Unexpectedly Intriguing!
15 December 2021

Going by the reduction in the rate at which carbon dioxide is accumulating in the Earth's atmosphere, November 2021 saw a net reduction in economic activity on the planet.

Since July 2021, much of that decline is associated with COVID-related disruptions of manufacturing production in southeast Asia, and also a shortage of fossil fuels that developed in China, which forced the Chinese government to shutter energy-intensive manufacturing. While both situations have somewhat abated, their disruptions still negatively affect the world's economy given the region's relatively "early" position in global supply chains.

A good example of that impact can be seen in the global market for new steel and aluminum production, where Chinese foundries provide the materials used within the country and elsewhere in the world for higher value production. China's production of steel and aluminum has fallen significantly in the last several months. That reduction has created shortages of materials for other countries like Germany, whose economic output has been greatly reduced as a result.

Here's a chart showing the continued decline in the rate at which human economic activities are adding carbon dioxide to the Earth's atmosphere.

Trailing Twelve Month Average of Year-Over-Year Change in Parts per Million of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, January 2000 - November 2021

Since December 2019, a net reduction of 0.74 parts per million of atmospheric carbon dioxide has been recorded in the trailing twelve month average of the year over year rate of change in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels measured at the remote Mauna Loa Observatory. We estimate this change represents a net loss of $24.6 trillion to the world economy since the coronavirus pandemic originated in China at this time. Approximately a third of that decline has taken place since July 2021.

Meanwhile, on Mars, economic output has hit an all time high, but that's mainly because the red planet's GDP is now greater than zero. More on that story here from your sole source of planetary scale economic reporting!


National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Earth System Research Laboratory. Mauna Loa Observatory CO2 Data. [Text File]. Updated 6 December 2021. Accessed 6 December 2021.

Previously on Political Calculations

Here is our series quantifying the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Earth's economy, presented in reverse chronological order.

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