A New Political Gambit

It used to be that the Presidential trick was to set goals, such as "balancing the budget" targeted at a date several years after he has left office.  Now, political candidates are going to the next step:  Setting goals targeted at a date several years after they will be safely dead:

…[Clinton’s] plan would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050 to avoid the worst effects of global warming…Hillary would increase fuel efficiency standards to 55 miles per gallon by 2030…

By the way, 80 percent below 1990 levels is what? The bottom of the great depression?

  • ElamBend

    She’s relying on the fusion economy. It’s like the old FarSide cartoon with the mathematician/scientist scribbling a great equation on a chalk board and at one point has “a miracle occurs here” on it to reach the solution.

  • stirner

    80% of the 1990 level would be the equivalent of the US emissions in 1906.
    60% of the 1990 level would be the equivalent of the US emissions in 1941.

    The data is here:
    http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/trends/emis/tre_coun.htm#U

    It is relatively manageable to dump into excel, and then extract the info for the US. I think you might have some fun playing with the data as well…

  • stirner

    Oh, and if you want to just eyeball the data for the US, this link is better (but not excel friendly):
    http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/ftp/trends/emissions/usa.dat

    The previous link i posted is for all the national datasets, in multiple formats.

  • JoeH

    In 1990 US CO2 emissions were 5,017 million metric tons. Population that year was 248.7 million which means that each soul in the country, on average, was responsible for 20.2 tons. Just for comparison, the rate in 2006 was 19.7 tons/person. The U.S. Census Bureau is forecasting that our population will be approaching 420 million and if we are to limit our emissions to 80% below 1990’s level, each individual will be capped at 2.4 tons. Go get one of those CO2 foot print forms and see if you are able to reach this level. See source data here, http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/ggrpt/index.html.