Since the end of the last Ice Age some 14,000 years ago, the Earth's human population has risen from at best a few million to well over seven billion, with projections of 9.6 billion by 2050. It is no surprise, simply by our sheer numbers, that humans have become a force of nature. (Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Climate Smart & Energy Wise) 

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Last Sunday's Cosmos took on the related concepts of extinction and climate change, topics I’ve had on my mind since reviewing The Sixth Extinction and interviewing author Elizabeth Kolbert.

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Those of us who live and breathe climate and energy issues know the answer to typical pop quiz questions like, "What's the nation most responsible for climate change?" Well, the largest emitter of carbon into the atmosphere is currently China, but historically the United States is responsible for the lion's share, with nearly 30% of the total emitted since the mid-1800s.

But if the question is "which corporate entity wins the dubious distinction of being the largest contributor of carbon emissions to the atmosphere?" we might struggle more.

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