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Thursday, October 22, 2009
why Canada doesn't matter
World CO2 emissions in 2007 (from energy), megatonnes = 29914
USA = 6006
China = 6283
Canada = 590
Canada is in the noise level.
Do we suck per-capita? Oh my yes.
Do we have enough people that that makes any difference? Not really.
(India, in case you're wondering, is an order of magnitude "better" per capita, but has so many people its emissions are still 1400 megatonnes.)
The US and China are so big in this (to a large extent because of coal), that even the top 5 tells the tale of how this is basically a bilateral problem.
1 China = 6283
2 USA = 6006
3 Russia = 1672
4 India = 1400
5 Japan = 1262
(Canada is 7th, in case you're wondering.)
Note that I am not saying we shouldn't consume less and live in harmony with nature. I'm just saying even if all of Canada went pre-industrial, the US and China alone can take us over the climate tipping point.
When I tried to make this point to Tim Flannery at Writers Fest, he said something to the effect of we all have to pull together and do our part and such. Which probably makes for good politics, but it doesn't seem to reflect the fact that even if the entire world outside the top two emitters gets together and holds hands, our climate fate will still be set by US and Chinese decisions on energy policy.