USA meets Kyoto protocol goal – without ever embracing it

New EIA data shows USA inadvertently meets 1997 Kyoto protocol CO2 emission reductions without ever signing on thanks to a stagnant economy. Lowest level of CO2 emissions since 1994.

In 2012, a surprising twist and without ever ratifying it, the United States became the first major industrialized nation in the world to meet the United Nation’s original Kyoto Protocol 2012 target for CO2 reductions.

WUWT readers may recall that Kyoto was an international agreement proposed in December 1997 requiring nations (according to the U.N. press release then) to reduce CO2 emissions by 5.2% by 2012.  It became international law when ratified by Russia in November 2004. The United States never ratified Kyoto and is not legally bound by it, even though then vice president Al Gore signed it much to the annoyance of many.

It expired on December 31st, 2012, with no replacement agreement to follow it.

Well, it seems like killing the economy went hand in hand with CO2 reductions, imagine that. The graph below is from EIA with my annotations.

kyoto_met_1997-2012

From the EIA report:

Energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2012 were the lowest in the United States since 1994, at 5.3 billion metric tons of CO2 (see figure above). With the exception of 2010, emissions have declined every year since 2007.

The largest drop in emissions in 2012 came from coal, which is used almost exclusively for electricity generation (see figure below). During 2012, particularly in the spring and early summer, low natural gas prices led to competition between natural gas- and coal-fired electric power generators. Lower natural gas prices resulted in reduced levels of coal generation, and increased natural gas generation—a less carbon-intensive fuel for power generation, which shifted power generation from the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel (coal) to the least carbon-intensive fossil fuel (natural gas).

Other factors contributing to the lower emissions include decreased demand for transportation fuels and mild winter temperatures that reduced demand for heating. The warm winter months during 2012 (particularly in the first quarter) more than offset a slight increase in cooling degree days during the summer months. EIA recently published preliminary data for January-December 2012 in the March 2013 edition of the Monthly Energy Review, which includes statistics covering all aspects of energy. EIA will publish a full analysis of 2012 energy-related CO2 emissions later this year.

Source: http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=10691

CSV data available here: http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/chartdata/US_annual_carbon_emissions.csv

==============================================================

AZLeader (who provided this tip) writes:

Kyoto is the bedrock of international law that serves as the legal foundation used by all nations for their individual actions taken to reduce global CO2 emissions. The United States, the lone non-signatory, is now the only major polluter to have met the standard.

Today the EIA simply reports that U.S. CO2 emissions in 2012 were the lowest since 1994. Though amazing in itself, it is not headline news. Meeting the Kyoto Protocol standard should be front page news.

U.S. Meets Kyoto Protocol Standard

The downloaded data shows that U.S. total CO2 emissions for coal, oil and natural gas were 5,584 (million) metric tons in 1997.

It also shows that U.S. CO2 emissions rose to 6,023 (million) metric tons of CO2 in 2007 before they began to fall.

In 2012, U.S. CO2 emissions fell to 5,293 (million) metric tons. That is 291 (million) metric tons less than they were in 1997 and 730 (million) metric tons less than their 2007 peak.

Drum roll please…
291 (million) metric tons below 1997 levels is a 5.2% reduction in CO2 emissions. It EXACTLY meets the Kyoto requirement!

Graph of annual light bulb sales, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review
Download CSV Data

Meanwhile, world CO2 emissions haven’t slowed, clearly the USA isn’t the problem.

83 thoughts on “USA meets Kyoto protocol goal – without ever embracing it

  1. “Well, it seems like killing the economy went hand in hand with CO2 reductions, imagine that.”

    priceless

  2. This doesn’t make sense unless the coal plants spend more time idling than gas generation stations. Is that the case, or, are this yet another bad computer model?

  3. Anthony,

    I think we were supposed to reduce our emissions by 7% below 1990 levels.

    -Chip

    REPLY: Yes, that is one aspect, but see this U.N. press release:

    Kyoto, 11 December 1997 – After 10 days of tough negotiations, ministers and other high-level officials from 160 countries reached agreement this morning on a legally binding Protocol under which industrialized countries will reduce their collective emissions of greenhouse gases by 5.2%.

    http://unfccc.int/cop3/fccc/info/indust.htm

    -Anthony

  4. Can’t you see that the energy-related carbon dioxide emissions graph follows the global temperature graph well?? You fools… ;)

  5. I thought the treaty required emissions below 1990, not 1997. Did this get changed?

    REPLY: Note the press release where they headline 5.2% – Anthony

  6. It was the fracking fracking that did it! Tony, you made your contribution with your fotovoltaic things on your roof (same incentive – money) Clever move!

    The next thing the Warmistas will moan about is that it is a global problem. Let’s just say that it is the Chinese’s fault – everyone will beleive that.

    http://www.google.dk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.pbl.nl/sites/default/files/cms/afbeeldingen/pbl-2012-global-co2-emissions-per-region-1990-2011.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.pbl.nl/en/publications/2012/trends-in-global-co2-emissions-2012-report&h=313&w=435&sz=69&tbnid=YznYptLn4yGLWM:&tbnh=93&tbnw=129&zoom=1&usg=__mMVIa2PLpua52MY4nmnGA-bjl0w=&docid=rmyQkDN0k2Wf7M&hl=da&sa=X&ei=lTdfUdnrM7PR4QTDr4HQCQ&ved=0CEwQ9QEwAw&dur=1602

  7. JDN says:

    This doesn’t make sense unless the coal plants spend more time idling than gas generation stations. Is that the case, or, are this yet another bad computer model?
    ————————————————————————————————-
    Coal-fired electric plants are being replaced by natural gas fired ones… that is how it works.

  8. lsvalgaard says:
    April 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm
    Basic scientific literacy is needed here. The number is off by a factor of a million.
    =========================================================
    Whoops! You are right… missed that little “billion” reference… correction to be made.

    What is being a tiny, little 6 orders of magnitude off among friends? LOL!!!!

  9. Wait just a minute…

    If one of the major industrialized nations in the world met the Kyoto protocol, why isn’t that Mauna Loa CO2 graph still climbing? It should be starting to decline…

    Something’s just not right….

  10. So if we keep in world wide recession we can save the world? Can’t say I like the sound of that.

  11. You gotta read beyond the headline.

    First: 5.2% was a weighted average collective target for all participating developed nations. The US target was 7%.

    “The 5.2% reduction in total developed country emissions will be realized through national reductions of 8% by Switzerland, many Central and East European states, and the European Union (the EU will achieve its target by distributing differing reduction rates to its member states); 7% by the US; and 6% by Canada, Hungary, Japan, and Poland. Russia, New Zealand, and Ukraine are to stabilize their emissions, while Norway may increase emissions by up to 1%, Australia by up to 8%, and Iceland 10%.”

    Second, while the treaty was signed in 1997, the base year for reduction calculations was 1990 (or 1995 for certain GHGs).

    “The agreement aims to lower overall emissions from a group of six greenhouse gases by 2008-12, calculated as an average over these five years. Cuts in the three most important gases – carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N20) – will be measured against a base year of 1990. Cuts in three long-lived industrial gases – hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) – can be measured against either a 1990 or 1995 baseline. If compared to expected emissions levels for the year 2000, the total reductions required by the Protocol will actually be about 10%; this is because many industrialized countries have not succeeded in meeting their earlier non-binding aim of returning their emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000, and their emissions have in fact risen since 1990. Compared to the emissions levels that would be expected by 2010 without emissions-control measures, the Protocol target represents a 30% cut. The Protocol should therefore send a powerful signal to business that it needs to accelerate the delivery of climate-friendly products and services.”

    So, if I’m going to nitpick details… 7% below 1990 level is a bigger target than 5.2% below 1997 levels.

    But that doesn’t take away from the main point that the US has indeed reduced emissions substantially in the last 5 years, thanks to a shale gas boom and an economic bust.

  12. Meanwhile, CO2 emission increases by China and India have exceeded our reduction several times over.

    So just what did Kyoto achieve?

    Actually, does anyone know exactly how EIA arrives at a figure for CO2 emissions? They certainly aren’t measuring it, so I assume they just take fuel produced + fuel imported – fuel exported and assume that much is burned?

  13. JDN says:
    April 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    “This doesn’t make sense unless the coal plants spend more time idling than gas generation stations.”

    Natural gas gets energy out of its hydrogen content and carbon; coal only carbon.

    So when do you guys go after the rest of the world and demand your compensation for the CO2 pollution that is still rising! Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

  14. All those hard-won reductions from a depressed economy and I can’t even see the slightest dent in that Mauna Loa graph of CO2 emissions. Could it be that Mother Nature is still in charge?

  15. Leif and Anthony…
    I quoted numbers off the EIA spreadsheet.. that is where the typo originated…. sorry about that!

    I should have noticed that the EIA graphics were labeled correctly. The numbers seemed low but I just went with the spreadsheet.

    lsvalgaard says:
    April 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    The downloaded data shows that U.S. total CO2 emissions for coal, oil and natural gas were 5,584 metric tons in 1997.
    Basic scientific literacy is needed here. The number is off by a factor of a million.

    REPLY: Just a typo, fixed.

    Note also EIA in their spreadsheet makes the same labeling error

    http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/chartdata/US_annual_carbon_emissions.csv

    – Anthony

  16. In fact, the US has done so well in reducing CO2 emissions while NOT being a signatory, that Canada decided to opt out as well! /sarc

    Not sure where Canada’s emissions are these days though. Despite the federal government pulling out of the treaty obligations, some provinces have gone for it big time. Stupidly large amounts of money are being paid by electricity consumers in Ontario for boondoggle renewable schemes and BC instituted a scam of a Carbon tax (check out Donna Laframboise’s coverage of the auditors report here http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2013/04/02/auditor-general-slams-carbon-offset-system/ – WOW). I am sure the CO2 emissions figures are out there somewhere which show how “successful” they have been…..

  17. We obviously need more fracking and all-out nuclear war against India and China to stop them from building their evil coal-fired power plants.

  18. JDN : Regarding why replacing coal with natural gas reduces CO2.

    Natural gas is composed of short chain hydrocarbons (methane, ethane, butane). Coal is composed of long chains of “organic” carbon compounds. Proportionally more carbon vs hydrogen is burned using coal. Carbon vs Hydrogen in Methane is 1 to 4, in coal it’s about 1 to 1 (or less). Of course, coal has higher energy density and is safer and easier to store. Of course, burning natural gas yields more of that most significant GHG, dihydrogen monoxide.

  19. Meanwhile, Mother Gaia, who is NOT a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, has emitted 90,000 metric tons (sic) of CO2 into the atmosphere without a care in the world.

    p.s. Leif will fix my basic scientific illiteracy

  20. Further Down the press release it states specific targets by individual countries to attain the 5.2% decrease. The US target was 7% according to the press release.

    “The 5.2% reduction in total developed country emissions will be realized through national reductions of 8% by Switzerland, many Central and East European states, and the European Union (the EU will achieve its target by distributing differing reduction rates to its member states); 7% by the US; and 6% by Canada, Hungary, Japan, and Poland. Russia, New Zealand, and Ukraine are to stabilize their emissions, while Norway may increase emissions by up to 1%, Australia by up to 8%, and Iceland 10%.”

  21. Not news to me — I lived in Europe for much of the Bush presidency, and used to tweak my friends there whenever they complained about Bush “not signing Kyoto”. According to the US figures I could find all through that time, the USA growth in CO2 output essentially stopped in 2000, and it was certainly no greater when the 2008 crash hit than it was in 2001. Western European countries, however, had ever-increasing energy use — and the only reason they could plausibly claim to have a chance of meeting Kyoto commitments was because they had gamed the 1990 target by placing it conveniently AFTER the full implementation of the US Clean Air Act but Before the “Dash for Gas” and fall of the iron curtain in Europe.

  22. The reason that burning natural gas delivers less of the necessary plant nutrient carbon dioxide than burning coal is that the hydrogen in the natural gas also gets burned, which produces the vital chemical called water.

    The lower heat of combustion (he higher heat of combustion uses the latent heat in the produces water which is of no value in a boiler) of 21,500 Btu/lb for methane and 14,108 Btu/lb of carbon (which is the majority of the useful part of anthracite coal). However 1 lb of methane only has only .749 lb of carbon so we get 28,717 Btu/lb carbon when burning methane. Of course natural gas is seldom pure methane, but the other constituents that contain carbon also contain hydrogen so they retain a considerable advantage over coal unless you are actually trying to assist the growth of food crops by providing them with carbon dioxide.

    Since all petroleum products will contain hydrogen, this would even include the byproducts that Canada will get from their cleaning up the mess that mother nature made and is referred to as tar sands.

  23. Let me add that from 2010 to 2011 only the USA and Germany reduced CO2 emissions out of all Kyoto participants and all developed countries. all countries. From 2011 to 2012 the USA saw another reduction in CO2 emissions while Germany increased emissions by 3.2%. The USA still did better than most Kyoto participants and in the end participating in Kyoto was meaningless.

  24. It is a result of changes in economic decision making, these changes have been ongoing in the power generation fields for a long time as upgrades are incorporated when available during periodic maintenance, that have resulted in the increased efficiency of operation.

    Most of the coal fired technology, I have spent the past 10 years making parts for while on my CNC Milling machine job, for Alstrom Power Preheater have been dual gas/powdered coal burners, that can be adjusted from 100% NG to 100% powdered coal, starts with Natural gas to preheat boiler then adds in additional powdered coal to a set blend based on supply/price and on hand availability at the time. The combination of fuels can be adjusted on the fly, for optimal power/price/CO2 output as required.

    The rest of the output from the shop was mostly retro fitting older units to the newer powdered coal blower technology, with heat exchangers recapturing most of the post boiler exhaust heat back into the input to combustion side, raising efficiency. Centrifugal particle separators before final filtering that lowers the filter load greatly, were a common item we made, as well as water spray cleaning of output process gasses from other commercial material processing equipment, intricate huge pieces of total Stainless steel and inconiel art work that lasts a long time.

    The job I had before that was recycling tires by shredding then into chunks the land filling them, they converted over to the process of chopping the tires into golf ball sized chunks and mixed with coal (about 10%-15% tires to coal ratio) for co-burning them in older style coal fluidized bed type boilers. output is ash, CO2 water and drops of melted iron from the wire in the tires, sorted out magnetically and sent to refineries for making more iron again.

  25. Won’t change the coming carbon taxes. CO2 is a linear-threat, no-threshold item: no eco-green will say cutting back X amount is “enough”. And the feds need more money.

    Meet Kyoto twice over and this nonsens will still be going on. The EPA didn’t shrink its offices (and powers) after getting rid of the terrible 60s air pollution, did it?

  26. US CO2 emissions will probably go down further after the next economic crash, that Obama is setting you up for right now. It seems that one sub-prime housing crisis was not enough for him:

    The Obama administration is engaged in a broad push to make more home loans available to people with bad credit, an effort that officials say will help “power the economic recovery” (LOL) but that skeptics say could open the door to the risky lending that caused the housing crash in the first place:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/obama-administration-pushes-banks-to-make-home-loans-to-people-with-weaker-credit/2013/04/02/a8b4370c-9aef-11e2-a941-a19bce7af755_story.html

    Maybe you should consider charging your president with malfeasance.

  27. John Parsons AKA atarsinc

    Magus says:
    April 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm
    “Wonder how much press this will get (my guess is none)”

    Your guess is wrong. At least 68 news outlets have picked up the story so far. JP

  28. I’ve often wondered if the Kyoto protocols were, to some extent, meant to handicap the growth of developing nations like China, india, Brazil etc., to allow the industrialized leaders to maintain their lead.. If so, and since China, etc., did not go along with it and subsequently are looking to take over the lead, some part of the reason for the AGW meme in the first instance is being neutralized.

  29. Dang!
    I have to admit, I haven’t been doing my part to increase CO2 output this last winter. The + 4 cords of white oak firewood that I cut and split 2 years ago burns much slower and uniformly than the typical fir, alder, cedar, and big leaf maple that is the usual firewood fare here in The Great North Wet. It does take 2 years to get the dang white oak to dry sufficiently, given our relatively short and cool drying season though. But it is wonderful, only stoking the stove half as often and having that much more uniform heat available, when you come in from another cold, wet winter day!

    My apologies for being a CO2 slacker…. I’ll try to do better,
    MtK

  30. John Parsons AKA atarsinc

    Jimbo says:
    April 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm
    “A low carbon economy is a third world economy.”
    Top Three Greenest countries
    1 Switzerland 95.5
    2 Sweden 93.1
    3 Norway 93.1

    Fail. JP

  31. You can twist it anyway you want, the economy sucks.
    Government policy indecision is the cause.
    The private sector will find a path, it just needs a map showing where the roadblocks have been placed (that includes the duration of the impact, along with any route changes that might blow in with the wind).
    Then, they can start to plan.

    Oops, the grand-children have pre-approved all benefit plans, funded or not.

  32. u.k.(us),

    Excellent comment. Agree wholeheartedly.

    • • •

    atarsinc:

    Those countries are far from being “low carbon”. You want ‘low carbon’? See here.

  33. Not that world CO2 output matters much, but it would be fun to put a chart showing China’s CO2 increase on top of our reduction.

  34. To elmer:

    Do not be foolish. Chinese CO2 emissions have skyrocketed; virtually all Kyoto
    signatories missed their reduction targets. Atmospheric CO2 continued to climb,
    see the Mauna Loa graph above. The reason global warming has stopped is
    that the sensitivity of the global climate to atmospheric CO2 was far less than
    the climate modellers assumed when they built their computer models.

  35. Meanwhile in China where most of the things which US citizens consume are now manufactured…

  36. lsvalgaard says:
    April 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm
    “Basic scientific literacy is needed here. The number is off by a factor of a million.
    REPLY: Just a typo, fixed.
    Note also EIA in their spreadsheet makes the same labeling error

    That is not the issue. The issue is that a number off by a factor of a million should ring a LOUD bell and never be allowed to slip by. Would you have noticed a factor of a million the other way: “the production has been 214 oz”

    Baa Humbug says:
    April 5, 2013 at 3:10 pm
    Meanwhile, Mother Gaia, who is NOT a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, has emitted 90,000 metric tons (sic) of CO2 into the atmosphere without a care in the world.
    p.s. Leif will fix my basic scientific illiteracy

    I think this would be a lost cause as you also are off by a factor of a million…

  37. John Parsons AKA atarsinc

    Bob Diaz says:
    April 5, 2013 at 5:44 pm
    “Not that world CO2 output matters much…”

    Doesn’t matter? Read Dr. Dyson’s opinion. According to his thesis, if we are going to reap the great benefits of CO2, we need to INCREASE our burning of fossil fuels. I’d be interested to know if he, or others here, know if there is a point of diminishing returns. Wouldn’t it be best to burn as much Carbon as we can? Shouldn’t we stop encouraging the use of Natural Gas and move to the more carbon intensive burning of coal? JP

  38. The green scams are working as expected. The extreme AGW paradigm is a means to an end. (i.e. The NGO fanatics belief system is anti-industry. Industry is evil. Remove industry and people to create their ideal world. The path they propose lead off a cliff.) If your friends jumped off a cliff would you? Socialism is a great job creator until one runs out of money to spend. Government deficit spending is an effective means to create jobs for leaches.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/apr/02/eurozone-unemployment-record-high

    Eurozone unemployment hits record high of 12% Unemployment across the 17 eurozone countries rises to 12% for the first time since the single currency was launched in 1999. … guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 2 April 2013 12.48 BST

    The Clean Development Mechanism delivers the greatest green scam of all
    Timothy Wirth, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Global Issues, seconded Strong’s statement: “We have got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”
    “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony … climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.” – Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment … …“The models are convenient fictions that provide something very useful.”Dr David Frame, Climate modeler, Oxford University … …. “It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.” – Paul Watson, Co-founder of Greenpeace” “Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.” – Sir John Houghton, First chairman of the IPCC enemy to unite…

    ….Maurice Strong, senior advisor to Kofi Annan, U.N. Secretary-General who chaired the gigantic (40,000 participants) “U.N. Conference on Environment and Development” in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 , who was responsible for putting together the Kyoto Protocol with thousands of bureaucrats, diplomats, and politicians, stated: “We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrial civilization to collapse…isn’t it our job to bring that about”

    “In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill….All these dangers are caused by human intervention…and thus the “real enemy, then, is humanity itself….believe humanity requires a common motivation, namely a common adversary in order to realize world government. It does not matter if this common enemy is “a real one or…one invented for the purpose.” Quote by the Club of Rome.

    The Clean Energy Scam

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1725975,00.html

    Biofuel production ‘a crime against humanity’

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-04-14/biofuel-production-a-crime-against-humanity/2403402

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/8713093/The-BBC-steadfastly-avoids-the-facts-about-the-wind-farm-scam.html

    Helm did not tell us that this £140 billion equates to £5,600 for every household in the country. But he did admit that the plan was “staggeringly expensive”, and that, given the current extent of “fuel poverty” and the state of our economy, he doubted “if it can in fact be afforded”.
    Even shorter on hard facts, however, was Shukman’s report on a monster new wind farm off the coast of Cumbria, where a Swedish firm, Vattenfall, has spent £500 million on building 30 five megawatt turbines with a total “capacity” of 150MW. What Shukman did not tell us, because the BBC never does, is that, thanks to the vagaries of the wind, these machines will only produce a fraction of their capacity (30 per cent was the offshore average in the past two years). So their actual output is only likely to average 45MW, or £11 million per MW.
    … Thus the wind farm is 22 times more expensive, and could only be built because its owners will receive a 200 per cent subsidy: £40 million a year, on top of the £20 million they will get for the electricity itself. This we will all have to pay for through our electricity bills, whereas the unsubsidized cost of power from the gas plant, even including the price of the gas, will be a third as much.

    http://gigaom.com/cleantech/chart-the-death-spiral-of-solar-bankruptcies-counting/

    The solar death spiral has been long and ugly. Over the past year, there have been over a dozen stalwarts and startups that have headed to bankruptcy court.

    Two companies even filed for bankruptcies in this week alone: manufacturer Q-Cells, which was the worlds largest solar cell maker in 2008 and power plant developer Solar Trust of America, which just a year ago was on its way to build a few gigawatts of solar projects in the American Southwest…. …Solar Millennium tried to sell Solar Trust to a fellow German company, Solarhybrid, only to see Solarhybird, too, file for bankruptcy last month.

  39. village idiot says:
    April 5, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    It was the fracking fracking that did it! Tony, you made your contribution with your fotovoltaic things on your roof (same incentive – money) Clever move!

    Who is Tony? If you’re referring to Anthony, he doesn’t go by “Tony”.

  40. atarsinc says (April 5, 2013 at 7:49 pm): “Wouldn’t it be best to burn as much Carbon as we can? Shouldn’t we stop encouraging the use of Natural Gas and move to the more carbon intensive burning of coal? JP”

    If the goal is producing useful energy, we should use the cheapest energy source.

  41. @JohnC & Others:
    Does anyone have an actual calculation based on heats of formation & energy efficiency of the power generation normalized to carbon? I was thinking that the cheaper to extract & transport (coal) and higher efficiency generation (coal) would make up for the extra energy from hydrogen in natural gas. I admit, I’m a little biased based on cost of electricity from coal, but, I would like to question whether it’s true that natural gas emits less CO2 based on real-world measurements, not textbook chemistry. Anyone on WUWT know for sure?

  42. @ Magus, the spin has already started and I bet Obama will not blame this one on Bush!

    @ Andres Valencia, yes poverty is less CO2, sadly enough because poverty kills.

    @ Fergall , it used to be that your comments were free to make , but as the guy in NJ found out today the minute his 10 year old said something about BB guns in school the police showed up and removed all his legally acquired guns from his home , so we all sadly enough have to watch our language even used in sarcasm, humor or even as teaching moments.

  43. You’d think the greenies would be cheering and dancing in the streets that the planet has been saved. But I hear no one cheering, I hear nothing but the same ol’ whining and complaining, the world is approaching the mythical tipping point after which the world will burn up in a global fever.

    This simply demonstrates that climate alarmism is a faith or a political movement, it has never really been about saving the planet. I do not recognize modern day environmentalism, I am not an environmentalist anymore. One day it will return to its roots and only then will I rejoin them.

  44. atarsinc says:
    April 5, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    “John Parsons AKA atarsinc

    Jimbo says:
    April 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm
    “A low carbon economy is a third world economy.”
    Top Three Greenest countries
    1 Switzerland 95.5
    2 Sweden 93.1
    3 Norway 93.1″

    What do those numbers at the end of each line mean? Guessing that is the percentage of power derived from renewables. If so, what percentage of that is hydro, and what percentage wind/solar?

  45. atarsinc says:
    April 5, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    “Top Three Greenest countries
    1 Switzerland 95.5
    2 Sweden 93.1
    3 Norway 93.1

    The numbers are obviously arbitrary inventions by some green blog or NGO characterizing greenness in percent.
    Norway earns its huge standard of living by selling fossil fuels to the rest of the world.
    The other two countries don’t.
    Does this mean that the arbitrary numbers don’t care about fossil fuel production?
    Maybe the unknown NGO or green blog behind these fabricated numbers just doesn’t care about CO2 all that much.

  46. Why is this an example of “kill the economy”? The press release you quote is about fuel switching, not decline in demand. Whatever the economic level, satisfying the need to generate electricity with coal instead of natural gas would have generated more carbon. Look at China.

  47. I just have to say, this is one of Anthony’s funnier lines: “Well, it seems like killing the economy went hand in hand with CO2 reductions, imagine that.”

  48. Obozo meets kyoto by stealth. Just cause industrial recession by diverse & less obvious means.

  49. It is not only fracking and the economic slowdown. What is also happening is the increase in efficiency through the application of technology. For example, GDP per unit of energy expended continues to increase. Or, for a more concrete example, from 1980 to 2010 freight rail industry moved twice as much freight with half as much fuel for a four-fold improvement. Recently, Warren Buffet’s BNSF railway said it may convert its diesel locomotives to LNG for an 88% reduction in fuel cost. These massive efficiency gains cascade across the economy, and rarely are acknowledged for the tremendous positive impact on our standard of living (or CO2 reduction, if that matters).

  50. Given the source of the data I remain skeptical. However, it’s plausible that BAU (Business as Usual, free markets and (small d) democratic process unguided by transnational expertise) has delivered.the goods. BAU does not require a majority to swing into action. If a market for a goal exists, BAU reacts. BAU does not require overwhelming force. If a few resources can be diverted from one goal to another, then there will be progress.

    It does not surprise me that Hansen’s attacks on BAU failed, or that BAU did not fail Hansen’s (declared, although perhaps not his covert) goals.

    Three cheers for BAU!

  51. Your CO2 graph starts at 310 and ends at 400. That is a blatant distortion when over 3/4 of the graph is hidden just so you can make it appear to be rising faster.

  52. William Astley says:
    April 5, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    “The green scams are working as expected.” ….(the quotes by Maurice Strong, green socialists, etc. concerning that it doesn’t matter if the CO2 scare is wrong – it’s good for the world to kill off capitalism).

    How can anyone be happy to be living under a big lie. We have already seen “unprecedented” moral degradation over the last 20-30 years in any area where trust used to be considered essential. Even if we could shrug off THIS big lie, lying and scamming would become a tool in all areas of human endeavor going forward. Moreover, the insidious quiet battle began before the green scams and made the green scams effective. It was the corrosion of education, the popularly known “dumbing down” and social propaganda accomplished by schools and universities around the world. The majority of climate scientists are already publishing things they know are lies. Going forward science at large would become more and more subjective, secret and agenda driven and would cease to serve advancement of humankind. Politics (believe it or not) could get much worse – at least now they have to try hard to make it look sincere. Saving the planet and humankind is not the fun kumbaya stuff of the so-called greens. It is the desperate, unsung muddy trench warfare of those opposing this deceit (conceit?).

  53. The US reduced carbon dioxide emissions by exporting industry to China and india. But China and India put out twice the amount of carbon dioxide per unit of production, as the US ever did.

    Thus embracing Kyoto, whether by design or be default, has INCREASED world carbon dioxide emissions. It that a hit or a miss, Jerry?

    .

  54. This reminds me of the alarmist protestations about mercury
    emissions from US coal fired power plants. In a letter to the Wall
    Street Journal on January 5, 2012, Charles Battig wrote that US
    plants put out 41-48 tons per year, forest fires 40 tons, Chinese
    power plants 400 tons, and geological events 9,000-10,000 tons
    per year. There is even a great song called, “When It’s Grey in LA”
    I like it that way cause there’s way too much blue sky round here.
    Go out and smell the fresh air.

  55. The baseline is 1990, not 1997. This is from a different source:

    “The general target that the developed countries have to meet is to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions by about 5% below their 1990 levels in the timeframe addressed by the Kyoto Protocol, namely 2008-2012. The individual targets the Protocol assigns for the countries vary from 7% for the United States…”

    As mentioned above (Douglas 2, 3:18 PM) one criticism US critics had was that we hade been gamed; the 1990 baseline made the US target a recession year (see the flat line in US CO2 for 1988-1990). Meanwhile, by 1997 Britain had demonstarted their ability to switch from coal to gas, but got the coal baseline anyway. And Germany had, by 1997, shuttered East German manufacturing but got their 1990 effort in their baseline.

  56. scarletmacaw says:
    April 5, 2013 at 1:56 pm
    “I thought the treaty required emissions below 1990, not 1997. Did this get changed?

    REPLY: Note the press release where they headline 5.2% – Anthony”

    Also, Scarletmacaw, note that 1997 follows 1990.

  57. Russ R. says:
    April 5, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    “So, if I’m going to nitpick details… 7% below 1990 level is a bigger target than 5.2% below 1997 levels.”

    Why would you nitpick details about a treaty that the US did not sign? I think Anthony just wanted a little fun with this post.

  58. Did the northeast regional climate initiative help with this at all? How about improvements in appliance or automotive efficiency? I expect that it couldn’t be 100% economy, even if mostly.

  59. atarsinc says: April 5, 2013 at 4:28 pm
    John Parsons AKA atarsinc

    Jimbo says:
    April 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm
    “A low carbon economy is a third world economy.”

    Top Three Greenest countries
    1 Switzerland 95.5
    2 Sweden 93.1
    3 Norway 93.1

    Fail. JP

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita

    Norway is only 32nd on the Per Capita list, worse then most of the rest of Europe. Switzerland and Sweden are 72 and 74 respectivly. And the list goes over 200.

    Fail indeed

  60. What else is new? In 1996, Mikhail Gorbachev had been reduced to thr status of “greeter of visiting politicians” I had the opportunity to ask him about industrial pollution (not CO2 emissions) in Russia. He told me, poker-faced, that there had been a large decrease because industrial production was down by 50%.

  61. Anthony: “Well, it seems like killing the economy went hand in hand with CO2 reductions, imagine that.”

    Yeah, and now look at it the other way around: CO2 reduction is only possible by killing the economy.

    @archonix April 5, 2013 at 1:19 pm: “And all they had to do was completely destroy their economy…”

    Any of us that thinks that wasn’t their goal in the first place, raise your hand: You’re admitting to being an idiot.

    Literally, the very first thing I EVER read about CAGW and the IPCC my reaction was, “WTF!??? The only way to do that is to kill the economy and probably kill LOTS of people, too!” [and having most of us live in trailer parks and company towns]

    Since I found out about Thorium (LFTR) reactors, I no longer think that it is the ONLY way – but until those come on line, CO2 reduction can can only be done by killing the economy.

    Steve Garcia

  62. Anthony: Chip is right. The U.S. obligation under the Kyoto Protocol would have been (had we ratified it) a 7% reduction in GHG emissions from a 1990 baseline. The fact that the Protocol was signed in 1997—and didn’t enter into force until years later—doesn’t change the fact that the treaty’s base year was 1990. (Though it’s more complicated than that: Some Annex I countries were allowed to use a base year other than 1990 and all Annex I countries were allowed to use a 1995 base year for HFCs, PFCs, and SF6.)

    In 2012, U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions were 5% above the 1990 level. Moreover, total U.S. GHG emission figures reported to the UNFCCC show that in 2010, the most recent year of data available, U.S. emissions were 10% higher than the 1990 level. So no, the U.S. has not come anywhere close to meeting the Kyoto target no matter how you measure it.

    Further, it’s not correct to suggest that the Protocol “expired on December 31, 2012, with no replacement agreement to follow it.” A second commitment period was agreed to in Doha with a much smaller set of countries making commitments. I agree that as a practical matter that the Protocol is a dead letter because it really doesn’t commit any country to doing anything it wasn’t doing anyway. But it’s still inaccurate to say the Protocol has expired—only the first commitment period has.

    Saint

  63. Saints,

    Despite all the verbiage, the situation is shown here.

    CO2 is completely harmless at current and projected concentrations. It is beneficial to the biosphere; more CO2 is better. Kyoto was a stupid, unnecessary restriction intended to hobble Western industry, and it was right and proper that the U.S. rejected it.

    The UN is a cutthroat gang of anti-American hyenas, intent on destroying us after robbing us blind. Is there any doubt? Don’t listen to their smarmy words, just look at their actions. The best thing we as a country could do for our citizens is to promptly withdraw our UN membership, evict the UN from our shores, and deal one-on-one with other countries.

    As it stands, the UN’s purpose is to move toward a system of majority rule, wherein the UN’s 196 countries will vote on who pays for what. And you know they will vote all possible American assets and savings into their theiving pockets. Only the most naive and credulous believe otherwise.

  64. Dbstealey:

    I don’t disagree with much of what you say. I’m very familiar with the chart you’ve linked to, though it only covers 2000 to 2006. More recent data tell a different story. Still, it’s true that U.S. emissions are dropping faster than emissions in some countries with Kyoto obligations. There are many reasons for this, primarily the deep recession and more recently fuel switching from coal to natural gas in the power sector. The U.S. has not, however, met the target it would have been assigned had it acceded to the Kyoto Protocol.

    And that was the whole point of post. Indeed, it’s headlined, “USA meets Kyoto protocol goal – without ever embracing it,” and its main point is that the U.S. succeeded in meeting Kyoto’s 7% reduction target without joining up. But that is demonstrably not true. If I were Anthony, I would update this post because it doesn’t measure up to the quality one comes to expect from WUWT. If I want to see someone disregard the facts, I’ll visit Joe Romm’s site.

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