Record Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Energy in 2010

The big news of the month of May came at its very end. The International Energy Agency estimates that carbon dioxide emissions due to energy – heat and electricity – rose to a record level in 2010. In 2009 emissions from these sources fell, due to the financial crisis, but since the recovery emissions are on the rise and were 5% higher than the previous record year in 2008. These are records of shame, recording the first steps of our descent into self destruction.

The rises are thought to be mainly due to increased fossil fuel energy use inChinaandIndia, two countries exempted from the Kyoto protocol on Climate Change. It seems clear that China and India, as prosperity increases, so use of fossil fuel energy will increase. Both countries have some renewable energy and nuclear energy but coal is a cheap and convenient source of power to both and both will continue to burn coal in ever increasing amounts pouring more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Almost everyone in the world agrees that it is essential to limit global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius. Having agreed that is essential the leaders of the world, influenced by those with money and by multinational companies, actually do very little to see that our heirs will not have to cope with rises of 3 or 4 degrees Celsius.

I know there are emissions trading schemes, but they will not limit emissions, nor will emission targets imposed by some nations on themselves without mandating the means to achieve them and prevent the emissions leaking elsewhere, as multinational and big business exports our emissions to China. You can expect rises in these emissions every year for at least nine years

The only way to solve this conundrum is for the developed nations to impose emission controls on themselves, mandated by legal requirements to bring in measures while at the same time taxing goods made in places which do not have stringent emission control and reduction laws. It may mean that we have to pay more for our consumer goods that are made for our abroad, but if so, so be it.

There is no point is creating growth that feeds climate change. In doing so we are creating cancers, not a strong and healthy planet.

One Response

  1. Yes, of course the climate has changed in the past and each change has had specific causes. What is evident now, is the the current period of warming is being caused by human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuels and that it will continue to get worse if we carry on the way we are. Unfortunately, some people will always deny warning signs, which is why human history is full of the misery of war, famine and collapsed civilizations.

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