NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Look to China to Cut Carbon Dioxide Emissions

April 21, 2011

Two years ago, greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. fell to their lowest levels since 1995.  In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) data show that emissions of what are considered the six main greenhouses gases fell 6.1 percent in 2009 from their 2008 levels, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

  • Levels did increase by 7.3 percent from 1990 to 2009.
  • But the average annual rate of increase since 1990 has been a mere 0.4 percent.

In the same year greenhouse emissions fell, the EPA determined "that climate change caused by emissions of greenhouse gases threatens the public's health and the environment."  Regarding politics to be more important than science, it has taken it upon itself to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) as a "pollutant."

If the agency would like to regulate carbon dioxide, maybe it should turn its attention to China, which has surpassed the United States in CO2 emissions.

  • While U.S. greenhouse gas emissions increased 7.3 percent from 1990 to 2009, China's carbon dioxide emissions have soared roughly 175 percent since 1999.
  • For every part per million of carbon dioxide that Americans cut, China, and its ever-burgeoning population and growing economy, will be pumping out even more.

Fortunately, there's no reason for any nation to cut its carbon dioxide emissions.  CO2 is not a pollutant in the usual sense.  It is, in the words of John R. Christy, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Alabama, "a plant food."

"The green world we see around us would disappear if not for atmospheric CO2," Christy says.  "These plants largely evolved at a time when the atmospheric CO2 concentration was many times what it is today," he adds.  "Indeed, numerous studies indicate the present biosphere is being invigorated by the human-induced rise of CO2."

Source: "Don't Look Now, but C02 Output Is Falling," Investor's Business Daily, April 19, 2011.

For text:


Browse more articles on Environment Issues