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The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

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Discussion: (20 comments)

  1. SeattleSam

    Please don’t try to confuse college students with facts.

    1. Especially the “activists” students. Actually, usually anyone described as an “activist” somehow lacks the basic understanding to get beyond their limited perceptions and get a real understanding for whats really going on. Perhaps they are too busy getting worked up about their perceived injustice to actually bother to look a little deeper.

      1. stefan mattlage

        Your sentence ” Actually, usually anyone described as an “activist” somehow lacks the basic understanding to get beyond their limited perceptions and get a real understanding for whats really going on.” is uninformed and infantile. Please show the documents that you draw this conclusion from.

  2. the US emissions hardly matter anymore…China, where the manufacturing for this country is being done, is now responsible for 29% of world total, more than the US & Europe combined..

    1. The top 5 countries co2 emissions per capita are:

      1. US
      2. Russia
      3. Japan
      4. China, coming on strong
      5. India

      Do you mean someone is actually still tracking that nonsense? Who would have thought?

  3. Disingenuous.

    To show this chart without discussing how a recession = less economic activity = less emissions is entirely disingenuous.

    The rise of NG is important, but you are only telling part of the story in order to make your point.

    1. Jon Murphy

      Rob,

      US electricity production is only about 2% below the record high achieved in January 2011. Emissions are down 15.6% from their peak in 2007/2008.

      In fact, at the January 2011 peak in production, emissions had fallen 9.4%. So, emissions were falling even as production was growing. That suggests that the switch over to Natural Gas is the primary cause of the decline in emissions, and that any decline in electricity production is, at best, a secondary concern.

  4. MacDaddyWatch

    UNEMPLOYED…

    Class of 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

    And they voted for their anti-carbon messiah–twice…Now they get his bills while living in mom and dad’s basement, playing the same old video games that they played 5-years ago. BIack Studies, Pottery, Dance, Women ‘s Studies, Pottery and Ethnic Studies not bein’ such a good idea.

    Their footprint shrinks as their bills grow !!

  5. Mark,

    It is even more impressive if you go to the ‘per capita’ numbers.

    1. Btw: The worldbank has them if you are looking for them

  6. Speaking of fossil fuels professor Jacobson over at his College In-sur-rec-tion blog has the following:

    High School grads choosing “Dirty Oil” over college

    Once upon a time, a college degree practically guaranteed a decent job and a stable future.

    However, facing the realities of the higher education bubble, some high school graduates are opting to work in the oil fields instead of continuing school. Jack Healy interviews a number of the young and employed in Montana for his New York Times report…

  7. Che is dead

    Heather MacDonald – one of the smartest women on the planet – via Instapundit this morning:

    “The New York Times seems concerned that teens in the fracking belt of eastern Montana are opting to work in the new oil-field economy right after high school rather than going straight on to college. A front-page story warns: Taking a job is “a lucrative but risky decision for any 18-year-old to make, one that could foreclose on his future if the frenzied pace of oil and gas drilling from here to North Dakota to Texas falters and work dries up.”

    Let’s see. Where is a teenager more likely to learn the basic and transferable virtue of showing up every day and on time, not to mention how to get along with a boss and fit into an organization — as a communications and binge-drinking double major at Missoula State University, or as a mechanic fixing broken rig equipment? Too many high-school graduates are reflexively going to college as it is, without a clue what they are doing there or how to take advantage of higher education. Mandatory stints in the private economy before college enrollment could do wonders for study skills. If, by deferring or maybe even skipping college entirely, students were foregoing their one hope for immersion in Western civilization, there would indeed be grounds for regret. But colleges’ own curricular decisions have long since destroyed their right to present themselves as a gateway for precious knowledge of the past.” — NRO

  8. Hooray for “the very companies that have helped bring carbon emissions to the lowest level in (years)”!

    Except that there’s another way to interpret this chart…

    During the Bush administration, there was a substantial run-up in CO2 emissions in the US. During the Obama administration, that trend has completely reversed itself. In this case, it’s hooray for Obama!

    Which interpretation do you choose? Why?

    1. Che is dead

      “During the Bush administration, there was a substantial run-up in CO2 emissions in the US.” — Dagbone

      “Between 2000 and 2006, U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions fell 3%. Of the 17 largest world-wide emitters, only France reduced by more. So despite environmentalist sanctimony about the urgent need for President Bush and the U.S. to “take the lead” on global warming, his program has done better than most everybody else’s.” — IBD

      Moron.

      1. Hmmm, your snippet doesn’t square with Mark’s chart. So, I’ll ask the same question again… which “source” do you choose to believe, and why?

        1. Che is dead

          “… for carbon dioxide at least (the dominant U.S. greenhouse gas), emissions actually decreased from 5.759 billion metric tons in 2001 to 5.471 billion metric tons in 2011. Last week, the Associated Press (AP) reported a switch from coal burning to natural gas is the chief driver behind the emissions (and hence emissions intensity) reduction. Rather than directly crediting Bush or Obama administration policies, the AP attributed the switch to “market forces.”” — The Washington Post

          “While U.S. energy companies began fracking for gas in the late 1990s, there was a dramatic increase in 2005 after the administration of President George W. Bush exempted fracking from regulations under the U.S. Clean Water Act. According to Washington’s energy Information Agency, shale gas production has grown 48 percent annually. … during the UN climate change conference in Durban last week, Dominic Frongillo, a town councillor from Caroline, New York, which is atop the Marcellus Shale seam, estimated to contain 489 trillion cubic feet of extractable natural gas noted that “Before I left for Durban, Professor Howarth told me that “preventing unconventional gas extraction could be the number one thing we could do in the short term to control growth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.” — Rig Zone

          1. Che, I think you missed my point.

            We can all find hundreds of sources that back up our own point of view, and that still doesn’t make it right. Statistics and charts can be interpreted in dozens of different ways, only two of which were touched on in Mark’s column and my commentary, and neither of which is necessarily the truth.

            I just find it fascinating how people get so caught up in their own biases that they lose sight of rationality, especially on questions where there is clearly no one right, knowable answer. Why do we do this? Why are AEI readers ready to proclaim something “good” to be the work of market forces and anything “bad” to be the work of Obama/Democrats/Liberals? Why do we get so wrapped up in our opinions that we revert to calling dissenters “morons”? These are the really fun questions to ponder!

  9. Che is dead

    Let’s face it, college students have little or no life experience, that’s what makes them so attractive to liberals and “progressives”. That’s why Democrats hang out at college campuses, like some trench-coated creep at a playground.

    Many college students actually believe that they are getting an education, despite the fact that nearly every professor that they will encounter is to the left of Joseph Stalin. In the old Soviet Union, this type of “education” was mandatory and free. Unlike the useful idiots that infest today’s college faculties, Soviet instructors were forced to push this socialist nonsense on their charges or face the gulag. In the U.S. today, people take out second mortgages on their homes and/or willingly assume the burden of large debts in order to immerse themselves in this marxist tripe. Colleges were created to pass the accumulated wisdom of the West to the next generation. Now, you would be hard pressed to find a college where the canon of Western Civilization is taught. In a more honest world this would be called what it truly is cultural genocide. Here’s a clue, it’s not and education if you’re consistently presented with only one side of every argument. Your instructors are not all leftists because the left has a monopoly on wisdom. Conservative academics have been subject to the most thorough and sustained blacklisting in American history.

    Today’s college students have been selected for their willingness to conform and to please their instructors. So, is it any surprise that the little mush-heads latch onto their professor’s causes making them their own?

  10. Daddy Dave

    Call me skeptical of the source for these numbers. I work in the natural gas industry and know there are upwards of 100,000 400-1200hp natural gas compressor engines in the Wyoming-through-Texas natural gas belt that run 24 hrs/day. They emit a whole lot of CO2 and some CO and NOx. As far as I can tell, these engines are considered “overhead”, part of the pipeline structure, and their emissions are rarely accounted for.

    1. stefan mattlage

      Oh those pesky facts !

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