Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Your Life-Cycle and Carbon Dioxide

Important numbers of the week (the best number of the week could be that Newt Gingrich has more ex-wives than all the previous U.S. presidents combined) in this week's Economist (How to cut carbon emissions: Demography and climate change) - -
  • Carbon footprints are a function of age - - average spending patterns vary over a lifetime.
  • Consumption as a fraction of household spending typically peaks when people are in their 20s.
  • Not surprising - - old people drive less.  Clothes spending peaks in (most) people's 40s and declines thereafter.
  • Americans' emissions per head rise sharply until they reach their early 20s - - the increase continues more slowly until people are in their mid 60s.
  • In their early 20s, Americans produce less than 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide a years, at the peak in their early 60s, they produce 15 tonnes.
  • As developing countries age - - this should be good news.  But, this is not until people hit their mid 60s - - and the next decade will have a huge increase in the 60 to 64 age group.
  • In 2020 America, there will be 2,400,000 more people aged 75 to 79 than at present; but there will be 4,400,000 more 60 to 64 year olds.
  • The benefits of an aging global population kick in around 2050.

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