Sunday, October 21, 2012

I just did some back of envelope rough estimate calculations to get a sense of how much CO2 emissions each of us is in some sense "entitled" to.

With some admittedly highly suspect rules of thumb, I came up with an equivalent of an annual driving distance of 11,500 miles, ie. that is assuming that all you did was drive (no heating or cooling your home, no air travel, or train travel, no cooking o
f meals, no electric lights.)

I started with the assumption that all human beings should be individually entitled to an equal share of CO2 emissions. Also based on a rather optimistic estimate of 50 miles per gallon. This is so rough that I may have lost a factor of 10 somewhere, but this is a kind of tangible estimate that I have not seen before.

Based on the following data/assumption/estimates:

30 gigatons of CO2 emissions in 2011 
3 pounds CO2 emissions per pound of gasoline
6 billion people
5 tons per person per year
2.5 tons target (assuming 50% reduction target)

.8 tons of gasoline (to produce the .8 tons)
1600 pounds
7 pounds per gallon
230 gallons
11,500 miles (at 50 miles per gallon)