U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions hit record high

This week, the feds quietly — as in, tiptoeing in socks, holding breath — released annual stats on U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions, as required by the U.N. climate-change convention. The news is roughly as good as you would expect: The U.S., with only 5 percent of the world’s population, is its biggest GHG polluter; emissions rose 1.7 percent between 2003 and 2004, the biggest increase since 2000, part of a 15.8 percent rise since 1990; in 2004, the U.S. spewed the equivalent of 6.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide. Not surprisingly, fossil-fuel combustion was responsible for the bulk (94 percent) of the emissions. Demand for electricity in the U.S. keeps on rising, as does the number of cars on the road. Said U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson: “[T]he U.S. is making significant progress toward the president’s greenhouse-gas reduction goals.” Said us: What the hell are you talking about?