Surprise! Developed world uses less energy per person than it did 20 years ago
If you're the sort who wakes up every morning to a media diet that can only be delivered via a Wolf Blitzer situation room-style array of glowing screens and buzzing whatsits, you probably suspect that you're using more energy than the mid-90's you, the one who warmed herself over a kerosene lamp and ate hardtack straight out of the barrel.
But you're wrong. Per capita, the developed world is using less energy per person than it did in 1995, reports the National Journal. Yet taken as a whole, the world uses more energy per capita than it did 20 years ago. How is this possible?
Zillions of desperately poor people were born into the world since then, and all of them have slowly gained access to a bit more energy.
Looking at the difference in population growth rates between the developed world (blue line) and the developing world (black line), you can see how small changes in the sources of energy used by the developing world could have big impacts on things like air quality and total global CO2 emissions:
For more surprises on everything from world greenhouse gas emissions to trends in urbanization, check out the original interactive.
- The Human Footprint , National Journal