Record Growth in CO2 Emissions, Yet Planet Refuses to Warm

Record Growth in CO2 Emissions, Yet Planet Refuses to Warm
November 4, 2011

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)

The U.S. Department of Energy is reporting that global carbon dioxide emissions rose 6 percent from 2009 to 2010, constituting the largest increase yet measured. Global warming activist groups claim the news shows how important it is for the United States to take strong and immediate action to restrict carbon dioxide emissions, but the news actually shows why such action is both unnecessary and futile.

Regarding the necessity of carbon dioxide restrictions, global carbon dioxide emissions have risen 25 percent during the past decade yet global temperatures haven’t risen at all during that time. If carbon dioxide were the sole or primary driver of global temperature, global temperatures should have risen substantially during the past decade – yet they did not. Indeed, global carbon dioxide emissions are rising faster even than the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “worst case” scenario, yet temperatures have not risen during the past decade. This is strong evidence that carbon dioxide has less of an impact on global temperatures than proposed by global warming advocates, and that drastic carbon dioxide restrictions are not necessary.

Regarding the futility of U.S. action to restrict carbon dioxide emissions, U.S. emissions are no higher than they were in the year 2000, yet global emissions have risen by 25 percent. Even if the United States completely eliminated all carbon dioxide emissions today, the growth in emissions from China alone would completely negate the U.S. action in less than a decade. Clearly, U.S. action to dramatically restrict carbon dioxide emissions would have no real-world impact on climate, though it would render the United States an economic footnote on the global stage.

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)