At Doha Climate Talks, U.S. Touts ‘Enormous’ Progress Cutting Carbon Pollution. Seriously.

Faithful reader have been waiting more than 6 years for reality to catch up to the name of this blog. So I am delighted to report that despite those doomsayers at the New York Times and New Scientist, the United States of America, at least, is finally making some big-time Climate Progress.

How do we know? Because one of our senior negotiators at the international climate conference in Doha, Qatar, Jonathan Pershing, said so:

Those who don’t know what the US is doing may not be informed of the scale and extent of the effort, but it’s enormous.”

For the uninformed, here is what “enormous” climate progress — in scale and extent — looks like, according to the US Energy Information Administration:

Woo-hoo! All we need is a ten more years like 2009, and we’ll achieve the catastrophe-averting 80% reduction in carbon pollution by mid-century that Obama campaigned on.

Yes, the administration is touting emissions reductions that were due in large part to the economic collapse and subsequent slow economic growth, coupled with the low price of natural gas (which itself was partly due to the unnaturally warm weather last winter and spring, as the EIA notes).

Not that the U.S. has been a total slacker in climate policy. Obama has put in place impressive fuel economy standards and made major investments in clean energy. States have pushed renewable electricity through portfolio standards. For a detailed breakdown of all the reasons for the drop in carbon pollution, see “Shale Gas And The Overhyping Of Its CO2 Reductions.”

But the “scale and extent of the effort” is minimal, at best, compared to the scale and extent of the problem.

15 Responses to At Doha Climate Talks, U.S. Touts ‘Enormous’ Progress Cutting Carbon Pollution. Seriously.

  1. rollin says:

    I have a few questions concerning the IEA graph of emissions. In general, what is being measured, the birth to grave emissions or just the final end use emissions? Secondly, why do all these reports and discussions focus only on CO2? There are several other important greenhouse gases that represent significant warming.

  2. Mike Roddy says:

    Those negotiators sure know how to work the press, and pretend like the US has been making a lot of progress. Reporters who know it’s a farce will go along, since they like a junket where they can sit by the pool during breaks and watch belly dancing at night.

    The Cold War didn’t begin to end until Gorbachev instituted glasnost, or openness. The American people have no idea what we are facing, thanks to our media companies following instructions from corporate fossil fuel advertisers. Until the public understands what Climate Progress readers know so well, nothing will change.

  3. Lore says:

    I believe the CIA gave Jonathan Pershing the wrong talking points.

  4. Zimzone says:

    Doha must have a huge carbon footprint…
    a perfect place to hold energy conservation / climate change talks?

  5. Nell says:

    Strong words:

    “We want to send a very clear message. We will not accept a second commitment period that is not worth the paper that it’s written on,” Asad Rehman of the Climate Justice Now! network told delegates. “We will not collude in a lie if that locks us into eight years of inaction and that condemns people and planet to a climate catastrophe.”

    UN says thawing permafrost to boost global warming

  6. fj says:

    Thr message must be loud, clear and repeated often that we must stop climate change at wartime speed which is onnow running out of control and will only get worse.

  7. prokaryotes says:

    Doha: It is not enough to re-arrange the deckchairs of the titanic.

  8. Plantiful says:

    Jonathan Pershing is simply taking advantage of the economic collapse and the use of shale gas to offset coal-related emissions. The United States, itself, has done zero towards reducing carbon emissions to the atmosphere, and perhaps has increased it by outsourcing all of our manufacturing to China, who is burning coal as fast as they can extract it from the ground.

    The biggest source of carbon emissions in the United States is household, followed by manufacturing. To cut emissions at the household, there are several technologies available:

    lighting: LED and CFL lights,

    heating: passive solar, geothermal, biodiesel, wood stoves.

    air conditioning: windows, geothermal

    hot water: solar, biodiesel.

    electricity production: photovoltaic, wind

    Transportation: biodiesel, electric, hybrid. Trucks are truly a waste in comparison to railroad.

    There have been few if any mandates from the government. Home builders complain that it is too expensive to put sustainable energy sources into a house, yet during the great housing boom, there were no such systems installed as “standard,” but 4000+ sq. ft. homes were being pushed up all over the country, which now have to be heated and A/C’d. If not then to install such systems, when? Mandates are needed.

    The United States has done nothing.
    What is needed is a global carbon tax, placed on all countries to eliminate pollution-based competition. The tax would be based on amount of carbon, country’s total emissions, per capital emissions, and local currency values. The greater the total emissions and per capita emissions and currency value, the greater the cost per tonne of carbon dioxide. This would probably put the US at the highest rate, but we also have the greatest technology to make the changes, and we chose not to.

    All monies would be used to advance sustainable energy technologies and to subsidize installations, with subsidies more favored towards poorer countries ad highest carbon pollution.

  9. PeterM says:

    Are C02 levels dropping year to year month to month?Last week we where over 393ppm- -we have six months to peak over the winter rise.

    400 or more ppm in My 2013? The media can lie- to sell their Escalades, their I Phones, and their products that represent a high carbon footprint- and the American people will go down the toilet along with this garbage.

  10. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    We’ll know the full significance of these, on the surface rather preposterous assertions, when we see the US position at the end of negotiations. If the USA is constructive and progress is made, then perhaps there is hope for a second-term Obama regime, after all.

  11. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Doha, also the site of the stalled ‘free (for all, but the rich in particular) trade’ talks and the home of the Wahhabist Qatari despotism. An appropriate venue for a fiasco, but let’s wait and see. I live in hope of being surprised-pleasantly for a change.

  12. prokaryotes says:

    Humans are capable of surprising progress, once thresholds are breached. Everybody can (and should) work on a local level, no matter where you are. Let’s get this started!

  13. prokaryotes says:

    Yes. It’s because of the season cycle. May is usually the month with the highest ppm value.

    The term for this cycle is called the biological pump. The Wikipedia has quiet good readings on this.

    To get the recorded data you can find a overview here

  14. John McCormick says:

    I predict a CO2 ppm level, in May, 2013, of 399.4 ppm.

  15. Ozonator says:

    “One worker is missing after a huge tornado hit the Ilva steelworks in Taranto, the surrounding area and the nearby town of Statte, on the morning of November 28. … The entire plant lost all power and lightning struck a tower, causing the crash of several big blocks of cement inside the hot metalworking area. Large fires broke out, some areas of the plant had to be evacuated … A tower, a chimneystack and a warehouse collapsed and 20 workers were injured. All streets around the plant were closed due to the risk of explosion …. Maurizio Landini, leader of the metallurgical union FIOM CGIL, has demanded a partial and temporary re-nationalization of the plant … in order to solve the enormous environmental problems in Taranto whilst also preserving jobs. Two days after an arrest warrant was issued, Fabio Riva (son of founder Emilio Riva and deputy chairman of Riva Group) is untraceable … holding the European record for deaths in the workplace and causing the poisoning of an entire province, is on the run” (“Tornado hits Taranto: one Ilva worker missing, large-scale damage in the steelworks”; Posted By StrugglesInItaly;, 11/28/12).

    With condolences, on 11/25/12, I sent out – “GBRWE 11/25 – 12/1/12 ‘regular’ for global warming predictions: sports, rainfall, tornadic, hurricane, and stellar ecosystems with tectonic quantities … by Robert Rhodes, The “Ozonator” … B1. Weeks’ Reporting Period of GBRWE 11/25 – 12/1/12. … from American extremists’ holy environmental racism from global warming, the still Brain-dead Ronaldus Magnus Model of Hatred and Greed & T-bags – tornadoes, blizzards, torrential rain, and other forms of lightning or something uglier will develop in titanic swathes within 2 weeks – a). Earth: … Murcia – Alger – Cagliari – Palermo – Taranto”.

    From a body in search of a soul, “UN Climate Chief: Extreme weather calls for action — Urges governments to ‘do something about it’ … UN’s Christiana Figueres … Climate Depot Response: ‘Governments should ‘do something’ to stop bad weather? Oh my. Medieval witchcraft lives on in the 21st Century’” (racketeering found on 11/28/12) (Marc ‘Mengele’ Morano whistle-sucker performing/perfuming the stink at