Half in twenty years

17 10 2010

Some depressing facts from the closing pages of Bill Bryson’s At Home (which is an entertaining read):

Of the total energy produced on Earth since the Industrial Revolution began, half has been consumed in just twenty years. Disproportionately, it was consumed by us in the rich world; we are an exceedingly privileged fraction.

Today it takes the average citizen of Tanzania almost a year to produce the same volume of carbon emissions as is effortlessly generated every two and a half days by a European, or every twenty-eight hours by an American.

I can’t help but think that major changes are going to happen within my lifetime – or, at least, in the lifetimes of some people who are alive now. And these changes are probably not going to be for the better.

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