Oh, that terrible Trump. He withdrew us from the Paris climate accords, and now icebergs untethered from Antartica will soon float up the Mississippi River and destroy St. Louis.
The Europeans are contemptuous of our decision not to join their One-World Government and submit our economic future to the incomparable IQs of the central planners in Brussels. And yet, who is doing the most, right here, right now, to reduce carbon emissions and whatever effect they have on global warming?
The United States of America. You know, the bad guys.
From a June 2016 article in Forbes:
The U.S. also leads the world in reducing carbon emissions for the most recent 5- and 10-year periods. Over the past 5 years U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have fallen by 270 million tons. In 2nd place for that period was the UK, with a 93 million ton decline. Over the most recent 5-year period, China led the world with a 1.1 billion ton increase. India was in 2nd place with a 540 million ton increase.
U.S. emissions have fallen at about the rate of those of the entire European Union, even as our economic growth — and hunger for carbon molecules — has far outpaced theirs. And yet you would never know that given the opprobrium heaped on us from our far-more-enlightened — and over-regulated — friends on The Continent.
Why are we doing so well? Let me introduce another commonly known dirty word, to go alongside “America.” That is, “fracking.”
As Forbes notes, the biggest contributor to our carbon emissions decline is not Barack Obama running around spinning windmills. It’s the growing production of natural gas.
The Washington Examiner explains where that’s coming from:
As the Wall Street Journal reports, fracking-based energy firms in Texas’ Permian Basin are finding a useful side-benefit to their innovation: gas comes up alongside the oil! The consequence: a growing glut of cheap natural gas. This gas is the golden ticket. It offers American businesses and families access to cheap energy, and an alternative to polluting energy sources . . . it is cheaper and far more emissions-efficient than coal, and it doesn’t require massive public expenditures. In the coming years, more consumers and utilities will choose gas over coal. And indirectly, total carbon emissions will fall. Along with new technologies such as battery-based vehicles, this gas is the path to a lower carbon emissions future.
Could it be that the future of stemming the earth’s warming does not come from bankrupting Western economies, but from private sector spending on basic energy research and innovations that get more out of fossil fuels, with cleaner and more efficient results?
Sure, we should continue research on renewables. But these technologies are mostly not ready to be deployed. Let’s allow Bill Gates to invest all he wants in cars that plug into wall sockets, and if you want to risk freezing beneath your solar panels while the sun don’t shine, that’s your business.
Meantime, American entrepreneurs will continue to figure out surprising new ways to create efficiencies and new technologies that reduce the cost of energy and the emissions that result.