In order to determine which of the top ten polluting countries is the biggest polluter by population, I've crunched some numbers based on respective CO2 emissions.
1. China, at only 9,090 lbs per capita, is yet the world's biggest polluter. Does this tell us something about the living conditions in China? Energy is being produced and consumed at enormous levels, but little of it is going to its own citizens. It is, in fact, going towards manufacturing cheap items to sell to the rest of the world using labor that is practically slave labor in subsistence living conditions. Worse yet is the pollution the Chinese people are forced to eat and breathe. Cancer is now the leading cause of death in China.
2. The US is the second largest CO2 producer, but also the consumer of its own products, leading to a per capita amount of 37,600 lbs of CO2 by my figures. The standard of living is higher than most of the world. Nobody is forced to work themselves into the grave, and the cancer death rate is lower than China's.
3. Russia, with the Chernobyl area as one of the biggest CO2 producers in the world, emits 24,000 lbs of CO2 per capita.
4. India is a wannabe China in the pollution realm, and for similar reasons. With a population of over 1 billion, its per capita carbon emission is at a mere 2,270 lbs. India stinks, but at least you won't be enslaved there, although some of its cancer rates are among the highest in the world.
5. Japan has a highly urbanized population which contributes 19,500 lbs of CO2 per capita per year.
6. Germany has been making great strides to raise its standards on CO2 emissions, but it still manages to produce 21,000 lbs per capita per year.
7. Canada has nothing to brag about. Pretty postcards depicting wide expanses of forest areas and golden fields of grain do nothing to alleviate the fact that Canada, although the 7th largest producer of CO2 in the world, has a per capita CO2 rate almost as high as the US: 36,000 lbs. At least they don't blame their neighbor to the south, but certain manufacturing processes in their own country.
8. The UK produces 19,500 lbs of CO2 per capita per year. This probably has to do with less industrialization, and perhaps a push toward going green.
9. South Korea ties with Germany at 21,000 lbs per capita. Yet Germany has almost twice the population of South Korea. Perhaps there is less industrialization in South Korea, but fewer measures to control its emissions compared to Germany.
10. Iran, at 12,700 lbs per capita per year, is developing its nuclear power technology in order to become a proud world leader in reducing its carbon emissions.