"If the measurement of CO2 emission is by measuring fossil fuel consumption and/ or by CO2 level in the environment, IMO, the report is revealing how much fossil fuel is being consumed by the country (or region)."
Any hydrocarbon fuel creates CO2 emissions when it is burned. It does not have to be just fossil fuel. Biofuels are no different.
You cannot escape that the two natural byproducts or "perfect combustion" are going to be H2O and CO2.
To avoid this, you have to avoid the combustion process entirely. By using solar, wind, nuclear, geothermal, what have you other type of energy source.
Reducing CO2 emission shall be a global effort. There is no reason to pinpoint any countries or individual. The developing countries are apparently emitted more CO2 than any other developed countries. They need to build power plant bring the country up to join the industrialized world. They could start using alternative energy sources if the technologies are mature enough and the cost of them is not a burden to development. Yet, building roads and infrastructure require machines that are fueled by fossil fuel. The growth of CO2 emission of China and India top 2011's chart, and likely 2012's and 2013's. Who knows whether Bazil and other developing countries will catch up.
In addition, if a country is primarily running production, they will demand more energy than any other countries. After translation, they burn more fossil fuel. If the measurement of CO2 emission is by measuring fossil fuel consumption and/ or by CO2 level in the environment, IMO, the report is revealing how much fossil fuel is being consumed by the country (or region). I wonder what if the measurement is done by consumption of goods and services.
Agree with you. The role model is already set firmly. There are peer pressures to be wasteful. If somebody can be wasteful and enjoy life for several decades and take the wasteful habits for granted without any penalty, why cannot all others followup and do the same thing? The 7billion are all the same human beings on this planet.
IMO, these points are the only ones that matter. Most of the rhetoric around human-caused global warming is just so much generic, vague, "I'm so virtuous because I'm wringing my hands while reciting the standard formulas" drivel.
Assuming it's true that plant growth cannot be increased by increased CO2 levels, because of, say, water stress or other causes, then one would have to conclude that the ecosystem, viewed as a control system, which it is, is operating right at the sharp edge. To the extent that a mere 3 percent change in CO2 emitted cannot be accommodated.
If I were to design a control system that is so close to the margin, I'd probably have been fired years ago.
But nevertheless, I'll say again, whether or not increased efficiency of machines reduces global warming, it does preserve natural resources. And that alone is a really valid goal.
It's not all that surprising, and it goes way beyond JUST the wasteful habits of some slovenly self-indulgent people with obscenely wasteful habits.
In the two most enormous countries in the world, China and India, there is a tremendous pent-up demand for luxuries that most people in the developed countries have had for a long time, and have taken for granted. So it almost doesn't matter what smaller developed countries do, at this point. I mean, the overall impact of 2.6 billion people buying up luxuries will dwarf most conservation efforts.
A two percent decrease in CO2 emissions in a tiny country will have little impact on a 70 percent increase in a huge country. And it's going to be difficult to increase the car population of countries like China or India by, say, 5 times or more, without incurring a lot more CO2 emissions.
That is easy to be explained in economical view. The assumption is everybody has the rights to pursue happiness, especially the material happiness. It makes us very wasteful. For example, the thermal stats are ridiculously set to 70F in summers and 80F in winters. Use more than two more papers in the restroom to dry hands. Drive a big SUV when not necessary. Drive more than 10miles to work... etc. How to curb it? I think the only way to save the world is to make these luxury wasteful living styles not affordable. But it is unrealistic, because no politician can win the election if they tell the truth and provide the solution.
There is need for hard conversations in this world. I mean, these are issues that Romney and Obama should focus on and not the trivial. I am troubled that my generation is causing this havoc to the ecosystem. See these NASA photos
I will simply say governments as no industry will self-police itself. Look at the polar bear. Look at the arctics, http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/greenland-melt.html
We are destroying this planet.
Rising CO2 levels in nature will encourage some plant growth, but CO2 is rarely the limiting factor in the wild. Water stress due to high heat, droughts, and floods will harm plant growth more than extra CO2 will help it.
There are a number of technical papers on the matter and it is discussed in the IPCC and other major climate reports. The balance between CO2 "fertilization" and water stress with respect to crops yields is difficult to predict but appears to be a solid negative.
CO2 fertilization also appears to favor "weeds" and invasives over more specialized native plants.