Rise in U.S. power plant emissions outpaced electricity demand in 2007
Carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. power plants rose 2.9 percent from 2006 to 2007, according to data analysis by the Environmental Integrity Project. That’s the largest annual increase in nine years and outpaced demand for electricity, according to the report. And the impact will last well beyond a year, warns EIP Director Eric Schaeffer: “Because CO2 has an atmospheric lifetime of between 50 and 200 years, today’s emissions could cause global warming for up to two centuries to come.” If that’s not depressing enough, try this on for size: Nine scientists, including ubiquitous NASA climate guru James Hansen, have written a draft paper saying that the globe has already passed the safe point for atmospheric CO2 concentration, and we should rapidly reduce emissions to approximately 1988 levels. Which is — um, how to put this — easier said than done.