Home > Uncategorized > The richest 10 percent of the world’s population produce half of the Earth’s climate-harming fossil-fuel emissions.

The richest 10 percent of the world’s population produce half of the Earth’s climate-harming fossil-fuel emissions.

from David Ruccio


The richest 10 percent of the world’s population produce half of the Earth’s climate-harming fossil-fuel emissions, while the poorest half contribute a mere 10 percent, British charity Oxfam said in a report released today.

Here is a link to the technical reports behind the analysis. Basically, Oxfam took data on income shares of different percentiles at the national level and distributed aggregate national emissions to those percentiles. Critically, its CO2 model represents emissions from consumption rather than production. The proportion of total consumption emissions attributed to the lifestyle consumption of individuals varies by country, but globally accounts for around 64 percent of the total.

Owing to limitations with the data, and certain assumptions made in the analysis, all figures should be regarded as indicative of orders of magnitude, rather than exact reflections of reality. This analysis is intended to contribute to a discussion about the links between income and emissions and the associated inequities of intra- national greenhouse gas pollution; it is not intended to be a definitive international account of emissions produced by populations with different income levels. It is hoped that future work may build on the first steps taken here.

  1. December 7, 2015 at 12:01 am

    Yes. Thank you. That is why the old fashioned wage slave system has run up against a dead end stone wall and democracy to focus distributed intelligence is corporate anathema.

    Earth’s putting up resistance,
    entangled humans lead me on.
    We are makers of space,
    so way out physicists say.
    Entropy makes time and
    this little boy is moving on!

    Sitting here in spacetime
    waiting for the dice to roll.
    Sitting here in spacetime
    We got time to check our souls.
    Well Earth’s putting up resistance
    entangled humans lead me on.

    Don’t know what life will show me
    but I know what I’ve seen.
    Don’t know where life will lead me
    but I know where I’ve been.
    Tried my hand at love and friendship,
    but all that’s past and gone.
    This little boy is moving on.

  2. BC
    December 7, 2015 at 1:29 am

    It is long overdue to eliminate taxation of production, labor, productive capital accumulation/replenishment, and savings and instead highly progressively tax embedded net energy consumption (better descriptor than “carbon tax”), rentier speculation, and monopoly land resource/place-value rents (see Henry George).

    Eliminate fractional-reserve banking and debt-money, which encourages and reinforces the negative effects of asset bubbles and busts, unproductive rentier speculation, and worsening inequality.

    Redesign national income accounting to fully account for externalized “costs” (“defense”, “health” care”, pollution, waste, depletion of non-renewable resources, ecological degradation, etc.) that reduce value-added investment, production, employment, earned income, and purchasing power. The likely result would be that value-added output would be smaller than is currently reported because of the actual costs of resource extraction and depletion, debt service, and gov’t costs for income support resulting from stagnant real wages, high land values, and debt service.

    This would then permit something like Hubbert’s digital net energy credit for a medium of exchange at no cumulative net interest cost and at a velocity of 1.0 to full-cost, value-added output. The net energy credit would have an expiration date and could not be hoarded or lent at interest, i.e., inflationary debt-money creation in order to “make money from money”.

    Today, imputed cumulative compounding interest accruing to total credit market debt outstanding to average term absorbs an equivalent of total value-added annual output and effectively 100% of output in perpetuity.

    Half or more of the market value of real property is attributable to the imputed compounding interest of mortgages at an effective infinite term as a result of lenders (encouraged by the tax code and local gov’ts) monetizing the scarcity of value of land. This feudal-like system results in land prices becoming prohibitively expensive, discouraging productive activities and encouraging monopoly land resource rents and “money-for-nothing” for the top 0.001-1% who own a disproportionately large share of the claims on the monopoly land rents and thus “get rich in their sleep”.

    The US is in desperate need of land and tax reform to break the feudal-like stranglehold by the largely unproductive, extractive, rentier top 0.001-1%.

    If the top 0.001-1% revolt, let them take their money and emigrate. We don’t need them or their trillions in hoarded fiat digital debt-money credits at no acceleration to output that only enrich them. Goodbye. Reset. Start over.

    • December 7, 2015 at 2:14 am

      Yes! There is more digital money than stuff on 1.5 Earths. Add in regular money, RM, and the figures become radically unbalanced, RU.

      Warning! Heat shields reaching stress factor ten!

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