Chart Of The Day

Jun 7 2013 @ 8:06pm

Brian Merchant unpacks it:

The useful thing about this graph, though, is that we’re then treated to a window of how these carbon sources are tied to crucial industrial and social functions, and how closely interlinked and therefore how massively difficult to unlink they are. As David Roberts notes at Grist, “Industry uses coal for high-heat operations like coking for steel production and it’s difficult to replace that kind of thing with electricity.” That’s a tough one indeed.

The vast majority of our oil is pumped directly into the vast majority of our cars, and that’s another 15% of the problem. Energy-guzzling residences and commercial buildings are another 20%.

And, as you can see here a full third of global warming is caused by “direct” emissions—methane emitted by agriculture and waste degradation, and our nasty habit of chopping forests down, which releases the CO2 they were storing before we ship them off to Home Depot.