You can always tell when mainstream media (MSM) catches the first sniffs of a bull trend. It is when all the unfinished tired and worn out meme’s get dragged back out of storage. Global warming is one of them. For a subject that is just ‘one’ of many potentially life altering issues, the consistency to which it gets paraded out for public viewing is deliberate and boring. But I digress … this post is about global population distribution, which no-one includes in the many discussions on how to fix the man-made story of AGW. It’s also about the World Energy Outlook (WEO) reported 450scenario solutions.
On that, it still amazes me how little press, media citation or acknowledgement there is of the WEO 450 scenario, by every local and international pundit and political aspirant. Highlights of the 450 scenario (‘if’ it is achieved) – are GLOBAL implied maximum limits on the following
1. 6% global increase in energy related CO2 emissions by 2020
2. Power generation CO2 intensity decreasing by 21% in 2020 relative to 2007
3. 3% increase in emissions from buildings and 9% increase in industry relative to 2007
4. Additional investment in low-carbon and energy efficiency
WEO 2011 Report – http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/publications/weo-2011/
Link to WEO statement “Steps in the right direction, but the door to 2°C is closing” [page 4 of 11] – in short “If we don’t change direction soon, we’ll end up where we’re heading”. As always, only time will deliver the truth on this.
There has been no clearly stated implementation strategy by anyone on just how the cogs of carbon taxes and carbon trading will turn to achieve the above, assuming that greater than 450ppm is the fear-mongerer’s end of days. But lets put the horse before the cart. If you are going to peddle climate change, then it is LONG OVERDUE to agree globally on what the global limit framework is to work towards AS A COLLECTIVE. Here, a primary global institution charged with trending global energy statistics (the WEO) is using a published 450ppm scenario. Via the WEO report (since 2009), it has clearly indicated a consistent methodology that caters for climate change and forecasting impacts of this fixed limit. So what is everyone else doing? The AGW rhetoric is both easy and cheap.
This minimal framework is neither tangential, nor is it misdirectional (it is not even confusing), but here the WEO report already proposes at least the basic fabric of quantified necessary controls in response to the purported need to control CO2 using real global consumption data. So why in 2012 is STILL no-one making reference to it? For example – what if efficiency targets are not met for instance, which are a huge portion of the necessary abatements? Moreover, exactly WHO is most responsible for wearing the burden of liability for achieving these abatements?
POPULATION – JUST HOW MANY AND WHERE
So here I’ll drag out something I did in 2010 and sent it off to all the local pollies. I’m not saying that I don’t agree with the probability of real AGW climate effects, but it needs to start at the top …. literally at the top of the world. First with some warm up exercises –
The northern hemisphere is where all this is going to change … or not. While Australia might be seen to be inefficient gross pollutants in the eyes of the world, we are an insignificant part of the total problem. I’m not sure if anyone has linked the actual numbers (populations) of the North and South Hemispheres with the purported climate statistics. Otherwise one might be inclined to suggest the Northern Hemisphere gets it’s act together LONG before Australia sinks itself into the depths of burden with attempting ANY meaningful climate altering strategy.
ATTEMPT 1 – BY WAY OF EXAMPLE – USING 2009 POPULATION STATISTICS
Using the top 62 most populated countries from largest to smallest – this represents 91.1% of the global population (there are 230 countries – I haven’t sorted them all yet, more below part 2)
Top 62 most populated countries = 6.22Bn = 91.1% of 6.83Bn (2009 global population data)
Of these 91.1% –
5.31Bn live north of the equator = 85.4% of this 91.1% (remember only using the top 62)
0.91Bn live south of the equator = 14.6% of this 91.1%
THAT IS ROUGHLY 5.8 TIMES AS MANY PEOPLE LIVE IN THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE !! But wait, there’s more.
Therefore, it might be reasonable to place the more onerous responsibility on cleaning up the world’s climate problems with the majority? Australia will continue to take a moral high ground, and conduct itself morally and ethically of course. Further, someone might get a bit more scientific about this and exclude the equatorial regions, or perhaps weight the 3 different zones (north, equatorial, south) differently.
ATTEMPT 2 – GETTING CLEVERER
So then I got a bit more clever using all 230 countries, defining –
NORTHERN = north of 10deg north latitude
EQUATORIAL = within +/- 10deg LAT (either side of the Equator) =
SOUTHERN = south of 10deg south latitude
Roughly by my summations, using the 2009 total population of 6.83Bn people, Google earth and an afternoon of geography –
Northern pop = 82.7% of total world population (5.66Bn)
Equatorial pop = 7.2% of world population (0.49Bn)
Southern pop = 10.1% of world population (.69Bn)
(using all 230 countries and Google Earth)
CLEARLY THEN – the problem is 8 times WORSE for the Northern Hemisphere, as there is 8.1 times North population than South. How about some diplomatic lobbying of the Northern Hemisphere counterparts – IN TOTALITY. While you can’t afford to single anyone out, even a 3 year old would know that if China and India are not on board with it, then forget it.
China and India alone are 37.2% of global population. Australia is ranked 52 and is only 0.3%. 51 Other countries have more of an obligation to participate. But how many actually are?
GLOBAL LAND MASS BY LATITUDE
– majority of the southern hemisphere is ocean
– redistribution of population is restricted
– again pointing to the northern hemisphere to be the principal driver
– again driven by population and growth rates
Selfishly (being a proud Aussie), to suggest climate change comes at some considerable burden and (more importantly) legal obligation upon Australia, then expect people to get upset (and reticent) once they understand more of the truth. The inconvenient truth is really that it’s NOT EVERYONE’S PROBLEM to solve. What are the real political and commercial fiscal undertones behind this ‘movement’ (to call it that).
Good luck with it all, I think it is noble. It will become more of an inflationary burden because it is a money spinner for market derivatives that will be used by commercial traders to skim returns (more rent seeking opportunities) – just like was done with CDO’s and CDS’. Now the environment is traded at the expense of the rest of the world. ETS schemes will penalise the end user via inflated costs and higher costs of production, and not contribute to climate improvement in any traditional sense. This manifests itself as a financial penalty to be planned for and managed only. Those already positioned to establish and fix (read: rig) yet another trading exchange mechanism for private commercial gain are the largest hypocrits having no vested interest in the climate whatsoever.
As night follows day, costs will rise to the point that competing technology becomes profitable. But the financial penalty is paid by the entire consumer population, not proportionately by the root cause of the pollution that has created all this nonsense. It can be shown that recessions will save the environment with far more efficiency and immediacy than anything else. But what this does is create missed opportunites in real currency literally being wasted (not properly allocated/distributed) to developing better, more appropriate, more sustainable primary (base load) energy production methods and consumer products.
One lasting piece of the economics of AGW/population/CO2 burden lies in the growth rates of populations. On this score, the reducing growth rates is a positive for AGW.
HISTORICAL POPULATION ANNUAL GROWTH RATES (selected)
– the funny reality of this chart is that declining population growths have much more worth as political, economic and commercial data than anything to do with the AGW climate debate. You see, any nations monetary stock per capita is of principal consideration to forecasting and (mis) managing economic opportunities. Instead of being primarily concerned with addressing AGW head on, we will address climate change indirectly via our guestimated financial capacity to deal with the problem.
That is, unless the WEO Report is correct and it really does become too late to do anything about it.
Cheers, and regards to all.
p.s. While hypocrisy knows no bounds, I am happy to do my bit with a domestic 4kW solar PV array already installed. It probably won’t save anything, but has specific economic benefits for now.