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The human chimney 14 Apr, 2008

China emits 1000 tonnes of CO2 every 9.2 seconds. Russia takes 22 seconds to emit the same amount. And the US is leading with 1000 tonnes every 5.4 seconds.

Every minute, these three countries combined emit approximately 20,360 tonnes of carbon dioxide. 20,360,000 kilograms. Which is the same weight as 290 fully loaded Boeing 737 jetplanes, 34,000 Tata Nano’s, or 254,300 average Finnish men. Every 60 seconds.

All this is calculated from a the carbon dioxide emissions simulation at breathingearth.net.

It’s not until we see visualisations of emission and consumption that we truly understand the scale of human impact on our planet. We’ve written about this before in posts like “Shocking images of unsustainability ” and “The world in numbers “.

Seems like the time is right for increased adoption of clean technology, don’t you think?

The world in numbers 26 Mar, 2008

6.6 billion people. 18 million more every year. 6.4 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions, yearly. And over 1 billion internet users.

These are just some of the figures presented in the “World Clock” — an overview the human impact on our planet.

Continuing the theme of our previous post “Shocking images of unsustainability“, the World Clock paints an equally fascinating and terrifying picture of what is going here on our pale blue dot by presenting key figures for everything from population growth to total number of bicycles produced.

All things considered, it’s no surprise that sustainability has climbed high up on many agendas.

Check out the numbers »

(Thanks to Ben at Cartridgeworld for the tip)

The burning question of biofuels 19 Mar, 2008

Biofuels are a hot topic. And rightfully so. Recent research has indicated that farmers prefer biofuels instead of edible crops because of the high yields – resulting in food shortages. But there’s more.

CNN recently reported that “energy crops destroy natural forests that actually store carbon and thus are a key tool in the fight to reduce global warming.”

Ecologist Joseph Fargione continued the same thread in a Scientific American article, saying that “Any biofuel that causes land clearing is likely to increase global warming.”

Wall Street Journal’s “Environmental Capital” blog notes that “Ethanol appears to come with a higher greenhouse-gas price tag than previously thought — higher, indeed, than fossil fuel.”

And there’s more reading, like “Climate Change and Energy - The True Cost of Biofuels” at nature.org, and “Land Clearing and the Biofuel Carbon Debt” + “Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change” at sciencemag.org.

There’s seldom smoke without fire. We predict that the combustion engine will go bust sooner than later. Seems like our planet sure wouldn’t mind.