It is now July 31, 2018. You are sitting by a stream, thinking back to Nov. 23, 2012 -- the day the U.S. stopped emitting carbon dioxide altogether, permanently. It's been a very rough six and a half years without carbon, and it's about to get a lot rougher. Because today is the day you realize that it's all been for naught -- the day that someone explains to you that all of the emissions America was making in 2012 have been completely replenished by new emissions from rest of the world's growing nations.
What do you do? Do you gloat because you got even with all those evil corporate polluters who were destroyed when the carbon days ended? Or do you scream and shout, realizing that we have sacrificed our nation for nothing? Or do you take comfort in the mitigation we achieved through self-immolation? Are you proud that, by 2050, our act of total national self-destruction prevented the global temperature from going up by an additional 0.083 degrees Celsius, and sea levels from rising by 0.6 centimeters? It only cost the world its biggest economy and a people their entire livelihood.