Russia’s population is the world’s ninth-largest. At 143 million, Russia has about 13% more people than 10th-ranked Japan. We wonder: On which of the following categories does Russia rank first worldwide?
A. Cigarette consumption
B. Defense spending
E. Natural gas reserves
F. Land area
G. Anti-corruption Continue reading →
The transportation sector accounts for 14% of total greenhouse gas emissions. That makes cars a key concern in climate change. There are 7 billion people on earth and 1.1 billion light passenger cars. We wonder: How many of those are currently electric?
Wind power has become an increasingly viable part of the solution to help solve two of the world’s most pressing problems – global warming and energy supply independence. We wonder: Which country had the highest installed wind power capacity at the end of 2016?
Falling oil prices have put significant pressure on countries that have long relied on reaping the benefits of their large oil resources. The anticipated global transition away from fossil fuels will further add to that pressure. We wonder: Which country has the world’s largest proven crude oil reserves?
Recycling was initially popularized during World War II’s resource shortages. It then returned on the global agenda in the 1960s and 1970s as part of the emerging environmental movement and to deal with the energy crisis. We wonder: Which of the following countries recycles the greatest share of its waste?
Money spent to subsidize the consumption of fossil fuels (as opposed to production) worldwide fell from $500 billion to $325 billion in 2015. It is one step on the long road to combating climate change. We wonder: Which of the following energy categories receives the greatest global consumption subsidies annually?
On a global basis, fossil fuels still receive more than twice as many subsidy dollars as flow to renewable energy. One sign of progress is that global renewable subsidies are growing, while fossil fuel subsidies are in decline. As recently as 2008, the ratio was 10 to one. We wonder: Which country or region is subsidizing renewables with the most money annually?
Oil prices are down significantly, while solar energy is on the march and gleaming new wind turbines are spinning in greater numbers than ever. Has the tide finally shifted toward clean, renewable energy for the coming decades? We wonder: What share of global energy demand will still be served by fossil fuels in 2040?
In cities with hotter climates, air conditioning units in every window are a sign of a rising middle class. But mounting temperatures have also made air conditioning in developing countries a necessity for urban survival. We wonder: Which of the following statements about the global rise of air conditioning are true?
A. India will soon see more air conditioners installed than any other country.
B. AC units add significant electricity demands.
C. Air conditioners can be made at least 25% more efficient.
D. Air conditioning coolants need to be replaced to slow global warming. Continue reading →
Producing more power is key to sustaining India’s economic growth and reducing poverty. At the same time, power generation also has direct effects on health and the environment. We wonder: Which of the following statements about India’s power needs are true?
A. India has more people without access to electricity than any other country.
B. India is the world’s third-largest consumer of coal.
C. India is the world’s third-largest source of carbon emissions.
D. India is only the 110th-largest source of carbon emissions per capita.