Sunday, July 01, 2012

MLB green programs obsolete, MLB partner NRDC says US has huge CO2 drop, leads world, MLB still sells non-existent CO2 endangerment to fans

MLB and others fought against CO2 in the US and won! MLB's continuing anti-CO2 campaign unfortunately ignores the science that the CO2 battle is over in the US. It's time for MLB to stop selling fans the non-existent problem of CO2 endangerment in the US: "Reducing U.S. (CO2) emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 is well within reach." NRDC notes little media coverage of this news, most people know nothing about it. The US did this without signing UN treaties or enacting cap & trade: "Back in February I posted about a surprising development: Despite the failure of comprehensive climate and energy legislation in 2010, U.S. carbon pollution emissions and projections of future carbon pollution have been coming down ever since. A new forecast out this week continues that trend.

While there has been some press coverage of these facts (see here and here) I continue to find that most people are surprised to learn about this progress....

On Monday EIA released its full Annual Energy Outlook 2012 (AEO 2012), and I get to

  • say I told you so (see figure).

The Reference case projection for 2020 was reduced by 2.1 percent, while the forecast for 2035 was reduced by less than 1 percent. The official forecast for 2020assuming no new policies—is now for carbon emissions to be 9.4 percent lower than they were in 2005. This is a huge contrast to the forecast made by EIA just seven years ago: the AEO 2005 projected that emissions would increase by 25 percent between then and 2020....

I discussed various reasons for this incredible shrinking carbon pollution forecast in my previous post, which I won’t repeat here. What does bear repeating is that this means that the target embraced by President Obama of reducing U.S. emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 is well within reach."

  • -------------------------------------

In comments NRDC author notes inaccuracy of earlier CO2 projections:

"As far as I know the most recent official forecast of total heat-trapping pollution in CO2e was released in June 2010 as part of the Fifth U.S. Climate Action Report (available from http://www.state.gov/e/oes/rls/rpts/car5/). That forecast used the 2009 Annual Energy Outlook for energy-related CO2 and projected that under business-as-usual total emissions in CO2e would increase by 4.3 percent between 2005 and 2020.

I consider that forecast to be seriously out of date at this point."

  • ------------------------------

US CO2 has dropped drastically without cap & trade, carbon taxes, or global 'green' treaties. "If the United States can achieve this while blowing off the panicky greens and their tiresome Malthusian agendas, so can China and India."...

"Much to the surprise (and, one suspects, the chagrin) of the deranged doomsaying wing of the environmental movement, new forecasts of US CO2 emission are out and they point to an even steeper drop than the last set of predictions.

No cap and trade, no huge new taxes on oil, no draconian driver restrictions, no air conditioning bans, no rationing — and the US is on track to cut its CO2 emissions 17 percent below the 2005 levels by 2020 — and to keep cutting our emissions levels beyond that.

And this news doesn’t come from embattled climate skeptics banished to the fringes of the scientific community; these numbers come from the Obama administration and are sitting right up on Don Lashof’s well respected blog at the National Resource Defense Council website. Take a look for yourselves.

So, to summarize, the United States of America basically blew the global greens off completely, trampling all over their carbon tax and cap and trade agendas, and earning wails and shrieks of hatred at the Rio+20 Summit — while making huge strides toward reducing CO2 emission levels.

It’s almost as if there is no connection between the green policy agenda and environmental progress....

And while they are at it, they might want to take another look at all those doomsday CO2 projections the green movement keeps using as justification for huge global boondoggles. It’s just possible that other countries, too, will not behave according to the models, and if that is true the whole green approach to climate issues may need to be rethought."
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"According to AAA, the average two-car family now would spend about $6,200 a year to gas up its vehicles....

The recent decline in automobile travel isn't the result of people leaving their cars for public transportation. People are simply deferring trips, shortening them and driving less because of the cost.

The economic slowdown also plays a part, Pisarski said. Fewer people with jobs means fewer people driving to work and less economic activity, which results in less vehicle travel, particularly among trucks, because fewer goods are purchased and shipped. Recreational travel also takes a hit, as fewer people drive to the movies, malls and for vacations."...

  • ------------------------------------

5/4/2011, "Gas prices reach new record in six states," CS Monitor

"Americans drove more than 100 billion fewer miles between November 2007 and October 2008 than the same period a year earlier, said U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters, making it

the largest continuous decline in American driving in history."

  • ---------------------------------------

The NRDC author notes lack of media coverage about US ongoing CO2 emissions drop. I typed into google search, "US CO2 emissions drop NY Times." Not only did a NY Times story on the topic not come up, the first item google gave me was a NY Times item saying the exact opposite, ie that CO2 was worse than ever:

Dec 4, 2011 – Global emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil-fuel burning jumped by ... In the United States, emissions dropped by a remarkable 7 percent in ..."
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"MLBGreensports.org," MLB NRDC greening page suggests buying "carbon offsets" and recommends companies to use: "Your organization may want to consider reducing the net carbon [CO2] emissions associated with its transportation needs by purchasing carbon offsets. When your organization buys a carbon offset, it is investing in a project – such as new renewable energy projects – that will yield a measurable reduction in future greenhouse gas emissions.

You may also wish to suggest similar programs to the bus, truck, car, and rental companies with which you do business....

Green-e and the California Climate Action Registry have certification programs to ensure the environmental quality of carbon offsets. We recommend offsets that meet the Green-e Climate Protocol for Renewable Energy and any of the Climate Action Reserve protocols. However, it is still useful to ask providers what type of projects they invest in, how they ensure that these investments deliver additional environmental benefits, and whether the projects have negative environmental impacts."

  • ----------------------------------------
4/13/10, "Major League Baseball Clubs Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Earth Day," MLB.com

"MLB's relationship with NRDC led to the creation of the Team Greening Program featuring NRDC Team Greening Advisors."...

"The Mariners will once again stage a carbon-neutral game with carbon off-sets, renewable energy credits and water restoration certificates. This is the fifth consecutive year the Mariners have off-set carbon impacts for Earth Day.... (Also) air travel emissions for the White Sox from Chicago to Seattle and on to Oakland, as well as the air travel emissions for the umpire crew from Anaheim to Seattle and on to Dallas-Ft. Worth; hotel-related emissions for the White Sox and the umpires (50 hotel rooms); and ground travel to and from the ballpark by staff and fans (180,000 car miles). ...The Cardinals added solar panels this year at Busch Stadium, too. The Pirates launched their greening initiatives program in 2008 -- named "Let's Go Bucs. Let's Go Green."...

In Colorado, pitcher Jeremy Guthrie is part of the Rockies Games of Green initiative, and he encourages fans to submit entries in his Guthrie Go-Green Classroom Challenge. Elementary, middle and high school classes are invited to present an environmental project they have done (or will do by the May 4 deadline) that will make a positive impact on the environment.

At last season's World Series in St. Louis, Green Teams were all over Busch as a very visible presence with sustainable practices. At the 2011 All-Star Week, "All-Star Green Teams" presented by Pepsi circulated throughout the stadium."...
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"The MLB Commissioner’s Office also distributed a publication, produced by NRDC and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, entitled Solar Energy for Your Stadium or Arena: A Guide to Understanding Opportunities of On-Site Photovoltaic Solar Power Generation to all MLB teams. The publication encourages stadium and arena operators to install on-site solar technology at their facility and provides detailed information about the process. To date, five MLB teams have installed solar systems at their stadiums: the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park, the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field, the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field, the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field."
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MLB NRDC Greening page
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4/20/10, "Buying Carbon offsets may ease eco-guilt but not global warming," by Doug Struck, CS Monitor
  • "“I think you are looking at 75 percent of them as garbage, at least,” says Rolf Skar, a forest conservationist and senior investigator for Greenpeace in San Francisco."...

"The Americans? Really? Every year the International Energy Agency (IEA) calculates humanity's CO2 pollution from burning fossil fuels. And once again, the overall story line is one of ever-increasing emissions:

"Global carbon-dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel combustion reached a record high of 31.6 gigatonnes in 2011."

The world has yet to figure out how to stop the relentless increase in climate pollution. But mixed in with all the bad news there was one shining ray of hope. One of the biggest obstacles to climate action may be shifting. As the IEA highlighted:

"US emissions have now fallen by 430 Mt (7.7%) since 2006, the largest reduction of all countries or regions. This development has arisen from lower oil use in the transport sector … and a substantial shift from coal to gas in the power sector."...

  • It seems the planet's biggest all-time CO2 polluter is finally reducing its emissions.

Not only that, but as my top chart shows, US CO2 emissions are falling even faster than what President Obama pledged in the global Copenhagen Accord.

Until now, the failure by the USA to make significant emission cuts has been at the center of the global deadlock over what to do about climate pollution. Many of the biggest polluting nations -- such as China, India, Russia, Canada, Australia, and Brazil -- have been reluctant to create policies to reduce CO2 as long as the biggest bad-boy of them all, the USA, wasn't joining in.

But now, Americans are both promising CO2 cuts and actually doing it. In doing so they are leading the world in total CO2 reductions."...

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""The cap-and-trade system in Europe has not delivered to date," said Geir Vollsaeter, head of the energy and environmental consultancy Green World Advisors and former climate change specialist at Royal Dutch Shell."...

"A curious thing is happening to the air in the United States. It's getting cleaner.

Despite there being no real effort by Congress to address global warming and America's longstanding reputation as an energy hog, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are falling.

The lackluster economy has something to do with it. But it doesn't fully explain what's happening. Consider that even factoring in a stronger economy, forecasters see greenhouse gas emissions continuing to fall....

But the main and most surprising reason: cheap natural gas.

"The primary reason by far is low natural gas prices," said Robert Stavins, director of the environmental economics program at Harvard....

The numbers are fairly impressive. The United States has cut carbon emissions from its energy sector by about 9% since 2007, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

All this has been accomplished without the cap and trade law Congress fiercely debated in 2009.

Europe, by contrast, has seen its energy-sector carbon emissions remain basically flat. This despite the fact that most of Europe operates under a market-based cap-and-trade scheme where emissions are capped at a certain level and companies get tradable credits to emit pollution.

Plus, Europe has significantly higher taxes on energy.... But others take the U.S. success in reducing its energy sector emissions as a sign that its fragmented, state-based, regulatory approach has worked better than Europe's market-based cap-and-trade approach."The cap-and-trade system in Europe has not delivered to date," said Geir Vollsaeter, head of the energy and environmental consultancy Green World Advisors and former climate change specialist at Royal Dutch Shell."...
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Ed. note: Numerous politicians caused an economic depression in the US resulting in reduced CO2 emissions projected to go even lower. Global 'green' and CO2 movements are clearly obsolete and if anything suffer from an excess of cash. If MLB is socially responsible as it claims, there are many problems that could use attention. The 'green' industry isn't one of them. We all want clean air and water and to protect the environment but the green industry is about something quite different. It's about CO2 poisoning for which rich investment bankers created an unregulated commodity trading market. It's natural for elite MLB players to want to 'give back' to the community and 'do good' with their priceless aura. Perhaps unbeknownst to them, that's not what's happening when they promote catastrophic man-caused CO2 endangerment to impressionable children. At best they're promoting
  • an obsolete business venture.
Classroom visited by Houston Astros for "Play Green" classroom contest, photo from Astros website promoting 2012 contest. (undated) Above, Chris Johnson of the Houston Astros visits area school children as part of Astros "Play Green" classroom contest, from Astros website, "Chris Johnson made his second greenest classroom visit of the season" ... (undated)
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7/02/09, "The Great American Bubble Machine: How Goldman Sachs has Engineered Every Major Market Manipulation Since the Great Depression," Rolling Stone, by Matt Taibbi

  • called cap-and-trade.
The new carbon-credit market is a virtual repeat of the commodities-market casino that's been kind to Goldman,

If the plan goes forward as expected, the rise in prices

  • will be government-mandated.
  • Goldman won't even have to rig the game.
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7/28/10, "The secrets 10 states and Wall Street don't want you to know," by Mark Lagerkvist, NJ Watchdog
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2/1/2011, "Austria Asks Sweden to Return Carbon Permits Worth $3.9 Million," Bloomberg,

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