A Global Recession May Be Just What Mother Earth Needs

January 12, 2009
According to the New York Times blog, Dot Earth, China’s power output actually fell at the end of ’08! I am totally shocked in a delightful way!

The post, “China’s Power Surge Ends for Now,” reported that China’s rate of power output has been growing at 15-20% since 02, only to plunge to about -10% in the last few months. That’s negative 10%, an actual reduction power output (find out why)!  That means China’s carbon emissions should fall too, but that data isn’t out yet.

I wonder if China will hold on to its place as the world’s #1 carbon emitter, having overtaken the U.S. in that dubious distinction only in ’07. (the U.S. is still way ahead, though, when you look at emissions per person).

Now, are coal plants in the U.S. still spewing as much as they were a year ago?  And what about the other top emitters of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that causes global warming?

I know this comes at a great cost to human life and will cause great suffering.  I myself am a casualty of the economic downturn.  But I hope the crisis will inspire us to find clean energy solutions and build the green economy of the future.


The World's Top Carbon Emitters

January 11, 2009

Measured in 1000 million metric tons, for the years 1990-2007:

China, 6.72

The U.S., 5.90

The European Union, 3.32

The Russian Federation, 1.67

Japan, 1.25

Source:  Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.  Link to spreadsheet.

Why China's power output plunged at the end of '08

January 10, 2009

Much of China’s recent growth in carbon emissions has come from cement production, which is related to China’s building boom.  Even after the build-up leading to the Beijing Olympics and the earthquake last year, China’s building boom busted in the second half of ’08 as the global economic crisis deepened.  This is one major cause of the steep dive in China’s power output.