Thursday, December 06, 2007

Who's fearmongering now? McKinsey report says U.S. can halve CO2 emissions by 2030 with "minimal" cost

One of the favorite tactics of those on the right who are bought, sold, and paid for by the fossil-fuel industry is to label those who express concern over global warming as alarmists overreacting to the threat. Tom Blumer of Cincinnati's BizzyBlog has even developed a trademark phrase to describe global warming activists as "globalarmists."

But a new study done by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. should go a long way towards turning the tables on Tom and other fossil-fuel industry apologists. This report, funded in part by Pacific Gas & Electric, Detroit Edison, and Royal Dutch Shell, concludes that the United States could halve its CO2 output by 2030 at minimal cost.

That's because 40% of the steps needed to make it happen would actually save money. And, according to their report, 80% of this reduction could be achieved using only existing technologies. The 20% remainder is from technologies that are well on their way to commercialization, such as the use of cellulostic ethanol, and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

This contrasts sharply with the alarmists on the right who warn that we can't stop global warming without crippling our economy. For example, when Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Sen. John Warner of Virginia proposed a bill creating a cap-and-trade scheme for CO2 emissions in the U.S., the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimated that it would cost 3.4 million Americans their jobs, as well as force consumers to pay as much as $6 trillion more in higher prices for oil, gas, and other goods. All this begs the question: Who's fear mongering now?

Read the BusinessWeek article detailing the McKinsey report by clicking here.

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