Copyright © Françoise Herrmann
The new epa.org (Environmental Protection Agency) web pages on global warming (minus three pages on Climate change home, Climate Science, and Climate change impacts) are up and running!
The great news is that no major political re-interpretation of scientific data has occurred. Even if activists would probably like to see more details and the mention of agriculture, included in the EPA’s statement of the sources of GHG emissions, the Overview of the sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions clearly states, without the slightest ambiguity:
Greenhouse gases trap heat and make the planet warmer. Human activities are responsible for almost all of the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the last 150 years.1 The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the United States is from burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation.
Data on the share of GHG emissions is provided per economic sector (including industry, farming, transportation, commercial/residential, land use and electricity), as well as an analysis of the GHG warming potential. Indeed, the EPA climate change data has been updated with more recent reports and scientific data from the most authoritative sources of information, the IPCC and the EPA's own US Inventory of GHG emissions and sinks, rather than re-interpreted, as feared, according to stated positions denying the existence of global warming.
The US data on GHG emissions and sinks presented is also clearly stated as reported to the United Nations, per the binding agreement to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). Thus, the EPA clearly mentions its compliance with provisions applicable to the rest of the world.
The Carbon Footprint Calculator tool is still there, with an even nicer interface!
As for the former chart on Global Carbon emissions from 1900 to 2008, showing the dramatic increase in carbon emissions with the rise of industrial activity in the 1950s, new updated information is provided for US Total GHG emissions from 1990 to 2015. Consequently, the Total US GHG emissions, 1990-2015 chart, now shows an equally impressive halt to the rise in US GHG emissions, beginning in 2007-08 when the world was alerted to the dangers of climate warming, arising from GHG emissions, and a new awareness, coupled with intensive mitigation efforts were deployed.
Indeed, the new chart is fantastic news on the power of a country to change the course of catastrophic trends, even if this is just a small beginning in the reversal of GHG emissions trends, considering how the global picture displays no such planet-saving dip in carbon emissions, estimated to represent 82% of GHG emissions.
GHG emissions data may now also be explored with a new EPA tool termed the GHG Data Explorer that enables to search for emissions of a specific gas, per sector, and for a given period of time.
Another new tool for calculating GHG emissions equivalencies, termed the GHG Equivalencies Calculator, is also provided to enable users to calculate how much GHG emissions a particular item generates in daily life. For example, 40 gallons of gas generates of 784 pounds of CO2 (carbon dioxide). Conversely, if users have GHG emissions data, they might also calculate equivalencies to offset emissions using the controversial flexible mechanisms (flex-mex) for International Emissions Trading and the Global Carbon Trading Markets, built into the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol within the context of the UNFCCC.
When President Trump shocked the world with his forthright denial of climate change on the campaign trail (League of Conservation Voters, 2016), Chomsky (2016) suggested that the most pressing question was whether “he really meant what he said”, a suggestion which shocked even more people. Nonetheless, this overhaul of the EPA web pages (minus a few links) tends to suggest that no such denial exists and that the EPA will not be dismantled anytime soon.
Chomsky, n. (2016) If Trump becomes president (YouTube recording)
League of conservation voters (Oct. 2016) – In their own words – 2016 Presidential candidates on climate change
Environmental protection agency (EPA)
EPA - Carbon footprint Calculator
EPA - Greenhouse Gas Data Explorer
EPA - Overview of the sources of GHG emissions
EPA - Sources of greenhouse gas emissions
EPA - Total US Greenhouse gas emissions 1990-2015
EPA - Greenhouse Gas Emissions Calculator
EPA - Inventory of Greenhouse Gas emissions and sinks
EPA - Understanding Global Warming Potentials
EPA - Greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator
IPCC - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
UNFCC - United Nations Framework Convention on Climate change
International Emissions Trading
Carbon Trade Exchange
EDF - The World's Carbon Markets
Herrmann, F, (2014) Emissions trading. Posted at Patents on the soles of your shoes.
Herrmann, F. (2016) Green gone grey post nov. 2016 elections? Posted at Patents on the soles of your shoes.
Herrmann, F. (2017) An inconvenient sequel. Posted at Patents on the soles of your shoes