I was helping Tony Hirst get up-and-running with OpenHeatMap when I first ran across the Guardian's analysis of data on CO2 emissions across the UK. What leapt out at me was how little London was pumping out. Almost every borough is producing around 4 or 5 tonnes per person, and nowhere else in the country other than the Highlands can beat that. Northumberland manages to produce 18 tonnes for every inhabitant!
There are some anomalies, the City of London and Westminster are off the charts because there's so few people who count as living there despite a massive daily influx, and I wonder how much of Kent's output is related to supplying London's neeeds. The overall picture is clear though – if you want to reduce your carbon emissions, the city is the place to go. I vaguely knew this already, but the difference here was eye-popping. It turns out that encouraging denser development to reduce the impact on the environment is gaining ground as an idea, but seeing the difference so starkly makes me think twice about my choices.
Here's an Excel spreadsheet with the raw data, ready to upload into OpenHeatMap if you want to see the full details. I'm no environmental scientist, so what do you think? Am I missing something, or should we all flee to the cities?