Sunday, October 16, 2016

Collapse's Silver Lining

Photo by Lynne Hand
Maryland's Energy Administration can claim the lion's share of the progress in greenhouse gas reduction for the state over the past seven years, though several facets of the EmPOWER Maryland Program are led by other agencies. Transportation, which emits roughly one-third of the state's greenhouse gases, has not been a major contributor to Maryland's success in pursuit of the 2020 mandated emissions reductions. Greenhouse gases emitted by vehicles has decreased, but not at a rate that would make the 25% reduction anticipated by the Maryland Commission on Climate Change. Page 40 of MDOT's annual attainment report has a bar graph that cuts through a lot of obfuscation.

Ironically, Maryland will probably meet not only the 2020 target for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, but also the additional 15% reduction mandated by the 2016 version of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act. You may think that electric vehicles will be a big part of the reason, but I am thinking more in terms of the slowdown in the economy that will come about when the central banks have lost all control of the financial system. The Great Recession had the salutary effect of lowering GHG emissions. It appears that nature has a different view of goodness than the majority of humans, at least as measured by the greenhouse effect. While many will see the collapse of the financial system (coming soon to an economy near you) as a catastrophe, take comfort in the thought that it may also be the salvation of the world.

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