Climate Change Caused by 90 Companies Since Industrial Revolution

climate change factory

Land of beauty, prosperity, and climate change… vimeo.com

A recent analysis on climate change has revealed that just 90 companies are responsible for 63% of all greenhouse gas emissions since 1854, the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. The companies range from private corporations such as BP and Exxon to government-run companies. 83 of the 90 companies are oil, gas, and coal based energy companies, with the remaining 7 companies being cement manufacturers. Information from the climate change analysis comes from public records and data from the US Department of Energy’s Carbon Dioxide Information and Analysis Center.

Related Article: A Cheaper Alternative to Pollution

The author of the analysis, Richard Heede, from the Climate Accountability Institute of Colorado concluded in the study that

There are thousands of oil, gas and coal producers in the world, but the decision makers, the CEOs, or the ministers of coal and oil if you narrow it down to just one person, they could all fit on a Greyhound bus or two.

Heede exhibited concern over the fact that many of the companies, besides being the presiding polluters of history, are also sitting on huge reserves of fossil fuel which represent a potential for an even more daunting future afflicted by climate change.

Related Article: Sweden is Running Out of Trash

Former US President Al Gore was very excited about the study as it is one of the most major efforts to hold individual carbon producers accountable for climate change rather than governmental policy. Gore stated that:

This study is a crucial step forward in our understanding of the evolution of the climate crisis. The public and private sectors alike must do what is necessary to stop global warming. Those who are historically responsible for polluting our atmosphere have a clear obligation to be part of the solution.

The actual solution itself is tough to set in stone. Global industrial emissions since 1751 stand at 1,450 gigatonnes. If we are to slow down and eventually halt extreme climate change, a necessary step is to understand who is producing greenhouse gases and who should be held ultimately responsible.  Unfortunately, it is difficult to decide who we should be pointing the finger at regarding climate change. According to Naomi Oreskes, professor of the history of science at Harvard,

There are all kinds of countries that have produced a tremendous amount of historical emissions that we do not normally talk about. We do not normally talk about Mexico or Poland or Venezuela. So then it’s not just rich v poor, it is also producers v consumers, and resource rich v resource poor.

Another aspect of the issue that clouds facts is the climate denial movement.  Oreskes has already shown in the past that several of the top companies from the study are some of the major sources of funds used in the global campaign of climate denial. Despite evolution not being able to keep up with climate change, marine life being destroyed, and weather becoming increasingly more extreme across the planet, companies and governments around the world maintain a stance of cold apathy to the problem or at worse vehement denial.

Related Article: Costly Climate Changes

How about some highlights from Heede’s study? Sure thing:

  • Government run companies in the former Soviet Union produced more greenhouse gases than anyone else at approximately 8.8% of the total.
  • Chinese run companies came in a close second at 8.6% of total emissions.
  • ChevronTexaco was the leading emission producer among private companies at 3.5% total emissions, followed by Exxon, and BP.

Operations of the companies currently span the globe, which is very disconcerting for those of us concerned about climate change because

These entities extract resources from every oil, natural gas and coal province in the world, and process the fuels into marketable products that are sold to consumers on every nation on Earth.

climate change action

There is hope after all! http://www.myseek.org/

This is where Heede hits upon the most important point in the study: consumers. Despite the profundity of this study, why point fingers at the producers when we are just as much, if not more at fault for climate change as consumers. Although there are countries like Germany paving the way for a green world, most countries aren’t, and we are still enjoying the life that greenhouse emissions have provided.  Our daily purchases are the reason these companies exist, and the reason they continue to influence climate change.  Despite income inequality, we are all living like kings and queens relative to our ancestors, due in major part to harmful greenhouse emissions.

Related Article: The Ugly Face of Overpopulation

If we are to live in harmony with the environment, we must also live in harmony with ourselves and make decisions that reflect our true values.  Don’t waste your money, but instead use your buying power as a consumer to influence the world in a more positive way. If we don’t start making dramatic changes soon (some climate change scientists have already said it is far too late), the future may not be as grand as we all hope for.

 

Sources:

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-013-0986-y

http://sploid.gizmodo.com/the-actual-probability-of-earth-going-to-hell-in-the-ne-1467435315/@kcampbelldollaghan

 

https://wondergressive.com/news/income-inequality-in-america-whats-the-big-deal/

https://wondergressive.com/news/20-biggest-wastes-money/

https://wondergressive.com/news/the-ugly-face-of-overpopulation/

https://wondergressive.com/news/germany-sets-example-for-global-climate-battle/

https://wondergressive.com/news/cheaper-alternative-pollution/

https://wondergressive.com/news/solution-smog-vacuum/

https://wondergressive.com/news/warning-weather-hazards-ahead/

https://wondergressive.com/news/climate-change-too-fast-for-evolution/

https://wondergressive.com/news/costly-climate-changes/

https://wondergressive.com/news/ask-an-astrobiologist-global-warming-and-what-to-expect/

https://wondergressive.com/news/indiana-blue-laws-exemplify-crony-capitalism-time-to-punish-politicians/

https://wondergressive.com/news/refuse-reduce-reuse-recycle-rot/

https://wondergressive.com/news/fresh-air-turned-into-gasoline/

https://wondergressive.com/news/unprecedented-changes-and-extinctions-occurring-in-marine-life/

What is The Solution to Smog? A Vacuum!

Smog. Seems like a pretty straightforward noun. But we live in an age of revolutions, of new technologies, of constant discoveries about ourselves and others, and of constant expansion. All of these wonderful things come with a heavy price-tag though. A steady increase in pollution, more specifically: an increase in smog buildup. As we build taller buildings, fly to higher heights, produce more goods to use, and drive oil driven cars, we inevitably produce more and more smog! Might it be due to our overpopulation as well? However! We may be heading towards a solution of sorts.

Related Article: Warning: Weather Hazards Ahead

Daan Roosegaarde, a Dutch artist and innovator, has created an “electronic vacuum cleaner” that cleans the air of smog by drawing smog particles down to electric copper coils that create an electrostatic field. The copper coils are implanted into the ground and the weak electrostatic field created by these electric coils is enough to clear the sky of smog and expose the shining sun. This animation represents the idea and the possibilities that this “electronic vacuum cleaner” will provide! In an interview with De Zeen Magazine, Roosegaarde says:

It’s a similar principle to if you have a statically charged balloon that attracts your hair, if you apply that to smog, to create fields of static electricity of ions, which literally attract or magnetize the smog so it drops down so you can clean it, like an electronic vacuum cleaner.

How cool is that?! Beijing thinks it’s very cool. In fact, so cool that the mayor of Beijing has signed on Roosegaarde to create a park to showcase the technology! Roosegaarde’s team will be actively refining the technology for the next 18 months, after which it will be put into play in a large scale park, finally ridding the air of smog in a public place in Beijing. This technology does have its limitations however. The area from which the smog will be cleared has to be surrounded by these coils, meaning there has to be a trench dug around all of Beijing in order for all the smog to be cleared away. Also, in the next 18 months, the artist and his team have to figure out how to make this technology work on a large scale.

Related Article: A Cheaper Alternative To Pollution

The technology was originally put into play in a 5 x 5 meter room where the smog was sucked down and then physically laid on the ground. The artist has great ambition with this project:

What I would like to do is capture all that smog and then compress it. So for example you could make a smog ring of all the smog in a cubic kilometer. It would show the reality and question why we accept it.

Roosegaarde also says the technology is completely safe and if one were to step over the coils nothing would happen. The coils give off such a low electric field that it is even “pacemaker safe”.

Related Article: Costly Climate Changes

This is indeed one way to clean up our act, but it may only be contained to public places as Daan Roosegaarde mentions. It is great to hear about new inventions that are countering our pollution and smog increase, but we always have to ask ourselves what else we can do to help! Ultimately, the artist plans to open our eyes! He wants people to realize how bad it is really getting with pollution, and that when he presents the compressed smog rings, other countries will spring into action and we will head towards cleaner and more sustainable lives!

Cheers to clean air!

 

Research:

Wikipedia: Daan Roosegaarde

Animation: Electronic Vacuum Cleaner

De Zeen Magazine Interview with Roosengaarde

 

Wondergressive: The Ugly Face of Overpopulation

Wondergressive: A Cheaper Alternative to Pollution

Wondergressive: Costly Climate Changes

Wondergressive: Warning: Weather Hazards Ahead

More Hazardous Weather Patterns for World

weather patterns ice cream truck

They say the erratic weather patterns got him. Poor truck never stood a chance in this heat. http://www.mobypicture.com/user/Joseeete/view/12792610

Pollution is affecting our climates, increasing the severity of storms, and causing shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. It has been said time and time again, and yet it continues to be said, with good reason might I add! A recent study published in the scientific journal Nature, conducted by a team headed by Camilo Mora, claims that global temperatures will be drastically climbing within a generation. In less than 50 years we can see historical increases in temperatures, beating all past recorded highs for global temperatures. Imagine unbearable summers, intense heat waves, and dry times causing droughts and famine. At the same time, imagine freezing winter storms, strange weather patterns and unpredictable seasons.  This is all in response to the amount of increase in greenhouse gas emissions and the effect they have on our temperature and weather patterns.

Related Article: Costly Climate Changes

Now you may be wondering what exactly it all means, what a good comparison would be. The world’s hottest day was on July 10, 1913, clocking in at 134 degrees Fahrenheit in Death Valley, California. With global temperatures on the rise, and with the study predicting a drastic increase of global highs within 50 years, we can expect to see that high of 134 degrees Fahrenheit once again being reached, maybe even surpassed, sometime in the near future. Yikes. It is not only the heat we have to worry abut, but the erratic weather patterns as well, causing melting ice caps, deadly storms, intense rain; just to name a few.

Related Article: The Ugly Face of Overpopulation 

After all, weather patterns are responsible for half of our daily waking lives:

  • It rains, we cancel our sporting activity (some hardcore players may disagree).
  • It snows, well SNOW DAY of course! (Sometimes).
  • Hurricane/Tornado/Typhoon, houses damaged.
  • Humid Hot Days, stay in and blast the A/C

Anyway, you get the point. Whether you agree that weather and weather patterns are intensifying and impacting the world is up to you, but what are our preventative measures against this? Some talk of greener technology, some speak of wind power and solar power, while some encourage changes in car performance and oil usage. Some ideas even recommend taking advantage of the increasingly severe weather patterns to embrace the positive changes and avoid or harness the bad.

None of these ideas are drastic enough to stop pollution all together, nothing drastic enough to clean up more pollution than we are generating. Maybe it is because we believe ourselves to be unbeatable and indestructible, that no matter what we do or destroy, human ingenuity will persevere.

Related Article: A Cheaper Alternative to Pollution

Actually, we humans have always adapted and something like changing weather patterns and rising temperatures would be nothing new for us. In fact, I believe it would call for new crop irrigation techniques, new ideas towards more efficient cooling systems, and maybe even force us to venture out into space to colonize planets for the sake of our survival. An extreme, yes, but with our rate of pollution, and with the way we like to live comfortably and excessively, I would not be surprised if the proposed colonization of Mars is actually a trial for the coming desperate times. Weather patterns may shift, but so will humanity.

Cheers to new methods of preventing pollution!

 

 

Research:

Study Abstract: The Projected Timing of Climate Departure From Recent Variability

Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science

Camilo Mora, Postdoctoral Employee

USA TODAY: World’s hottest day was 100 years ago in Death Valley

 

Wondergressive: I Believe in GMOs

Wondergressive: A Cheaper Alternative to Pollution

Wondergressive: The Ugly Face of Overpopulation

Wondergressive: Costly Climate Changes

Wondergressive: Sign Me up for Mars!

A Cheaper Alternative To Pollution

The world is getting crowded, or so we think, and with it there is the looming threat of traffic, angry people, excessive food waste, and of course pollution.

Pollution is very unhealthy, unpleasant, and unprofitable. The pollution we are causing from our transportation and daily lifestyles is in essence costing us a pretty penny. In the midst of all the spending on pollution, we have critics that argue for a new, pollution-less world. But wouldn’t that just be a costly upgrade and exuberant amount of money spent on something that will likely cost exorbitant amounts to maintain? According to a new study, not really. In fact, the constant use of coal as a power source yields a great deal of carbon based pollution, which turns out to be costly in itself.

Related Article: The Ugly Face of Overpopulation

Many would argue that with the cheap labor costs and manufacturing costs that accompany it, there really isn’t a cheaper alternative to “coal power.” However, based on this study, coal power is in fact not only an outdated method, but it is at least more costly than onshore wind power and the use of new natural gases. Laurie Johnson, an avid advocate and proprietor of the study, gets to the nitty-gritty point:

The study results show that our electricity system, which generates fully 40 percent of the nation’s carbon dioxide pollution, is costly. Transitioning to cleaner energy won’t just help protect us and our children and grandchildren from climate change, it’s also good economics

More importantly she discusses not only the cost of production, but also the cost of damage caused by the pollution. It is no secret that global warming is causing more severe storms and climate changes, and it is also no secret that we pay a pretty penny for the destruction of our tyrant mother nature.

Related ArticleCostly Climate Changes

The study estimates that by 2018, coal will be so costly that it will cost at least .5 cents per kWh more than renewable clean energy. Although that sounds like a very little number, take into consideration that the average American uses over 11,000 kWh per year. Now multiply that by the roughly 300 million Americans in the USA and again multiply it by the .5 cents that coal costs to operate/clean/maintain. That’s-a-big a-pizza pie! The study itself concludes that:

Our estimates have important policy implications. For new electricity generation, they justify a much stronger standard than proposed last year by the Environmental Protection Agency, which was based upon natural gas emission rates. For existing source standards, which the EPA is also required to issue, they justify replacing a significant portion of the current coal fleet with new cleaner generation.

Related Article: Germany Sets Example for Global Climate Battle

Maybe it is time to give up the farce of maintaining fossil power plants and time to step up into a world of clean and renewable sources of energy. We continually progress to higher gas mileages and less pollution based cars, so why not apply this idea of clean usable energy more as a solution to our constant need for energy?

Cheers to clean energy!

 

 

Research:

Social Cost of Carbon

Laurie Johnson

 EIA.Gov American Electricity

Wondergressive: The Ugly Face of Overpopulation

Wondergressive: Costly Climate Changes

Wondergressive: Germany Sets Example for Global Climate Battle

Costly Climate Changes

 

A new study has yielded that with our current rate of pollution, we will have to waste some 60 trillion dollars due to climate change. That cost will not be up front, it is mostly found in money we will likely have to spend to counter all the effects of global warming. Mother Nature sure has expensive tastes. According to some figures posted in the International Weekly Journal of Science: Nature, we are causing some costly damage to our planet, but that should not come as a surprise to us as we are still completely dependent on fossil fuels and wars over oil still exist throughout the world.

Related Article: Ask an Astrobiologist: Global Warming and What to Expect

So what is it exactly? Why is this type of Global Warming a bad thing?

It seems to be that methane, which is stored under the melting ice of the Arctic, will be released as the melting icecaps continue to diminish. Researchers claim that:

A 50-gigatonne (Gt) reservoir of methane, stored in the form of hydrates, exists on the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. It is likely to be emitted as the seabed warms, either steadily over 50 years or suddenly.

If all of that methane were to be released, we would most likely see a time where the climate shifts more than 2°C, causing intense weather patterns and wind pattern changes. Maybe you have noticed the recent intense weather patterns? The storms that rage and destroy? The flash floods that are intensifying in your area? The little degree or two extra that the global temperature has been altered by over the years is rapidly messing with our climate, and it is likely that we will only see more drastic results in our lifetimes if this sudden outpour of methane occurs.

Related Article: Climate Changes Too Fast, Evolution Can’t Keep Up

Still, 60 trillion dollars, isn’t that a bit much?

For a time there has been speculation that the coasts would plummet underwater and we would all live in a Waterworld! Oh Kevin Costner, you do tickle my fancy so. But all of that was of the extremist perspective of course. There are however smaller versions of this, for instance the idea that California’s coasts will be completely submerged may be a plausible theory if  all of Greenland’s ice melts. NRDC or Natural Resources Defense Council states that:

Greenland holds 10 percent of the total global ice mass. If it melts, sea levels could increase by up to 21 feet.

That 21 feet would likely raise sea levels and ocean levels high enough to take away from our beaches, and leave us with a smaller and less attractive California. Not to mention all the destruction and devastation in such an occurrence. And this is just California. In reality, the big thing to watch is the storms and wind pattern changes. And by watch I mean experience. In 2006 TIME posted that:

Two studies last year found that in the past 35 years the number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes worldwide has doubled while the wind speed and duration of all hurricanes has jumped 50%.

That was in 2006. At that rate, we can expect many many more damaging changes and the price to pay for all that is very, very steep. It might be even higher than the predicted 60 trillion. In fact, all of this is happening and the release of methane stored under the icecaps hasn’t begun yet. Tis a dangerous road we walk upon.

Related Article: Germany Sets Example for Global Climate Battle

Leave it to us to mess up mother nature’s plan for Earth. Well, if its bound to happen anyways, might as well buy that Camaro ZL1 that I have always wanted and burn the crap out of some oil! MMM 580 HP…

 

Research:

Climate Science: Vast Costs of Arctic Change

TIME: Earth at the Tipping Point 

Chevrolet: Camaro ZL1

IMDB – Waterworld

Consequences of Global Warming

Wondergressive: Climate Changes Too Fast

Wondergressive: Germany Sets Example

Wondergressive: Ask an Astrobiologist

The Ugly Face of Overpopulation

buildings

freeimages.co.uk buildings

Texas, the lone star state. My recent visit to Texas gave me a new outlook on the Lone Star meaning. They say that this Lone Star state is capable of containing all of the world’s population. Texas has a square mileage of about 268,581 which equates to 7,487,608,550,400 square feet. Over 7.4 trillion square feet gives about 1000 square feet to each of the 7.5 billion people of our Earth’s population! So that’s what they mean by lone star state! Texas truly IS the only state that the world needs!

But what about transportation, farms, food services, power plants, etc.? Realistically, that would be a problem if we all lived in Texas, but that is not the point. What matters is that we have sufficient room on this planet for up to 282 billion people (calculated by Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research) and surely technology will always evolve and adapt to the limited space available to us. If not, then we build UP! Towers, skyscrapers, pyramids, whatever we can think of. Even, eventually, out into the new frontier!

So why all this overpopulation talk? Why is there all this talk of Kenya’s population needing to be controlled because of its drastic population increase? Why are we so afraid of reaching 9 billion people by 2050?

The answer is not in sheer numbers but in the daily consumption of those increased numbers and the toll it takes on the environment. It is in resources and available luxuries of a comfortable lifestyle that we are lacking. Roger Martin, chair of the NGO Population Matters states that:

Every additional person needs food, water and energy, and produces more waste and pollution, so ratchets up our total impact on the planet, and ratchets down everyone else’s share.

In reality, we Americans live lavishly, even at poverty levels compared to that of the rest of the world. Here in America we associate a good, happy life with a big house, a nice car, a high paying job, and a family that is fed and satisfied. Other countries are not so lucky and a daily struggle for food only increases as the population grows. One of many gruelling facts:

Americans constitute 5% of the world’s population but consume 24% of the world’s energy.

Where are all the solutions?! What can we do as a country to prepare for an Environmental Crisis?! Do I have to give up all of my luxury?

I am confident that most of you reading this article have heard the claim that the United States produces enough food to feed the entire world before. So then why are we still worrying about a shortage of food or overpopulation? Because every day supermarkets throw away food while people die of starvation all over the planet. Because day after day the corporate world  churns out more than is needed, creating piles of waste so that we can have comfortable lifestyles in America. Because no matter how much we produce or how efficient we become, nothing will deter the environmental crisis if we do not work for a cleaner and healthier environment around us.

Obama and his congressmen have been putting off the reforms needed in environmental advancements in order to have more sustainable energy and a cleaner environment. Germany already has implemented better energy efficient methods that are improving both the environment and their people’s way of life and is setting records for solar power production. Even if all that can be reached is a consensus on a future we want but do not currently have, we need to start moving in the right direction to help create that better, sustainable future.

Already the revolution towards a cleaner environment is happening. Already we are creating edible landscapes, creating gasoline out of air, working towards more efficient heating methods, and most importantly, using waste as a form of energy! The Environmental Revolution is upon us. Do not let yourself get left behind.

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas

http://www.pik-potsdam.de/institute

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Kenyans-urged-to-cut-population-growth/-/1056/1607130/-/kdn3t5z/-/index.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/oct/23/why-population-growth-costs-the-earth-roger

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qy5A8dVYU3k

http://www.mindfully.org/Sustainability/Americans-Consume-24percent.htm

http://www.naturalnews.com/029637_supermarkets_food.html

http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm

https://wondergressive.com/2012/09/07/unprecedented-changes-and-extinctions-occurring-in-marine-life/

https://wondergressive.com/2012/08/16/permaculture-connection/

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/26/us-climate-germany-solar-idUSBRE84P0FI20120526

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2118058,00.html

https://wondergressive.com/2012/08/15/edible-landscapes/

https://wondergressive.com/2012/11/02/fresh-air-turned-into-gasoline/

https://wondergressive.com/2013/01/05/heat-yourself-not-your-house/

https://wondergressive.com/2013/02/12/sweden-is-running-out-of-trash/

Sweden is Running Out of Trash

 

landfill garbage trash sweden

In Sweden, this trash would be almost as good as gold. http://newenergyandfuel.com

Sweden is now importing trash from surrounding countries in order to sustain its waste-to-energy program. Its recycling program is so successful that only 4% of all trash that the Swedish population produces ends up in landfills.

This is very delightful news and sheds light on a brighter future in environmental conservation as well as a cleaner environment overall. However, this recycling-centered mindset has caused a rather peculiar problem: there is now a shortage of trash to power this waste incineration program.

On average the waste-to-energy program handles two million tons of trash annually and heats 810,000 homes. It began in the earlier half of the 20th century, and has increased in capacity and efficiency throughout the years. The trend goes like this: waste incineration capacity increases, while percent of garbage going in to landfills decreases.

According to Public Radio International, Sweden now imports 800,000 tons of trash on an annual basis. Most of the trash thus far has come from Norway. The deal that Sweden gets is nothing short of spectacular. Norway pays Sweden to export the trash from their landfills. What Sweden gets in return is a FREE energy source to provide thousands of homes with electricity and heat.

The flip-side is that the waste byproduct known as dioxin, which comes from the ashes of trash, is an environmental pollutant. Along with the dioxin there are also heavy metals in the ash. These all get exported back to Norway where it gets put back into the landfills. Norway does not seem to mind this as burning waste seems to be more expensive than exporting it.

(One thing I do not understand is why Norway does not implement the same energy-to-waste program as Sweden, that way an even larger part of the Nordic area could become a waste consuming powerhouse. As Norway’s economy continues to thrive, I don’t think that finding money to fund such a program would be much of an issue.)

Countries like Italy and France could benefit from exporting waste to Sweden as well. Naples, Italy produces more trash per square meter than any other place on the planet. Have you been to Paris recently? If you are traveling from Chicago, you can definitely smell the stench in the air in many areas, especially where trash is left out on the curbs.

How about implementing this kind of system in Africa or Asia? There are numerous countries with waste treatment programs that are not on par with the developed world, posing various health threats.

I hope that one day Sweden will lead the way in other regions of the globe by continuing to handle waste creatively as well as educate individuals and groups on recycling methods.

For more information regarding how trash affects our planet, click here.

 

Sources:

http://www.avfallsverige.se/fileadmin/uploads/forbranning_eng.pdf

http://www.pri.org/stories/science/environment/swedes-import-trash-to-power-the-nation-10428.html

http://phys.org/news/2012-10-sweden-norway-trash-lots.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/14/business/global/14frugal.html?_r=1&

http://science.time.com/2011/05/09/this-stinks-italy-sends-troops-to-handle-trash-crisis/

https://wondergressive.com/2012/09/07/unprecedented-changes-and-extinctions-occurring-in-marine-life/