Wednesday

November 21st, 2018

Insight

Russia and China are Causing Climate Change, Not the US

Dick Morris

By Dick Morris

Published August 29,2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) greets Chinese President Xi Jinping.

As the left ramps up its blame-game accusing Trump of undermining efforts to mitigate climate change, some core facts are useful to consider:


— The United States is rapidly decreasing its carbon emissions, largely due to market forces, not federal regulation.


— While we are cutting carbon emissions, China and Russia are rapidly taking up the slack by increasing theirs.


Since 1980, the United States has decreased its emissions of greenhouse gases by 65 percent — despite more than tripling our real GDP in the interval.


Since 2000, our carbon emissions have dropped from 20.2 million metric tons to 16.4 million tons today.

By contrast, China's have risen from 2.7 million to 7.8 million over the same period and Russia's are up from 10.6 million to 12.5 million.


It is not the United States whose policies need reversal — it is Russia and China's.


Since we are, after all, one planet, it is a grave concern that increased emissions from Russia and China since 2000 have risen by nearly twice as much as ours have dropped.


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Despite the publicity about Trump's revision of Obama's plans to bankrupt the coal industry, the fact is that market forces have so changed the economics of electricity generation that natural gas now generates 32 percent of electric power while coal accounts for only 30 percent (10 years ago, it was over half).


Renewable sources now account for 20 percent of power generation (hydro — 7 percent; wind — 6 percent; biomass — 2 percent; solar — 1 percent; geothermal — 1 percent).


Neither Obama's power plant regulations nor his climate change prevention plans are responsible for the drop in coal use.


Fracking, which the left opposes, is the reason.


It is fracking that has so lowered the price of natural gas that it is cheaper than coal, dramatically cutting carbon emissions.


Trump has also relaxed mileage standards for cars, but the conversion to electric, hybrid, and, soon, hydrogen cars will continue to drive down carbon output nevertheless.


Even though we have achieved the holy grail of the 1970s and 1980s — by ending our dependence on foreign oil — we have achieved remarkable progress in curtailing our contribution to climate change and will continue to do so under Trump, because of market forces, not federal regulation.

Dick Morris, who served as adviser to former Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and former President Clinton, is the author of 16 books, including his latest, Screwed and Here Come the Black Helicopters.

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