China's Pollution, California's Problem

China's Pollution, California's Problem

Michael Peevey, President of the California Public Utilities Commission, is sincere and concerned about CO2 emissions. At a recent presentation at California State University Channel Islands, he spoke about California’s efforts to limit emissions. He mentioned green jobs, but, to his credit, he did not repeat the debunked claim that restricting CO2 emissions will be a net job creator. He also acknowledged that it doesn’t much matter what California does, if China doesn’t change its behavior. It turns out that if California were to reduce its carbon emissions to zero, in about a year and a half global CO2 would be higher anyway, just because of the growth in China’s emissions.


Peevey talked about California's increasingly ambitious plans for carbon reduction in the future. The goals include returning to 1990-level CO2 emmisions by 2020, and then an 80 percent reduction by 2050, regardless of population changes.


This is going to be expensive. And the price of some of the potential technology — such as capturing atmospheric CO2 and pumping it underground — will include a lot more than the direct cost. The ultimate costs will, unfortunately, include increased global CO2 emissions.

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