Per Capita Priniciple

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The universal one standard for all; the “per capita principle” is being proposed as the standard for greenhouse gas emissions.  Its being touted as the only fair way of reducing global CO2 emissions, avoiding a future irreversible environmental climate catastrophe.  

The principle if applied would allow each person on the planet an annual emissions allowance of around 2800 kg (2.8 tonne) of CO2.  If the principle were applied the Yanks and Australians are in deep, deep, deep hot water, they pump out about 20 tonnes each at the moment.  Those living in the UK, Japan and Spain wont be much better off either; they use 9 tonnes each per year.  So if you live in the westernized developed world the news is harsh to say the very least.


On the other hand however, all of Central America, South America, India and Africa are in the clear.  They are easily below the 2.8 tonnes per year each.

So the news is that we in the west are the guilty parties, we’re the ones culpable for any future ecological crisis because of our disproportionate emissions that appear to driving climate change.

Do you think that there’s the self-discipline and fortitude to accept responsibility and actually do anything?  No, I didn’t think so.  Could you live differently so that your CO2 footprint is a fraction of what it is today?  No, I didn’t think so.


Do you think that we will continue to consume at an alarming rate?  Assume that we have the freedom to consume to the apocalyptic conclusion that our children and grand-children will have to bear the brunt of? Yes, of course we will.


Do you think that technology will catch-up and reduce CO2 impact by the west? Maybe, its possible I suppose.

Do you think that the developing nations will develop polluting technologies and make matters worse over time? Yes, almost certain this.

Do you think that westernized populations will reduce in numbers (have less babies) therefore reducing the individual impact? Yes, again almost certainly.

And, do you think that developing nations will see massive population growth adding to their total emissions count?  Yes, a certainty.

What is the most effective way of reducing CO2 emissions that would give a globally felt benefit? Stop WAR!  Conflict adds massively to CO2 emissions, more than all of the commercial aircraft that fly each year.  People will live less in fear and much more in hope, plans for the future will have a much longer tail.  Healthier, longer living people will have less need for the social imperative of many babies, again reducing global environmental impact.  I could go on but I’m sure by now you can get my drift.

I put it to you that peace is the way to save the planet.

Think about it just for a moment and see if you can get it.  All we have to do is start allowing people to live their lives and stop interfering unnecessarily.   But to do this we have to change fundamentally the human condition.  We’re pre-programmed for conflict, to be territorial; Can we do it?  We are capable, but we probably wont!


One thought on “Per Capita Priniciple

    pdinspire responded:
    April 8, 2013 at 19:17

    The world isn’t stretching out before us with endless possibilities, it’s a maze of well worn grooves like the narrow ridges burrowed by insects in hardwood. It’s symptomatic of the human condition that we all at some point, even if for a short time feel we can change the world but the best that can happen is a jump of groove in all but a very few of cases.

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