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Carbon production by income level


A new study (pdf) from the Center for Global Development says the richest 2% of Americans are responsible for producing four times as much greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) per person—53.5 metric tons of CO2 a year—as the bottom 20% of the population, which generates about 12.5 metric tons per person.

Kevin Ummel, who produced the report, says the top 10% of Americans generate a quarter of the United States’ GHG footprint. In contrast, the “least-polluting 40% of the population accounts for only 20% of the total,” Ummel wrote.

Hmm. Not as brutal as the income distribution/Gini Coefficient curve, but still.[1]

He also found that suburbs are home to the highest GHG footprints in the country “where relatively inefficient housing and transport converge with higher incomes.” GHG footprints tend to decline in rural areas.

His analysis was based on data revealing the GHG footprints for 6 million U.S. households from 2008 to 2012. The study took into account variables such as electricity and fossil fuel use, as well as other factors such as consumption of beef and even education.

So, as usual, the question is who will bear the costs. Not sure how to fit the Democrats' putative environmentalism into this, but I would assume they're raising their hands to be the enforcers for the 10% against the 40%, if living standards must fall, as many insist they must.

NOTE [1] Of course, if we measured by capital instead of income....

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nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

to put turbines in the Gulf Stream and the Humboldt Current. Just think! Most of our population lives within a hundred miles of the coasts......

But I dream about a lot of things.