A few months ago, I was asking the question, who is monitoring global warming? I still don’t have an exact answer to that question, but today, I did learn a few things that bring me closer to an answer. And there is some new data coming out right now that is good news not only for the planet, but also for those of us trying to keep the planet alive. I may not know the status of global warming, but I can be reasonably sure we are having (for once) a positive impact on it.
According to information from ClimateProgress.org, carbon emissions - which according to the climate bill were required to be reduced by 17% between now and the year 2010 - are currently down 8.5% from 2007. We are exactly halfway to the goal. That means that we should easily be able to bring it down by the 25-40% that scientists recommend is needed in order to stabilize arctic temperatures.
What does that mean for us? It means, what we are doing is working. We can see it is having an impact. Some of the experts are saying it has more to do with high gas prices and the economy, but reduced oil consumption only accounts for about 5% of the total, and reductions in coal usage only accounted for 1%. And of that 5% less oil, at least some of that will be due to people buying/driving more fuel-efficient cars, because, as anyone who drove in traffic this year can tell you, higher gas prices and higher unemployment didn’t mean everyone just stopped driving. For more information on the breakdown, check out the EIA website.