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Greenhouse Emissions Drop Less During Economic Downturn Than Expected

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the global-warming-is-a-lie-of-course dept.

Stats 87

An anonymous reader writes with a quick bite from Nature World News: "The contribution of economic decline in reducing greenhouse gas emissions is very low, reveals a new study. Researcher Richard York of the University of Oregon studied data collected between 1960 and 2008 from more than 150 nations in order to analyze the impact of economic decline on greenhouse gas emissions." From the paper: "In Model 2, the percentage of the population living in urban areas and the percentage of GDP from the manufacturing sector were included as control variables. This model has lower data coverage than Model 1 (154 versus 160 nations, and 4,134 versus 5,630 nation-year observations) owing to missing data on the control variables. The coefficients, at 0.752 for growth and 0.346 for decline, are similar to those from Model 1 and, as in Model 1, are both significantly different from 0 and significantly different from each other."

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my guess (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41593939)

My guess is, that despite the cut in GDP, and the long, painful period of high unemployment, the economy hasn't actually been that bad. And that most of us have not had to change our habits much to cope.

Re:my guess (5, Insightful)

Mr0bvious (968303) | about 2 years ago | (#41594061)

My guess is, that the effects of the recent economic downturn has yet to be realised - it's been kicked down the road by the creation of trillions of dollars and increased debt to offset its effect - it's been absorbed (hidden) by more debt and inflation.

So I think it's a little too early to be making any judgements or conclusions.

Re:my guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41594273)

I realize we're meant to be focused on the pollution aspect, but in all other ways, it's better than a real, lasting depression. That really costs you - even in the long haul.

I mean, when even the world's figurehead Randian policy makers say, "Oh god, we give up, fuck moral hazard, we were wrong and this needs to be stopped by any means necessary - even if it's by our worst interventionist nightmare scenario", you know they think we're looking down the barrel of a gun.

Perhaps less-so on ARRA than TARP, but the point stands. It's bad to stack more on an already massive debt burden, but it's far worse to "just let it happen".

Re:my guess (1, Interesting)

reboot246 (623534) | about 2 years ago | (#41594397)

You may be right. I wonder if our economy is being crippled on purpose to force us to lower carbon emissions. I bet it looks that way to the coal industry.

Re:my guess (2)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about 2 years ago | (#41594543)

You may be right. I wonder if our economy is being crippled on purpose to force us to lower carbon emissions. I bet it looks that way to the coal industry.

You give far too much credit for US leadership and their ability for long term planning. (or perhaps its the populations fault with the attention span of a.... LOOK, A SQUIRREL, for letting these people in the wheel in the first place) I mean, you guys started 2 wars you didnt budget for and cut taxes for the rich at the same time... What exactly were you expecting to happen?

The wealthy don't matter (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41594627)

Until they start asking the half of America that pays no income tax to start contributing something, or to sacrifice some services, the teensy amount they can raise by asking the one percent tthat pays the most (and receives little in return) to pay more won't even be a drip in the bucket.

Bolstering the economy by theft only goes so far.

Re:The wealthy don't matter (3)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about 2 years ago | (#41594673)

Until they start asking the half of America that pays no income tax to start contributing something, or to sacrifice some services, the teensy amount they can raise by asking the one percent tthat pays the most (and receives little in return) to pay more won't even be a drip in the bucket.

Bolstering the economy by theft only goes so far.

You can't pay taxes if your income doesnt even cover food, shelter and medical care for you and your dependables but if you're making millions you wont even notice a drop in your living standards even if you paid half of your income in taxes. Taxation aside, US is also spending more on healthcare than any other country while getting worst return-per-dollar of any industrialized nation.

Re:The wealthy don't matter (0)

sycodon (149926) | about 2 years ago | (#41596207)

The "47%" includes incomes all the way up to $50k last I heard. It's insane that they pay nothing.

If they are getting earned income tax credits or other net contributions from the feds, they should at least have to turn around and give some back under the label of Income Tax just so that they have a feeling of ownership. Even if it's just $10.

Re:The wealthy don't matter (4, Informative)

bp+m_i_k_e (901456) | about 2 years ago | (#41596511)

It's unfortunate that the "they-pay-nothing" argument is made by so many, including a presidential candidate. This statement is false.

Even the bottom 20% pays an average of 17.4% of their income in taxes. It is absurd for anyone to say that some group "pays nothing." It is grossly absurd for a well-educated, former governor and many supposedly informed supporters, including a member of the House Budget Committee, to say "they don't pay anything."

Here is one summary of the overall tax burden as a % of income in 2011:
17.4% - Lowest 20% (Avg cash income: $13,000)
21.2% - Second 20% ($26,100)
25.2% - Third 20% ($42,000)
28.3% - Fourth 20% ($68,700)
29.5% - Next 10% ($105,000)
20.3% - Next 5% ($147,000)
30.4% - Next 4% ($254,000)
29.0% - Top 1% ($1,371,000)

Source (pdf): http://www.ctj.org/pdf/taxday2012.pdf [ctj.org]

Re:The wealthy don't matter (1)

sycodon (149926) | about 2 years ago | (#41596937)

Oh...that explains why my ex, who makes around $30k gets money back every year (in excess of her withholding) due to the various programs such as the earned income tax credit and child tax credit, etc. etc.

I guess the Citizens for Tax Justice forgot those small details.

Re:The wealthy don't matter (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41598039)

She gets money back becasue she is having them hold to much.

Getting money back doesn't mean they pay nothing, dimwit.

Re:The wealthy don't matter (1)

sycodon (149926) | about 2 years ago | (#41598249)

"gets money back every year (in excess of her withholding) "

I'll cut you some slack because I know people usually just skim the posts.

Re:The wealthy don't matter (2)

Mo Bedda (888796) | about 2 years ago | (#41597345)

Yes, it seems fairly systematic. When talking about the budget, they emphasize the amount of spending on Social Security and Medicare, but when talking about taxes, they shift to the percentage of income taxes paid by the top of the scale, ignoring the fact that Social Security and Medicare are funded almost entirely via payroll tax and not income tax.

I find the "they-pay-nothing" argument pretty disgusting given the fact that the bulk of the working poor are probably paying a higher rate than the likes of Mitt Romney.

Re:The wealthy don't matter (2)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | about 2 years ago | (#41596315)

I didn't pay income tax for the last 10 years. I know I'm a lazy no good son of a bitch. My wife was a full-time nursing student, and I was a part-time comp sci student while holding down a full-time job and we had 4 kids. Had plenty of money to spend, didn't qualify for food stamps or govt aid, had our own health insurance, but we did qualify for earned income credit (which is a form of welfare). Just about everyone I worked with fell into the same category. We all averaged about $45k a year doing manual labor.

I don't have exact numbers, but I wonder how many people who pay no income tax fall into this category. I would argue about half of them. They make enough money to live "well" (all depends on you're definition of "well"), but since they don't make some magic number in income they get all their "tax" money back at the end of the year plus some.

Re:The wealthy don't matter (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41598059)

Maybe you should stop guessing and look up the numbers. Cause you look like an idiot.

Re:The wealthy don't matter (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#41598387)

You can't pay taxes if your income doesnt even cover food, shelter and medical care for you and your dependables but if you're making millions you wont even notice a drop in your living standards even if you paid half of your income in taxes. Taxation aside, US is also spending more on healthcare than any other country while getting worst return-per-dollar of any industrialized nation.

I'm sorry...EVERYONE should have to pay into federal taxation...to have some 'skin in the game' so to speak.

Everyone could at least afford to pay at least $1-$2....and no one should get more money back than they put in.

Re:The wealthy don't matter (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#41602955)

Everyone who has a job pays FICA taxes. A substantial number of people who pay not federal taxes are retired with (almost) no income other than their SS payments.

If you say that no one should get back more money than they put it then you're probably talking about increasing the welfare departments because the Earned Income Tax Credit is in some ways a substitute for welfare for people with children they are responsible for. It's probably a cheaper way to do it than explicitly giving them welfare too.

Re:The wealthy don't matter (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#41607493)

If you're working, you can pay at least $1-$10 federal tax too.

And no, I don't think you should get tax credits for kids...why? You get a credit for fucking? It isn't like people will stop fucking and reproducing just because there is no longer a tax credit for it.

Besides, that's unfair for those with few or no kids as that they basically are subsidizing YOUR reproduction, you know?

Stop giving welfare. I don't mind a safety net...if you're infirmed, or elderly...fine. If it is temporary...lose job, etc...fine.

But welfare and more tax money returned than paid should not be a continuous way of life.

but you are so wrong (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | about 2 years ago | (#41617063)

Every dollar you and all your 300 million americans pay in income tax (federal) goes directly to pay back debt, ie it goes directly to the BANKS.

So if the govt had zero debt, they wouldnt need your income tax.

Get a clue, income tax was only invented to pay for the war, the WW1 WW2 is OVER.

Give us our fucking money, govt theives.

The Big Lie Lives [Re:The wealthy don't matter] (2)

DavidHumus (725117) | about 2 years ago | (#41597169)

This - from the Economist http://www.economist.com/node/21563343 [economist.com] :
Only 8% of households pay no federal tax at all...

For the more numerate among you: a progressive income tax + a lot of poor people = many people paying little or no income tax. They still pay all sorts of other taxes.

Also, what proportion of serving members of our armed forces come from families in the "47%" - do you think it's proportional to the population as a whole or perhaps the poor are hugely over-represented here?

Re:The wealthy don't matter (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#41602907)

Most of the people who pay no federal income tax are still paying FICA tax if they are working. Any they also pay sales taxes and various other state taxes. Another substantial chunk of them are retired and receive so little income they pay no federal income tax. Surprisingly it includes around 160,000 people who are in the top 10% of earners. I Googled "who are the 47% not paying taxes" and found a number of articles. Here is one of them. [dailyfinance.com]

Re:my guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41594835)

I bet it looks that way to the coal industry.

Aren't coal prices really high now, as a matter of demand/supply (on an international level)? As a utility we have recently built a new natural gas power plant and it's cheaper to operate than coal currently. Although we have not had any growth in electric demand, it has only receded slightly, while we have had significant industrial and commercial efficiency improvement programs (offering state and federal incentives) at the same time.

Re:my guess (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595507)

You may be right. I wonder if our economy is being crippled on purpose to force us to lower carbon emissions. I bet it looks that way to the coal industry.

Nah, this is the U.S., under bribe-and-trade, the Coal Industry just isn't buying enough lobbying offsets to counter hot-air lobbying emissions produced by the Natural Gas Industry.

Debt, - no free money :) (1)

jopsen (885607) | about 2 years ago | (#41594425)

My guess is, that the effects of the recent economic downturn has yet to be realised - it's been kicked down the road by the creation of trillions of dollars and increased debt to offset its effect

Seriously, don't worry about debt, it's all hype, nothing to worry about... When wheels start spinning again, and you're not paying for two wars, that debt will be gone in no time...
Keep in mind that interest rates are so low, that take loans and investing it in education, research, infrastructure, etc. is very likely to pay of, big time. With a much bigger interest than you're charged for borrowing the money (which is practically free today).

Anyways, just my two cents... Keep in mind that when the state invests in people, that pays off because people pays taxes. And not bank can offer the same kind of investment.

Re:Debt, - no free money :) (1)

morgauxo (974071) | about 2 years ago | (#41595255)

When will we not be at war?

Now we have a republican rising in the poles. I don't want to support Obama... he continued the warrant-less wiretapping of US citizens, he executes people without trial. (probably ones that deserve it but still, nobody should have that power) But... he hasn't dragged us into any more wars. He has been very slow to pull us out of Bush's wars and he has dropped some bombs to support a revolution (resulting in a rise for the Islamic Brotherhood ans Sharia law, yay... that really made the world a better place!) but he hasn't actually dragged us into a full out war. Look what the last republican did! Romney is talking about the US taking a greater roll in the world. What do you think a greater role means people?!?! We will be at war with Iran and Syria before we are even out of Afghanistan!

Re:Debt, - no free money :) (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41598103)

" he executes people without trial. "
you know who else executes without a trial? A police officer that kills someone in the line of duty. Don't fall into the" OMG! the president kills citizen whenever he wants" scaremonger poised by For et. al.

There was a huge legal issue leading up to that.

If you are helping the enemy and hiding with the enemy, then you will die with the enemy. They wanted to capture him, but that wasn't feasible.

". He has been very slow to pull us out of Bush's wars "
I disagree. I think it's been reasonable. You want everyone out, but you want a stable government when you leave. We know what happens if you just leave a power vacuum behind.

Re:Debt, - no free money :) (1)

morgauxo (974071) | about 2 years ago | (#41607797)

A police officer killing in the line of duty is acting on a clear and immediate threat. He is shooting someone who very well may shoot him at that moment. Afterwards he does have to justify it or he can go to jail himself.

This is not the same thing as gathering a group of like-minded people who you chose yourself in a room 1/2 way around the planet and deciding who lives and who dies and then classifying the information so that no body can ever verify what/why they did it, forever.

I'm not even making the argument that the drone killings need to stop, I'm only making the argument that there must be oversight. Perhaps after the president and his friends make his list they forward it onto a court, with a judge that he did not appoint himself looks at the evidence and approves or disapproves of it. If the evidence contains sensitive information that might get informants killed or similar stuff then it remains a closed process, just a judge or a handful of judges see it. If at all possible without endangering anyone though bring in a jury. Then... go kill the terrorist. As it stands though, we the people have absolutely nothing except the presidents word that he is using this power only against valid terrorists.

If you are helping the enemy and hiding with the enemy, then you will die with the enemy.

According to our executive branch any male found in the vicinity of the terrorist at the time they decide to attack him with a drone is also a terrorist. I sit here in a room with 3 other males, my coworkers. There are several times that many in the rest of the building. All they know about what I do after hours is what I tell them and they have very little involvement. Where I a terrorist (I am not) they would not be involved. When I leave here I drive streets full of strangers. I go places with more strangers. There are very very few times a drone could find me alone. How can I believe that anybody in the vicinity of anybody else is into the same stuff they are just because they are there? That is ridiculous.

They wanted to capture him, but that wasn't feasible.

Did you think I was talking about any one specific person? I was talking about the drone attacks. Who are you talking about?

You want everyone out, but you want a stable government when you leave.

Then we would need to conquer the whole region, redraw new national boundaries that actually respect ethnic and historical boundaries. Massively relocate people who have created settlements since the current lines were drawn. Then you would still require a massive effort to police the new boundaries for a few generations while people forget all the reasons they hate one another. Meanwhile with all that relocation, you are going to need to supply an unheard of amount of food, medical supplies, etc... while people get on their feet. Basically, undo everything from the Roman empire on.

Or... put in place a ruthless dictator who will ensure there is no fighting by crushing all opposition. Oops - tried that - Saddam Hussein.

Maybe arm a group of religious extremists and let them impose their own kind of peace. Oops, tried that too, Taliban.

Maybe it's time to just butt out and let the people determine their own way. It will probably take some generations, there will be much suffering along the way. There is much suffering now though too and no reason to expect it to ever end on the current path. Meanwhile, maybe we can try to be a better example in the way we do things ourselves. Perhaps stop spying on our own citizens, perhaps not execute anyone without due process...

Re:my guess (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#41594877)

No problem! We will solve the economic and climate problems the good old fashioned American way: denying the problem exists, exploiting some other group of people, involving the military in some shortsighted way, giving guns and money to people who we really shouldn't, and if all else fails, leave the problem to future generations.

I had a kid. Are the rest of you doing your duty in making a future generation to pass the buck onto?

Re:my guess (1)

Ferretman (224859) | about 2 years ago | (#41595129)

I suspect *this* explanation is more closer to the reality of things than the first one, though there's a particle of fact there as well.

I don't know anybody who isn't scared to one degree or another about what's going on in the economy. I know a LOT of folks who don't drive as much, who don't buy as much, etc....and all of those will slightly reduce emission of so-called 'greenhouse gases'. The financial mess we've kicked down the road to our grandchildren is horrific.

An unscientific and unproven theory really isn't something that should be guiding people's actions anyway....let's focus on the fire at our feet (the disintegrating economy) and less on what might happen, maybe, someday, possibly.

Ferret

Re:my guess (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41598247)

"so-called 'greenhouse gases
they are greenhouse gases, no 'so-called green house gases.
The economy hasn't change any of my habits at all. It's not really as bad as people think. I remember the 80s. Try finding a job in 1982. I mean, almost every place had 'DO not apply here' signs in their windows.

"An unscientific and unproven theory really isn't something that should be guiding people's actions anyway"

um,. it is proven. Do you even know the 'scientific theory' even means?

" what might happen, maybe, someday, possibly. "
is happening, right now. WE have tons of proof, we have predictions, we have eliminated every other possible source. Do you have a testable hypothesis? Anything?
Is it normal cycle? no the Earths orbit is wrong. See we know what cause the cycles.

Is it the sun? Nope, the consistent rising temperature don't correlate to sun activity. If it did, the temp would go back down when the sun 'cooled'. Also, it would heat a different layer of the atmosphere, also, about a dozen other reason you wouldn't understand.

Is it Cosmic ray no, there hasn't been any evidences to support that.

Only 60% of the CO2 we put into the atmosphere is absorbed through the cycle. So we have CO2 not being absorbed.
The properties of CO2 are understood.
Every. Single. piece. of. data. point to man made.
Yes, even when idiots like you claim some of the sensor are no good, becasue you have no clue how they work or the process, removing those data points still verifies greenhouse warming is happening. And frankly, not turning the mid-west into a dessert is a far, far more important then the current economy; which is improving, BTW.

Re:my guess (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41594083)

My guess is, that despite the cut in GDP, and the long, painful period of high unemployment, the economy hasn't actually been that bad. And that most of us have not had to change our habits much to cope.

"Despite of millions of people losing their homes and livelyhoods, it hasn't been that bad cause I still have mine."

Re:my guess (2)

mc6809e (214243) | about 2 years ago | (#41594095)

Or possibly it is taking more and more energy simply to maintain the current level of GDP.

That means big trouble ahead.

Re:my guess (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41594163)

Your guess is wrong (and by the way, GDP is 70% consumption of mostly foreign goods).

It's the fake money that is created out of thin air by the Fed and it's about all the gov't 'stimulus' that uses the fake money and borrowing to promote consumption.

Here is the actual sad part: with all the consumption based on inflation and borrowing, none of it goes towards investment into actual productive activities, it all gets burned (foreign goods are bought and consumed, gas is consumed), it's all about stimulating consumption and once the fake money is no longer accepted, that's when austerity will set in.

However will austerity mean less CO2? Well, if people cut down on driving their cars because they can't buy gas for any amount of dollars, then sure, however there will be more CO2 produced as people go back to heating with coal and heavy oils, so it may be a wash.

Re:my guess (2)

xelah (176252) | about 2 years ago | (#41594335)

Your guess is wrong (and by the way, GDP is 70% consumption of mostly foreign goods).

GDP is, by definition, equal to consumption of domestically produced goods, plus government spending, plus investment, plus exports, minus imports. 70% of GDP could very well be consumption, at least in countries with unusually low government spending, but perhaps you could explain how it could be mostly of foreign goods? Consuming foreign goods reduces GDP. It doesn't increase it. GDP is a production measure, not a consumption one. It's quite possible to have your population living in poverty despite enormous GDP - if you're investing or exporting all of it.

Re:my guess (2, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41594613)

By the way, you are missing part of the formula for GDP, it's the deflator that they are supposed to apply to discount inflation. Of-course their deflators are ridiculously low, I have an 'informative' post with many numbers and links in it here [slashdot.org] , which shows a few things about inflation and GDP. AFAIC GDP has been shrinking for a long time now in 2 ways.

1. The 'production' part of GDP is shrinking all the time. Look at the trade deficit numbers, here is a page with history on it in PDF or text [census.gov] . For the year 2011 the trade deficit was 559Billion dollars and it's growing all he time. Of-course the total personal consumption in USA is mostly on services, not on goods, in fact 2/3 of all consumption is services and only 1/3 is goods. 11Trillion was spent by US consumers in 2011, so about 3 Trillion was spent on goods and the rest was energy, food and services (like healthcare and education for example), so in that sense US consumer consumes mostly 'US' service. However if you look at the goods (go to Walmart and compare how many things are made in USA vs foreign made, like China), you'll find that most of the goods bought and sold (and even food, 90% of sea food comes from Asia) is made elsewhere.

2. The deflator that is used is reverse engineered to fit the propaganda. With the nominal and pre-deflator GDP being 2.9%, the deflator is set to be 1.6. (read the linked comment, I give quotes and links there), that's GDP revised down from 1.7% to 1.3% (post deflator) for the second quarter.

70% of GDP could very well be consumption, at least in countries with unusually low government spending

- I am sorry, this sentence makes no sense. 70% of GDP is consumption, that's not because of low gov't consumption, the exact opposite is the case, that's because of very high consumption stimulated by gov't (especially non-existing interest rates and free money allocated by the Fed to the member banks, who then buy T-bills and bonds and allow gov't to keeps spending). It's low production that is the problem, that's why GDP is 70% personal [about.com] consumption [lewrockwell.com] , it's the actual number [policymic.com] , what [businessinsider.com] can I say [mybudget360.com] ? You see, when the production portion of GDP shrinks, the consumption portion becomes bigger and bigger part of the number, and if the consumption is stimulated artificially with fake money and 0% interest rates, and as long as the foreigners are willing to take dollars for their exports, then consumption even grows, doesn't just stay the same.

The reason that the consumption is mostly of foreign goods is exactly because the production part of GDP is disappearing.

Re:my guess (1)

xelah (176252) | about 2 years ago | (#41599695)

By the way, you are missing part of the formula for GDP, it's the deflator that they are supposed to apply to discount inflation. Of-course their deflators are ridiculously low, I have an 'informative' post with many numbers and links in it here [slashdot.org] , which shows a few things about inflation and GDP.

The GDP deflater is not part of the calculation of a given years GDP expressed in that years price level. It's only used if you need to express it in another year's price level, as is necessary for calculating growth.

AFAIC GDP has been shrinking for a long time now in 2 ways.

1. The 'production' part of GDP is shrinking all the time. Look at the trade deficit numbers, here is a page with history on it in PDF or text [census.gov] . For the year 2011 the trade deficit was 559Billion dollars and it's growing all he time. Of-course the total personal consumption in USA is mostly on services, not on goods, in fact 2/3 of all consumption is services and only 1/3 is goods. 11Trillion was spent by US consumers in 2011, so about 3 Trillion was spent on goods and the rest was energy, food and services (like healthcare and education for example), so in that sense US consumer consumes mostly 'US' service. However if you look at the goods (go to Walmart and compare how many things are made in USA vs foreign made, like China), you'll find that most of the goods bought and sold (and even food, 90% of sea food comes from Asia) is made elsewhere.

All of GDP is the 'production' part. It's a measure of production within a given geographical area. If US consumers spend, say, $1tr more on imports then that makes no difference to the GDP figure. Remember: GDP=c+g+i+x-m.....adding $1tr to c (consumption) and $1tr to m (imports) leaves it unchanged.

2. The deflator that is used is reverse engineered to fit the propaganda. With the nominal and pre-deflator GDP being 2.9%, the deflator is set to be 1.6. (read the linked comment, I give quotes and links there), that's GDP revised down from 1.7% to 1.3% (post deflator) for the second quarter.

GDP is not a percentage. You can, of course, dispute the inflation statistics and hence the real growth rate, although you don't appear to have any good reason for doing so other than 'by my theory there damn well ought to be more inflation than there is'. This does not affect the percentage of GDP which is domestic consumption of domestically produced goods and services (the c-m figure). Nor does it make the statement I'm disputing ('GDP is 70% consumption of mostly foreign goods') make any sense.

70% of GDP could very well be consumption, at least in countries with unusually low government spending

- I am sorry, this sentence makes no sense. 70% of GDP is consumption, that's not because of low gov't consumption, the exact opposite is the case, that's because of very high consumption stimulated by gov't (especially non-existing interest rates and free money allocated by the Fed to the member banks, who then buy T-bills and bonds and allow gov't to keeps spending).

Percentages add to 100%. GDP is c+g+i+x-m. If c, consumption, is 70% of GDP and x-m is, say, -5% (about right for the US) then government spending, g, can't be higher than 35% of GDP and is almost certainly rather lower. 20%, say, which sounds reasonable for the US (given that g doesn't include pure transfers and that the US has relatively low government spending for a rich country).

You've conflated 'gov't consumption' (whatever that may be) with 'consumption stimulated by gov't'. Consumption of domestic goods by consumers is consumption of domestic goods by consumers, even if it's the indirect result of a government fiscal stimulus or central bank monetary stimulus. It still represents production in the US, and it still represents the use of goods or services by someone in the US. Those goods don't somehow not count merely because they wouldn't have existing had the government not done those things, nor do they somehow fail to provide benefits to those who consume them.

It's low production that is the problem, that's why GDP is 70% personal [about.com] consumption [lewrockwell.com] , it's the actual number [policymic.com] , what [businessinsider.com] can I say [mybudget360.com] ? You see, when the production portion of GDP shrinks, the consumption portion becomes bigger and bigger part of the number, and if the consumption is stimulated artificially with fake money and 0% interest rates, and as long as the foreigners are willing to take dollars for their exports, then consumption even grows, doesn't just stay the same.

The reason that the consumption is mostly of foreign goods is exactly because the production part of GDP is disappearing.

What in the name of all that is sane is the 'production portion of GDP'? GDP is a measure of the amount of production. It's ALL production. When someone says that 70% of GDP is consumption they mean that output of equal value to 70% of what is produced domestically is consumed by domestic consumers. If that's $1trn then that's $1trn of domestic production, $1trn of domestic consumption and $1trn of domestic value-added. GDP is not a sum of production and consumption. It is a measure of production, which can be calculated three equivalent ways, one of which is by adding up the destination of that production, c+g+i+x-m.

Re:my guess (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | about 2 years ago | (#41594401)

World oil sales month 2 month
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vgnxa_JCLkU/Ti4TxYIppMI/AAAAAAAAAdw/rLpNUkhusNg/s1600/FIGURE209.GIF [blogspot.com]

If you burn 89 million barrels of oil per day, thats got to be the majority of pollution.

If that changes year to year, then the co2 levels must follow it.

Re:my guess (2)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41594441)

That's because people burn mostly oil, if many of them lose access to oil, they'll burn what they can, and this means going back to coal as well as other, worse resources, like heavy oils.

Re:my guess (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41598279)

Assuming no change in coal and diesel(ships mostly) usage, globally.

Re:my guess (3, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | about 2 years ago | (#41594671)

however there will be more CO2 produced as people go back to heating with coal and heavy oils, so it may be a wash.

You have really nailed it with that last part. I would not be so quick to blame coal for carbon emissions though (another discussion). The truth is poverty not affluence leads to environmental crisis. Affluence is why the USA has more forest now than it did 100 years ago. Affluence brings choice and when people have choice they do choose to protect the world around them.

I think we don't see the drop in emissions we might expect because even though the total ecnomic activity is decreased or at least the rate of growth is, the improvements and investments in clean technology are not being made. If I am a manufacturing business doing well, maybe I upgrade to new higher efficiency ovens; on the hope that the fuel savings will make me more profitable in the future and if nothing else less exhaust gases will be better for me, my employees and my family today. If I am struggling I am going to keep what I got, conserve capital and try to get through the hard times.

Autos are a good data point. By some estimates we have as many as 9 times the number of cars on the road in the USA today as we did in 1970, yet the total pollution from all those cars is about the same. There we a number of boom years in there were people bought new more efficient cleaner cars. During the big dip orders for autos fell to lows not seen in decades, as people kept their aging fleets.

Poverty is what forces people into destroying the environment, that is why you see a deforested Hatti, that is why you see so much disease in parts of India and China, they haven't the affluence to treat waste water.

Re:my guess (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41598349)

" The truth is poverty not affluence leads to environmental crisis."
Stupid. really really stupid. the Affluence gain off people in poverty. The effluent buy expensive things that take a lot of pollution to make and run.
It's not as simple as you make it seem.

" Affluence is why the USA has more forest now than it did 100 years ago."
no, environmental movement did that. BTW it's trees not forests. Yes, there are more forests, but it is't not just forest, it's green belts , parks, as well.

Re:my guess (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about 2 years ago | (#41598629)

Ask yourself how much would traction would the environmental movement have received if you had to convince people barely making enough to get by to support those higher costs? Answer none. The environment movement exists precisely because people are/were affluent enough to try and clean up and live more cleanly.

You don't see people in impoverished nations stopping the use of wood as a primary heating and cooking fuel. They just walk farther as the forest retreats. The are not stupid either they know they risking the future habitability of their land, they'd use something better if it cost more to get it, would they could afford it at all, but they *need* to be warm and fed today.

Re:my guess (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41597347)

No, my guess is right. Go read the article.

my guess is its all to do with beans (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41594341)

As people cut back on their budgets they are eating more beans. Beans for lunch, beans for breakfast, and beans for tea. This leads directly to increased methane emissions.

(well its as good as any other theory I've read)

Re:my guess is its all to do with beans (1)

chill (34294) | about 2 years ago | (#41595117)

That reminds me. I haven't seen Blazing Saddles in a while. I need to queue that up for a viewing.

Re:my guess (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | about 2 years ago | (#41594361)

Yeah, just the increase in prices for everything, wind back to 2001, and the after tax money thats left over, after bills, and housing, we used to have $700 more per month compared to now, so we are $8400 worse off per year.

Theres only so much penny pinching and cutting back that can be done, can't live on rice and water like a prisoner, just to break even to 2001.

Re:my guess (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41597263)

Theres only so much penny pinching and cutting back that can be done,

And you haven't come anywhere close to the limit.

Re:my guess (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41598403)

gosh, you had more money at the end of a boom period? I'm shocked I tell you, shocked. What if you want back to 2004? Do you have more or less.
I make less money then I did in 2001(100k+), and substantially more then I did in 2002.(60K). It's almost like a tech bubble burst or something.

Re:my guess (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 2 years ago | (#41594363)

How good for you!

Ignorance is definitely bliss.

Re:my guess (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41597241)

Ignorance is definitely bliss.

No, it's not. But in this case I'm right. Read the article, troll.

Re:my guess (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 2 years ago | (#41594551)

I'd go on and guess "the economy" can't correlate meaningfully with CO2 emissions at all. I'd go for the energy consumption in civil transport and industrial systems.

Re:my guess (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41597221)

?

I'd go for the energy consumption in civil transport and industrial systems.

This is correlated to the economy.

Re:my guess (1)

Idarubicin (579475) | about 2 years ago | (#41595789)

My guess is, that despite the cut in GDP, and the long, painful period of high unemployment, the economy hasn't actually been that bad. And that most of us have not had to change our habits much to cope.

My guess is, that despite there being links to both the full journal article and to a lay summary right in the Slashdot blurb, you didn't bother to read either one. And that you instead preferred to offer us all your enlightened wisdom derived from your gut feelings instead of, you know, talking about real data.

I know, I know. This is Slashdot; reading articles is for newbs....

Re:my guess (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41597159)

True, true. And now that I've read the article, it turns out I'm right.

Yeah Global Warming is BS. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41593963)

Yeah Global Warming is BS.

SURPRISE! It is a con-job to get money idiots!

Bitcoins! (-1, Flamebait)

commlinx (1068272) | about 2 years ago | (#41593981)

I suspect many millions like myself have thousands of HD5970 cards busy mining bitcoins which probably accounts for some of it. Hell I had to install my own array of diesel generators after I realized that silicon solar cells can't be vertically stacked well.

Anyway I expect my cache of BTC will keep my family and myself financially secure for generations to come, even if air quality may be somewhat degraded.

Paraphrased (2)

jrumney (197329) | about 2 years ago | (#41594023)

It turns out economic output was never a good excuse for the West's (and particularly USA's) high per-capita greenhouse gas emissions in the first place.

No surprise (4, Insightful)

nomad-9 (1423689) | about 2 years ago | (#41594033)

This is not really surprising.

Apart from people generally not changing their habits during a recession, there is the fact that the recession itself didn't hit all countries with the same intensity. Some (e.g. China, India and South Korea) are still doing well, and as a consequence, their greenhouse emissions haven''t decreased much.

While the developed countries did diminish their total emissions (e,g, UK, Japan, US, Germany), there is still the fact that the manufacturing sector ha been mostly transferred (outsourced or lost to) to the developing markets.Not surprising that the overall emissions have not dropped, at least in the same proportions that it increased during economic expansion.

150 nations + not all going in the same direction. Do the math.

Re:No surprise (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 2 years ago | (#41595225)

150 nations + not all going in the same direction. Do the math.

Read the article. They did the math.

Researcher Richard York of the University of Oregon studied data collected between 1960 and 2008 from more than 150 nations in order to analyze the impact of economic decline on greenhouse gas emissions.

York revealed that the rate of reduction in carbon dioxide emissions was slightly more than half the rate of carbon release when the economy was booming.

They go on explaining why a booming economy and a declining economy have such different rate changes -- based on an example from Soviet nations & African nations. Quite interesting.

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596733)

Transferring manufacturing from American and Europe to Asia results in more CO2 for the same amount of manufacturing.

Population, GDP Accumulated Growth, Continued (3, Informative)

retroworks (652802) | about 2 years ago | (#41594035)

Simple. If the three billion poorest people go from earning $3,000 per capita per year to $6,000 per capita per year, the economy can slump and carbon increases.

I ran my air conidtioner like normal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41594071)

I drove the same amount as I did the year before. I did eat and spend less though. No girlfirend anymore. I guess it wasn't enough to make a positive impact on the environment? Hehehehehe! Just screwing around folks.

Re:I ran my air conidtioner like normal. (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 years ago | (#41595335)

Well with the global warming, it was a hotter than normal summer, so people would have used the AC more

Essential use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41594241)

Perhaps.. Most of our greenhouse gas emissions come from our 'essential' use?

I might not be able to afford a new shiny thing. But I do still need to travel to work, heat my house and buy food.
Just like I did before the downturn.

Of my total usage, luxury items were probably a small percentage. So cutting out those only cuts out a small percentage.

Re:Essential use (0)

ledow (319597) | about 2 years ago | (#41594527)

Or: The one thing we don't sacrifice in an economic downturn are simple home comforts like warmth / cooling, but instead install poxy energy-saving lightbulbs that contribute next to NOTHING towards energy savings as a whole.

Nobody realises how to save energy properly and/or doesn't understand that their kettle pulls more power in the 2 minutes it's on than the lightbulb does all day long.

Or maybe we did cut back on energy use and those emissions came from somewhere else (e.g. people burning wood instead of paying for electricity to heat their homes).

Or maybe people know that they spent X amount on energy last year and intend to only spend X on it this year too so they know what they are paying by the end of the year.

Or maybe the "economic crisis" wasn't that much of a crisis at all, averaged over the entire populace.

Or maybe human home emissions have little relevance to global greenhouse gas emissions.

Or maybe there's a billion reasons.

Personally, the options for me get more likely towards the end of my list.

Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41594473)

We all know people who are suffering terribly due to the economic crises. But, the reality is that despite all the (understandable) hysteria most people did not lose their jobs. And in a lot of cases people's economic circumstances did not change to the point where they were going hungry. So while lots of them are spending more frugaly now, I'm not too surprised that for most it is a case of business as usual. The vast majority of people still have to get to work and do their jobs - and physics is not affected by the economy - your car still uses the same amount of fuel. Etc, etc, etc.

Re:Sigh (1)

ledow (319597) | about 2 years ago | (#41594599)

"We all know people who are suffering terribly due to the economic crises."

I can't actually name a person who I personally know who has been affected by the economic crisis, on average, more than would have happened by chance anyway. I can name someone who lost their job and was offered a replacement - but they worked in libraries that have been scheduled to close for decades, and they moved 400 miles in between jobs to a very rural area, so their present situation is more related to that.

I have Italian friends (supposedly "the next big country to go") - don't know any of them where the economic situation has changed their life for the worse. Actually, the opposite (promotions, more work etc.) and they gave my Italian girlfriend a lot of money to help buy a house. Incidentally, she's been taken on by a hospital as permanent staff to supplement those already there (she's been doing the job for years on a contract basis, and now she's staff).

In fact, even in my work, we now hire more staff than we did before the "crisis", on longer basis, more hours, more pay (and now they get a new pension on top, by law!). We had a few people retire, one left due to work circumstances that they didn't agree with (nothing to do with pay, hours, or anything like that) and the replacements outnumber them by quite a few. I've had a raise every year (at least) for the last four years.

The situation is pretty much the same throughout my family (one of whom is an electrician and I've never seen anyone go on quite so many holidays abroad as they have recently), my friends, etc. from delivery drivers to electricians to builders to teachers to management to trained professionals to medical staff.

Personally, I think the "economic crisis" was much shorter-lived than people would have you think. Sure they'll be some people who lost their jobs, even companies that shed thousands of workers, but nothing out of the ordinary when taken as a whole. Unemployment in my country is "the highest since 2004" or something ridiculous (so, in fact, not as high as it's been historically, not as high was it was before the crisis, etc.).

(Meanwhile banks still aren't offering loans, mortgages etc. even though they're being given billions to do so. It all seems strangely fishy to me. Which actually stops people going into debt, though, and is better for the country actually even if I keep being told that the economy is faltering because nobody is spending, buying houses, etc.)

The "economic crisis" was nothing more than a short-lived blip. It started in 2008. That's far enough ago that there's still traces of its effects in some ledgers somewhere but not far enough away that people can't have carried on with their lives by now and not blame everything on 2008.

Perhaps that's what people did, even if it's a convenient excuse why they can't pay a bill or why they lost their job (which, on average, they probably would have by now anyway). Perhaps people just carried on regardless and didn't get into scrimping and saving as much as we're led to believe.

Re:Sigh (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41594641)

The "economic crisis" was nothing more than a short-lived blip

I know many people who are out of work and can't find any. Some of them went to live on other people's property. Now instead of work, their facebook status updates are about things like mending fences and repairing barns. They're not making any money though, so they're also full of things like "I need a ride to x on y date" and so on. The "unemployment" figures are based on the number of people recieving unemployment benefits, so your speculation about unemployment based on the official figures is fallacious at best. This is the same government (faces and names have changed, but the game is the same) that told us Saddam definitely had WMDs. And if you think that Obama is on a different team from Bush, then you cannot be helped anyway.

It's a model (2)

jamesl (106902) | about 2 years ago | (#41594503)

It's a model. A model is a hypothesis. The "results" are correlations and as we all know, correlation is not causation.

Meanwhile, can someone explain what this means ...
York revealed that the rate of reduction in carbon dioxide emissions was slightly more than half the rate of carbon release when the economy was booming.

Re:It's a model (2)

ledow (319597) | about 2 years ago | (#41594545)

Rate presumably = speed of change.

Thus the emissions dropped more quickly than when they had risen originally.

Re:It's a model (2)

jamesl (106902) | about 2 years ago | (#41594759)

It's "rate of release" vs. "rate of reductions in carbon dioxide emissions." Translates to "rate of release" vs. "rate of reductions of release." The second is the first derivative of the first which is not a valid comparison.

 

Re:It's a model (3, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41594799)

It's a model. A model is a hypothesis. The "results" are correlations and as we all know, correlation is not causation.

I agree: The only way to definitely prove that AGW causes the Earth to burn to a crisp is to actually burn the planet to a crisp via greenhouse gas emissions, with no other variables that could affect the result. With an identical control Earth except for the CO2 and methane emissions, so we know that we have isolated the right variable. And double-blinded, so the researchers' biases don't creep in. And then repeat the test under the same conditions, so we know it wasn't just a fluke.

Do you have some spare planets I can use for this test? In the meantime, I'm going to accept the correlation combined with the lab-tested mechanism for one variable of that correlation causing the other variable as the best we can muster.

Re:It's a model (0)

jamesl (106902) | about 2 years ago | (#41596031)

Your comment is Off Topic. This discussion is about rates of CO2 emissions. It is not about AGW or AGW models.

Re:It's a model (1)

DavidHumus (725117) | about 2 years ago | (#41597793)

This is actually the important implication of this paper: emissions go up during a boom but fall less than they went up during a following slump. The author postulates that booms bring more infrastructure that remains in use subsequently.

Re:It's a model (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41598437)

"correlation is not causation."
WRONG, DUMB ASS.

correlation does not imply causation.

Downturn affected poorest the worst (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41594539)

The economic downturn mostly affected the poor, who consume less anyway. The rich and well-connected haven't suffered as much, and they are the ones responsible for the highest emissions.

What 'greenhouse gases' would those be? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41594609)

http://www.climatedepot.com/

There is no such thing as man made global warming. (Conveniently renamed 'climate change').

It's the economists, stupid (1)

c (8461) | about 2 years ago | (#41594893)

My theory is that between all the hot CO2 coming out of the economists, plus the off-gassing of freshly printed money, greenhouse gases are expected to increase during a downturn.

What has GDP to do with greenhouse gases? (3, Insightful)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 2 years ago | (#41595675)

Americans are so obsessed with the idea that cutting down CO2 emissions would also cut down the economy.

That is basically a brain dead idea.

Lets see where CO2 is coming from:
o heating of houses (coal/gas/oil)
o heating and cooling of houses (electricity)
o cars / trucks
o power plants (coal/gas/oil)
o cargo ships / diesel trains
o and everything that uses electricity, but the prime source is the plant where that electricity is produced
o industries with a huge energy hunger like steel plants / or any other factory that partly or in whole produces its own power (glass or porcelain producers, brick producers etc.)

Now we have to look what kind of industries or businesses are effected in an economic crisis and how much that does affect the energy consumed.

Do houses need less heating or cooling? Or do people change their cooling/heating habits during a crisis? Is there a significant different amount of homeless people during a crisis (wich don't power their own flat)?

Same for cars, commuting, trucks with goods etc. etc. etc.

I would say there is only a small group of industries that is affected by the crisis (look whose shares are dropping and whose are rising). And even if a factory is laying off 10% of its staff, I doubt it is directly reflected in 10% energy savings and CO2 reduction.

As far as I know the american economy is far over 70% based on services. So only the remaining 30% are industries and manufactoring etc. To reduce CO2 emissions by 15% you would need an effect/crisis that drops the 30% above significantly. I doubt a change in services (people employed, people buying a service etc.) has any noticeable effect on CO2 emissions.

And finally: no one is asking the USA to cripple their economy. We only ask to switch to more efficient machines, better insulation, more efficient means of transportation, burn less oil and build up a better grid. All those activities would create a lot of jobs and instead of having a crisis you would have a boom.

Re:What has GDP to do with greenhouse gases? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41598517)

Well, Fox news* has only fear to use as an AGW denialist organization. SO, you know point and claim it will cost jobs. Ignore that the best ways to deal with it involve getting industry here. It does hurt whomever wants to sell energy to China.

*Note: A study of fox new found that they are wrong in 93% o Scientific 'news' they spew out. And no, a little wrong. Or a misquote. GBut wildly factually wrong. Only slightly worse then the Wall Street Journal, now. I wonder what they have in common?

People don't stop driving or turn off the A/C. (1)

Ziggitz (2637281) | about 2 years ago | (#41597075)

People need to get to work and people tend to drop things like air conditioning and most energy usage after going out to eat and new appliances vehicles etc. The overall effect is that what people tend to cut first during a recession are large purchases, like a new refrigerator/washer/dryer/car that would have been more efficient than the one they're now keeping. The old vehicles/appliances continue to put out a higher amount of CO2 and there is a noticeable delay in the decline of production after demand for a product has gone down, meaning that the CO2 from manufacturing is still present for a time. The notion that CO2 emissions would drop significantly during a recession doesn't really make a lot of sense to me to be honest. When you look at it on the micro scale instead of the macro scale it's hard to identify changes in behaviour that would result in a large decrease in CO2 production.

US CO2 emissions dropping rapidly (1)

TheSync (5291) | about 2 years ago | (#41598391)

In other news, US energy-related CO2 emissions are now at a 20 year low [aei-ideas.org] .

The credit is split between cheap, fracked natural gas replacing coal and herbicide-resistant GM crops needing less plowing (and thus lower tractor fuel use).

US CO2 emissions per capita are now lower than they have been since at least 1973.

More Junk Science from Junk Scientists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41601341)

Global Warming is Junk Science. Why does it get posted to Slashdot? Why does a tag exist for this crud ? I would say its to gather all the stupid people into one thread, but its seems otherwise intelligent people take this claptrap seriously. http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/314680/get-lost-rich-lowry - - - Global Warming is Junk Science !

Coal usage, mostly (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 2 years ago | (#41601687)

Coal has remained cheaper during most of this period, and half of all US energy use is for heating and cooling buildings, with little incentive to get new high mpg cars, since people can't afford new cars.

Here endeth the lesson.

Keep lying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41602455)

whining communists!

idea of co2 causing global warming = propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41603007)

I thought this was already debunked. People still believe this? lol

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