Guess what? U.S. carbon emissions popped back up in a big way

For three straight years, carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. dropped. But in 2018, emissions of the potent greenhouse gas shot back up. 

A new report by the Rhodium Group a research institution that analyzes global economic and environmental trends found that in 2018 carbon dioxide emissions rose 3.4 percent from the prior year. That's the second largest gain in the last two decades. 

This rise comes at a time when global scientists have repeatedly urged nations to ambitiously cut their carbon emissions, as rising temperatures have stoked prolonged droughts and heat waves while boosting the odds of record-breaking storms.

"Its trending in the wrong direction its not encouraging," Robert McGrath, the director of the University of Colorado Boulder's Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute who had no role in the report but reviewed it, said in an interview. 

But, McGrath emphasized, the U.S. is certainly capable of slashing its carbon appetite and transitioning to electrified transportation and renewable energies if it wanted to.

"If we really wanted to do this, I think we could do it," he said. 

Under the current administration, there's no intention of decarbonizing the nation. While the Obama administration proposed federal plans to wean the nation from carbon-intensive fossil fuels, the Trump Administration intends to kill Obama's plan and now routinely rejects elementary climate science.

The 2018 spike in carbon dioxide emissions had two main drivers. Overall, electricity ....

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