Jeez Louise, what a load of bollocks from Time Magazine.
Climate modelers have long known that households are far bigger contributors to global warming than most laypeople realize. For all the blame tailpipe emissions take for escalating temperatures, homes and office buildings are actually the single largest contributor to greenhouse gasses. One key reason is the 100-plus million refrigerators in America’s 111 million households. According to the Department of Energy, the standard fridge sucks up about 8% of the electricity used by all homes—a pretty big share given the dozens of big and small appliances and electronics that are also drawing juice.
Forget climate modelers, lets look at some real data.
On the other side of the energy and emissions issue, we have this recently released (March2011) report from the US Energy Information Administration (PDF)
Total U.S. anthropogenic (human-caused) greenhouse gas emissions in 2009 were 5.8 percent below the 2008 total (Table 1). The decline in total emissions—from 6,983 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) in 2008 to 6,576 MMTCO2e in 2009—was the largest since emissions have been tracked over the 1990-2009 time frame. It was largely the result of a 419-MMTCO2e drop in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (7.1 percent).
Have a look at CO2 emissions graphically, by energy sector this is from the EIA report:
Now here’s the kicker. World Climate Report took the EIA data for total CO2 emissions from the USA, and graphed it against the CO2 emission data for the same period from China:
And these morons at Time magazine are worried about the few extra watts of electrcity used in my electric ice maker and trying to make me feel guilty about it?
I can’t print what I’d like to say.
UPDATE: Some commenters asked about employment -vs-CO2, here’s a graph that is a close proxy for employment, per capita income -vs- CO2.