Tag Archives: pollution

Could do better

Who is the biggest polluter in the world now?  China?  India?  Here’s a chart you may find interesting:

CO2 emissions

China, as a developing country, is not yet required to reduce its emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, but as it accounts for one fifth of the world’s population, its emissions could dwarf any cuts made by industrialised countries.

The U.S. withdrew from its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6%, preferring instead to support voluntary reductions through the development of cleaner technologies. (A strategy which, according to this chart, didn’t seem to be working).  Finding more recent figues has proved difficult but according to an April 2008 article China and the U.S. were still vying for the dubious title of being the world’s top carbon polluter.

If, like most people, you are a follower of the theory that greenhouse gases are responsible for global warming, then this all makes for depressing reading.

A breakdown of the countries on the above chart, together with their commitment and performance relating to the Kyoto Protocol can be seen here.

There is also a fascinating ‘live map’ of the earth, showing CO2 emissions, birth and death rates over at breathingearth.net.

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Robot fish

robot-fishI’ve said before that I’m interested in innovative new design and this morning in trawling (get the pun?!) through the news I came across this robot fish.

Designed by British scientists to be released into the sea off Northern Spain, they are equipped with chemical sensors to detect pollutants in the ocean.  They are 5 feet long and cost £20,000 ($29,000) each.

This is one of those articles where I found myself glancing at the date on the news page, just to be sure I wasn’t being taken in by an April Fools’ joke.  I must admit, I don’t understand why it has to look so convincingly like a new species of fish, despite the rather slim explanation that it is energy efficient – wouldn’t any plain lozenge shape be just as energy efficient?  I’m tempted to think that the scientists reasoned that if they were going to build this device, then why not get creative for once and tap into their usually hidden artistic side?  The trouble is, I wonder what will happen when it ends up in the nets of the local fishermen.  Will it be handed in, held to ransom or even sold to a private collector of art?

You can read the whole article at the REUTERS site here.

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