Sometimes it’s better not to sugar coat it, and just come out with the news:
Last year, global carbon emissios increased by 564 million tons. That amount of tonnage would be like taking 2.5 million Statues of Liberties. Or 95 million elephants. Considering gasses typically don’t weigh very much, you can tell how much carbon that actually is.
According to a piece from the Associated Press, that increase is larger than the total emissions for every country on Earth, not counting the big players: China, India and the United States.
Climate scientists this week have looked at that number with an element of shock. It represents a major spike – up 6 percent – in just one year. And the culprits are clear. It’s not the caribean islands or small African nations. It’s China, by far (233 million ton increase), followed distantly by the U.S. (64 million tons increase) and then India (53 million tons more).
The cause is relatively obvious: massive increases in industry processing. Making stuff, and sending it around the world to be bought.
In some sense, that’s actually good news. The global recession pushed manufacturing into a slump. But the massive increase in emissions now shows that the sluggish years may be over, and we’ve gotten back in the saddle of producing, transporting and disposing.
Too bad economics isn’t the only factor worth considering. We’ll stay off our soap box about what increased emissions mean, and why an uptick this large in a measly 12 months is concerning. We won’t mention the mountain of evidence showing climate change directly correlated to the rising amount of carbon, methane and other greenhouse gasses in the air. Nope, for this installment, we’ll just let the data speak for itself.
But we will try to end on an up note, as we always do. If we start thinking about how to solve this problem, perhaps the first place to look is toward countries like Switzerland, New Zealand and Pakistan. However, slight, all three saw reductions in their emissions last year.