We're screwed: facts and figures for the apocalypse

The shorter Paul Krugman on climate change:

The US is our biggest problem. China is our second-biggest but fastest growing problem, Europe is our third biggest problem.

More statistics:

1.3. billion people.
GDP: 10.17 trillion.
CO2 emissions per capita: 3.84 tonnes in 2004, probably a lot more now, given the Δx on Krugman's graph. Maybe as much as 5?

Population: 1.12. billion.
GDP: 4.1 trillion.
CO2 emissions per capita: 1.20 in 2004. Their economy is the second-fastest growing major economy in the world, with an almost 10 % growth last year, so probably some big movement on this one as well.

United States:
Population: 301 million.
GDP: 13.13. trillion.
CO2 emissions per capita: 20.4

It looks to my haven't-done-a-statistics-course-in- 10 - years-eyes as if CO2 has a much stronger correlation with GDP than with population. If that's true, then that relationship is asymptotic. As China and India's GDP keep growing at respectively 9.5% and 11.1 % per year, their emission rates are at the cusp of gaining a much, much faster rate of change-for-the-worse.

I mean, I knew we were basically screwed when it came to India and China re: CO2. Just not how bad. (If I'm right.) Obviously, this doesn't tell us anything new, except to underline that there can be no fixing climate change unless the US, India and China are all onboard.

But I'm not a statistician, so I'm hoping that all this means is that CO2 emissions are not correlated to GDP at all, just a heap of other factors which are growing at a far slower rate.

[Update: actually, ignore this post. CO2 emissions are obviously far more complex than a direct correlation to GDP. It also involves technological levels, energy production methods, degree of urbanisation, wage levels and so on and so forth. I was just really tired when I wrote this, and I didn't feel like just throwing all those facts and figures away after I had meticously dug them up after maybe as much as four or five minutes of googling and hyperlinking.]

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Blogger suttonhoo said...

for the data pile »

December 22, 2007 2:23 pm  
Blogger mrtn said...

Grrreat. Now we can get cancer _and_ drown - at the same time!

December 23, 2007 2:10 am  

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