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Good news, but…

A 20-Year Low in U.S. Carbon Emissions – NYTimes.com

“Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the United States from January through March were the lowest of any recorded for the first quarter of the year since 1992, the federal Energy Information Administration reports. The agency attributed the decline to a combination of three factors: a mild winter, reduced demand for gasoline and, most significantly, a drop in coal-fired electricity generation because of historically low natural gas prices. Whether emissions will continue to drop or begin to rise again, however, remains to be seen, experts said Friday.”

Great news, for what’s its worth, however…

Of course, wind and solar energy greatly outperform any fossil fuel when it comes to efficiency. But last year those sectors supplied less than 5 percent of the nation’s electricity in 2011.

Dr. Apt is among those who believes that government intervention would be needed to cut emissions to acceptable levels. “If we see more and more variability in the climate, not just droughts but also more storms, there may very well emerge a consensus that we need to finally do something to stop this very dangerous unprecedented experiment that we’re doing on the planet,” he said.

We’re way above the levels that scientists consider necessary to prevent further warming. For example, the glaciers of Glacier National Park have experienced rapid melting this year, and are expected to be gone altogether in 10 years.

We need government regulations at this point. The private sector will not steer us away from this. (Though it will be part of the solution, the innovations needed to solve this crisis will come from all sectors)

Categories: Environment.

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