Posthaste Facts on the Environment #1

Significance of U.S. "Greenhouse Gas" Emissions Exaggerated

Published 1992

Are Americans responsible for presumed increases in the earth's temperature? The U.S. is the #1 "greenhouse gas" emitter. But -- that's only part of the story.

Environmentalists claim that the U.S is responsible for 20% of the world's "greenhouse gas" emissions. This figure is meaningless. The U.S. also possesses the world's largest, most productive economy. The true measure of a nation's environmental responsibility is not how much "greenhouse" gas it emits, but the proportion of these emissions to its economic output. Consider:

The U.S., ranked the world's #1 "greenhouse" gas polluter, emitted an estimated 5,163 million tons of such gases in 1991. For every million tons, the U.S. economy was $946.24 million strong.

Canada, a country believed to be environmentally conscious, emitted 491 million tons of "greenhouse" gases. Its economy was just $896.36 million per million tons.

Czechoslovakia, ranked the #20 "greenhouse" gas polluter, emitted 202 million tons of such gases. Its economy was just $609.9 billion per million tons.

Zaire, ranked #78, emitted 195 million tons of gas. Its economy was $29.3 million per million tons.

Australia, ranked #14, emitted 313 million tons of gas. Its economy was $651.8 million per million tons.

Brazil, ranked #10, emitted 1,720 million tons of gas. Its economy was $181 million per million tons.

Source Environmental Almanac, Houghton Mifflin Co. (Boston, 1992)


Posthaste Facts on the Environment #1, published in 1992 by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Court, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002, 202/543-4110, Fax (202) 543-5975, E-Mail [email protected], Web http://www.nationalcenter.org. For more information about Posthaste #1 contact Bob Adams at 202/543-4110 or [email protected]

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