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  • Writer's pictureTom Mast

America’s – Global Warming Fight

Updated: Nov 2, 2022

Tom Mast, founder Solve American Gridlock



The present approach in America is enacting laws or regulations, primarily at the federal level, on pieces of the overall problem, like automotive fuel standards or reworking existing buildings, and on a timeline chosen by the government.


Examples of government fragmentation and lack of clear direction:

From CNBC.com, November 15, 2021: “…The bill does little to curb planet warming emissions and falls short of the investments scientists say are necessary to prepare for the worst impacts of climate change. …The last U.S. push to pass climate legislation was in 2009, when congressional Democrats failed to approve a carbon pricing system under former President Barack Obama. …Former President Donald Trump essentially halted progress on climate change by reversing more than 100 environmental rules and pulling the country out of the Paris climate accord.”


Decisions on ways to combat global warming are being made far from those actually affected. Why is this undesirable? Because individual circumstances permit the consumer to make much more effective and timely decisions, assuming there is economic pressure to do so.


In addition, the use of laws and regulations to pass a large number of actions opens the door to those in government being influenced by political pressures and lobbyists rather than by what is most effective in our battle against global warming. The fight against global warming is difficult enough without allowing it to be a tool for political power and more control. It is too important for that. The path forward should be laid out impartially by scientists and economists.


The mandate to use ethanol in gasoline is a good example of the probable harm done by relying on a huge number of laws and regulations to achieve success in the war against global warming. The article below seems well researched, and it indicates that ethanol does more harm than good. We hasten to add that one can easily find other articles saying the opposite, some written by government agencies.


Linh Ta

Wed, February 16, 2022, 6:20 AM

The process to harvest and produce corn-based ethanol creates more harmful emissions than normal gasoline, according to a new report published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.


The five-year study, partially funded by the National Wildlife Federation and U.S. Department of Energy, found that ethanol is at least 24% more carbon-intensive than gasoline, Reuters reports.




Many other actions affect Americans’ lives without producing adequate progress against global warming. These vary in timing, intensity, and emphasis with the party and individuals in power in government, clear evidence of the need for a professional pathway forward. Some examples of these actions or desires for them are: deadlines for shutting down coal burning; deadlines to halt all hydrocarbon use; deadlines for fuel standards; elimination of gasoline and diesel vehicles; failure to phase down subsidies for certain industries; and seeming rejection of nuclear energy to generate electrical power. Unattainable deadlines are counterproductive. Random actions generate rancor and gridlock which in turn cause resistance and lack of confidence in our direction.


Twelve states have formed the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) using the cap and trade carbon pricing approach to limit CO2 emissions from the power sector. This program is reported to be having some success.


The graph below shows little progress in America’s emissions the past decade and little expectations of reductions in the future. Note that the almost-level emissions occur in spite of the fact that horizontal drilling and fracking allowed the U.S. to lead the world during this period in replacing coal-fired power plants with those burning natural gas, a fuel with much lower CO2 emissions than coal.


Also, it indicates that there is little reason for the rest of the world to consider America a leader in the global warming fight.


The Great Climate Backslide, Bloomberg, Feb. 11, 2022



The topic of polarization and rancor in our country including in Washington is a ubiquitous one these days, and the global warming topic is one that fuels it. Gridlock is a reason why many problems are not solved well, affecting global warming – and vice versa.


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