As I stated yesterday, lets take a look at the Emissions Gap Report 2020, I wanted to see where the lifestyle change to the super wealthy would solve the environmental issue as Tim McGrath rote in his BBC article, which I covered in ‘Hatred of Wealth’ Yesterday. There we saw in the BBC article ‘Climate change: Global ‘elite’ will need to slash high-carbon lifestyles’ the mention of “And for the top 10% of earners, this would mean cuts to around one tenth of their current level. But for the richest 1%, it would mean a dramatic reduction”, in this he also makes mention of his friend at chapter 6, who was a contributor, as such we should look there. When we get there we get a few facts. As we see “Average consumption emissions vary substantially between countries. For example, current per capita consumption emissions in the United States of America are approximately 17.6 tons CO2e per capita, around 10 times that of India at 1.7 tons per capita. By contrast, the European Union and the United Kingdom together have an average footprint of approximately 7.9 tons per capita (see chapter 2).” Here we need to take a little gander. ‘per capita’ gives us a Latin term that translates to “by head”, and the UN does nothing without a reason, so why not ‘per person’ does it seemingly looks ‘more intelligent’? You see India has well over 1.3 billion people, America has 325 million people. Which now implies that one nation has a different pattern when we take the whole look. Anyhow, they come to the conclusion of “A range of estimates point to a strong correlation between income and emissions, with a highly unequal global distribution of consumption emissions. Such studies estimate that the emissions share of the top 10 per cent of income earners is around 36–49 per cent of the global total, whereas the lowest 50 per cent of income earners account for around 7–15 per cent of all emissions”, this is not a bad view, I do not agree, but their report does not need to give in to my considerations. It is here that we introduce the data from the European Environmental Agency (EEA) where we get “Half the damage is being done by just one percent of industrial plants”, as such in Europe 50% is done by 147 industrial plants? Where in this view do the wealthy users of private jets stand? You see on page 84 we see the only two mentions of Jet in the entire report, it is “IEA estimated that the mean production costs of aviation biofuels in 2018 were approximately two to three times that of fossil jet kerosene (IEA 2018)”, it is not precise, it is an estimation, and it reflects on cost, not on pollution, as such where did Tim McGrath get his data? I found mine in two minutes, and the BBC let him. So as we consider the impact of this report (which is better then I expected), as such I wonder what the issue was with the lifestyle of the wealthy when in Europe alone, 147 factories would have set the marker of 50% of the damages in Europe, so which (or how many) factories have a similar view in the US and India? I would add China to that equation as well, optionally Russia, so how much improvement can we get if we go after the right targets and not waste our time on the wealthy jet owners (as Tim McGrath want).
It took two hours to look into the report, less than an hour to look at the EEA and when we consider this against the BBC article, how much time did they spend (read: waste) on something a person without clear present knowledge could debunk in a matter of minutes? It took me 5 times longer to type this point of view against me making the case.
But this is not enough, Tim McGrath was making his point coming from the graphs on page 89, where we see “Per capita and absolute CO2 consumption emissions by four global income groups in 2015”, you see the chart looks really clever, but here is the data? And when we see the EEA stage where we see that 50% of the damage is allegedly DONE by 147 plants, who owns those 147 plants? This all matters as the report is optionally ‘hiding’ behind “Ivanova and Wood (2020) find that a large share of the emissions of the top- emitting European Union households are transport-related”. This might be true, yet the larger stage is not merely on the transport related part, it is how much of that emission problem is mass transport? Trains, metro’s, busses, how much of the transport emissions are they a part of? You see, the data their will be found lacking. Consider Spain, Italy and Greece alone, this against the UK. Are you seeing the larger picture and how convoluted the setting of ‘transport-related’ emission issues are seen when the EEA gives for Europe a clear stage of 147 industrial plants and 50% of the damage, in all this the entire wealth setting is merely a smoke screen, like the ones we see way too often and in this case the BBC is optionally a co-conspiror of the created smoke.
It is merely my point of view and feel free to disagree, but in this you need to make up your own mind on what is there and what is debatable.