Sunday, May 28, 2006

What the devil are they doing in the Virgin Islands....

Tim Lambert is discussing the question of how much CO2 Al Gore generates. Besides being an opportunity for bad jokes this cries out for a bit of data. Eli went to the United Nations Statistics Division for some comparative international values. You can look up how the average person in your particular flyspeck does, but here are some comparative values:

Country annual/capita per day per day

metric ton kg lbs
Australia 18.3 50.1 110.3
Brazil 1.8 4.9 10.8
China 2.7 7.4 16.3
France 6.2 17.0 37.4
Germany 9.8 26.8 59.1
India 1.2 3.3 7.2
UK 9.2 25.2 55.5
US 20.9 57.3 126.0
Virgin Isl. 91.9 251.8 553.9

Eli, pointed out to Ms. Eli that he only generates 60% of his weight in hot air. Ms. Rabett replied that he should do better in both regards. Be that as it may, the interesting point about these figures is the difference between the UK and Germany on one hand and France on the other. Nuclear electrical generation appears to reduce CO2 emissions/capita by about a third.


ankh said...

Do you suppose that includes something disproportionate -- are there a lot of VI-registered ships, so is carbon produced that should be amortized over a broader population?

EliRabett said...

No, it would not be ships since then they would still be US registry, but maybe a lot of tourists in a place where the population is limited. My favorite would be that the person reporting the data had a sense of humor

Still, amusing.

QUASAR9 said...

That would make a strong argument for Nuclear Power in high population states like Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan, Indomesia & China (and of course Iran). But then we would have nuclear fuel shortages and yet more nuclear waste.

However hang on to your hat when the economies (car ownership) in Brazil, China & India take off. Which as we know from southern Europe can quickly reach a par with the 'developed' world in 20 years or little more.

ankh said...

If the VI numbers are real, and they do reflect the tourist industry, they would be pointing out just how much energy is consumed -- is this how bad rich people really are, when seen without dilution by 'average' populations?

Like the "L-curve" would predict I guess!

QUASAR9 said...

interesting concept ankh - but what can the tourists or locals possibly be doing to produce such disproportionate figs?

Maybe I should go and take a look for myself. Or can we trust these figs as meaningful, ie accurate? Eli? Laters ... Q

QUASAR9 said...

Incidentally Eli, would it not be useful to point out that it is 10% - 20% of the population that are actually producing well over 50% of their national total in Brazil, China, India. Therefore as the economies develop we can expect the national totals increase rapidly ie: double and double again as domestic energy demands, car ownership and car use, and air travel increase over the next decade or two.

Adam said...

I assume that's for both BVI & USVI combined? The combined population is about 140,000 (all figures based on wikipedia)

That's 35,252,000Kg a day for the whole islands.

Principle industries listed:

BVI: tourism, light industry, construction, rum, concrete block, offshore financial center

USVI: tourism, petroleum refining, watch assembly, rum distilling, construction, pharmaceuticals, textiles, electronics

Total electricity: 986GWh (1998) 100% fossil fuel. ~0.007GWh per person.

4 airports with paved runways.

USVI pop below the poverty line: 30.5%
BVI...: N/A

EliRabett said...

Thanks adam. I think petroleum refining is the answer, although there are more pleasing dreams one can have about what was going on, but in that case it would not be fossil fuel combustion....

You see the same pattern, although not as extreme in other small oil exporting areas such as Trinidad and Tobago, Kuwait, etc.