A report “The Australian” Tuesday 24/9 is headed “Five times more effort needed on carbon action” and contains a table showing changes in “emissions” over the period 2005 to 2017. The report is replete with the usual hyperbole about “warmest of any equivalent period on record”, heatwaves, fires, cyclones, floods and droughts – all of which are supposedly on the increase due to one molecule in 2,500 of the atmosphere. Melting ice, ocean “acidification” and sea level rise also got a run.
I thought an analysis was in order to try and make some sense of it all.
The table below shows the results with one caveat: there seems to be a double entry for India and Russia and I cannot find any information to allow me to correct one or the other so there is no claim that this is gospel truth.
The table compares emissions in 2005 and 2017 for various countries then finds the change over 12 years. This is expressed in both Gigatonnes, (column 4), and as a percentage, (column 5).
Column 6 shows the relative percentage for each country for the 2017 emissions. Column 7 shows the multipliers that any country’s emissions are larger than Australia’s emissions.
First up, 66% of the 2017 emissions are due to China, U.S and “the rest of the world”. Of the 17 counties listed, 4 have reduced emissions over the past 12 years, (24%), and 13 have increased emissions, (76%). Of the 13 increases only 3 are less than 10% – Australia, Mexico and Japan. Increases range from 10% for South Africa to 103% for India. Australia’s share of the 2017 emissions is 1.1% and is the lowest of all in the table.
The next 2 columns show the quantity of CO2 added over the 12 years by the various countries. I have calculated this by averaging the 2005 and 2017 quantities and multiplying by 12. I recognise this is not as rigorous as some would like but the lack of data makes it necessary, and it illustrates the issue.
In the 12 years 416,000 Gigatonnes of CO2 have been “emitted”. The table shows that “the rest of the world”, China and the U.S have contributed 69% of this increase. Note also that “the rest of the world” and the U.S are 2 of the 4 that show reductions over the 12 year period, China has an increase of 71% and India 104%.
Australia sits one from the bottom having a contribution of 1.15%, only beaten by Turkey at 1.02%.
The article contains some suggestions to reduce emissions, and here they are with their corresponding “annual reductions” in Gt.
• “Scaling up ocean based renewable energy” to save 5.4 Gt a year.
• “Decarbonising shipping” to save 1.8 Gt a year.
• “Protecting and restoring mangroves, sea grasses and salt marshes” for I Gt a year.
• “Using low-carbon sources of protein from the ocean, (seaweed), to ease emissions from land based food production” for 1.24 Gt a year.
A grand total: 9.44 Gt a year. Over the 12 year period the “average” emissions per year are 34,644 Gt. 9.44 will not move the needle on this, it is 0.027%.
This shows the dismal failure of “emissions reductions” and shows that the gazillions of dollars thrown away in the quest to “de-carbonise” has bought us zilch.
Rather than recognise this and have a re-think the default position is to double down on the madness and keep whipping us to hurry back to the dark ages.
Surely it is time to exit the United Nations and do ourselves a favour.