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Surprising Science

Wrong Target?

The numbers for setting carbon emissions targets “don’t add up” according to the Washington Post because they’re based on outdated projections.

“Climate-change skeptics are barking up the wrong smokestack. The shell game being played isn’t with the science, it’s with the solutions — specifically, the carbon emissions targets that enlightened world leaders are pledging to meet. That’s where the numbers don’t add up,” writes The Washington Post. “When the Copenhagen climate summit convenes next week, the European nations that have led the crusade against global warming will be able to report that the continent has met the targets for carbon-emission reductions set in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. There may be shoulder dislocations from all the self-congratulatory back-patting. But the Kyoto targets were well on the way toward being met before they were even established. The targets are based on 1990 emissions levels — after the Soviet Union and the East Bloc had been fouling the air for years with their antiquated, carbon-spewing heavy industries. When the communist regimes — and their creaky economies — collapsed in a heap, emissions from the former Soviet-dominated zone fell by nearly 40 percent. Now they are rising again, but they remain about 35 percent below Kyoto’s benchmark 1990 levels.”


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