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Charts that help us understand environmental issues

Words are important, but sometimes only a picture will do. Here are the charts and graphs I come back to again and again.

Emissions and energy charts

Transportation, electricity generation and industry make up 79.2% of emissions in the United States.

Source: EPA

The global picture looks different.

Source: IPCC via EPA

Appliances and electronics make up 29% of the electricity we use at home.

Road freight is responsible for about 6% of emissions and shipping is about 3% globally according to Drawdown.org.

Source: EPA

A good chunk of electricity still comes from coal globally.

Source: Our World In Data / SDG-Tracker.org

Solar power is still a very small chunk of electricity generation in the United States.

US electricity generation by energy source


Every country needs to recycle and upcycle significantly more.

Source: Our World In Data / SDG-tracker.org

Charts about consumption

Americans buy a lot of stuff.

material footprint per capita, 2010
Source: Our World In Data / SDG-tracker.org

Climate Change

The rise of carbon dioxide

CO2 is definitely on the rise.

Nasa The Rise of Carbon Dioxide
Source: NASA

Most scientists agree climate change is real.

Some say scientists can't agree on Earth's temperature changes
Source: NASA Climate 365

Climate change is definitely a problem.

Carbon dioxide hits new high
Source: NASA

We know we’re responsible.

4 key findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Muir Glacier 1941 vs 2004

Let’s not let the glaciers disappear.

Nasa Melting Glacier
Source: NASA

I’m constantly finding new charts and data so I’ll keep updating this.

You may have noticed that some of this data is somewhat outdated. I do my best to find the most current data, but reliable data from sources I trust is often hard to find.

If you have data from reliable sources you think I should add, please send them my way. Leave a message in the comments and I’ll ping you back to get the link. Most comments with a link go straight to spam, so if you send a link the first time I might miss it. Thanks!

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