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Report: Climate Criminals Around the World

Updated on October 14, 2016
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Judge for Yourself

Climate criminal. That is the term being phrased by environmentalists and social justice groups around the world. As accusations fly and countries point fingers at one another, the public remains confused about what or who to believe. The proof is in existing data and trends. Take a look for yourself, numbers and evidence do not lie.

This is an objective snap shot of the highest global emitters of CO2 emissions pollution. Scientists have reached consensus based on instrumental research that the trends in climate change such as severe drought, water stress, overall higher temperatures and increasing severe natural storms and disasters are therefore, caused by anthropogenic (human caused) effects. This is indisputable science fact that was admitted by all world governments at the United Nations Paris Climate Change Convention in December 2015.

With clear and concise scientific data, there is no arguing that it has happened, but who are the greatest contributors to this disturbing global condition? Countries around the world must now take responsibility for their own contributions to climate change. They must face the music and set the stage to commit to consistent reductions till the world reaches a 'zero' emissions level.

Scientists purport that a 'zero' emissions climate is what is required to actually stall further climate change damage. Any further global temperature increases will cause further catastrophic consequences. This means reduction and elimination of fossil fuels must occur at 10% per year consistently until 2030 and we must keep warming temperatures under 2 degrees. But few countries are reaching for that goal and have submitted much lesser reduction goals that are slack. Their efforts are not enough and many fret the world will be engulfed by climate catastrophe before goals are actually met.

The most complete global data that exists for a wide range of countries is the year 2011, however, the Top 4 polluters remain the same as of 2015. Data from 2011 to 2015 is used here to make just comparisons between countries emissions output. Let's look at and rate the world's top climate criminals. Judge for yourself.

The World's Emission Levels

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CHINA

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CONVICT #1

Our number one climate offender is China with 12,000 megatonnes of annual carbon pollution. In China, air pollution kills about 4,000 people everyday and triggers heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and asthma to a total 1.6 million deaths per year, or 17 percent of China’s mortality level, according to a study by Berkeley Earth. If you live in China with high level of PM2.5 air pollution, you have to wear N95 masks. About 90% of cities there do not meet international air quality health standards. China did not admit to its ghastly air quality until visible heavy smogs engulfed cities like Beijing and Shanghai. “It’s as if every man, woman and child smoked 1.5 cigarettes each hour.”

2 min

Cough, Cough...

China's pollution is now visible from space and...the Great Wall is not. China is also responsible for half of global coal emissions. Beijing experienced more than 200 days of air pollution categorized as “unhealthy” or worse in 2014, including 21 days that were “hazardous” – while only about 10 days were considered good. In December 2015, smog was so severe that authorities declared a red alert for the first time, closing down schools, halting construction and limiting car traffic."When I was last in Beijing, pollution was at the hazardous level; every hour of exposure reduced my life expectancy by 20 minutes," said Richard Muller, scientific director of Berkeley Earth. China emits about 6,018 million tons of greenhouse gases per year. Must have been a Merry Christmas in China.

China's new reactive plan after finally admitting it has a catastrophic problem, called the Clean Air Campaign has shut down three major coal burning power plants in an aim to immediately reduce pollution. Clean Energy Plants are being built to replace them.

Under the Dome - Full Documentary

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United States

Convict #2

Convict #2 is our neighbour to the south, the United States. Americans make up an estimated 5% of the world’s population. However, the US uses 25% of the world’s resources - burning up nearly 25% of the coal, 26% of the oil, and 27% of the world’s natural gas. The U.S. is the number one consumer of oil and gas products. Approximately 40% of the lakes in America are too polluted for fishing, aquatic life, or swimming. Due to oil, gas, energy and agricultural production, Bakersfield, California has the worst air pollution in the country and is at the top of the 11 dirtiest cities in the U.S. North of Los Angeles, the area also has the second-highest level of ozone pollution in the U.S. Have you ever walked through the barren wasteland of the Bakersfield oilfields there? I have-it is ghastly. Nothing like seeing it with your own eyes.

Researchers at MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment, say emissions from road transportation are the leading single cause of pollution, contributing to 53,000 premature deaths, and that electrical power generation causes another 52,000 deaths in the United States each year. Over 200,000 people die early deaths in the U.S. due to pollution.

The European Union comes third after the U.S yet their deaths due to pollution are 370,000 people a year. One must realize the U.S. is not telling its citizens the truth about the actual death tolls due to pollution there.

U.S. Cities by Pollution Level 2013

This graph depicts Texas as the #1 polluter in America with California second and is a more realistic depiction. Notice the largest city in America, New York is ninth place.
This graph depicts Texas as the #1 polluter in America with California second and is a more realistic depiction. Notice the largest city in America, New York is ninth place. | Source

Wastelands- Bakersfield, California

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The High Price of the American Dream Gone Wrong

It is notable that Hotel California has not made the logical connection between severe drought, water stress, high CO2 emissions with extensive oil and gas production. I have made this same connection with many maps and graphs in my own province of Alberta where we are experiencing somewhat similar industrial and climate issues. A creepy statistic, both California and Alberta's hot spots for oil drilling are called Red Earth. To continue, the findings are similar of the drought and high oil and gas emissions and production in Texas which is the highest polluter by far with California second and New York in ninth place by comparison. Few wish to listen to the data, however, as money makes good ear plugs, apparently. Many in the oil and gas business would rather go to their grave in its defense than admit they are climate criminals themselves. I think the American Republicans and Canadian Conservatives are descended from the same political lineage...oh, wait, they are- the British Party. Oh yes and papa U.K. is one of Europe's worst climate offenders, too. What is that old adage...about the blind leading the blind? Or is that ignorance is bliss?

It is very interesting how the U.S. Embassy has been tracking the air pollution crisis in China as well as publishing condemning data on it but is not taking into account the U.S. is the second highest polluter in the world. Blame it on the C.I.A, they're an easy scapegoat. We have noticed the artists in California have been protesting against everybody else in the world but their own backyard probably because between the devastating drought and pollution there, they can't stand to be in their own home state. Instead, they travel the world and point the finger at everybody else. Ah, misdirection- we get it. Overall, the United States is a close second after China with 5,903 tons of greenhouse gases released each year. It was refreshing.however, to view this video on the Big Polluter Agenda from U.S. artist Robert Redford which says enough.

President Obama has recently announced a plan to start reducing emissions from power plants and recently announced a plan to encourage clean energies. It is a start but a very late start considering their high national death toll from direct pollution and the level of damage already incurred by the country environmentally.

Note: As of February 2016, the Supreme Court in the U.S. has blocked implementation of Obama's climate change policy in the country. It is no big surprise the coal industry has filed several law suits against the nation to purposefully delay emission reductions and the switch to cleaner energies.

China and the U.S. are far ahead of emissions pollution charts compared to other nations like Russia who fall much shorter. The top three polluters, China, the U.S and the European Union account for close to 50% of all global emissions.
China and the U.S. are far ahead of emissions pollution charts compared to other nations like Russia who fall much shorter. The top three polluters, China, the U.S and the European Union account for close to 50% of all global emissions. | Source

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European Union

Convict #3

Convict #3 is the European Union. I had to really look for decent comparable stats on China and the U.S. most likely because their intelligence agencies are wiping the data off the internet all the time and because of lack of internal admittance to such crimes within each country. The European Commission was the only Big 3 whose government admitted it was guilty of its climate crimes and even had a fact sheet informing citizens about how pollution hurts human health and the environment.

The E.U concedes that human induced pollution from transportation, industry and households containing dangerous ground level ozone, particulate matter aka fine dust and heavy metals kills over 370,000 people each year on average since 2000. On an average, each E.U person's life is shortened by eight months due to direct pollution and over 2 years shorter in some areas.The E.U readily admits they recognized pollution was an issue way back in 1970 when European countries met to start reduction strategies to tackle the issue. At least, that is 45 years earlier than the other countries whose government's parties who are just starting to wake up in China and the U.S. It demonstrates 45% of people in the E.U believe pollution is a serious problem.

The European Commission admits although they have been working on reducing emissions through policy since 1970, serious action didn't take place till the European Parliament and Council of Europeans released the 6th Environmental Action Program and designed a national strategy for European countries in 2005 called the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution which will guide their pollution reduction plans through to 2020. The goal is to achieve levels of air quality that do not achieve harmful impacts or risks to humans, animals and the environment. China and the U.S and most other countries have not had national pollution reduction strategies until very fairly recently.

London, England

London ranks as one of Europe's unhealthiest major cities, having done little to tackle deadly particles from diesel vehicles. London was ranked low because of the "backward steps" .
London ranks as one of Europe's unhealthiest major cities, having done little to tackle deadly particles from diesel vehicles. London was ranked low because of the "backward steps" . | Source

The Commission’s analysis has since shown that such levels of safety cannot be reached everywhere in the EU in the foreseeable future – even if the best existing technologies are used regardless of cost – since it is clear that air pollution has harmful effects even at low concentrations.This confirms my overall conclusion that international climate policies like the 2015 Paris Agreement makes empty promises that fail the world as even the elder more advanced countries at least admit they have tried and are failing. If they cannot reduce emissions to 'zero' globally by gaining international cooperation and action by 2020, climate change will certainly continue.

The E.U committed to reducing emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 which is still far away from a zero emissions required goal considering the E.U is more densely populated but so are the U.S and China which is part of the problem with higher emissions in these countries.The E.U is now creating a single national law for adoption by all European nations that will demand rigorous regional reductions and caps on emissions of both coarse and fine particulates.

Note: Germany, the United Kingdom and Bulgaria are the highest polluters in the European Union and have the highest mortality rates due to pollution.

E.U Emission Reductions 1990-2013

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India

Dishonourable Mention

Our rising next climate offender that deserves dishonourable mention is India. Since 2011, India has surpassed both Russia and the European Union for emission pollution levels and as of 2014 is the world's third largest polluter of emissions. According to the World Health Organization, Delhi has surpassed Beijing as most polluted city in the world. The air is four times more toxic than safe levels and has lead to high levels of respiratory illnesses and diseases like cancer. People in India lose 3 years off their lives due to pollution. Approximately 30 million people suffer from Asthma in India. Of the world’s top 20 polluted cities, 13 are in India compared to just three in China. The Ganga and Yamuna are ranked among the world’s 10 most polluted rivers. Massive green cover is destroyed in the name of development. Booming real estate and demand for housing units is leading to change of land use and shrinkage of natural conservation zones such as forests and water bodies. Scientific innovation needs to be complemented by legislative change as well as by changes in social behaviour, writes noted historian Ramachandra Guha in The Telegrah. But it is not happening.

Conclusion

This was a snap shot of the Big Top 4 Climate Criminals in the world. There is a fairly big drop to get to the next polluter in line which is still significant pollution and next in order are: Russia, Japan, Brazil, Indonesia, Iran and lastly Canada at 2% of the world's pollution as of 2015. This list produces 70% of the worlds pollution so this list of developed countries must take the brunt of the responsibility for emissions resulting in drastic climate change. The rest of the world's pollution from all other developing countries combined totals 30%.

My own country...

One might say look in the mirror Canadian and judge thyself lest you judge us. I say, you decide. In comparison, It should be noted that although Canada is the last and lowest polluter of the developed countries, it possesses its own climate issues such as droughts and water quality and scarcity issues in western Canada, severe storms and floods in other parts of the country. Even at 2% of global emissions annually, this still means over 541 tons of CO2 emission pollution. This should demonstrate and stress that even lower amounts of pollution have significant effects on the regional and national climates. Canada also has fewer cities and a much less dense population. It does, however, have significant oil and gas development and agriculture per capita. Comparatively, you can fit the whole population of Canada in the state of California alone- they have the same level of population yet Canada is a land mass larger than the United States. Because of industry, Alberta and Saskatchewan are the highest polluters in Canada.

Why are we not all changing the world?

You can't teach many people, mostly adult deniers, how to understand climate change for the very disturbing reason that the average reading comprehension level in North America is Grade 7. Grade 7 is the most basic level of understanding required to understand comic books, romance or popular novels and American Idol. It is the chasm of difference between a basic Britney Spear's song and an elegant orchestral piece by Mozart.

Only 15% of people have a university education which is a Grade 14-16 comprehension level. Science is written at about the Grade 15-16 level and 97% of scientists support that anthropogenic effects have caused climate change. This article is intentionally written at about a Grade 10 level because Grade 7ers cannot understand or pay attention long enough to read a scientific abstract or an articulate essay. So I try to translate.The dreary reality of this is when a person with a Grade 7 level education does not understand something, they will just go back to reading Grade 4-7 material, or they outright deny what you are saying- like a Grade 7er. Like foreal. lol

So there will always be resistance and denial. You can't make a Grade 7 level reader understand at a Grade 16 level. They simply never quite grasp what you are trying to teach them. That is why we include photos. As we have seen in the case of the Big Top 4- there are a lot of them and unfortunately, somehow they are running big industry in our countries. Not because of being smarter or better- but by having been complacent or ruthless and greedy bullies- like some Grade 7ers. At the same time, intellectuals on more advanced matters tend to be a more passive less confrontational bunch. This needs to change, too.

One can now imagine and realize the present catastrophic level of persistently increasing pollution levels in our world. It is a pity those bullies we spoke of wait until the last possible minute to make a shift- only when they have literally been caught by scientific reports and the visible life threatening smogs. For them, they have to see it to believe it to make a change. It is a heart breaking tragedy for the rest of us to watch.

Worldwide Global Emissions Trend

This simple graph shows the the stark increase in world emissions pollution since 1970 that continues and is fact and trend no one can deny.
This simple graph shows the the stark increase in world emissions pollution since 1970 that continues and is fact and trend no one can deny. | Source

References:

The Case for a Carbon Tax in Canada, Canada 2020, 2015. http://canada2020.ca/canada-carbon-tax/

The Union of Concerned Scientists, Each Countries share of CO2 Emissions. 2011. http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/science/each-countrys-share-of-co2.html#.Vr35_dBX-Ql'

Environment and Climate Change Canada, Global Greenhouse Emissions, 2011. http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/science/each-countrys-share-of-co2.html#.Vr35_dBX-Ql

European Commission: Environment Fact Sheet, 2006. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/pubs/pdf/factsheets/air.pdf

Carbon Emissions: If we don't Change our Direction, we will end up where we are Headed, 2013. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/04/19/1894061/carbon-pollution-if-we-dont-change-our-direction-well-end-up-where-were-headed/

Voice of America: Air Pollution Causes 200,000 Early Deaths, 2013. http://www.voanews.com/content/air-pollution-linked-to-early-death/1739804.html

F.India, UN Report: India Needs to be Energy Efficient, 2014. http://www.firstpost.com/india/one-lakh-deaths-due-pollution-india-needs-energy-efficient-un-report-1815169.html

The Guardian, London Ranks among worst European Cities for Pollution, 2011. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/sep/07/london-worst-european-cities-air-pollution

Chiapas: China closes Power Plants to Reduce Pollution, 2015. http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/China-Closes-Power-Plants-to-Reduce-Pollution-20150320-0016.html

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    • Claudine Fleury profile image
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      Claudine Gaia Fleury 19 months ago from Alberta, Canada

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. :)

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      mohammed karjat 19 months ago

      sure, will do.

    • Claudine Fleury profile image
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      Claudine Gaia Fleury 19 months ago from Alberta, Canada

      You might want to read my article on the Paris Agreement, you may find it educational on why it has been twenty years since the first climate talks and countries have not reduced emissions in that time yet.

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      mohammed karjat 19 months ago

      Well in the last Paris Convention, it has been decided to reduce the global warming by 2 degrees. At least that is a start in the right direction. More will be achieved in the coming years.

    • Claudine Fleury profile image
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      Claudine Gaia Fleury 19 months ago from Alberta, Canada

      Yes, Mohammaed, that would be true, but the case is that India's emissions have increased and surpassed that of the E.U and Russia since 2011. The E.U's has slightly decreased since. But the world's total emissions keeps increasing because all countries are not unilaterally decreasing their emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions, it is noted, increase, accumulate and compile raising levels into the future. Even reducing them slightly in the present, it could take a lifetime for global emissions to decrease. This is why we are living off of our children's future now. All countries need to make changes at the same time.

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      mohammed karjat 19 months ago

      As per your graph, if China, USA and EU brings down their emission levels to that of India and the others, the worlds emissions will go down drastically.