How Humans Contribute To Climate Change, By The Numbers
Most humans know it is possible for humans to destroy virtually all life on earth in a matter of hours in a nuclear war. Is it so difficult to understand that we can likewise destroy ourselves slowly?
Each number below screams the argument. These numbers are the aggregated data of 200+ countries and territories. Each number is significant for the survival of human life and much of the other life on Earth. Each number tells us that humans are contributing to – driving, to be accurate – global warming.
- Number of cars in the world today – 1 billion
- Estimated number of cars in the world in 2050 – 3 billion
- Number of trucks, buses in the world today –350 million
- Heavy trucks produced per year – 4 million
- Light vehicles (cars, SUVs) produced per year – 95 million
- International commercial flights (105,000/day) per year – 38 million
- Airline passengers per year – more than 3 billion
- Airfreight volume per year – 50 million tons
- Liters of fuel per year – 273 billion
- Estimated human population 1350 – 370 million
- Estimated human population year 1804 – 1 billion
- Estimated human population 2019 – 7.7 billion
- Estimated human population 2050 – 9.77 billion
- Annual world coal production – 3.9 trillion tons oil equivalent
- Annual world oil production – 36.4 trillion barrels
- Annual world natural gas production – 3.156 trillion tons equivalent
- Forest being replanted average every year – 20,000 square miles
- Forest being cut or burned average every year – 50,200 square miles
- Siberian forest burned this year – 46,000 square miles
- Amazon rain forest area burning this year – 1 million square miles
- Number of Amazon fires this year – 72,843
- Increase in Amazon fires since last year – 83%
- Percent of world’s oxygen produced by the Amazon rainforest – 20%
- Percent of world’s land (excluding Antarctica) forest-covered in 2015 – 30.6%
- UN target increase square miles of forests area by 2030 – 460,000
Miscellaneous markers (Carbon dioxide sequestration, glacial melt)
- Increase in Earth’s desert areas average every year – 46,000 square miles
- CO2 humans released in the atmosphere in 2017 – 53.5 gigatons (53.5 billion tons)
- Loss of Antarctic glaciers per year – 92 to 200 gigatons (billion tons)
- Loss of Greenland glaciers per year – 378 gigatons (billion tons)
- Loss of Alaska glaciers per year – 75 gigatons (billion tons)
“Strongmen” particularly in Brazil, the United States, and Russia, who ridicule climate science, though Putin may finally be facing reality, serve short-term wealth and power interests. They mobilize support, particularly in the US, of science-denying populist constituencies, who don’t even share the short-term “benefits”. However, the “long term” is getting shorter fast.
Few Rantt readers will doubt this. However, Thanksgiving Dinner is coming. Your climate “skeptic” Uncle Charlie will be there. Throw some numbers at him, rather than a turkey leg. With Rantt’s blessing, copy this article’s link to Facebook. We can help open the door for one of the political parties to have a truly ambitious climate plan, and the determination to make it happen.
How is it even possible to believe that this human activity does not affect the global climate?