Another climate heat map – state +/- (surprises!)

A map showing the change in CO2 emissions for U.S. states between 2005 and 2017. Maryland had the largest decrease (at 38%). Idaho had the largest increase (at 17%).

Grist quickly points out that that map can lead to incorrect inferences at a quick blush, quote:

“But there’s more to the data than meets the eye. Saha says that some of the states that seem to be lagging behind, including California and Washington, already had fairly low carbon intensity before the study period began. (Carbon intensity is a measurement of the carbon emitted per dollar of economic growth.) In other words, the large cuts in the Northeast may reflect the ways in which it was actually catching up with states that already had cleaner electricity systems in 2005: Washington has consistently pulled a lot of power from its giant dams, and California has powered its grid off of natural gas since the early 2000s. “Once you take into account the low-hanging fruit, then there are another series of challenges,” Saha explained.”

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