Another victim of the budget deal: key US greenhouse gas data?

Recent U.S. GHG data from the Energy Information Administration

It was my wonderful law school professor Gary Blasi who first introduced me to the idea that “what gets measured, gets done.”  I’m thinking of him and reading this news in some mixture of awe (at our seeming collective ability to ignore problems) and anger (at same):

The final fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget provides $95.4 million for the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), a reduction of $15.2 million, or 14 percent, from the FY 2010 level.

“The lower FY 2011 funding level will require significant cuts in EIA’s data, analysis, and forecasting activities,” said EIA Administrator Richard Newell. . . .

Initial adjustments to EIA’s data, analysis, and forecasting programs include the following:

. . .

Eliminate annual published inventory of Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States.

Read the full press release, announcing many more cuts, here

This annual inventory provides some of the best data on the sources and scale of GHG emissions in the U.S.   See past reports here.  The eighteenth such inventory came out two months ago, and the next had been scheduled to be published in March 2012.  Let’s just change our national bird to the ostrich if the next report isn’t rescued from the cutting room floor.

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Reader Comments

3 Replies to “Another victim of the budget deal: key US greenhouse gas data?”

  1. Given that there is no conclusive scientific proof that carbon dioxide is the driving force in climate change, and that other factors such as water vapor, solar radiation, and natural cycles play a much larger role, it seems reasonable to cut spending on collecting unnecessary and redundant data on carbon dioxide. This is an excellent way to efficiently and effectively reduce fraudulent and wasteful government spending and we should applaud those who are reponsible for this policy transition.

  2. bqrq,

    There IS conclusive scientific proof that carbon dioxide is a driving force in climate change. Saying that there is no conclusive scientific proof doesn’t make it so. The fact that humans are causing global warming is the position of the Academies of Science from 19 countries plus many scientific organizations that study climate science. There are no national or major scientific institutions anywhere in the world that dispute the theory of anthropogenic climate change. More specifically, around 97% of climate researchers actively publishing climate papers endorse the consensus position. This overwhelming consensus among climate experts is confirmed by an independent study that surveys all climate scientists who have publicly signed declarations supporting or rejecting the consensus. They find between 97% to 98% of climate experts support the consensus (Anderegg 2010). Moreover, they examine the number of publications by each scientist as a measure of expertise in climate science. They find the average number of publications by unconvinced scientists (eg – skeptics) is around half the number by scientists convinced by the evidence. Not only is there a vast difference in the number of convinced versus unconvinced scientists, there is also a considerable gap in expertise between the two groups.

    Moreover, as humans emit more CO2, the air warms and holds more heat, which traps more heat and accelerates warming.

    You can look and more evidence at this website: http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

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About Cara

Cara Horowitz

Cara Horowitz is the co-executive director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law. The Emmett Institute was founded as the f…

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