Even as Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez promotes the Green New Deal to cut carbon emissions by putting our economy into a straitjacket, China is binge building new coal-fired energy plants. According to Coalswarm, an environmental advocacy group, “China is now on track to add coal-fired power equal to almost the total U.S. capacity.”
China’s goal to cap coal-fired electricity at 1,100 gigawatts is already half of the world’s total and nearly quadruple that of the United States.
By 2013, China was responsible for 28 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Global Carbon Project. The United States, whose share has been dropping, accounts for 15 percent while the European Union emits 10 percent and India 7 percent.
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Since 2005, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have declined by 758 million metric tons, the largest for any single country and about on par with the European Union’s 770 million decline. At the same time, China’s carbon dioxide emissions grew by 3 billion metric tons, and India’s grew by 1 billion metric tons.
Since we live on the same planet, what sense is there in making our economy jump through hoops to cut emissions while China’s and India’s carbon output more than exceeds our reductions?
Of even more relevance to the advocates of the Green New Deal is how the U.S. has achieved its reductions in carbon emissions. We did it by fracking! As a result of the massive increase in natural gas fracking has brought about — and the consequent reduction in its cost — coal now generates only 27 percent of our electric power today as opposed to 45 percent in 2010 and 51 percent in 2000. And all the while, China has been building more and more and more coal-fired plants.
I’m agnostic on whether man-made climate change is challenging our planetary environment. But it is clear that the left is using the “crisis” they suppose exists to justify massive and total government regulation — and even socialism. But the evidence is that the free market and technology (the dropping price of natural gas) are doing the trick nicely.
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