One of the great unreported environmental stories of the last few years is that despite “doing nothing” (at least explicitly at the national level) to reduce carbon emissions, the United States may very well achieve its non-binding goal reducing carbon emissions 17% by 2020. The shocker is that unlike Europe, this news comes despite the fact that the US has not adopted onerous legislation (like the Kyoto Protocols) for the express purpose of fighting carbon emissions. Also, the US population continues to rise more rapidly.
Instead, the US has adopted new and more efficient techniques (like fracking) for clean natural gas. It is easily forgotten among the environmentalist crowd that businesses operating in a free market have a strong financial incentive to cut waste and reduce unnecessary energy expenditures. This approach appears to hold promise, at least relative to the European, top-down approach