2000 to 2008.
So massive global downturn cuts carbon by a whopping 1.3%. How's cap and trade suppose to solve all our problems again?
John, a frequent LCR reader/commenter responds:
The USA story is very vague... Or should I say a "spin"? In the last paragraph it refers these findings as "..is also good news".
I wonder if Doyle Rice would feel the same way if he lost his job and was one of the many suffering in this recession...
So with the world GDP down by 5% it yielded only 1.3% reduction of CO2 output... Hmmm
"There is a close link between the world's gross domestic product and emissions of carbon dioxide," he says.
But yet, the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere is 0.039%
I'm still not buying the dead horse no matter how long they continue to beat it.