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September 1, 2009
AT's Rich Baehr on Arab carbon emissions
Richard Baehr notes the disproportionate impact that wealthy Arab oil nations have on annual CO2 emissions in the latest issue of inFocus magazine.
The oil producing nations in the Middle East, particularly those with small populations, such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), now rank among the world's wealthiest nations in terms of per capita income. They also rank among the world's worst performing countries in terms of per capita emissions. In fact, the world's four worst offenders in terms of per capita emissions relative to per capita income are: Qatar, the UAE, Bahrain, and Kuwait.
Major broadcast networks have devoted prime time segments to the amazing glamour, conspicuous wealth, modernization, and excess in the UAE (notably the emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi) and Qatar. Among the most documented of these excesses is Ski Dubai, an indoor ski slope connected to a shopping mall. Dubai has also constructed no less than ten golf courses in the middle of its desert, and lures the world's best golfers each year for the Dubai Desert Classic. Indeed, the Gulf Arab states have created unnatural marvels at great expense, and with heavy energy consumption (not to mention water use).
Turns out that the stately pleasure domes featured in architectural journals and travel magazines, numerous automobiles driven with abandon, and other profligate waste of energies has a price: huge emissions of CO2.
Yet, these nations escape censure and criticism. Bill Clinton and Al Gore regularly travel to that area to deliver speeches for great sums of money. Do you think they ever point out the fact that some of the nations in that part of the world are among the highest per capita emissions of CO2 in the world?