Tuesday, July 28, 2009

we are Yetis

I get so angry when I hear people parroting the whole "China/India are going to cause climate disaster" line that I must pass on this Reuters story from a few days ago, in an effort to arm you to debate people who use that argument on you!

Americans, Australians, Canadians top greenhouse gas emitters

The United States is by far the biggest greenhouse gas emitter ahead of China if consumers in rich nations are given responsibility for energy used to make imported goods, a researcher said on Wednesday.

Greenhouse gases, including by factories making goods such as cars or televisions for export, usually count towards the total of the country where they are made. Such data indicate that China has overtaken the United States as top emitter.

But adjusting emissions according to the country where consumers of goods live swells emissions by developed nations, said Glen Peters, a researcher at the Center for International Climate and Environment Research in Oslo (CICERO).

"The ranking makes a lot of rich countries look worse and a lot of poor countries look better," he told Reuters.

In the ranking of 73 nations, Americans have the biggest annual "carbon footprint" at the equivalent of 29 tonnes of carbon dioxide per capita, ahead of Australians at 21 tonnes and Canadians at 20 tonnes.

Each Chinese citizen in the survey, based on 2001 data, accounts for just 3.1 tonnes. Adjusted for China's much bigger population, U.S. emissions were 7.9 billion tonnes and China's 3.9 billion.

"The U.S. is increasingly shifted towards a more service-based economy, importing more of its products from China," Peters said of the ranking, published online last month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

"A lot of China's emissions growth is production of exports," he said of the ranking produced with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Economic trends since 2001 confirmed the United States as number one.

Read the rest.


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