If only we had listened to climate scientists back in 1979…here’s what would have happened

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Alberto Z. Comendador

In two previousarticles I made a point that seems inarguable but that advocates of emission cuts seldom acknowledge: the only worthy metric of progress in reducing emissions is the CO2 intensity of GDP, which one could also call CO2 efficiency. Looking at absolute emissions is absurd because absolute emissions depend largely or mostly on GDP and the growth thereof, which are of course unknown (especially if we’re making projections about the year 2100!).

In any case, climate policies aren’t supposed to reduce emissions by reducing GDP; sometimes advocates of emission cuts even brag about the economic benefits of their policies. So they can only work by reducing CO2 intensity, which is to say by increasing CO2 efficiency.

A second point hardly ever acknowledged is that CO2 efficiency isn’t static: it’s growing most of the time, in most places. It would have grown…

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