17 December 2007

Actions Speak Louder

This really deserves as wide dissemination as possible:

One would think that countries that committed to the Kyoto treaty are doing a better job of curtailing carbon emissions. One would also think that the United States, the only country that does not even intend to ratify, keeps on emitting carbon dioxide at growth levels much higher than those who signed.

And one would be wrong...

If we look at that data and compare 2004 (latest year for which data is available) to 1997 (last year before the Kyoto treaty was signed), we find the following:
  • Emissions worldwide increased 18.0 percent;
  • Emissions from countries that signed the treaty increased 21.1 percent;
  • Emissions from nonsigners increased 10.0 percent; and
  • Emissions from the United States increased 6.6 percent.
Source: American Thinker; hat-tip: Britain and America


The Stonemason said...

Lies, damned lies and statistics!
What is this in absolute terms? 6.6% increase of the USA's enormous output is an awful lot more carbon. 21.1% of a developing nation's output could be relatively little. A proper comparison for the USA would be that of another developed manufacturing economy such as germany or Japan. The Difference should stop trying to defend the indefensible; the USA is putting national self-interest above the planet's best interests - not the attitude one looks for in a largely christian, democratic, nation that purports to lead the world.

John, The Difference said...

In absolute terms, USA's output has increased 6.6% from 1,513 million metric tons of carbon equivalent to 1,612 mmtCe. Japan has increased 10.6% from 311 to 344 mmtCe. Germany is down 1.6% from 239 to 237 mmtCe. For comparison, the UK has increased just 3.4% from 153 to 158 mmtCe, while China has increased 55% from 828 to 1,284 mmtCe.

The other thing to remember with developing nations is that the developed nations, if capped on their emissions, are simply going to continue the outsourcing trend to manufacture and import their carbon-intensive goods from abroad. Shuffling the chairs on deck, as it were, is not going to do anything to the fate of the planet. It is investment in renewable technologies that is needed (both for the sustainable development of the emerging economies and for our own energy security and independence) and the incentives for business to make that investment. If repeating this call amounts to "defending the indefensible" then so be it!