America's plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions was going so well… until the economy turned around. The Environmental Protection Agency broke the bad news in its greenhouse gas inventory report for 1990 through 2010.
In its accompany notes, the EPA explained, "The increase from 2009 to 2010 was primarily due to an increase in economic output resulting in an increase in energy consumption across all sectors, and much warmer summer conditions resulting in an increase in electricity demand for air conditioning that was generated primarily by combusting coal and natural gas." In other words, being employed and comfortable comes at a cost, and Mother Earth is paying the bills. All in all, greenhouse gas emissions are up 10.5 percent since 1990.
Despite the upturn in emissions lately, The New York Times says America could lower them through "a combination of government policy steps, energy innovations and the deployment of low-carbon production techniques." And with the Pentagon, which has just announced its plan to ween the U.S. military off of fossil fuels, we're at least heading in the right direction.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.