One thought on “Industrialized nations’ greenhouse gas emissions dipped in 2011”

  1. Industrial societies have stable and even declining populations. Recently we also have stable or declining economies as well. Our energy use is probably about at its peak per person, although I could be wrong about that, and we continue to get more value out of each unit of energy. As a proxy for energy efficiency, then, declining CO2 can be a good marker. It’s not a goal in itself because it is too small a driver of climate to spend a Zimbabwean dollar on it.
    Developing nations have low CO2 output per person, although their CO2 per unit of value is often quite high. They often use low-efficiency fuels like wood, grass and dung. Such fuels are CO2 intensive, which doesn’t matter, but also put out serious pollution and immediate toxins like CO.
    As these societies become more affluent, and we ask Providence that it should happen, they’ll use more energy and produce more CO2, of course. A more important point will be if they increase value faster than they do energy use. If they increase the value from each unit of energy, they will bring their people out of poverty. At this stage, then, increased CO2 from especially China and India marks improved standards of living for those who need it most.
    Freedom at home will do developing countries the most good. Heaven only knows how well China and India will do if they are ever really free. I hope we live to find out.

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