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.

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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.

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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.

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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/

Google’s Self Driving Car Initiative

 

The self driving car is Google’s initiative, but what drives the giant to complete it?

Google has yet to NOT surprise me. From balloon wifi to free internet to Google glasses. I mean, Google finds ways to incorporate itself into everyone’s daily lives one way or another. If you have an android phone, the Play Store where you get all your apps? Google. How about your web browser Chrome? Google. (Mind you if you don’t have it, it is quite possibly the best browser out there, at least from what I have tested.) I mean who doesn’t use Google.com for their daily searches. How about YouTube; now I know for a FACT ya’ll use YouTube. And yes, Google owns that too. Here is a diagram of stuff Google owns and invests in, just for fun.

Related ArticleThe Road Rage is Strong With This One

 

 

It seems that Google is once again taking things further, this time in the form of a self driving car. As it is, Google has been working on self driving cars for a long time now, but most recently they decided to roll out their idea into the world around us. Google’s self driving car initiative is taking to the public streets for tests and trials as they move forward to a promised public release date of 2017. But of course, that consumer friendly release of a self driving car is all speculation, and critics such as Dan Flores, from General Motors’ advanced technology group, say very hurtful things:

 We do not think someone will have a fully autonomous production vehicle that soon, vehicles that can drive themselves are years — maybe decades — away. The technology will develop in steps to allow the vehicle to do more and act incrementally as sensors get more robust and costs come down.

Leave it to a big auto company like GM to put us down. And yet, Google perseveres. Already 3 states have legalized public testing of the self driving cars; Nevada, California, and Florida have made changes to laws to help Google’s plans for driver-less cars to move forward. Already we are seeing companies work on transport grids that would warn drivers of upcoming hazards and instant traffic details. With technology like this in the works, it wouldn’t be too unrealistic to expect driver-less cars sometime very soon.

Google’s future in car transportation seems to point to a Google taxi service, a Robo Taxi of sorts. With the newly introduced, and fairly popular Lyft driving services, it would only make sense for Google to move in the direction of replacing conventional taxis. As this idea is only speculative, it does somewhat make sense. A search engine giant that has a taxi service to inspire more search engine time goodness? Focusing on creating self driving cars to allow for more YouTubing and Google+ing? Why else is Google Maps so popular and updated so frequently?

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Who knows what is in store for driver-less cars from Google. With the way things are panning out I wouldn’t be surprised if Google’s driveless cars featured solar panels and some sort of wind turbine to gather energy throughout the daily drives. Then again, (deep breath) I wouldn’t be surprised if Google turned out to be run by a self aware computer that was looking to entwine itself into everything and anything living on Earth only to have the human race rise against it and fight nearly to extinction but through a last ditch effort survive and beat the main computer that the AI started from because of course the computer wouldn’t think to make a lot of central hubs that it can reside in. Boy wouldn’t that be a sci-fi movie cliche. Cheers to artificial intelligence!

 

Research:

Google Glass

Wikipedia: Google Play

Google Browser: Chrome

CNET: How Google’s robo-cars mean the end of driving as we know it

GM: Dan Flores

CNET: First Smart Cars, Next Smart Transport Grids

USA Today: States take the wheel on drive-less cars

Google’s Robo-Taxi Rumors

Be a Lyft Driver

Google Plus

Google Maps

Wondergressive: A Non-Loony Google Project Called Loon

Wondergressive: Free Internet, Help Yourself

Wondergressive: The Road Rage is Strong With This One

Wondergressive: Blimps are the Future!

Germany Sets Example for Global Climate Battle

Energiewende! This one word defines the German view on the global climate crisis that our planet is currently experiencing. Literally Energiewende means energy change. While its definition is simple it’s connotation encompasses an entire movement. Osha Gray Davidson writes:

The government has set a target of 80 percent renewable power by 2050, but many Germans I spoke with in three weeks traveling across this country believe 100 percent renewable power is achievable by then.

This plan also has many checkpoint gates that it must achieve. By 2020 Germany must be dependent on 35% renewable energies. These energies include wind, solar, and sheer German momentum. Sheer German momentum believes strongly that the Earth is experiencing a global climate crisis.

If a member of parliament called climate change a hoax or said that its cause is unknown, he or she would be laughed out of office.

 

Interesting. Here in the United States, we’re still trying to accept the idea of climate change. For example, my favorite winter-time joke: Where’s that dang-old global warming when you need it? (note: this joke is best told when temperatures are under 41°F and is best told by or to somebody who doesn’t properly understand what global warming is). As another example, lets see what the US Chief of Energy has to say about the matter.

Let me make it very clear that there is no ambiguity in terms of the scientific basis calling for a prudent response on climate change.

Ernest Moniz goes on to say:

“I am not interested in debating what is not debatable…There is plenty to debate as we try and move forward on our climate agenda.”

While it is good that the Energy Chief (a tittle best held by a true sorcerer) strongly holds this as fact, there are still many United Statians (I think it’s time we stopped calling ourselves Americans as we live on only a part of the continent) that uphold the belief that Global warming is a myth. If you really want to delve into crazy, I suggest you check out the Friends of Science webpage.

As we move back to the realms of science and reality we can see that the majority of the world understands science and actually is pretty good friends with it. Stanford University is spearheading the global awareness of climate change caused by humans (scroll down to page 26 for the good stuff). Don’t forget to sign the petition!

Sources:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-13/germany-has-built-clean-energy-economy-u-s-rejected-in-80s.html?cmpid=otbrn.sustain.story

http://phys.org/news/2013-05-scientists-co2-sequestration-technique-supergreen.html

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/301287-new-energy-secretary-need-to-address-climate-change-not-debatable

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/05/23/1211224/-520-scientists-sign-statement-on-Maintaining-Humanity-s-Life-Support-Systems-in-the-21st-Century

http://www.economist.com/node/21559667

http://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?ide=2

http://www.globalwarminghysteria.com/ten-myths-of-global-warming/
http://mahb.stanford.edu/consensus-statement-from-global-scientists/
http://mahb.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Consensus-Statement.pdf

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The Power of Wind Farms

Yesterday, my day both began and ended with the California sun moving through a horizon speckled with wind turbines. As humans we have only to thank Sol for our existence. We’ve come a long way in terms of mechanized energy efficiency. Seeing these two great power sources together lead me to wonder: How much power do we get from wind farms? How much power does one wind turbine produce?

To understand the energy intake of wind turbines we should take a closer look as to what is actually happening inside to harness this electricity. An anemometer gauges the speed and the direction of the wind. The wind speed information is then passed through to a controller. This device turns the turbines on, points the turbine’s blades in the most fortuitous direction, and when the wind speed is too high (over 55 mph) or too low (under 8-16 depending) it adjusts accordingly.

The turbine blades are directly connected to an electrical generator which creates electricity. A simple generator does this by spinning a magnet inside of copper wiring. The generators used in wind turbines are obviously more sophisticated though they have the same effect.

So how much electricity can one wind turbine create? Wind Energy America states that

Typically modern turbines range in size from 660 kilowatts to over 3 megawatts of capacity. They are placed in fairly windy locations with minimum wind speeds in the range of six meters per second (around 13 miles per hour). Wind turbines generally run at 30 to 40 percent capacity, so a 1 MW turbine could produce around 3 million KWh of electricity in a year.

The amount of wind in an area plays a huge role in how much energy is produced. So if you’re in a windy part of the country it is time to ask yourself: Is this a viable option for me?

Sources:

Inside a Wind Turbine

Wind Energy America FAQs

Simple Generator