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A Carbon Tide: Past, Present and Future Answered

The New York Times has a really nice graph showing the world's historical and projected carbon emissions here at A Carbon Tide: Past, Present and FutureGlobal emissions of carbon dioxide, measured by the weight of carbon it contains.

Their choice to display it in flash rather than a similarly-sized image is somewhat annoying, but the chart itself does a nice job presenting a type of data that is often difficult to comprehend. Getting people to truly grasp the size and scale of some of the world's energy issues is one of the key challenges in making progress on those issues. In 2004, 7.9 billion metric tons of carbon were released -- did you make good use of your metric ton?

Here's a thought experiment in that same vein: The San Francisco oil spill was originally reported as a 140 gallon spill, but turned out to be approximately 58,000 gallons. How much worse is a 58,000 gallon spill compared to a 140 gallon spill?

Discussions

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chooseausername

11 years ago

I wonder why, at "who is responsible ?", they added the carbon production of Europe and Russia together ...

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trebuchet03chooseausername

Reply 11 years ago

Because we (US) like to compare ourselves to other nations, regions etc. Perhaps it makes us feel better that it seems someone else is worse off compared to us :/ Personally, the bigger question is: "Where is China?" Considering a great deal (I believe most) of their energy comes from coal... Unless China is considered a developing nation?

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KentsOkay

11 years ago

X(
Were in for it, have you ever heard of Global Dimming? It seems the human race hath doomed itself...

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Sunbanks

11 years ago

That's scary.

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trebuchet03

11 years ago

Consider this too... 100 gallons of gasoline emits approximately 1 short ton of CO2... Given the 2007 CAFE standards for 27.5mpg for cars... That's 2,750 miles...