Economics, Energy and the Environment

The Industrialized World and Global Warming: What Difference Will Significant Reductions in Greenhouse Gases Make?

My friend and fellow blogger Chip Knappenberger has posted a spectacular analysis of the effects that the Waxman-Markey climate bill would have on saving the planet. Using a climate model developed by climate scientists for people to run on their own computers, Chip shows that:

The bottom line is that a reduction of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions of greater than 80%, as envisioned in the Waxman-Markey climate bill, will only produce a global temperature “savings” during the next 50 years of about 0.05ºC.

In a subsequent post, Chip shows that even if the entire industrialized world went along for the ride,

it would, at most, avoid only a bit more than one-half of a °C of projected global warming (out of 4.5°C—or only about 10%). And this is under worst-case emissions assumptions; middle-of-the-road scenarios and less sensitive climate models produce even less overall impact.

As I’ve written in The American, it is not the developed world that needs to “go first” in reining in greenhouse gas emissions.

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