A follow up to the Earth Day post:
One of the big lies corporate industry has long claimed is that individual people and consumers were largely responsible for carbon dioxide emissions. Quarantine has proven that yes, individuals and airplane play a large role in nitrogen dioxide and CO2 emissions, but it’s industry that belches out the majority of CO2.
The evidence is there. Regulation and a switch to cleaner energy is needed.
It is becoming clearer every day that the scale of the societal disruption caused by the novel coronavirus is like nothing most people on Earth have ever witnessed. One stark indicator of the pandemic’s far-reaching impact is its effect on fossil fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. If preliminary data from some of the world’s biggest economies is any indicator, emissions are in for a sharp, if temporary, decline.
In China, carbon emissions were down an estimated 18 percent between early February and mid-March due to falls in coal consumption and industrial output, according to calculations first published by climate science and policy website CarbonBrief. That slowdown caused the world’s largest emitter to avoid some 250 million metric tons of carbon pollution—more than half the annual carbon emissions of the United Kingdom.
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But as the number of coronavirus cases has dropped, China has been working hard to restart its economy over the past month. By the end of March, energy usage, air pollution levels, and carbon emissions all seemed to be on the rebound, according to the Finland-based non-profit Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air’s Lauri Myllyvirta, who led the CarbonBrief analysis. That’s reflected in Myllyvirta’s latest figures, which show an emissions decline of just 18 percent over a seven-week period beginning in early February.
However, things are hardly back to normal. Anecdotally, Shuo says, Beijing’s service sector is still reeling, with many small businesses still closed. Meanwhile, some industries that are up and running again are facing a new challenge: lack of demand for their products overseas.