The US emits the most CO2 per capita of any country in the world, according to the U.N.
Matt found these two great maps the other day. The first map shows where carbon emissions are concentrated in the U.S. Obviously, the CO2 emissions are higher in urban centers of the country since there are more people there.
US Concentrations of CO2 Emissions:
But the second map shows U.S. CO2 emissions per capita. It’s a very different map.
U.S. Per Capita CO2 Emissions:
If you click on the map, it will enlarge and you can get a better sense of where the concentrations actually are. Zeroing in on Seattle, for example, shows an interesting result:
Seattle itself (the area to the left of the “S”) emits far less per capita than its outlying suburbs and more rural areas. The same trend can be seen in many other urban areas.
Overall the west and southwest aren’t looking so good here. The two maps almost show a reverse of one another: where the country is least populated, we output more CO2 per person. We have suburbs that sprawl further, requiring longer drive times. We have less public transportation. And… well, I don’t know. Anyone else have ideas about why we emit more CO2 in the western U.S.?
We in North America have a lot of work to do, no matter where we live. Here are some more maps…
Percentage of CO2 Emissions by Country:
According to the UN, the U.S. emits 21% of the world’s total CO2 emissions, while we comprise just 4.6% of the world’s population. China emits 17.3%, Russia 5.3%, Australia 1.1%… click on the map to find out how much your country emits.
But again, the per capita maps seem to be a more important way of looking at it.
World CO2 Emissions Per Capita (in metric tons):
The U.S. emits 20.6 metric tons per person, Canada emits 20.0, Norway 19.1, Australia emits 16.2, Saudi Arabia 13.6, U.K. & Germany 9.8… click on the map above to see how your country measures up.
We have lots of work to do! We’re causing major climate damage, and we just can’t go on doing what we do. It’s time to stop this train from going full barrel ahead down the wrong track.
Today, make a change. Big or small, today do something to reduce your CO2 emissions. Something new. Something you’ve been thinking about doing but haven’t yet done. It’s time.
What Will You Do Today?
We have work to do, so put your energy into doing something right now! What will you do today?
If you’re looking for ideas, you can try making some of the changes we discussed in yesterday’s post and the wonderful comments. Not only will those changes help your pocketbook, but they will also help the planet!