Revisited raw numbers on US greenhouse gases emissions, on the Environmental Protection Agency website. Not an easy task, as the numbers are not aggregated with the average reader in mind. All numbers in million metric tons of CO2 equivalents.
Industrial processes: 2,039 (from producing all the stuff we consume)
Transportation: 2,014, of which 60% is from personal cars, 40% diesel fuels heavy duty vehicles and aircrafts
Commercial: 1,238 (from selling all he stuff we buy)
Residential: 1,248, mostly in heating/cooling, lighting, and cooking
Agriculture: 659, about half from fertilizing crops, the rest in electricity
That’s a hell of a lot of CO2 and other nasty gases we release each year in the air! In the end, nothing I did not know already, but it was important for me to come to my own conclusions and priorities. Also, I figured if I am going to make a few changes, I might as well focus on the biggest villains.
#1. All these things I buy, BAD. I need to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
#2. Got to turn off the electricity around the house whenever possible, and be easy on the thermostat for the heater
#3. Start biking, walk, take the train, and stay away from the car or carpool as much as possible
#4. Buy organic, buy local
I like that it is a short list. Four items, that many I can remember, and it does not feel as overwhelming as some of the other lists I have seen. The most difficult thing for me will be #1, as I love to shop!