Cuts in the West, increases in the East
Robert Rapier, blogger and author, has drawn ire from both sides of the climate change debate. But recently, he said the debate is academic. Rapier argued that while profligate producers of C02 such as the United States and Europe have reduced carbon emissions (especially in the wake of higher oil prices), those reductions are being overwhelmed by increased emissions from the Asia Pacific region. He reported via his blog:
"By characterizing the debate as academic, I don’t mean to suggest that the situation is in any way unimportant. I certainly think it’s possible that there will be devastating consequences as global carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise. But the reason I think it’s academic is that regardless of how much we debate it, global carbon dioxide emissions will continue to rise for reasons I lay out in the book, and that are evident in the graphic above. I view the debate over carbon emissions as akin to debating how to stop the arrival of an impending hurricane. We won’t in fact stop that hurricane because that is beyond our control, so what we really have to do is plan on how to ride it out and deal with the aftermath. I would argue that global carbon emissions are also beyond our control because they are being driven by individuals who use very little energy (although they collectively use a lot), but who will use a lot more if given the opportunity."
Rapier pointed out that even if the U.S. And Europe went to zero emission, the world would still be at its overall emission rate from 1994. He said that overall carbon dioxide emission in developing countries is already higher per capita than in more developed countries, but that energy use in developing countries is considerably lower than in developed countries. Rapier concluded that it’s hard to believe that both energy use and emissions will do anything but increase as more advanced technology is adopted in developing countries. You can find the posting and more of Rapier’s opinion at http://www.consumerenergyreport.com/blogs/rsquared/.