Thursday, March 11, 2010

Eco-nomics: Carbon and Trade

This graphic is making the rounds of the blogosphere from a report by Steven J. Davis and Ken Caldeira. The point most are making is how much of the carbon footprint we consume comes from imports. To me, it means something different. The graphic shows clearly the difference in the energy efficiency of production between the US and China. The two are pretty similar in terms of the value of their exports. China is at $1428 billion and the US is at $1287, but the carbon implications of this production for sale abroad is hugely different - just compare the extremely wide arrows from China relative to the narrow arrows from the US.  So, while the US is way ahead of the world in term of carbon per capita, the other big problem for the near future is the relatively inefficient production that is coming from the rapidly growing economies of East and South Asia.  

By the way, it appears to me that the authors of the report have decided to use the Peters Projection map.

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