The Sustainability Challenge

Hennessy's Index: A number is never just a number

Hennessy's Index

Hennessy's Index is a monthly listing of numbers, written by the CCPA's Trish Hennessy, about Canada and its place in the world. For other months, visit:

  • 75,000

    Square kilometres of Arctic sea ice that melted every day in August 2012. That’s like losing ice the size of New Brunswick every 24 hours. (Source)
  • 10

    Number of years in which Arctic sea ice could vanish. “Very soon we may experience the iconic moment when, one day in summer, we look at satellite images and see no sea ice coverage in the Arctic, just open water.” (Source)
  • 2050

    The year leading water scientists say humans may be forced to shift to a vegetarian diet due to population growth and limited water supplies. (Source)
  • 2

    Percentage of Canadians who doubt climate change is happening. (Source)
  • 16

    Percentage of Americans who deny climate change is happening. (Source)
  • 32

    Percentage of Canadians who believe climate change is happening because of human activity. Only nine percent believe climate change is occurring due to natural climate variation. (Source 1, 2)
  • #4

    Canada has the fourth highest greenhouse gas emissions, per capita, in the world. (Source)
  • 22

    Tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emitted per capita in Canada in 2008. America emitted 22.8 tonnes per capita that year.  (Source)
  • 51

    Percentage of Canadians who believe electricity production in Canada will still rely on fossil fuels by 2050. That belief is highest in Alberta (66%) and lowest in Quebec (37%). (Source)
  • #3

    Due to the tarsands, Canada’s proven oil reserves are now the third largest in the world, behind Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. (Source)
  • 10

    Number of years Canada’s proven crude oil and natural gas reserves are expected to be entirely depleted. (Source)
  • 14.3

    Percentage by which Canada might fall short of its promise to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Canada committed to a 17 per cent reduction by 2020 but will likely only cut emissions by 2.7 per cent. (Source)
September 1, 2012