Will Recovering Global Economy Thwart Efforts to Curb Global Warming?

By Spotts, Pete | The Christian Science Monitor, May 31, 2011 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Will Recovering Global Economy Thwart Efforts to Curb Global Warming?


Spotts, Pete, The Christian Science Monitor


A UN agency reports that as the global economy began to recover from the recession, carbon emissions surged to a new record, imperiling measures to contain global warming.

As the world began to work its way out of the Great Recession, power plants pumped more carbon dioxide into the air than ever in 2010, threatening international goals of bringing global warming under control.

According to the UN's International Energy Agency (IEA), the emissions amounted to some 30.6 billion tons globally of the heat- trapping greenhouse gas, 5 percent more than the previous record, set in 2008. The emissions figure followed a global decline in 2009.

Electricity generation is the largest and fastest growing source of CO2, according to the emissions estimates, released May 30.

A build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere since the beginning of the industrial revolution, along with changes in land use as populations have grown, is widely seen as the driver behind a general warming of Earth's climate, especially over the last 50 years.

The report was released as negotiators prepare to gather in Bonn from June 6 to June 17 for an interim round of talks ahead of the main global-climate negotiations set for Durban, South Africa, in late November.

In another bit of sobering news for the environment, a separate analysis is showing a plateau in the efficiency with which fossil fuels are used to drive industrial production.

As efficiency has increased, less fossil fuel has been necessary to drive economies. But the rate of reducing the amount of fossil fuels an economy needs for a given unit of production has been dropping since 1990, according to Roger Pielke Jr., a political scientist at the University of Colorado at Boulder who has written widely on the politics of climate.

Last year, he calculates, the growth rate in this declining rate of "decarbonization" hit zero.

The IEA figures represent "another wake-up call" to increase efforts to curb CO2 emissions, said Fatih Birol, the IEA's chief economist, in a prepared statement.

Essentially, emissions are rising faster than they should if the global community stands a chance of holding long-term global- average temperature increases to the stated goal of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels.

The goal is contained in the agreement coming our of last December's UN-sponsored global climate talks in Cancun, Mexico.

With the initial estimate for 2010's emissions figures in hand, Dr. Birol said, "the world has edged incredibly close" to a maximum level negotiators had hoped they'd have about 20 more years to reach - giving them two decades to implement policies that would put them on a path to emissions cuts of 85 to 90 percent over 1990 levels by 2050.

If the IEA's estimate holds up, the implication is that to keep to the 2-degree goal, economies will have to slam the brakes on emissions harder and faster than they otherwise would have.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Will Recovering Global Economy Thwart Efforts to Curb Global Warming?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.