CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS June 22, 2007Posted by wmmbb in Environment.
China is now emitting more CO2 than the United States. In 2005 China’s emissions were 2% below the US, and in 2006 they were greater by 8%. Kyoto did not hold the Chinese to any targets. They argue that did not cause the problem of global warming, so they should not be held to account for it.
Shuozhou, China: Morning commuters pass under the cooling towers of the Shengtou Power Plant , Shanxi Province. The Shengtou plant is one of the country’s largest coal burning power plants.
Photograph: Qilai Shen/EPA via The Guardian.
Tough and pure nonsense, I contend. To continue to pour out carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, with it multiple environmental implications is sheer negligence. It is now, and it was ten or twenty years ago. Unless the coal industry, regardless of country can sort out the environmental impacts it has little future. They should have been investing and researching alternative energy sources. The nanny state, in the persons of American, Australian and Chinese governments is going to the rescue of incompetent and negligent industries. In this instance governments and industries have to rely more on environmental signals rather than market signals.
Still it seems that individuals too can take action. Direct.gov is a British government website that observes:
Over 40 per cent of CO2 emissions in the UK come directly from what we do as individuals; for example, heating and using electricity in our homes – and driving vehicles. Flights are the next biggest source of individuals’ CO2 emissions.
And apparently they have a calculator that enables each person or household to measure their carbon footprint, except when I looked the site was too busy and the calculator was unavailable.
According to Bruce Frederich at Common Dreams, the UK’s Environment Agency suggests that adopting a vegetarian diet will have help reduce global warming. So what is the evidence?
When U.N. scientists looked at all the evidence, they declared in a 408-page report titled Livestock’s Long Shadow that raising animals for food is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all vehicles in the world combined. And scientists at the University of Chicago showed that a typical American meat-eater is responsible for nearly 1.5 tons more carbon dioxide a year than a vegan.
I must say as a vegan in a vegan household this gives me so cause thinking that my moral and environmental justifications have weight. The article notes that 70% of the grains grown in the US are feed to animals, and “almost half of the water and 60 per cent of the agricultural land are use to raise animals for food”. In addition, factory farming concentrates animal wastes causing problems, including impacting on human health.
So we are going to have to wrap up against the cold of winter, walk and bike, and eat non-animal products. Bruce Frederich suggests that you check out VegCooking.com. The alternative, that countries such as China, India, Australia and the United States will continue on the present behavior of carelessly emitting carbon dioxide from industrial and agricultural sources should not even be on the radar.