7 Billion and Rising…
The world’s population has passed the 7 billion mark and is rising. Growth is variable by continent and some of the areas where there are water shortages or constraints are seeing the most rapid population growth. Some developed countries, such as Germany and Japan, are seeing an ageing population that is affecting their long-term prospects perhaps?
The UN population fund estimated the 7 billion figure at the end of October. 7 billion people will increase pressure on resources around the globe and there will be an increasing need to feed the people and provide clean water. By 2045 there may be 9 billion people. Is this rate of growth sustainable at current consumption levels?
Global Carbon Levels Continue to Rise
The global carbon dioxide emission levels are still increasing at alarming rates. Recent statistics from Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center in the USA, show that overall there has been a global increase of 6% for 2010. This was despite a global economic slow down. The largest producer of carbon dioxide is China, followed by the USA. China now accounts for 8.15 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the global total of 33.51 billion tonnes (24.3%). China’s emissions rose by 9.3% in 2010 and India’s by 9.4%. The USA saw an increase of 4.1% and the UK by 5.9%, accounting for a total of 0.49 billion tonnes (around 1.5% of the global total). Further details can be found on this link.
Richard Muller: Defection of ideas?
Professor Richard Muller, a climate change sceptic, has been undertaking a study of the global climate data of the last 50 years. A professor in physics from the University of California has been a critic of global warming. A study by The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature group (BEST)has analysed over 1.6 billion temperature recordings has illustrated a one degree increase in global temperatures since 1950. Professor Muller, who had attributed the temperature increases to the urban heat island effect, has accepted the recent analysis. Homogenisation has been used to explain the heat island effect and changes in recording techniques and instrumentation over the years. Data quality has improved and this study presents the methodology and results. Full details are available here: Berkeley Earth.
As this story shows, scientific data and facts should determine policy not dubious ideologies.
Carbon Reduction League Table Published
The UK Environment Agency has now released the first carbon league table that ranks companies by their carbon usage. This league table has resulted from the recently introduced Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) legislation which aims to report on carbon usage and actively reduce company’s carbon to lower carbon dioxide emissions. The 22 joint leaders of the table include Centre Parcs, Invesco, Keele University and North West London Hospitals NHS Trust. At the other end of the table where there are 803 companies in the last place (joint position 1301). They include the Olympic Delivery Authority, ITV Plc, University of Plymouth and Walsall Hospitals NHS Trust. In total there are 2103 companies in the spread sheet.
The interesting thing to note here are the positions of some companies (I include the health service and other government departments) that claim to be ahead of the game. In fact they are not. We will see what happens in a year’s time when the next league table is produced. Then it will be possible to review who is doing well and which company is under performing.
The full table can be downloaded as an Excel spread sheet here: EA CRC Main Performance League Table.
Euro Crisis Continues
Now Italy has been dragged into the euro crisis along with Greece. The impact of this has overtaken discussions at the recent G20 conference in France. There seems to be little consensus for a decision on where the euro will go and if Italy and Greece, along with others, adopt a variant to the main euro or perhaps drop out of the eurozone? Perhaps this two speed Europe should have been envisaged when the euro launched? Europe is such a diverse continent that in-equalities exist in may areas including the economic potential. There will be political, economic and social consequences of the euro crisis that may well extend well beyond Europe.