Qatar's carbon emissions per capita are the highest in the world and three times as high as the United States'.
According to the Living Planet Report, produced by the World Wildlife Fund and the Global Footprint Network, among others, if every human being lived like the average Qatari, the Earth would need nearly five times more resources than it has.
As it is, humans are using 50 percent more resources than the Earth can replenish in a year. In other words, humans use the equivalent of 1.5 planets per year. By 2030, humans will use the equivalent of two planets each year.
When the world's leaders convene in Rio de Janeiro in June, the planet's "biocapacity"—how much life the Earth can physically support—will surely be a topic of discussion. And Global Footprint's data show that humans all around the world are using more resources than there is biocapacity to support them.
Why is Qatar highest on the list of consumers? The oil pumped from the desert country's rich sands isn't counted against the country's consumption (unless it's burned in-state), but energy usage is sky-high in this Middle Eastern country. Citizens are provided with free electricity and free water, which the Guardian's Fred Pearce described in a 2010 column as "liquid electricity," since water in the Middle East is often produced by desalinating seawater, an energy-intensive activity. (In this photo, taken in October 2011, window washers return to the ground along the facade of the 52-story Tornado Tower.)
Energy demand is rising by 7 percent a year to run the desalinators and air conditioners that maintain life in the desert and the natural gas production equipment that funds it.