Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Burning out

A report published in the magazine Science Daily on November 17th reports on the findings by the Global Carbon Project (http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/index.htm) saying, that global CO2 emissions are up by 29% in the period 2000-2008(41% 1990-2008) and that despite the global recession, emissions increased by 2% in 2007-2008, suggesting that we are on course for a 6 degree celsius rise in the mean global temperature (read the article in Science Daily here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091117133504.htm).

The article also reports that the researchers found that coal is now the dominant source of emissions, after 40 years of oil dominance, and that increased economic growth in some developing nations has meant growth in their emissions, a quarter of their emissions being produced by manufacturing items for trade with developed nations.

With the efficiency of planetary carbon sinks declining (also found in the report), this paints a bleak picture.

We do not have time to pussyfoot around, we must act radically and we must act now.


  1. >> a quarter of their emissions being produced by manufacturing items for trade with developed nations.

    Isn't it about time 'we' as individuals take a stand regarding buying luxury items from overseas? I have already stopped buying toys and such (though I appreciate that is not difficult as my daughter is too old for them) but I feel personally, that although it is inconvenient and more expensive, we should look into the idea of not supporting the industries in developing nations creating luxury items and instead look into smaller, companies, using natural sources and local labour so we are still supporting the workers in these countries but not at such a great environmental cost. For our luxuries we should look into buying local or making our own. I am loathe to buy a plastic dolly ever again or buy so many clothes, I am hoping to start making more clothes in the future.

  2. I totally agree! As consumers we are literally consuming the resources of the planet. Our overconsumption of luxury imported goods and food and cheap clothing made in developing nations is killing us and many other species.
    We need to try "buy used, buy local, buy green" when we buy stuff and to reduce our need to buy by being as self sufficient as we can be.
    In my view one of the major issues with money is that it distances you as the consumer/purchaser from the consequences of your purchasing decisions. In wealthy developed nations, consumers are often unaware of how their decisions affect the planet and sort of insulated from the worst effects. If we re-connect locally then there is more chance that we will become aware and be able to minimise our impact.

  3. We are nearing the end of economic growth. We are depleting our renewable and non-renewable resources faster than ever, while at the same time destroying our environment, and our economic base. In other words, we're burning through our principal, not living off the interest.


  4. Hi Canada Guy
    Yes! Thanks for the comment.
    Our massive depletion of the Earth's resources is vividly illustrated by the Global Footprint Network with Earth Overshoot Day http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/
    Which shows the day each year when we have consumed the resources which the Earth can regenerate in one year.