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Total US GHG Emissions Rose 1.4% in 2007; Transportation Sector Emissions Flat

The flow of US greenhouse gas emissions in 2007, from their sources to their distribution across the US end-use sectors. Click to enlarge. Source: EIA

Total US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were 7,282 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) in 2007, an increase of 1.4% from the 2006 level, according to Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 2007, a report released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Since 1990, US GHG emissions have grown at an average annual rate of 0.9%.

The transportation sector has led all US end-use sectors in emissions of carbon dioxide since 1999. However, with higher fuel prices and slower economic growth in 2007, emissions from the transportation sector in 2007 (2,104 MMTCO2) were essentially unchanged from their 2006 level (2,103 MMTCO2).

Transportation sector carbon dioxide emissions in 2007 were 431.8 million metric tons higher than in 1990, an increase that represents 44% of the growth in unadjusted energy-related carbon dioxide emissions from all end-use sectors over the period.

Petroleum combustion is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the transportation sector, as opposed to electricity-related emissions in the other end-use sectors. Transportation sector emissions from gasoline and diesel fuel combustion generally parallel total vehicle miles traveled.

Increases in ethanol fuel consumption in recent years have also mitigated the growth in transportation sector emissions somewhat (emissions from energy inputs to ethanol production plants are counted in the industrial sector), according to the EIA.

US GHG emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP), or US GHG intensity, fell from 636 metric tons per million 2000 constant dollars of GDP (MMTCO 2e/million dollars GDP) in 2006 to 632 MMTCO 2e /million dollars GDP in 2007, a decline of 0.6%. Since 1990, the annual average decline in GHG intensity has been 1.9 percent.

The EIA report notes that the steady decrease in carbon intensity (carbon/GDP) has resulted mainly from reductions in energy use per unit of GDP (energy/GDP) rather than increased use of low-carbon fuels.

Total estimated US GHG emissions in 2007 consisted of 6,022 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (82.6% of total emissions); 700 MMTCO 2e of methane (9.6% of total emissions); 384 MMTCO 2e of nitrous oxide (5.3% of total emissions); and 177 MMTCO 2e of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF 6) (2.4% of total emissions).

Emissions of carbon dioxide from energy consumption and industrial processes, which had risen at an average annual rate of 1.1% per year from 1990 to 2006, increased by 1.3% in 2007. Unfavorable weather patterns, where both heating and cooling degree-days were higher in 2007 than 2006, and an increase in the carbon intensity of electricity generation, driven by decreased availability of hydropower, both contributed to higher energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2007.

Methane emissions increased by 1.9%, while nitrous oxide emissions rose by 2.2%. Emissions of HFCs, PFCs, and SF6, a group labeled collectively as “high-GWP gases” because of their high heat-trapping capabilities, increased by 3.3%.




If 2008 was a normal year this report might have been important, however, I kinda feel like 'meh, old news'.

In 2008, the US is going to use 3+% less fuel than in 2007. That is equivalent to every vehicle in the country being turned off for 12 strait days.

Mr. Environment

"Total US GHG Emissions Rose 1.4% in 2007;"

This is FANTASTIC news! The Earth has been cooling for the past eight, or so, years. According to indisputable science, GHC causes Global Warming. We now need Global Warming to correct this Global Cooling that has been occurring.

Mr. Environment


"Total US GHG Emissions Rose 1.4% in 2007;"

This is FANTASTIC news! The Earth has been cooling for the past eight, or so, years. According to indisputable science, GHC causes Global Warming. We now need Global Warming to correct this Global Cooling that has been occurring.

Sadly we're trying to regulate breathing (CO2 - not a pollutant) rather than cleaning up the environment. Don't exhale! It cold be illegal soon!



Have a look at the fifty year trend in climate. Year to year variations are weather not climate. 1998 was exceptionally hot and broke all the records so it's easy to point to a supposed cooling trend. Thankfully it hasn't been as hot since 1998 but accumulating GHGs in the atmosphere mean it will get there again.

Use some common sense. If you burn hundreds of millions of years worth of stored carbon in the form of fossil fuels in just one hundred years it is going to have a big impact on climate. To compare it with breathing is patently ridiculous.



the oil monopoly has essentially lasted only 1 (one) century. It is being dismantled as we write. The earth will survive this tiny blip in the atmospheric content of trace gasses.

The lesson we will have learned is NOT to give away monopolies in energy. Energy is the fertilizer of the material life. If we cherish aspects of the material we will NOT allow the fallow, single minded opportunists to co-opt it. And we should demand that materialists and anti-materialists reach an accord. Live and let live. Enjoying matter is no less than NOT enjoying matter. There is no better or worse. Choose your world view and accept the OTHER world view. There is no right or wrong. Only acceptance.


"Mr. Environment",

Where did our exhaled carbon come from? It was fixed by a plant, probably within the last year. Such short-term carbon cycling is obviously not the problem.

How can the real issue, pumping fossil CO2 into the atmosphere, possibly be solved without emissions regulation? Unless you're arguing for an alternative to the market economy, there is no alternative.

Cleaning up the environment is important, but unless we eliminate the motivations to pollute, we'll only end up having to do more and more cleanup in the future.


Interesting argument. So if my local Appalachian coal mining company "materialists" want to blow up mountaintops and flood my waterways with sludge, I should "live and let live"? Acceptance is absolutely not the right answer. How about, pick a side and fight for what you think is right.

Rob Weir


I don't think the behaviour of all those who 'enjoy matter' can be accepted unchallenged.

We need to talk/listen about what matters and influence each other as well as accepting each other.

I am a materialist, I believe resources (e.g. energy) can be used to enhance life in lots of ways...

Growing food, producing water, channeling effort into research and development - or even producing consumer goods and lifestyles.

I believe that matter is enjoyable and I believe in a hierarchy of needs. So I need to know that the resources I consume will not be used for something more important in the future.

'Enjoying matter' now is arguably 'taking matter' from those more needy and less fortunate in this world and in the future.

I wouldn't just accept that.




Your suggestion that to "enjoy matter" is "taking matter" locates the problem. You may own a car, billions of people on the planet do not. Have you "taken" that car from the needy, those who have less - or from your future grandchild? If own a piece of land, and enjoy growing summer tomatoes - have you "taken" the land from those who have none? Is your consumption of the tomatoes "taking" the food from the mouths of others?

And if you sell your tomatoes for profit and use the money to educate your child - have you "taken" the money from those who have less or none? If you drive your car to work where you are paid to heal people - have you taken that car and money wrongfully?

My point is that terrestrial matter is finite and it must be administered as such. If we agree on ways to obtain matter through trade or commerce we cannot claim to be "taking" it unless we break the agreement. Your philosophy suggests that those who accumulate matter - even in the remarkably short period of a lifespan - have "taken" or stolen it from someone else. In your world there is no exchange of goods for work or effort or trade - because consumption of any material thing including the air we breathe - is an act of thievery.

I think you mean to suggest that stewardship is endemic to material possession. If you own a piece of land, how you steward its use is moral responsibility. Moral responsibility is a matter of individual choice - which is a consequence of education. If we successfully educate people to take moral responsibility - the enjoyment of matter is simply enjoyment. Therefor I agree with you that even the temporary consumption of matter requires responsibility. And *knowledge* informs responsibility. I accept your position and trust that you will accept mine.

Rob Weir


If "enjoying matter" includes consuming non renewables then we need to change not accept.

I 'enjoy matter' by burning oil when going on holiday but if that oil would otherwise be used for something more important, something has been lost.

I have contracted my labour and exchanged it for jet fuel, nevertheless something has been lost.

Consumerism can reduce our capacity to support life.

You seemed to suggest accepting the consumers but you also suggest using education to improve our stewardship.

I do accept the need for education/dialog.

You're right that is what I meant by not accepting (unquestioned) those who 'enjoy matter'.


Does a grizzly bear who eats a salmon and then cr*ps it out in the forest "steal" the salmon from others? Or is it redistributing nutrients from one ecosystem to another?

Now, what if some guy in a fishing boat caught that salmon in a sustainable way, and canned that salmon and sold it at Save-On-Foods. Then I buy it and eat it and recycle the can, and then cr*p into our septic system. What if that septic system feeds and recycles all the wastes back into the nearby forest and grows nicer trees?


The world has not been cooling. 5 of the warmest years on record have been since 1998. 1998 was abnormally warm because of a strong el Nino.

Here's another great link I found (quite ironically!) while following up on the references provided in a GW denier manipulation publication from It is from one of the climate scientists whose work was misconstrued and thrown out into the media by the oil industry:

stas peterson

Evern if GHGs are a genuine problem and modern 21st century Science increasingly questions the "scintific" superstitions laid down by the simple concenpts of the AGW scientists of the late 19th and early-mid 20th century scientists.

To show how wrong they can be, lets look at Scientific "truth" that was prevalent and correct back then. When the Scientific truth was that the Universe consisted of a single "Island Universe" called the Milky Way. There were no other Gsalaxies. When scientific truth said there was no Big Bang and the Universe according to well accepted Fred Hoyles' view, just WAS, eternal in Steady State. Back when scintific truth said that thee Atom couldn't be split, and no one really knew what powered the Stars. That is a the era of scientific understanding when the GHG proponents developed thier Global Warming theories and hypotheses.

Well Science has come a long way since then. And the World is a lot more complex than they posited. The Atmosphere behaves more as a "saturated GHG" condition, an energy controlled machine in equilibrium with the Oceans of liquid H2O (infinite GHGs!) and doesn't runaway into a GW catastrophe. They never asked "Why Not"? Instead the posited a small patch of outer space vacuum existing between the tops of your toes and the soles of your feet.

Have you looked for that vacuum or felt it? If you can't find it, or walk around barefoot sometimes, you have just undermined conventional GHG theory, and disproved it. You cannot find the invisible dsicontinuity; a non-contact medium that separates teh atmosphere from an infinite pool of very powerful GHGs, namely the Oceans of H2O.

hose unsophisticates needed to posit that barier exists, so their primitive mathematics would function to describe the atmosphere. And I say that as a graduate mathematician, not soem politcal propagansdists hwo doesn't know what the sume of 2+2 is. Incidently their mathematics produces enormous errors when they try to simply calculate the temperature of the surface of the Earth, since it MUST be separated from the atmsophere by this invisble chunk of Outer Space! They just decided not to do it, and sweep the fact that they can't get a reasonble answer under the rug.

Modern saturated GHG theories, developed by NASA scientists, can and do calculate reasonable answers.

In any case AGW theory says there won't be any real problem for fifty, a hundred or two hundred years. The same people say that OIL is running out, so there won't be any in fifty or a hundred years. That would cure the problem wouldn't it, if there were none to burn?

Do you really think that a crash program this year or next or even next decade, will make a difference, a hundred years from now?

Besides in another few years, we begin the conversion of Ground Transport away from fossil fuels, to electricity. The technology is finally here,after forty years of searching. That is the big and overwhelming reality. Industry uses no more fosil fuels that it did in 1970 when America had 100 million fewer people, and a GDP half the size.

If you are really concerned about Global Warming, worry instead about the pollution effects of adopting wide spread "Solar energy". Solar energy alters the Albedo, (the proportion of the Energy the world absorbs versus what it reflects) and that would warm the world very quickly, with its Albedo altering effects.

Now that is a much more genuine global warming threat. Take to the Streets if you must, and march against adopting wide-spread, thermally polluting, Solar energy.


Consumption does not have to mean more and more pollution, GHG, smogs, climate changes etc.

Fair sustainable large scale consumption is possible if clean energy such as Hydro, Sun, Wind, Geothermal etc and material recycling is used.

There is enough land, fresh water and sunshine to feed 20+ B people and their (small) pets. The planet can even feed many more billions of us if we eat more grains, vegetables, fruits and other edibles directly and reduce our meat consumption, specially beef with a very low (1 to 11) proteins productivity ratio.

The world will never run out of energy and food if both are produced without over damaging the ecology.

Many countries have to give very large baby bonus and child allowances to convince couples to have as many as two children. Even then, our average family size has been much below two offsprings for the last 40 years.

However, our 25-tonnes per capita GHG is a shame.


Who Cares China is number one in gross emissions, and if you start on the per capita nonesence we just wont listen anymore. China is the number one polluter and needs to be held accountable just like everyone else its not our fault we industrialized first thats life and life IS NOT FAIR. But CO2 is a global problem and China is as much to blame now as we are, We may need to use force to stop them from increasing CO2 emissions and bring them to a global treaty with military backing to bring down EVERYONES CO2 production. its not about fairness it is about ppm levels and CO2 knowns no borders. so even if we go to 0 CO2 emmissions and China does nothing its all for not as they just took our place. Lets pull the troops from Iraq and get ready to fight China over CO2 emissions. IF the greens will just let china pollute then the true nature of the program is revielded as having nothing to do with global warming and everything to do with redistrobution of capital from the first world to the third world the lithmus test is can China keep polluting while we downsize our lifestyles. if yes then the person you are talking to is a marxist plan and simple.

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