Biggest Jump Ever in Global Warming Pollution in 2010, Chinese CO2 Emissions Now Exceed U.S.’s By 50%

Map shows 10 countries with most carbon emissions in 2010 and last 50 years of worldwide emissions

Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press reports — and editorializes — on the grim news:

The global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide jumped by the biggest amount on record, the U.S. Department of Energy calculated, a sign of how feeble the world’s efforts are at slowing man-made global warming.

Feeble indeed.  You go, Seth.  You’re an honorary blogger now!

The new figures for 2010 mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago.

That means worse than the A1FI scenario (1000 ppm).  It means 10F warming (this century) give or take — and multiple, simultaneous catastrophes.

Here are more details of the sorry situation we find ourselves in:


The world pumped about 564 million more tons (512 million metric tons) of carbon into the air in 2010 than it did in 2009. That’s an increase of 6 percent. That amount of extra pollution eclipses the individual emissions of all but three countries — China, the United States and India, the world’s top producers of greenhouse gases.

It is a “monster” increase that is unheard of, said Gregg Marland, a professor of geology at Appalachian State University, who has helped calculate Department of Energy figures in the past.

Extra pollution in China and the U.S. account for more than half the increase in emissions last year, Marland said.

Chinese emissions now exceed ours by a whopping 50%.  They will be double ours by 2020 if they keep on their rapacious, immoral path of weekly coal-plant building — and we keep on our rapacious, immoral path of doing nothing.

“It’s a big jump,” said Tom Boden, director of the Energy Department’s Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center at Oak Ridge National Lab. “From an emissions standpoint, the global financial crisis seems to be over.”

… India and China are huge users of coal. Burning coal is the biggest carbon source worldwide and emissions from that jumped nearly 8 percent in 2010.

In 2007, when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its last large report on global warming, it used different scenarios for carbon dioxide pollution and said the rate of warming would be based on the rate of pollution. Boden said the latest figures put global emissions higher than the worst case projections from the climate panel. Those forecast global temperatures rising between 4 and 11 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century with the best estimate at 7.5 degrees.

Even though global warming skeptics have attacked the climate change panel as being too alarmist, scientists have generally found their predictions too conservative, Reilly said. He said his university worked on emissions scenarios, their likelihood, and what would happen. The IPCC’s worst case scenario was only about in the middle of what MIT calculated are likely scenarios.

You can read about MIT’s projection here: “M.I.T. doubles its 2095 warming projection to 10°F — with 866 ppm and Arctic warming of 20°F.”  MIT attempts to model more realistic emissions and some of the many, many, many amplifying feedbacks.

Chris Field of Stanford University, head of one of the IPCC’s working groups, said the panel’s emissions scenarios are intended to be more accurate in the long term and are less so in earlier years. He said the question now among scientists is whether the future is the panel’s worst case scenario “or something more extreme.”

“Really dismaying,” Granger Morgan, head of the engineering and public policy department at Carnegie Mellon University, said of the new figures. “We are building up a horrible legacy for our children and grandchildren.”

But Reilly and University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver found something good in recent emissions figures. The developed countries that ratified the 1997 Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gas limiting treaty have reduced their emissions overall since then and have achieved their goals of cutting emissions to about 8 percent below 1990 levels. The U.S. did not ratify the agreement.

Yeah, I know, the climate pragmatists say treaties don’t work — only waiting for miracles works.  Go figure.

Related Post:

84 Responses to Biggest Jump Ever in Global Warming Pollution in 2010, Chinese CO2 Emissions Now Exceed U.S.’s By 50%

  1. Sasparilla says:

    Joe, I think its a typo where it says “They will be double ours by 2010…”

    I’m guessing you mean another year (2020?).

  2. Bill Walker says:

    Another editorial comment: the “reports” link in the first sentence links to the first graphic, rather than to the AP story.

  3. Sasparilla says:

    Wow, that really takes my breath away absorbing that.

    6% in a year! We’re really flooring the accelerator as we approach the cliff.

  4. prokaryotes says:

    “Chinese CO2 Emissions Now Exceed U.S.’s By 50%”

    Wow, my subjective impression has been that the China GHG emissions were y bit to much hyped.

  5. mike Roddy says:

    Although MSM coverage has been improving lately, we can be certain that this news will be ignored. News anchors like Bob Schieffer of CBS would rather be called carbon caked prostitutes than “alarmists”.

    A 6% increase is just massive, especially since the global economy is hardly in expansion mode. This will lead to accelerating emergencies on many levels.

    We have to think of a way to act, and forestall what is looking more and more to be a suicide mission.

  6. Joe Romm says:

    That was just a mistake. Fixed.

  7. Zach says:

    “Chinese emissions now exceed ours by a whopping 50%. They will be double ours by 2010 if they keep on their rapacious, immoral path of weekly coal-plant building — and we keep on our rapacious, immoral path of doing nothing.”

    China’s building coal plants because they’re making things for everyone else. We’re just outsourcing our pollution. The immoral thing is that trade with a country that’s rapidly increasing its CO2 emissions isn’t as taboo as trading with a country that employs child labor.

  8. BBHY says:

    Maybe we should stop buying cheap junk from China and go back to manufacturing stuff here, in the US. We might even be able to supply people with decent jobs.

  9. It’s a big jump but not unexpected coming out of an economic slow down. Although I would not have thought we’d turned the corner on the economic downturn by that much so the increase bears closer study I’d say. Where exactly are the big extra increase in US emissions coming from?

    An increase is no surprise since only a few European countries are actually committed to reducing emissions and actually making it happen. Everyone else just talks.

  10. Joan Savage says:

    USA Today, Newsday, My FoxDC, MY FoxTampa, Yahoo news, NOLA (New Orleans) and other media have published the AP article, as well as the Time Science link.
    That “feeble” comment is getting a lot of circulation.

    Deploy, deploy, deploy; as Joe says.

  11. atcook27 says:

    Or maybe we should stop buying cheap junk all together! Whats the difference if the CO2 is produced from manufacturing in China or the US.
    Is it possible that enough people (it would only take a few percent) now know that consuming stuff equals CO2 which equals seriously degrading your kids and grand kids future? And that this is why the world economy is so stubornly staying in the doldrums.

  12. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    We’re well over the cliff. We took off into the void at least ten years ago. Whether we are falling like a rock, gliding like a bird or defying gravity like the coyote, only time will tell. I’d say that, judging by the ever more ferocious denialism I see in this country, and the local Right’s absolute fervour in derailing every sorry little step taken so far and obstructing any further remedial action, that we are the rock, soon to meet its destiny amongst the rubble at the foot of the precipice. After all, in the entirety of human history, have the destroyers ever relented from their quasi-religious obsession with wrecking everything that they encounter?

  13. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The corollary is that, if the US and the rest of the West ever return to ‘normal’ growth, both emissions and hydrocarbon costs will rocket. Resource depletion is here, right on the Club of Rome’s schedule, and Peak Oil production was in 2005. Resource depletion plus ecological collapse, plus economic turbulence plus geo-political discord as the crumbling West attempts to revitalise its global Empire equals chaos and catastrophe. Western political and business leaders, fifth raters to a man and woman, are incapable of rationally dealing with any of these calamities, let alone the full house and the synergies, anticipated and dreadfully surprising.

  14. Christopher S. Johnson says:

    Global emissions are up but U.S. emissions are down, right?

    Here is Lester Brown saying that over at Grist.

  15. Greg Wellman says:

    This article:

    > Extra pollution in China and the U.S. account for more than half the increase in emissions last year, Marland said.

    However, Lester Brown is also right. If you squint at the first figure in that Grist article, the US 2010 number is bigger than the 2009 number by a fair bit. But *both* of those are well below the US numbers for all of 2000-2008. So we are down 7% from the 2007 peak but up some from 2009. Note also that Brown is using an estimate for 2011 that’s a tiny downtick from 2010.

  16. David Stern says:

    The world economy is in expansion mode especially away from the developed countries of the North Atlantic. Here in Australia we used to call it the Global Financial Crisis and now sometimes call it the North Atlantic Financial Crisis. China hit Swiss levels of emissions per capita in 2009. Definitely not hyped. On the other China is doing a lot to promote alternative energy, reduce pollution etc. It’s just still overwhelmed by the rate of economic growth. I don’t think US purchases of “cheap Chinese junk” makes much difference to the big picture either.

  17. BBHY says:

    Sounds good to me!

  18. Justin Bowles says:

    Do we have a link to the original Department of Energy release? I couldn’t find it on their web site.

  19. BBHY says:

    I am going to put on my rose colored glasses and hope that this will cause some positive changes:
    1) The next round of global climate talks will have a new found sense of importance and urgency.
    2) Developing nations will no longer be able to claim they deserve a right to avoid emission limits.
    3) This will focus people’s attention on the climate problem when there has been a lot of other issues competing for the public’s very limited attention span.
    4) Along with demonstrable climate change effects that are happening right now, (Texas drought, Thailand floods, there plenty more), this will help people “connect the dots” and see that our (human) emissions are both out of control and have serious consequences.

  20. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Is anybody doing any work on how recent disasters like S America, Bangkok etc are going to affect emissions? But I guess the recent rate of disasters really needs to be higher to compensate for this rise? ME

  21. Stephen says:

    Did Kyoto encourage countries to meet their targets, or did only countries that could potentially meet them without impacting too much on GDP sign up to Kyoto?

  22. Joan Savage says:

    Where is the original Department of Energy report?
    One news report with its own research,

    has a quote from Tom Boden, director of the Energy Department’s Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center at Oak Ridge National Lab.

    The CDIAC site has some very useful stuff. If the new report is there, and it might be, it is modestly located.

  23. Jörg Haas says:

    Where is the source for the claim that China’s emissions surpass the US’s by 50%? Did not find this in the AP article.

  24. BillD says:

    How long before the CO2 sinks in the world’s oceans and forests decline in capacity? How long before the release of CO2 and methane from the arctic becomes a significant part of the earth’s greenhouse gas budget? The situation would be much worse if nature did not absorb about half of the our emissions. It will be really scary and maybe too late when natural sinks start to fill or fail.

    For people who say that China has to act first, we need data on cummulative emissions, showing that most of the CO2 increase over the last 50 years have been due to richer countries, especially the US.

  25. WyrdWays says:

    Don’t blame the Chinese for rising emissions. If you track carbon flows from source (coal mine/ oil well) to point on consumption, China is nothing more than a middleman. A stanford research group has confirmed this recently (see this link:

    The big black arrows of carbon flow come right back to the developed world – the US, Europe and Japan.

    A lot of Europe’s much vaunted emissions reduction can be seen simply as an exercise in exporting CO2 emissions, out-of-sight, out-of-mind.

    This only reinforces how essential a global climate change settlement is. But our economic system so jammed into a competitive materialism, no-one seems able to lift their heads above the fray.

  26. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    And in the end, the irony of the great human tragedy wasn’t that their scientists lacked the necessary knowledge and understanding; or that the scientists didn’t try to warn the public and the politicos; or that the technologies needed to stave off the cataclysm didn’t exist; or that there weren’t early warnings from Gaia of the imminent catastrophe; but mankind’s fetid economies and the greed imbedded therein that sealed their doom. [Me pretending to play Lovelock for the moment.]

  27. Joe Romm says:

    I couldn’t find it.

  28. Joe Romm says:

    It’s still immoral.

  29. Lou Grinzo says:

    Like a couple of others above, I would love to see the actual report and data. This story broke Thursday (night?), US time, and I could find the original Seth Borenstein article re-run in many places, but none of them had a useful link. Some merely mentioned the DOE, some had a link to the CDIAC, neither of which was useful. (Of all the highly useful web sites I visit on a regular basis, the CDIAC’s is the one most in need of a serious restructuring. It’s a night mare trying to find anything there.)

    This general trend — refer to a study, quote one or more participants by name, possibly mention the organization that published it, but NOT providing a link — drives me absolutely insane. Yes, I realize that all these media sites don’t want to spend the resources to track down the link which readers will use to leave their sites. I get that. But it’s incredibly frustrating to see a huge story like this without any way to read the material behind the blockbuster number. I lose 8 to 10 hours every week chasing these things down. (This is not a comment Joe’s story, by the way, but all the media outlets that he and I and other bloggers quote in our writing.)

    And as for the practice of publishing articles with doi’s that aren’t active yet — don’t get me started.


    The simple fact, which I’ve been screaming about for years and so many don’t want to listen to is this: China and India are building coal plants at breakneck speed, and the US, EU, Australia, et al. aren’t doing anywhere near enough to reduce their CO2 emissions. Unless humanity finds a way to reverse all three of those trends, we’re in almost unimaginable trouble.

    As I pointed out in a comment in a prior story on this site, China’s plans for new coal plants will lead it to emit a stunning amount of CO2 over the next 50 or so years, according to the IEA. (The next World Energy Outlook from the IEA is due to be released on Nov. 9th; I doubt we’ll see any major shift in their plans or those of India.)

    This 6% increase in global carbon emissions plus the ongoing actions of the three groups I mentioned are just about the worst possible climate news. Sasparilla said above that we’re flooring the gas as we approach the cliff, and he’s right. Unlike the ending of Thelma and Louise, this time we’re going to see the crash at the bottom of the canyon unless we change course very dramatically, very soon.

  30. Tom Lenz says:

    I’m going to sharpen my shovel and work on my backyard hole today.

  31. Robert In New Orleans says:

    The great irony is that China and India will suffer as much if not more from the looming catastrophies brought on by their CO2 production.

  32. mike Roddy says:

    You’re right about the first part, Mulga, but need to read a little history. There are plenty of historical examples of humans living in a rough equilibrium with their surroundings, from intent as well as evolution (death from starvation when resources are exhausted). American Indians, medieval Japanese, African bushmen, and even modern Swedes.

  33. mike Roddy says:

    The EU and other countries have been quiet so far, but the day will come when a global boycott is enacted against products from the two major culprits: China and the United States. That may be what is needed to effect change, since the two biggest emitters also feature two of the most corrupt and dysfunctional governments. All they seem to be capable of achieving is fanning consumption of meaningless and disposable products.

  34. mike Roddy says:

    Nice comment, Dennis.

  35. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    And so too will the US suffer, most especially in the South and Southwest. Then it will work its way into our breadbasket, and then into the Midwest, and then the upper Midwest. The Great Lakes will become great lakes, then great ponds, then modest puddles, then… I’m thinking we should be negotiating an open immigration policy with Canada. Or perhaps a merger of nations. I’m working on names: Amerida or Canusa – all for the grand-kids, of course.

  36. BBHY says:

    China and India were excluded from limits because they are developing countries, and the US did not sign onto Kyoto.

    Now the biggest emitters are China, US and India.

  37. Drew K says:

    Joe: From which website did you get the graphic at the top of your article (w/ ‘worldwide emissions’ and ’emissions by country’ images)? Can you provide a link?

    Thank you.

  38. Solar Jim says:

    And all the naked apes said coal, petroleum, uranium and fossil gas were “forms of energy.” NOT, never have been, are not now and never shall be.

    They are forms of Matter. A civilization built on conceptual fraud will inevitably collapse. (This seems to be an explosive subject for a civilization built on explosive substances.)

    Therefore, prepare for thy doom from an exponentially increasing planetary response. There is nothing wrong with the climate, it will respond to natural law. (The consequence of human formation of about two trillion tons of carbonic acid gas from lithosphere storage to biosphere contamination.) We are witness to the final brightness of combusted hubris.

    Perhaps western economics needs a reboot before we are booted off the planet entirely by a really angry Mother Nature responding according to her ultimate Natural Law.

    Start by redefining “energy economics.” Mother nature knows nothing of “dirty energy” or “clean energy” or “renewable energy.” She does know about Matter and Energy. We seem to be corruptly confused.

  39. Joan Savage says:

    Thank you for articulating this frustration.

    Web-available contact information for Seth Borenstein
    Seth Borenstein.
    Associated Press Science Writer.
    1100 13th St. NW, Suite 700. Washington, DC 20005-4076.

    Borenstein’s quoted source at CDAIC, Tom Boden.
    Full Name: Thomas A. Boden
    Email Address:
    Phone Number: 865-241-4842
    Fax Number: 865-574-2232
    Postal Address:
    PO BOX 2008 MS6290
    OAK RIDGE TN 37831-6290

  40. Bill Goedecke says:

    The priority in a capitalist system is to enhance capital. The basic structure of capital in our society is value based on exchange. Nature has no inherent value in this system. That means that externalities can be created without cost (cost as measured in capital). For example, it was recently reported that Chevron, Exxon, BP and ConocoPhillips had oil production declines, while Shell had oil production increase, given its participation in the development of the oil sands in Canada. So, despite the opposition of environmentalists to the oil sands development, given the priorities of capital and its rapacious nature, Shell will be rewarded for its participation in oil sands. The only way for Shell to not be rewarded is to the return on investment be so low as to make such participation unrewarding.
    If environmentalists oppose such investments as in oil sands production and coal but don’t oppose the capitalist structure as currently configured, then such opposition is a vanity. There has to be another kind of economic structure developed that values natural systems first. The system we have now is teleologically fixed – I argue that we have to abandon our economic system and its underlying assumptions. The system is operating according to its nature.

  41. Roger Blanchard says:

    Someone should inform the climate response team the George Nory (Coast-to-Coast) had Anthony Watt on his program last night to enlighten his listeners about global warming or lack of global warming. I didn’t listen to the program and since I’ve previously responded to numerous Coast-to-Coast programs dealing with global warming with no apparent effect it does no good for me to respond.

    Roger Blanchard
    Sault Ste. Marie, MI

  42. Mike says:

    Anyone know how Oak Ridge calculates their numbers? 9bn metric tonnes has to be a limited universe of sources. EIA and IEA’s numbers for global energy-related CO2 (which itself isn’t everything) are closer to 30bn metric tonnes in 2009.

  43. Mike says:

    Duh, never mind. CDIAC is measuring carbon … not CO2. From their own web site (which sadly does not have these new figures up):

    “To convert these estimates to units of carbon dioxide (CO2), simply multiply
    these estimates by 3.667.”

  44. Buzz Belleville says:

    Stephen — The penalty for developed countries not meeting their emission limits was that they would have more severe limits in the post-Kyoto treaty that was going to be negotiated. Of course that never happened, so there is no penalty.

  45. Bob Doublin says:

    I really have to disagree,but only to the extent that our ridiculously jingoistic “The USA can do no wrong” news media won’t pass up ANY chance to shift the blame off the USA to another country.Even though China’s PER CAPITA emissions aren’t even close to ours. (last I saw it was 4 to 1 given 1.2 billion is FOUR TIMES 300 million)

  46. Bob Doublin says:

    I started wondering a few days ago if anyone has heard whether or not any of the official CO2 measuring stations have ever recorded values above 400 ppmv? The latest figure I’ve seen is 390 ppmv but that’s an average isn’t it?There must be a few outliers so far,right? Any expert care to comment on this?

  47. Jeff Huggins says:

    A One-plus Trillion Pound Problem

    A couple years or so ago, I did a calculation that can be done, rather easily, based on numbers included in the ExxonMobil annual reports. The conclusion was that ExxonMobil products alone generate well over One Trillion Pounds of CO2 when used, per year.

    Perhaps someone could update the calculation? Perhaps we could start referring to that number when we discuss ExxonMobil?

    Indeed, roughly speaking, the volume of GHG emissions that results from the use of ExxonMobil products alone is about the same as the entire global increase in GHG emissions in 2010, it seems. That shows how large a single company and its business can be.

    Be Well,


  48. John McCormick says:

    Bob, just sit back and wait. 400 ppm is coming within 18 months.

  49. AlanInAz says:

    It is not correct to say that the US has increased CO2 emissions. Please see linked post. The percentage decrease in the US is similar to many European countries, although their per capita emissions are much lower with a lot less low hanging fruit. Increases in China and India are overwhelming.

  50. Peter Mizla says:

    It briefly hit 395ppm in May.

  51. Bob Doublin says:

    Yeah and I was going to phrase it “reach 400 ppmv CO2 by 2015” in my comments on Facebook just to be safe and accurate. I’m not comforted by being relieved of this burden.

  52. izabel says:

    and meanwhile somewhere else in China, teachers and students are protesting pollution – . interesting development…

  53. Tom Lenz says:

    Lovelock states in his last book that the total accumulation of greenhouse gases amounts to more than 430ppm of CO2 equivalent already and that was 2009. Add in the current totals since then and try not to snap.

  54. Joan Savage says:

    Thank goodness Simon Donner at least linked to the CDIAC numbers he is using.

    Preliminary 2009 & 2010 Global & National Estimates at

    Did you take a look at that spreadsheet? It showed the estimated CO2 totals for the US
    1546903 (2008)
    1438298.258 (2009)
    1497864.583 (2010)

  55. Greg Wellman says:

    To be more precise, it looks like May 2011 peaked at 394, May 2012 will peak a little over 396, May 2013 will peak over 398 but probably not reach 399. May 2014 is a lock for over 400, maybe 401.

    This is going from the first graph at and assuming an uptick in the rate of rise commensurate to the increase in emissions.

  56. lasmog says:

    And this catastrophic news is greeted with a collective shrug from the mainstream press. It appears mitigation is dead, long live adaption?

  57. Shayan Ghajar says:

    Has anyone else encountered discussions that a modest increase in carbon sequestration in our global grasslands (either .6% or 1.6%, I’ve forgotten) would reverse the current suicidal plunge we’re driving towards?

  58. Joe Romm says:

    It is from the AP article.

  59. Duncan Noble says:

    Check the graphic at the top of this page:

    China/US = 2248/1498 = 1.501

    NOTE: units are million tonnes carbon (not carbon dioxide)

  60. AlanInAz says:

    No, I didn’t go to the spreadsheet. Thanks for the data. The chart for % change since 2008 is on Andy Revkin’s personal blog without comment regarding the change in US emissions trend from 2009 to 2010.

  61. Lou Grinzo says:

    Found it:

    It shows worldwide carbon emissions did rise by 512 million metric tons from ’09 to ’10, as has been quoted all over the planet by now.

    It also shows US emissions at 1,497,864.583 thousand metric tons of carbon, compared to China’s 2,247,533.987, or exactly 50% more.

    (Again, everyone please remember this is carbon; multiply these values by 3.667 to get thousands of tons of CO2.)

  62. Joan Savage says:

    Nice catch!

    Andy Revkin uses Simon Donner’s graphic.

  63. I’m of the same mind. People who think they hate us now really should see what will happen when we fry the world….

  64. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Mulga, it’s not going to happen, return to ‘normal’ growth that is. Just about very country now is having to pour $ into disaster relief and reconstruction and we know that quantum is going to increase.

    Add in the factors you mention plus the current collapse of the funny money house of cards and you can see the storm fronts of climate and economics colliding overhead, ME

  65. GreenHearted says:

    Dennis, I live in Canada and I’ve been picturing a series of straight north/south train tracks that take us northerners all to Mexico during our cold winters (so that we don’t have to burn anything to keep warm), and then bring people up here from Mexico and the American south to escape the heat of summer.

    But it might be too late … once the summer Arctic sea ice is gone, the northern Northern Hemisphere will be cooking every summer, too.

    Hey, thanks, Joe. Just stopping by your blog makes me feel a little bit less sad and alone. Visiting a skeptic/denier site these days is like going down Alice’s rabbit hole — completely bizarre and surreal!

  66. Here is a good view from the spreadsheet of how big China’s emissions now are:

    2,247 China
    1,824 Total Europe & Eurasia
    1,766 Total North America
    489 Total Middle East
    330 Total S. & Cent. America
    325 Total Africa

    Per capita tCO2

    6.2 China
    5.6 France
    5.1 Sweden
    5.0 Switzerland

    Yes USA is 17.9 per capita but the world needs huge developing nations like China to converge with EU levels not USA levels if we are going to have any hope at all. EU-27 is around 8.0 these days, though this spreadsheet didn’t break it out explicitly.

    The Chinese boycott that is needed is for the world to stop selling them carbon-tax-free fossil fuels, especially coal and unconventionals.

    Caldiera has it right, carbon tax resources at point of extraction.

  67. mulp says:

    Global pollution is out of control, but the only environmental protest is over a blip of pollution targeting the President who got told by voters “we love green energy as long as gas is 75 cents a gallon and I can heat my home in the North to 75 degrees using my 1960s furnace because heating oil costs 50 cents a gallon.”

    Not one protest against the efforts in Congress to repeal the EPA, Clean Water, and Clean Air acts, and the only reason to vote out a member of Congress is because they vote to hike taxes or support gay marriage because those votes will destroy the future of our children.

    Environmentalists seem to favor the same pillage and plunder economics as the oil and coal industry – capitalism requires too much sacrifice, so better to burn all the natural capital and hope we die naturally before its all gone.

  68. MorinMoss says:

    What the hell are they waiting for? I said back when the Kyoto protocol was enacted that exempting the large populous developing nations was a mistake and I’m not surprised that China caught and passed us overall in 20 years.
    It could have been worse – I expected India to do the same.

  69. Alejandro Gonzalez says:

    I´m writing from a laptop made in China, in a room lighted by a chinese CFL lamp. However, I´m not sitting in China, but in Argentina (low per capita emissions). The water for the tea I´m drinking was heated up in a chinese electric device. I have to pick my bread which is warmed in a chinese microwave. And on and on and on. For all chinese goods at home it surprises me that emissions of China are not even higher. Pointing at China will not solve anything, everyone is responsible for buying and using, no matter where is coming from. This is why the problem is Global.

  70. mike Roddy says:

    Concern about emissions in Asia has nothing to do with the need to do something about our own carbon problem. They reinforce each other.

  71. Jos Olivier says:

    For an analysis of the recent trends, the achievments of the group of Kyoto Protocol countries see this report by PBL/JRC: Long-term trend in global CO2 emissions; 2011 report at

  72. Roger says:

    Given this increase, and our lack of progress, I think it’s time for more drastic steps by climate-concerned citizens, such as described at

  73. EDpeak says:

    The Kyoto signer “met their goals”?


    There have been MANY studies showing that much of the “reductions” by EU has been by the _SHIFTING_OF_PRODUCTION_ from developed countries to developing countries including China.

    china is not without blame, and fully agree their role _IS_ immoral…but the point is, and has been made by now over the past several years in not one but several studies, that “WE” share part of the blame for “THEIR” emissions by not just buying from China what Chinese companies make but also buying what “our” companies make in factories in China, and the buying or raw materials or earlier stage for products finished here, and so on and so forth.

    It counts as “china’s emissions” so long as it happens within its geography, even if it’s any of the above processes created, instigated, planned and executed from corporate boardrooms right here..

    So much of that “8% below 1990” is really a TRANSFER of emissions from “here” to “there” while patting ourselves on the back..shameful..

    (it’s worse than that since even the “8% below is questionable as has been reported by BBC and other with the funny number accounting allowing things to “count” as emissions cuts…but ok, even assuming it’s an actual 8% below…it’s still on the back, of moving production, or significant amounts of it, to China, which is making the stuff WE demand/buy/consume…)

    Again, China is not without blame…not by a long shot…its emissions are a HUGE problem,..but the nature, and roots, and the role of the developed world behind that “china has higher emissions” story, is one we need to face this fuller reality.. (I believe CP has reported on some of the facts I just listed…but the NY times story and some comments here seem unaware)

  74. Bertrand de Frondeville says:

    Since Roger Pielke’s Iron Law reminds us that development will always trump environmental concerns when presented as mutually exclusive or even a trade off, let us concentrate on CO2/GDP that transcends that duality, much more meaningfully that plain CO2 or CO2/capita. Half the world nations are already at or below 0.25kg/USD at ppp or will be there by 2020, at all latitudes and development levels. Every country and the world on average can meet that level in 2020 by adapting and adopting technologies and policies proven in these benchmark nations. CO2 emissions will peak before 2015 instead of 2020 and allow the 350ppm/+1.5C scenario that Hansen of NASA and McKibben of deem necessary to save “vulnerable” nations!
    Cancun put that 350ppm scenario up for study and adoption by 2013-15, what are we waiting for? Power point summary + Q&A available on request to

  75. Deborah Stark says:

    Merrelyn Emery wrote:
    “…..Mulga, it’s not going to happen, return to ‘normal’ growth that is. Just about very country now is having to pour $ into disaster relief and reconstruction and we know that quantum is going to increase…..”


    The sooner we all face this the better.

    Thanks to the last two decades’ meticulously well coordinated and very generously funded handiwork of the fossil fuel-backed Public Perception Management contingent we are now on a Forced March to Adaptation rather than the cooperative effort toward global emissions reduction that SHOULD have been well underway by now.

  76. Deborah Stark says:

    University of New Hampshire/NOAA
    Observing Station at Thompson Farm2, Durham, New Hampshire

    The following atmospheric constituents are measured every 15 minutes around the clock 365 days a year:

    Carbon Monoxide
    Sulfur Dioxide
    Carbon Dioxide
    Nitrogen Dioxide

    Current reading for CO2 at this station: 411ppmv.

  77. jorma says:

    So, free international trade seems to be cooking the planet.

    Just one of the problems with free international trade. Too bad all the “sensible” people in this world support free international trade.

  78. Rob Honeycutt says:

    FYI… I’ve personally toured over 200 factories in China and I have never seen any child labor. Not saying it doesn’t happen but it’s not something that is prevalent.

  79. Nichol says:

    Is there a taboo to discuss the possibility of having carbon tariffs? Cleaner countries should have the right to put carbon tariffs on imported products. That way we would also tax any production outsourced from us to other countries with possibly dirtier energy uses.

    However: even in that case, China is better than the EU, per capita. And the first and biggest targets for tariffs would be the USA, Saoudi Arabia.. the dirty dozen. And if fossil fuels have not be taxed at source, we should do it when they are imported.

    I know tariffs are asking for trouble, but what else can we do to allow the somewhat cleaner countries to protect their industries?

  80. Al says:

    Thankfully solar cycle 25 is looking like a real big dud and there is speculation that we might be moving into a Mauder minimum but I can’t say I have much expertise in this area. However, it may give us the time we need to mitigate, and to retool energy distribution and production systems. If you are following the solar cycles and have some insight into this area of sci. I would appreciate a comment or two or perhaps a link to a good site.

  81. Mansel Nelson says:

    Interesting that the Chinese are considered immoral for trying to achieve the same lifestyle that we have had for decades.

    Even with the recent jump, the Chinese are still far behind the US in per capita production of carbon dioxide.

    Instead of pointing fingers, let’s work together to make a difference.



  82. Joe Romm says:

    Interesting, but true, just as it’s true of us.

  83. Laurie says:

    Shouldn’t Australia be coloured blue as well?