Michael Specter of the New Yorker, as he tends to do, files a brilliant article on a subject that you would think has been beaten to death: climate change and carbon footprints. It's a must read. (I still recommend his 2006 article on water scarcity to anyone remotely interested in development.)
Even though the article isn't just a fact barrage, there are some salient factoids worth pulling out:
- It is actually more "green" for New Yorkers to drink wine from Bordeaux, which is shipped by sea, than wine from California, sent by truck.
- The environmental burden imposed by importing apples from New Zealand to northern Europe or New York can be lower than if the apples were raised 50 miles away.
- By one calculation, half of the world's carbon-dioxide emissions come from just 700 million people, or nearly 10 percent of the population.
- If you figure in deforestation, Indonesia and Brazil are the 3rd and 4th largest emitters of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere (still falling short of perennial emissions powerhouses, United States and China).