If you don’t know what per capita means, you will not understand that the United States is a much bigger polluter than China is.
Collins Dictionary.com says, “The per capita amount of something is the total amount of it in a country or area divided by the number of people in that country or area.” Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers
i.e., per-individual person.
The Union of Concerned Scientists reports each country’s share of CO2 Emissions and ranks the world’s countries. China is ranked #1 for total carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion but is #36 for per capita carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion.
China’s population at 4:49 p.m. on 5-19-2019 when I first wrote this post was 1,419,480,841, and the U.S. population was 328,912,052.
Based on those population numbers, China’s per capita carbon dioxide emission from fuel combustion (metric tons) was 6.59 metric tons per person for a total of 9,354.5 million metric tons.
For the United States, the per capita was 15.53 metric tons or 5,107.8 million metric tons total.
To put it another way: if China’s per capita carbon dioxide emissions from fuel consumption were the same as the United States, China would be producing 21,589.2 million metric tons or 2.3 times more than it actually is.
And if the United State emitted the same per capita carbon dioxide that China does, then the U.S. would reduce its total carbon dioxide emissions by more than half to 2,167.4 million metric tons instead of 5,107.8.
Then there is what I call the Trump Factor that will increase pollution.
President Donald Trump is replacing the Clean Power Plan with a dirty one, and he will deny it because he is a serious serial liar.
Thankfully, China is not following in the tracks of Donald Trump’s golf cart.
The South China Morning Post reports, “China is stepping up its push into renewable energy, proposing higher green power consumption targets and penalizing those who fail to meet goals to help fund government subsidies to producers.”
Forbes.com reports, “No country has put itself in a better position to become the world’s renewable energy superpower than China, … China has taken a lead in renewable energy and is now the world’s largest producer, exporter, and installer of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and electric vehicles.”
However, in the United States, Donald Trump wants to cut renewable energy and energy efficiency by 70-percent. Does that mean everything China does to improve clean energy consumption will be reversed by Trump’s agenda in the United States?
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.