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What New York City’s Carbon Emissions Look Like


Yesterday, I wrote about France’s environment ministry passing new rules regarding the turning off of lights in non-residential buildings.  In the “comments” section of that post, Martin Lack (of  Lack of Environment fame), posted a video that I believe deserves its own post.  (Thanks Martin!)

In 2010, the city of New York emitted 2 tonnes of carbon dioxide per second.  And of that amount, 75% was from buildings.  The animation below demonstrates the volume of New York’s emission over a day, and over a year.  It is a powerful visual representation that illustrates the importance of energy conservation in cities.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. 2013/02/03 1:19 pm

    Wow. Just…wow. That really puts it in perspective, doesn’t it? Think I’m going to re-blog this as well. It really boggles the mind to see the effects in such a visual way.

    • 2013/02/03 1:26 pm

      Boggles the mind… and makes you want to barf!

      • 2013/02/03 1:31 pm

        Yes, yes it does. And NYC does a lot to reduce its carbon footprint. I hate to think what a video of DFW would look like, with our urban sprawl and our decidedly-lacking transit system.

      • 2013/02/03 1:48 pm

        I’m sorry, but, what is DFW?

      • 2013/02/03 2:02 pm

        Oops, sorry. The Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area.

      • 2013/02/03 3:38 pm

        Thanks 🙂

        You said “I hate to think what a video of DFW would look like”

        But, I’ve heard that, despite it’s right-leaning politics, Texas is doing some good things when it comes to renewables. Is that true?

      • 2013/02/03 4:27 pm

        SOME good things, yes. Then again, last week the Public Utility Commission proposed legislature recommending the repeal of Texas’ renewable electricity standard. So it’s kind of hit or miss right now.

      • 2013/02/03 5:27 pm

        Let me guess: Republicans?

      • 2013/02/03 5:29 pm

        Gee…how did you know?

      • 2013/02/03 5:31 pm

        I’ll answer your question the same way I answer similar questions from my students:
        ‘Cause I’m a geeeeeeeeeeenious!

  2. Martin Lack permalink
    2013/02/04 7:12 am

    I am really pleased to have been able to bring this video to the attention of others. I am sure the producers would be delighted to see it replicated all over the place like a computer virus. This is the kind of thing that will, I believe, make people sit up and take notice of what we are doing to our planet.

    • 2013/02/04 7:26 am

      I agree. The problem with climate change (and carbon emissions) is that it requires imagination to “see” the risks (although, the last couple of years have been rather graphic). And we have lived for so long under the impression that our planet is so large that no amount of pollution could leave any impact on it. However, when you see the quantity of carbon dioxide that only one city produces, it is hard to think that it is without consequence.

  3. Daniel Plourde permalink
    2013/02/05 7:35 pm

    This video is a winner for sure. For once we can visualize what we mean by the measurements we normally hear, such as “a tonne of …air”, or something. This visualization is more telling than anything else. I can only imagine what this would look like in places such as in Beijing! Thank you Joce and Martin for having brought this to our attention and, especially to the producers, this is one of the best communication tool I have seen for a long time.

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