Rich Americans Have Higher Carbon Footprints Than Other Wealthy People

The richest people are releasing vast amounts of carbon dioxide compared with lower-income people, according to a new report.

This idea of “emissions inequality” underscores how nations that are contributing to climate change the most are disproportionately affecting regions that produce far less greenhouse gases. But the report by the World Inequality Lab also shows that the wealthiest citizens of the U.S. and other countries are more responsible for rising temperatures than people who earn less money in those same nations.

In North America, the top 10 percent of people by income produce nearly 73 tons of carbon dioxide per person annually. In Europe and East Asia, the top earners release 29 tons and 39 tons, respectively.

At the other end of the income spectrum, however, the bottom 50 percent of North Americans emit 10 tons per person annually. In Europe and East Asia, the same category of earners release 5 tons and 3 tons, respectively.

“It is striking that the poorest half of the population in the US has emission levels comparable with the European middle 40 percent, despite being almost twice as poor,” the

— source scientificamerican.com | Sara Schonhardt | Dec 8, 2021

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Climate Crisis Cannot Be Solved Without Addressing US Military Emissions

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday denounced the exclusion of military emissions from national decarbonization pledges, arguing—in concert with scores of climate justice advocates—that ignoring a key source of greenhouse gas pollution makes it impossible to fully understand and tackle the planetary emergency. Abby Martin, host of “The Empire Files,” in response to the journalist’s question about whether greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted by the U.S. armed forces should be included in President Joe Biden’s vow to cut carbon pollution in half from 2005 levels by the end of the decade. The Pentagon is a larger polluter than 140 countries combined and annual U.S. military spending is approaching $780 billion dollars, Abby added.

— source commondreams.org | Nov 11, 2021

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U.S. Military Carbon Emissions Exceed 140+ Nations

The Costs of War project estimates the U.S. military produced around 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon emissions between 2001 and 2017, with nearly a third coming from U.S. wars overseas, including in Afghanistan and Iraq. By one account, the U.S. military is a larger polluter than 140 countries combined, including numerous industrialized nations, such as Sweden, Denmark and Portugal.

However, military carbon emissions have largely been exempted from international climate treaties dating back to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, thanks to lobbying from the United States. At the time, a group of neoconservatives, including future vice president and then-Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney, argued in favor exempting all military emissions.

I participated in the invasion of Iraq in 2003. As part of that invasion, which was a crime, I was able to witness the sheer destruction of Iraq’s infrastructure, of its water treatment plants, of sewage. And it was something that I couldn’t live with myself and I couldn’t continue to support. So, after leaving the military, I had to speak up and to oppose U.S. militarism in every shape, way or form that it shows up in our

— source democracynow.org | Nov 09, 2021

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Animal Agriculture Emits Nearly 60% of Greenhouse Gases From Food Production

Global food production accounts for more than a third of all greenhouse gas emissions, with meat and dairy responsible for twice as much planet-heating carbon pollution as plant-based foods, according to the results of a major study published Monday. According to research published in Nature Food, 35% of all global greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to food production, “of which 57% corresponds to the production of animal-based food,” including livestock feed. Beef production—which according to the study contributes 25% of all food-based greenhouse gas emissions—is by far the biggest culprit, followed by cow’s milk, pork, and chicken. Among plant-based foods, rice production is responsible for 12% of food-based emissions.

— source commondreams.org | Sep 13, 2021

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Is it time to get rid of the internet?

Cloud computing is a major emissions producer. Why is no one arguing for the dismantling of the Internet?

I’d venture to say that many, many people have a very love-hate relationship with the internet. It’s a source of connection, but also one of stress. It facilitates convenience, but at the same time seems to suck all manner of time and energy out of the day in an anxiety-inducing spiral. It has an appetite for massive amounts of energy, but it simultaneously has all the makings of a powerful, intangible force to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

Let’s start with some of the internet’s climate-specific pros and cons. On the plus side, the creation of “remote work” has eliminated a lot of commute-related emissions, which make up a significant part of the average person’s carbon footprint. There’s also the overall convenience factor. A lot of tasks are so much easier online — bank deposits, grocery shopping, even paying the electric bill — saving any number of car trips in favor of more efficient delivery systems. And then there’s the fact that the World Wide Web’s wild and crazy information highway means that anyone with a Wi-fi signal can learn about climate change, from the latest U.N. environmental report to the daily atmospheric carbon level.

But, as you suggest, all that good might not be enough to offset the internet’s current climate drawbacks. A 2020 review of teleworking studies found the net energy benefit of remote work to be

— source grist.org | Eve Andrews | Jan 28, 2021

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Bill Gates joins Blackstone in bid to buy British private jet services firm

Bill Gates has joined a £3bn bidding war to buy the world’s largest private jet services company just as he prepares to publish his new book How to Avoid a Climate Disaster. Cascade Investment, the fund that manages much of Gates’s $134bn personal fortune, announced on Friday it had teamed up with US private equity firm Blackstone in a bid for the British firm Signature Aviation.

According to a study by academics at Lund University, Gates is one of the world’s biggest “super-emitters” due to his regular private jet travel. He took 59 flights in one year travelling more than 200,000 miles, according to the report, which estimated that Gates’ private jet travel emitted about 1,600 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

— source theguardian.com | 9 Jan 2021

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1% of people cause half of global aviation emissions

Frequent-flying “super emitters” who represent just 1% of the world’s population caused half of aviation’s carbon emissions in 2018, according to a study. Airlines produced a billion tonnes of CO2 and benefited from a $100bn (£75bn) subsidy by not paying for the climate damage they caused, the researchers estimated. The analysis draws together data to give the clearest global picture of the impact of frequent fliers. Only 11% of the world’s population took a flight in 2018 and 4% flew abroad. US air passengers have by far the biggest carbon footprint among rich countries. Its aviation emissions are bigger than the next 10 countries combined, including the UK, Japan, Germany and Australia, the study reports.

— source theguardian.com | 17 Nov 2020

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Building cities with wood would store half of cement industry’s current carbon emissions

Buildings around us create a whopping one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions — that is about ten times more than air traffic worldwide. In Europe alone about 190 million square metres of housing space are built each year, mainly in the cities, and the amount is growing quickly at the rate of nearly one percent a year.

A recent study by researchers at Aalto University and the Finnish Environment Institute shows that shifting to wood as a building construction material would significantly reduce the environmental impact of building construction. The results show that if 80 percent of new residential buildings in Europe were made of wood, and wood were used in the structures, cladding, surfaces, and furnishings of houses, all together the buildings would store 55 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. That is equivalent to about 47 percent of the annual emissions of Europe’s cement industry.

In terms of wood products, a wooden building provides longer-term storage for carbon than pulp or paper. According to the study findings, a wooden building of 100 m2 has the potential to store 10 to 30 tons of carbon dioxide. The upper range corresponds to an average motorist’s carbon dioxide emissions over ten years.

— source Aalto University | Nov 2, 2020

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