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View Diary: James Hansen: Less than 10 Years Left to Reduce CO2 (243 comments)

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  •  US produces 18.8% of CO2 emissions (3+ / 0-)

    and is the highest per capita. Change that and we at least kick doomsday down the road a few more years.

    •  US is not highest per capita (4+ / 0-)

      By far.  Look at the graphic posted above.

      http://scienceblogs.com/...

      Gibraltar of all places is the worst.  Then the US Virgin Islands.

      We get what we want - or what we fail to refuse. - Muhammad Yunus

      by nightsweat on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 06:53:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, the US is not the highest per capita (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Evolutionary, PatriciaVa

        And Wikipedia has sortable data - which has us at Number 12 in 2008 - down from Number 8 in 1990.

        In other words, we're taking baby steps in the right direction.  Sure, we could and should do more - but we're not as horrific as we're sometimes held up to be.

        Also, get rid of Texas, we'd be pretty much in the thick of European rankings . ..  

        •  We can't get rid of Texas. Even if we were to (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          YucatanMan, LaughingPlanet

          allow the State to secede, they would continue their slash and burn policy.  Since ignoring them or letting them go away won't help, then the only answer is to essentially force change on Texas from a Federal level.  Not all Texans are Republican idiots, so we have a good start.  As a country, we really need to focus on the states with the worst, and most recalcitrant politicians.

          #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

          by Evolutionary on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 07:48:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The thing being, if Texas were a country (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Evolutionary

            it'd be Number 7 wrt total emissions all by itself - just behind Germany, a bit ahead of Canada . . .

            •  A lot of that is because they are creating (3+ / 0-)

              petroleum products consumed in many other states.  Texas has a huge number of refineries.

              Texas also has far too many low-grade coal powered electric plants.  And far too many big pickup trucks.

              Cut down consumption of gasoline, tar, asphalt and other petroleum products in other states and you'd cut Texas emissions too.

              On the electric front, there's not much other states can do about Texas' messed up electricity market.  The free marketers have created a huge mess there with all sorts of screwed up incentives and actual disincentives to provide more plants with more power.  Overall, that is a good thing, because the state will be FORCED to conserver or face brown outs.  hahahaha  

              What a Police State Looks Like: "On one side: soft human flesh, unprotected human skulls, cardboard signs, slogans they chant, armed with belief in 1st Amendment rights. On the other: helmets, body armor, guns, batons, chemical weapons." -- JanetRhodes

              by YucatanMan on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:00:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You raise some interesting points (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Evolutionary

                I'll have to look into the methodology to see if the carbon emitted by products from Texas' refineries is assigned to Texas or to the state where they were used.

                •  I'm sure the emissions from using the products (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Roadbed Guy, Evolutionary

                  is counted in the place where the products are used.

                  However, creating the products themselves from petroleum emits a large amount of global warming gases.

                  Google images for "refinery" and you'll find all sorts of "flares" which are burning off waste products from refining petroleum. And these flares stink.  They contribute CO2, but also much more powerful greenhouse gases like methane and others.  You'll see the smokestacks.  

                  So, what I was saying is that the refineries being in Texas, create a lot of Texas emissions through their operation.  

                  Most of the products created are exported from Texas to other states create the emissions there when they are used.

                  What a Police State Looks Like: "On one side: soft human flesh, unprotected human skulls, cardboard signs, slogans they chant, armed with belief in 1st Amendment rights. On the other: helmets, body armor, guns, batons, chemical weapons." -- JanetRhodes

                  by YucatanMan on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:17:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  More on refineries: (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Roadbed Guy, Evolutionary

                  http://thehill.com/...

                  “We have always had plans that we would go from the largest stationary [greenhouse gas emissions] source, which is utilities ... to the next largest, which is refineries,” she said.
                  Texas has 26 refineries, the largest number of any state. Adjacent Louisiana has 19.  

                  The USA has a total of 148 refineries scattered among all states.  Texas and Louisiana have 30+% of the entire number in the nation.  And the refineries in Texas are some of the largest in the nation as well.

                  http://www.eia.gov/...

                  You can look up numbers of refineries and capacities at the above link.  

                  Anyway, we need to cut back. A couple reasons that there are so many in Texas are: 1) lax Texas pollution laws in every way and 2) the harbor at Galveston / Houston.

                  What a Police State Looks Like: "On one side: soft human flesh, unprotected human skulls, cardboard signs, slogans they chant, armed with belief in 1st Amendment rights. On the other: helmets, body armor, guns, batons, chemical weapons." -- JanetRhodes

                  by YucatanMan on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:29:59 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  One has to be careful interpreting per capita (0+ / 0-)

          especially for countries and territories that have a small poopulation but a large shipping or tourism sector.

          The footprint graphic includes the claim "Tiny Gibraltar tops the per capita list due to its need to import most manufactured goods" but this is simply false. The emissions shown here are not based on end-use accounting - for example, if an American buys a product made in China using coal, the CO2 from that coal is allocated to China - not the USA - in the methodology used for this graphic.

          So why does it put Gibraltar top - particularly as the Wikipedia data you linked barely has it in the top 20? The biggest reason would accounting of emissions from gasoline and diesel: Gibraltar has much cheaper prices than neighboring Spain and many road trip tourists fill the tank when visiting. So it has 30,000 people but meets the vehicle fuel demand of a much larger effective population.

          •  Try not to get overly fixated on Gilbraltar . .. (0+ / 0-)

            feel free to use the Wikipedia rankings instead . . . .

            Which show that the USA is bad, but not really the worst of the bunch.  

            With not too much effort, we'll be in respectable company - which is the direction we're heading despite absolutely no top-down guidance from the government.

            And about the manufacturing in China contributing to huge coal-based carbon emissions - I am doubtful about that - their advantage is cheap labor (e.g., kids sewing Nike's) that is not really all that carbon intensive.

            Much of their emissions comes from a huge boom in concrete production, automobiles, their own consumerism, etc.

            •  Neither data set is very good (0+ / 0-)

              The wikipedia data is only CO2 emissions (for some countries CO2 is 90% of greenhouse gas emissions, for others it is less than 50%) and the footprint graphic gives a distorting impression of per capita use for which I pointed out the so-called "top" Gibraltar as one example - their apparently extravagant emissions being explained by their relatively low fuel taxes and fuel sales to tourists.

              And neither data set uses consumption-based accounting.

              You don't think manufacturing in China of products used in other countries is much of their emissions total. I agree a majority of the increase in emissions in that country over the past decade is internal consumption, but the emissions used to produce exports are still significant.

              Unfortunately, such accounting of emissions is not simple - so in the research where it has been done, the data is fairly old. For example, Caldeira and Davis ("Consumption-based accounting of CO2 emissions", 2009) wrote "in 2004, 19% of the CO2 emitted to support production of goods and services consumed in the United States was emitted outside US territorial borders, whereas 28% of China's territorial CO2 emissions supported production of goods and services consumed outside of China." There really isn't much consumption-based accounting of emissions research with newer data than that.

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