Advancing Africa Big Picture China Syndrome Climate Change Contraction & Convergence Emissions Impossible Global Warming Growth Paradigm Low Carbon Life Political Nightmare Realistic Models Regulatory Ultimatum Social Change The Data

So Solid Climate Policy

Really groovy global policy on Climate Change would be more clever and more accurate than assumptions on averages that were foundational to the hep cats who wrote the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Kyoto Protocol.

Why keep up the narrative that there are “developing” nations and “developed” nations ? Some formerly “developing” nations have emissions profiles quite like some “developed” nations today.

Also, why are we taking national averages ? There is stratification of society : the urban and merchant classes in many countries have a much higher Carbon Dioxide emissions count than the poorest in society, even if the countries are wealthy on average.

The wealthy are high emitters, no matter what region of the world they come from. Work done in 2009 by an international group that included Princeton University Professors Robert Socolow and Stephen Pacala, took four main regions of the world, and showed that the emissions profile of the populations were very similar :-

“The result is a series of projections showing the distribution of individual emissions for different regions. Each country worldwide would be assigned an emissions target based on the number of “high-emitter” individuals within their borders and their aggregate emissions. While all emissions contribute to global warming, the authors found that targeting the highest billion or so emitters gives the rest of the world room to continue to grow and develop. “In principle,” the authors wrote, “no country gets a pass, because even in the poorest countries some individuals have CO2 [Carbon Dioxide] emissions above the universal emissions cap.”…The idea was born, in part, from travels to India and other developing countries, Socolow said, where thriving cities support a middle and upper class enjoying a decidedly high-carbon lifestyle. “Lack of attention to sustainable objectives in the developing world among people who live like us means they’re going to replicate the same wastefulness,” he said. “If those countries are given a free pass for the next decade or two, they’re going to use that time to do the same foolish things we did.”…”

From the chart above, you can easily see that about 300 million individuals in each one of the four regions show a very similar distribution of high Carbon Dioxide emissions.

They are living beyond their Carbon means, using up too much of the Climate space, emitting above the “thin blue line” of safe emissions levels.

These are the people who are responsible for Global Warming, not the populous poor.

This should matter to the international Climate Change negotiations for a framework to follow the Kyoto Protocol.

It’s time to jive boogie to a different tune.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.