Economic decline doesn’t offset emissions boom of better times
Leaner economic times only undo ‘a little more than half’ of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere that are added during periods of growth.
Carbon efficiency failing to fight warming
Surging carbon emissions from power demand in the developing world is overwhelming progress by nations like China and the U.S..
Global greenhouse emissions continue to rise
2011’s increase to 37.5 billion tons of CO2 was driven by China and India, which saw their carbon dioxide emissions jump by 9 and 6 percent, respectively.
Carmakers have been quietly delivering significant cuts in CO2 emissions with technology advances, weight reduction and aerodynamic improvements.
The great human-powered race: How does 82 mph grab you?
This weekend is the gala Human-Powered Vehicle Challenge, featuring student teams fueled on caffeine and junk food competing to set speed and endurance records in weird-looking recumbent bicycles.
My, what BIG feet you have! Another way of visualizing our carbon footprints
Early this week I posted the Guardian’s Atlas of Pollution: The World in Carbon Dioxide Emissions infographic. Now comes another, this time from Miller-McCune Magazine and via Treehugger.
The new infographic shows the total and per capita carbon footprints of nations around the world and cleverly shapes them into feet. It’s an interesting way to communicate the information and I like how the feet humanize our emissions. However, I don’t know if it is necessarily as effective a communication tool as the Guardian version.
While the left foot (i.e. Total Carbon Emissions By Nation) clearly shows which countries are responsible for the greatest current carbon output (i.e. US, China, India, Japan, Russia) smaller contributors tend to get lost in the image. In comparison The Guardian’s use of a world map as the basis for its graphic made it easy to find individual contributors both regionally and globally. Its table at the bottom also provides access to specific data and ranks nations according to their output. Something the feet don’t do.
I do like the right foot (i.e. Total Carbon Emissions Per Capita) though and found its info to be revealing. It’s amazing to see that residents of small island nations have such massive footprints (e.g. Gibraltar, Virgin Islands US), but with a little thought it makes sense given their need to import many of the goods they consume. This is a challenge that the eco-conscious community on British Columbia’s tiny Bowen Island has been grappling with in their efforts to live sustainable lives.
I was also surprised at how seemingly small the footprints of dominant emitters such as China and the USA became as their total output is divided among their citizens. However, of course the thing to keep in mind is that it’s the total accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that matters in terms of climate change so while per capita information is valuable for context we can’t lose sight of the need to reduce our total output.
Note: For those of you who’d like to see yet another infographic dealing with national carbon emissions check out the Cancún-o-Gram produced in advance of COP16. It’s notable for showing both current and historical carbon output, which is one of the big bones of contention between developed and developing nations at international climate negotiations.