Not in the least for the simple reason anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are irrelevant
Recent analyses that China’s carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions might be 1.2 gigatonnes or 20% higher than previously estimated have generated something of a feeding frenzy in the media; and not just the daily tabloids. Even The Scientific American has jumped on the bandwagon, adding a few more factoids to increase the alarm.
It is understandable that we could be alarmed by a figure of 1.2 gigatonnes; that’s a mighty big figure. It’s equivalent to the total of Japan’s annual emissions, the SMH repeated, without providing the more useful fact for its readers that it is also about three times all of Australia’s annual emissions.
It reminds me of the caption of a famous Punch cartoon, after it was announced that the postwar census of elephants in Burma suggested that many thousands were missing: “are you sure you’ve looked everywhere?”.
Three questions come quickly to mind: Is it true? If so, why? If so, so what?