The year of living stupidly is over. No longer must we put up with the nonsense that Bush’s policies are anything but an outright catastrophe for greenhouse gas emissions and future generations.
President Bush immediately released a statement:
We are effectively contributing to the problem of global climate change through flawed energy policy, obstructionist domestic and international climate policy, and general disinformation.
Okay, he didn’t release that statement, but he should have, given that after EIA revealed the temporary dip last year, he claimed:
Bush is so funny it hurts.
As an important aside, the main reason carbon dioxide emissions growth haven’t been even faster under Bush is that he’s had two economic slowdowns, 9/11 (which severely depressed air travel), and a rapidly growing trade deficit with China. Had we manufactured in this country everything we actually consumed over the past seven years, the rate of growth of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions would have been about 50% higher [I discussed this point in my book, but haven't yet blogged on it, an omission I will remedy shortly].
For a year we have been putting up with nonsense from the administration and conservative groups about Bush’s successful climate policy compared to the rest of the world. In September, the President actually said “Do you realize that the United States is the only major industrialized nation that cut greenhouse gases last year?”
Everybody knew it was a confluence of unique factors that had nothing to do with Bush policy — “higher gasoline prices, a sharp drop in heating demand from an unusually warm winter, which helped bring about a decline in natural gas prices (and hence more use of this clean fuel for electricity generation).” Nobody who advanced the nonsensical claim that Bush’s policies had something to do with the 2006 emissions drop took up my bet on 2007 emissions,
$100 for every 0.1% emissions drop this year against $100 for every 0.1% rise this year.
Too bad. I could have used the $1600. I can’t really make the same offer again for 2008 because Bush’s energy and economic policies have driven the economy into the ground, while allowing gasoline prices (and the trade deficit with China) to continue to soar, so my guess is U.S. emissions will rise only slightly, if at all, this year.
Now that the year of living stupidly is over, perhaps we can get back to the serious business of adopting climate policies that actually do reduce emissions year after year.
You can get all of the details on 2007 U.S. emissions from EIA here.