Over in New Hamshire, the rights of our fellow humans have a chance to be seriously infringed upon. The NH Climate Change Policy Task Force, created by Gov. John Lynch, is considering seriously scary government policies.
These include “taxing individuals for each pound of trash they produce; imposing higher automotive registration and insurance rates on individuals who drive more; increasing gasoline taxes; reducing the availability of parking; and establishing ‘Residential Behavior Change Programs’ that would employ community networks to intimidate individuals into ‘making sustained, socially beneficial changes at the household level.’”
Ok, so I’m assuming that this disturbing intrusion into American lives has a cause that justifies the actions. Let’s break this down.
The US, in 2004 was responsible for 22.2% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. China has passed us since then, meaning our percentage has gone down some, so I’ll estimate the number at 20% right now.
In 2005, the New Hampshire produced 21.21 Million Metric Tons of CO2. The entire US made 6,049,235 Thousand Metric Tons of CO2 in 2004. This is where it got tough, but I beared down and put my thinking cap on to figure it out. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that 21.21 Million Metric Tons is 21,210 Thousand Metric Tons.
That would make the percentage of carbon dioxide in the US that New Hampshire creates is a measly .35% of the total amount we produce. But wait, there’s more!
The US makes only 20% of the worlds CO2. So .35% multiplied by 20% equals……. only .07% of the worlds carbon dioxide production. That’s all New Hampshire makes.
We also know that the if every country accepted the Kyoto Protocol, the worlds temperature would be reduced by only .06 degrees Celcius. The reductions Kyoto calls for are 5% below 1990 levels.
The worlds carbon emissions are expected to be 28,563 million metric tons in 2012. In 1990 it was 21,563, and 5% below that is 20,485 MMT. So essentially, getting rid of 8,078 MMT (per year) of CO2 will reduce global warming by .06 degrees.
What does that mean for New Hampshire? It means that if the state stoped producing carbon dioxide indefinitely, it would reduce global temperatures by approximately .00016 degrees Celcius by 2050.
Of course, completely halting production of CO2 won’t happen. Let’s say they reduce emission by 60% throught these policy changes, something which almost surely won’t happen, (unless nuclear was used) the temperature reductions would be .00009 degrees Celcius.
So that’s the dilemma. Reduce our emissions, resulting in a lower quality of life and government intrusion and regulation like none seen before in the US, and the result is a temperature reduction that is almost incomprehensibly small.
.00009 degrees Celcius. Human rights and living standards. Which one is more important? That’s up to you to figure out.
The data I used for this post is from these 3 sources:
World Energy Consumption and Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 1990–2025
List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions
Energy CO2 Emissions by State