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Department of Commerce Releases Data on Emissions, "Green Economy"

By David A. Fahrenthold

The U.S. Department of Commerce has released two new studies designed to inform policy decisions on climate change -- one that shows greenhouse gas emissions broken down among major sources, and another that aims to estimate the size of the country's "green economy."

Both were released last week.

The study of greenhouse-gas emissions found that, although these emissions grew between 1997 and 2007, they grew more slowly than the overall economy. That indicated that the country was becoming more energy-efficient, the department found.

But the progress was unequal among industries. Manufacturing became noticeably more efficient, the report found, but transportation improved little. And greenhouse gas emissions from homes--including those from heating and cooling and electric power--actually seemed less efficient. It might have been all those new TVs, computers and cathedral ceilings.

"We have made progress," in improving efficiency, getting more work for fewer emissions, said Rebecca Blank, the department's undersecretary for economic affairs. "There's some sectors of the economy that have made real [improvements] in changing efficiency, and there's some that haven't."

In addition, the department released a report finding that "green" products and services made up between 1 and 2 percent of the U.S. economy in 2007. Not surprisingly, the department found that the number varies depending on how loosely one defines "green." The main industries cited were resource conservation, energy conservation and pollution control.

And what about those "green jobs" politicians are always talking about? In all, the report found, the country has between 1.8 million and 2.4 million of them. "These jobs constituted between 1.5 percent and 2.0 percent of total private sector employment in 2007," the department said.


David A. Fahrenthold

 |  April 30, 2010; 7:05 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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It is great to see a lot of businesses are starting to get more efficient lighting now. With all of the government and utility rebates you can get for retrofitting your lighting I don't really see a reason why you shouldn't be doing this, especially when the payoff period can be a low as only a year and as high as 5 or 6. Even if you only have 200 fixtures, you an be saving close to $9,000 dollars a year by just going from T8 fluorescent bulbs to T5. Even more if you are using HID, T12 or metal halide bulbs. One company that I know of that is making it very easy and cheap to retrofit lighting is called Lumiversal and you can find them at They specialize in making products that can turn an existing T12 or T8 fixture into a T5 fixture.

Posted by: lyleduncan80 | May 11, 2010 1:02 PM
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The last time I checked, water vapor, also a "greenhouse gas" has 10x the partial pressure of CO2, swamping any supposed "hockey stick". CO2 and water vapor may moderate temps, but they don't drive temp increases.

Moreover, if you go to Albore's Movie, "The Doctored Truth", on HIS graph, temperature increases 800 years BEFORE CO2 levels increase, destroying the supposed cause and effect relationship. I guess old Albore "forgot" to mention that though.


Posted by: A1965bigdog | May 2, 2010 7:48 PM
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Is it really true that the Icelandic Volcano has already spewed into the atmosphere more than enough ash to
counteract any global warming and even
perhaps has released enough to cause an
extended "global winter"?

Posted by: iamredwolf | May 2, 2010 7:16 PM
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The greenhouse effect was discovered in 1824, reliably experimented on in 1858, and first quantified in 1896. So, the greenhouse gas theory dates to President Jackson's tenure and predates the Missouri Compromise. By the 1890's -- 130 years ago -- it was quantified.

Scientists, worldwide, began studying GHG's and their impact in the 1940's. In the 70 years since then there have been tens of thousands of peer-reviewed reports from researchers in nearly every field of science, across every developed nation, and using a wide variety of methods. For 50 to 60 of those years, there was little to no gov't funding support for the research and thus little motive beyond scientific curiousity.

Seven decades of reports support the connection between burning fossil fuels (and other forms of GHG release, such as tilling soil or clear-cutting forests) and increase of GHG's. Because GHG's interfere with movement of heat out of our atmosphere, it causes the earth to warm. How quickly it will warm and what this means for us are open questions, which makes it easy for political movements to attack the overall thesis.

BUT the essential thesis and the data supporting it have not been credibly undermined by any credible data or any of the naysayers.

People who argue that it's a conspiracy overlook the scope of the research in their desperate attempt to believe that a few people at one institute successfully cooked the books and manipulated 70 years of scientific research (some of which was done before they were born). Uh huh. That's believable.

At the very least the precautionary principle teaches us to take reasonable precautions when a risk is probably true. Any deniers out there care to explain to me why we shouldn't take reasonable precautions to change our habits and our energy markets?

Posted by: truly1 | May 2, 2010 6:11 PM
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You know, you libs really know how to make people tune out. All you do is talk about sacrifice, lowering standards of living, chicken little stuff that's been disproven, and so on. Add to that the Albore Crap and Tax stuff. And you expect the people to support this??? You guys know nothing about advertising.

I have a suggestion. Change your tactics. Instead of running around like Chicken Little and yelling, "The sky is falling", why don't you instead talk about independence, balance of trade, self-reliance, and not supporting repugnant regimes. Talk pro-American. You may not get everything that you want, but you'll probably get most of it, and have enthusiastic support from the people.

And instead of punishing people with higher taxes, why not reward them with tax credits???

My conclusion is you guys really must be morons because your marketing plan and the consequences of it are repulsive to most people.


Posted by: A1965bigdog | May 2, 2010 1:02 AM
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While Mike85 may have slightly overstated his case, what he said is basically true. The climate historical record against which the climate models are validated is based on studies of tree rings and similar proxies for actual thermometers; the 'scientists' involved were: part of the UEA/CRU group that conspired to cherry pick the data; refuses to release their computer programs; keeps conflicting studies out of the IPCC and the major publications that they basically control; and the history since regular weather stations started reporting temperatures based on thermometers does not adjust properly for the effect of urban heat buildup around the weather stations. The data from weather stations where the thermometers are non-compliant with siting rules is polluted by problems such as putting the thermometer in an asphalt parking lot, and has quality control problems such as mixing up whether the temperature is above or below zero as was done in March for the whole country of Finland.

Correcting these problems and then using proper statistical analysis methods removes the hockey stick, invalidates the models, and basically makes the 'crisis' go away. Governments and 'scientists' don't want these problems corrected because the scientists know it will greatly reduce their grant money flow; remove the reason for huge new taxes that would flow from increasing everyone's cost of electricity and motor fuel, and cause them all substantial embarrassment.

Who wants to be the first to admit that the scenes of drowning polar bears were just propaganda? There are more than four times as many polar bears now than there were 50 years ago and many places are having problems with polar bears invading villages.

Who want to be the first to admit that there isn't any real basis for shifting our electricity supply away from carbon based fuels except the ones that come from places like the middle east? Conservation has always made sense; basing the whole program on a beneficial trace gas known as CO2 is just nonsense. How many people reading this nonsense actually know that CO2 comprises a fraction of one percent of the air and that the entire increase during modern times is mainly making crops and trees grow better?

You seldom see anything critical of any of the warmist propaganda in the Post, and the editorial staff actually helps write it.

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | May 1, 2010 3:42 PM
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They still have not released a real scientific study that connects man caused CO2 emissions with global warming or climate change. In fact, they have not released any scientific study that actually proves that the earth is warming, or that climate change is anything but normal.

Additionally, they have not released any studies on the environmental impact of either solar or wind farms, vs traditional energy generation. A whole lot of important data is being kept from the American People, while erroneous climate change propaganda is being disseminated by the media.

Posted by: mike85 | May 1, 2010 12:39 PM
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