In an editorial last Wednesday [“Global warming is real, and it’s our fault — let’s fix it”], the Sun-Times was right to recognize any attempt to reduce global temperatures by a significant amount is going to require global cooperation. But I think the editorial board is overly optimistic about the likelihood of a future international agreement to limit carbon emissions. According to the International Energy Agency, China, India and Germany already are expanding coal consumption and increasing emissions. In fact, coal is the world’s fastest-growing fossil fuel, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2013. Unless a new source of electricity generation emerges that’s cheaper than coal, these trends are likely to continue, no matter what any international spokesperson might say.
With the EPA having just announced earlier this year that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have been declining since 2007, is it really worth enacting costly greenhouse gas-restricting regulations without it having any effect on the climate?
[First published in the Chicago Sun-Times.]