Monday September 23, 2019
Home Lead Story Carbon Emissi...

Carbon Emission Shoots up in US

After three years of decline, U.S. carbon emissions shot up last year, based on early estimates from an independent research group. The Rhodium Group routinely monitors carbon emissions and their preliminary estimates suggest U.S. output was up 3.4 percent in 2018.

0
//
A U.S. flag flies on tugboat as it passes the coal-fired Mitchell Power Plant on the Ohio River, in Moundsville, West Virginia, Sept. 10, 2017. (VOA)

After three years of decline, U.S. carbon emissions shot up last year, based on early estimates from an independent research group. The Rhodium Group routinely monitors carbon emissions and their preliminary estimates suggest U.S. output was up 3.4 percent in 2018.

This is the largest annual increase since 2010, when the nation was bouncing back from a financial crisis known as Great Recession.

The research also suggests that despite the Trump administration’s efforts to revive the coal industry, it continues to decline in the face of cheap and plentiful natural gas.

Bad news for coal

According to the Rhodium report, coal-fired plants generating 11.2 gigawatts of power had closed by October of last year, with more scheduled for closure over the following months. While the numbers are still preliminary, if they pan out, that would make 2018 the biggest coal plant closure year on record.

Far and away, natural gas is now the energy of choice in the U.S. with an increase of 166 million kilowatts per hour through October.

U.S. power consumption – and carbon emissions – increased in 2018. But the transportation sector of the economy contributed the most to the nation’s record emissions. The good news is that gasoline demand is down modestly, as the hybrid and electric car industry have begun to make a small dent in the demand for gasoline. But increases in the demand for diesel and jet fuel still made transportation the biggest source of carbon emissions throughout the U.S.

Another big source of emissions that often doesn’t get noticed, according to the report, is in the building sector of the economy. Emissions from buildings and homes was way up, due in part to an exceptionally cold winter in parts of the U.S. last year.

coal-fired Scherer Plant, one of the top carbon emitters in the U.S., is seen in Juliette, Georgia, June, 3, 2017. (VOA)

Paris question

2018 is an anomaly because each year, since 2015, U.S. carbon emissions had been decreasing, if modestly, as the nation worked to reach its commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement. U.S emissions declined by 2.7 percent in 2015, 1.7 percent in 2016, and 0.8 percent in 2017. But even with those reductions, the U.S. was already off track to meet reductions agreed to by the Obama administration.

Also Read-Malawi Campaigners Seek To Give Girls Age-Appropriate Information During Initiation Ceremony

The U.S. joined almost 200 other countries to sign the agreement in 2015. Under the deal, the U.S. committed to cutting its carbon emissions by at least 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.

But the Trump administration announced its intention to pull the U.S. out of the deal this year, and will formally exit the global compact in 2020. (VOA)

Next Story

Diplomatic Moves Do Not Work against Terrorists

President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo realised it once again how the diplomatic moves did not work against terrorists

0
Diplomatic, Terrorists, US
Taliban has been exposed as an incorrigible set of Islamic extremists wedded to jihad to achieve their objective and so has been the collusive role of Pakistan in sheltering a whole lot of Taliban leaders. Pixabay

The year long efforts of Zalmay Khalilzad – US representative holding talks with Taliban to hammer out some sort of ‘Peace Accord’ between the two – primarily to facilitate withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan – have come apart with President Donald Trump rejecting the diplomatic exercise following a fresh terror attack by the Taliban in Kabul.

Khalizad has been recalled to the US and there is a new situation now in Afghanistan as that country’s General Election draws close. Taliban has been exposed as an incorrigible set of Islamic extremists wedded to jihad to achieve their objective and so has been the collusive role of Pakistan in sheltering a whole lot of Taliban leaders of Afghanistan on its soil- as given out now by Taliban leadership itself.

President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo realised it once again how the diplomatic moves did not work against terrorists and gave up on Zalmay’s initiatives- they were even considering a continued strong military presence in Afghanistan. The US President was never too trusting of the Islamic militants wherever they were and the abandoning of the negotiation with Taliban would hopefully lead to a re-evaluation by him of Pakistan as the hub of Islamic terror groups.

Mohammad Suhall Shaheen spokesman of Taliban came on TV in Kabul to say a few things- in response to Donald Trump’s decision -that established how nothing had changed to the advantage of the US in the face of the creed of faith- based violence Taliban was committed to.

Diplomatic, Terrorists, US
The year long efforts of Zalmay Khalilzad – US representative holding talks with Taliban to hammer out some sort of ‘Peace Accord’ between the two – primarily to facilitate withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. Pixabay

He confirmed the widely known fact that Taliban derived sustenance from Pakistan for pursuing ‘Islamic interests’. Shaheen’s statement demonstrated how Islamic radicals can never be expected to leave the path of violence and how Zalmay might have allowed himself to be duped by the Taliban – Pakistan combine on the questions of ‘ceasefire’ and Peace Agreement- this axis was all the time working for restoration of the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan relegating the democratic rule of Ashraf Ghani to the background.

It was a strategic error on the part of the US interlocutor to hold talks with Taliban totally at the back of the present democratic regime in Afghanistan. Diplomacy can never succeed if it handles only the peripherals without tackling the main problem. In the absence of a ‘ceasefire’ US troops had rightly kept up their counter-terror operations and the Taliban revealed its true colour as a violent Islamic force by carrying out a suicide attack on a US army truck at Kabul killing an American soldier.

Apparently this happened when Zalmay had already submitted the draft ‘peace pact’ to the US President without sorting out the vital issue of ‘ceasefire’. The Taliban spokesman justified the retaliatory act at Kabul showing how the Taliban was totally recalcitrant about not accepting the cessation of its violent methods as a precondition for peace accord.

These developments in Afghanistan underscore the need for the democratic world to wake up to the continuing threat of Islamic terror emanating out of the Muslim world. Zalmay’s mission is a telling example of how diplomacy runs into limitations when dealing with advocates of violence blinded by fanaticism.

Also Read- Young People Afraid for their Futures Protest around the Globe to Implore Leaders to Tackle Climate Change

The world must call for an express denunciation of Jehad as an instrument of pursuit of political objectives in today’s world, by individual Islamic countries and by the Organisation of Islamic Conference chaired by Saudi Arabia itself. It goes to the credit of Trump’s presidency that the artificial distinction- promoted earlier by narrow political interests — between ‘ good terrorists’ and ‘bad terrorists’ had been abolished and to the great relief of India , Pakistan was called out by the US upfront for providing safe haven to Islamic militants across the spectrum — from Al Qaeda to Lashkar-e-Taiba.

India, the US, Russia and European countries that see the menace of this new terror must work together in Afghanistan to install a democratic regime there. The world must take the ‘war on terror’ to its logical conclusion. It is becoming difficult to get any voice from the Muslim world that upholds a Democratic Republic as the obvious preference over an Islamic State.

The inherent political asymmetry between a democratic India — that houses more Muslims than their number is in Pakistan — and the Islamic state of Pakistan is a fundamental roadblock between the two countries and the situation is becoming worse with Pakistan projecting Kashmir as a Muslim issue and openly calling for jihad there to bolster its sinister game plan against India. The case of Afghanistan shows how diplomatic instruments will not succeed against those who had taken to terrorist violence to get their way on political issues.

India must firmly stick to the policy of ‘terror and talks do not go together’ and use its diplomatic prowess to convince the democratic nations- and this is not difficult- that the challenge for India in Kashmir was to protect the Kashmiris from the onslaught of hardened Pak terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba infiltrated from across the LoC who were destroying the cultural values of Kashmiriyat and browbeating the law abiding Kashmiris into submission to the oppressive Salafism.

Diplomatic, Terrorists, US
Khalizad has been recalled to the US and there is a new situation now in Afghanistan as that country’s General Election draws close. Pixabay

As the terrorists are beaten back the people in the valley would be willing to come out in freedom and markets would start opening up -overcoming the sense of fear of the militants. The world should know that during this short period of prohibitory orders in Kashmir there have been no casualties.

Also Read- YouTube Working to Overhaul its Verification Programme

The Centre has taken the direct responsibility for providing development and security to the people of Jammu and Kashmir that they were kept from- because of the Pakistan sponsored cross border terrorism. India is committed to restoring the statehood of J&K in course of time. Kashmir is all about people falling victim to terror and not a case of denial of Human Rights. Pakistan’s failed attempt to muster any strength in UNHRC vindicates India’s transparent stand on Kashmir. (IANS)