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Energy Department: World CO2 Emissions Rising Faster Than Ever

Energy Department: World CO2 Emissions Rising Faster Than Ever

Energy Department: World CO2 Emissions Rising Faster Than Ever | Mother Jones.

New figures released by the Department of Energy show that the world is emitting carbon dioxide at a rate much faster than scientists had predicted. Global CO2 emissions reached 10 billion tons in 2010, the Oak Ridge National Lab reports, about 564 million tons or 6 percent more than emitted in 2009. It’s the biggest annual jump ever recorded thus far

 

 

The new figure also means CO2 is now being emitted at a rate higher than the figure the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) used in 2007 to project its worst-case scenario for global temperature increase by the end of the century (depicted by the red line in the graph below):

 

 

In light of the new DOE report, the question scientists are asking now is whether the world will experience the IPCC’s worst case scenario “or something more extreme,” Christopher Field, a Stanford University professor and head of one of the IPCC’s working groups, said.

NeilS – So, now I think we can fully agree that the science behind human-caused global warming is real.  Even the Koch Brothers’ own study found that “global warming is real.” Often I hear the idea that humans are too small and insignificant to cause global warming, but clearly this is not the case any more.  With 7 billion people consuming energy on this planet, global warming is real and must be dealt with.

Some would say that global warming is not a big deal because as some areas become arid and drought-ridden others will become habitable.  What I say to them is that, as usual, the weak, poor, young and disenfranchised people of the world will be disproportionately affected by global warming.  The people that are the root cause of most global warming (rich energy consumers) will be able to move to more habitable climates and avoid the brunt of destruction in many ways.  On the other hand, the poor farmer in Africa or India who barely contributes to world CO2 emissions will starve to death and watch their friends, family members, and children perish.

It stands to reason that rich countries have a much higher level of energy consumed per capita.  Therefore they disproportionately increase world CO2 emissions relative to poorer countries that consume less power.  So, in the end, you have to ask yourself if this appeals to your moral sensibilities.  Are you not willing to pay a little bit extra for your energy so that innocent children around the world that contributed almost nothing to global warming can have a chance to survive?

The truth is that we have the capability to take this problem on, but people deluded into thinking that the free market solves every problem by itself have been sold a lie. Ask Charles Darwin or Adam Smith.  They would tell you that often in a system where individuals are trying to maximize their own benefit, they do it with much waste and to the detriment of the larger group.  That is what we are doing when we don’t care about how much CO2 we emit. Somewhere along the line someone will have to pay the price.  And the brunt of it will be felt by innocent individuals that didn’t contribute to the problem and have no means to escape their fate.

 

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