Environmentalists, Not Traders, Sell Your Jobs Out To China.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping and President Obama struck a deal Wednesday to limit greenhouse gases, with China committing for the first time to cap carbon emissions and Obama unveiling a plan for deeper U.S. emissions reductions through 2025. China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, pledged in the far-reaching agreement to cap its rapidly growing carbon emissions by 2030, or earlier if possible.
There are days on which the Washington Post still manages to serve a useful function as a newspaper. Their fact-checkers get complacent and actual true information gets past them and makes it into the morning edition. It turns out that the US and China really have made a deal on Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG). It’s the terms and motivations that the WaPo has seemed to effectively gafarkle.*
Here’s a more accurate take on the terms. The far-reaching agreement to cap emissions by 2030 means that the Chinese will not have to reduce the amount of pollution they emit for the next sixteen years. The United States, on average, has targeting reduced GHG emissions by 1.2% per year since 2005. Assuming success in the current target from 2015 to 2030, we will be reducing our emissions by an aggregate amount of 26% (26.15% if you believe we have precision in our Climate Models).
In light of recent history, this won’t happen under anything that resembles positive economic conditions. GHG emissions are a function driven by economic performance. We currently emit fewer GHGs than 1996. However, we only got there by steadily reducing our workforce participation rate from 2007 to today. We have reduced GHG emissions from 7.33 Million Tons (MTons) in 2007 to 6.53 MTons in 2012. We have reduced the US Workforce Participation Rate from 66.4 in 2007 to 63.6 in 2012. The math of how firing Americans saves the planet follows below.
At current economic non-performance, we can expect US workforce participation to decline by 0.56% per year. This continued expansion of Funemployment will allow us to successfully abate 0.16 Mtons of GHG emissions per year. Dividing the Funemployment expansion by the GHG abatement gives us the fundamental rate of victory for Obama’s climate strategy. For every 1% we reduce our workforce participation rate, we can abate 3.5 Mtons of …read more