Click image to enlarge (PDF)
The map above shows the decline of CO2 emissions in large countries with established economies (U.S., Europe, Japan, Russia) as a result of the global financial crisis. But the rapid growth of new economies (China, India) cancelled out any meaningful global reductions.
While China now emits more CO2 than the U.S. and Canada combined, the U.S. has long been the worst, most culpable driver of historic emissions to date, and has the highest per capita rate (18 tonnes per person compared to China's almost 6 and India's 1.38). Canada is also among the worst per capita offenders.
Despite what has been characterized as an undramatic, less than expected "little blip" in global emissions, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases hit record highs, and 2010 growth rates are anticipated to return to the record 2008 levels of 3% per year.
We've already gone way too far. The neighborhood of +6C global average temperature increase is considered unlivable for most life. On our present emissions path, the UK Met Office warns +4C by 2055 is very plausible. It has been suggested that only 10% of humanity could survive. And not pleasantly. And not for too long because +4C leads to +6C. Decades sooner, there would be drastic compromise to water and food security worldwide. In many ways and places, there already is.
At present, the world's atmosphere is on an accelerating course to reach a state of potentially unsurvivable, runaway global heating and climate breakdown extremes DURING THE LIVES OF TODAY'S CHILDREN and only EMERGENCY international action at EMERGENCY (world-war time) speed *may be* proportional enough to confront the scale, scope and urgency of this unprecedented threat.
RIGHT NOW, we are all witness to the greatest crime against humanity, most life and most future life -- EVER.
What must be done?
If humanity is to survive, only EMERGENCY INTERNATIONAL ACTION far beyond economics and politics as usual has any chance to concurrently:
- HALT man made greenhouse gas emissions to as near to ZERO (virtual 100%, also stated in the 2007 IPCC report) as fast as possible through conservation and carbon rationing.
- Initiate an immediate and rapid global shift from rampant fossil-fuel addiction to clean, renewable (perpetual) energy.
- Maximize investment into research, development and implementation in order to figure out how to REMOVE the dangerous, excess CO2 and methane from the atmosphere that has already been released AND attempt to actively COOL THE EARTH to the extent (a return to near pre-industrial carbon concentrations = 300ppm), and within the rapidly closing window of opportunity necessary, to prevent imminent and irreversible global catastrophe.
Get informed. Get inspired. Get involved and help to motivate bold, new, transformative approaches and just, resilient, EMERGENCY RESPONSES to the climate crisis -- FAST.
Click on "Environment" below to view real time CO2 emissions:
- Original article + image referenced above - World CO2 emissions by country, Simon Rogers, Lisa Evans, The Guardian
- Blog - Deep recession fails to reverse rising global emissions, China's CO2 surges 13%, Climate Progress
- Article - Carbon emissions dip in 2009, to jump in 2010, David Fogarty, Reuters
- Article - 2009 Carbon emissions fall smaller than expected, fast upward trend soon to be resumed, Richard Black, BBC
- Article - Greenhouse gases hit record highs, Joel Tozer, Sydney Morning Herald
- ecoSanity - Carbon tracker video and more about CO2: Catastrophic acceleration of atmospheric CO2 must stop/be reversed FAST for most life to survive
- ecoSanity - Race 2 Survival: We've already gone way too far!
- ecoSanity - Lester Brown Plan B 4.0: We only have months, not years, to save civilization from climate change