Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Could the recession increase global warming?

One of the important conclusions in the paper cited in the March 28th entry is that if man-made CO2 is a major contributor to climate change, then the current recession should slow down global warming, due to the shutdown of many major CO2 producers, such as steel-making plants and smelters.

However an article in The Times (March 23rd) poses a possible counter to this.

The recession is changing eating habits, with people now staying more at home to eat rather than at expensive restaurants. According to the Metal Packaging Manufacturers’ Association, tin can output in the final quarter of last year increased by 10% and the Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus has raised the price of tinplate because of an increase in demand of up to 50%.

The market research group TNS reports that baked beans and tinned puddings are the stars of the canned food market, the volume of baked beans sold showing a recent rise of over 2%.

An increase of 2% is high, because of the sheer volume consumed, and some scientists are predicting that the associated increase in greenhouse gases could lead to a much more rapid melting of the polar ice-caps than previously predicted.

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