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Did you know that California produced 1.45% of the global carbon dioxide emissions in 2006? Yes….global, at 395.5 million metric tons of CO2. There was one state that produced more, Texas at 625.2 million metric tons of CO2.
But believe it or not, that’s not the scary part. Per the “Climate Action Plans Fail to Deliver” report published by the Science and Public Policy Institute:
“…were the entire U.S. to close down its economy completely and revert to the Stone Age, without even the ability to light fires, the growth in emissions from China alone would replace its entire emissions in a little less than a decade.”
When I read that, I was a little disheartened. What can we do? Then I started to read the “Annual Energy Outlook 2008 with Projections to 2030” report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). They predict an increase in CO2 emissions of 16% by 2030. Factors that are determined to influence the CO2 emission rise include population, economic growth, rising energy consumption, increases in highway, rail and air travel, continued reliance on coal for electric power generation, etc. A 16% increase is definitely the wrong direction.
We all know there are a variety of actions being taken to lower CO2 emissions and the incoming administration promises to take an even stronger stance. But if California, and other states too, concentrated their efforts on a broader use of alternative energy sources (solar power, wind power, biofuels, fuel additives, hydroelectric energy, etc.), maybe we could start making a dent sooner rather than later. Let’s face it, getting the rest of the world to follow suit starts with setting the example.