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Now Counting Carbons
CNBC.com | June 18, 2009 | 03:03 PM EDT

New Yorkers have been keeping track of the national debt for two decades, thanks to a large billboard near Times Square. Now they're getting a chance to keep an eye on greenhouse gases.

Deutsche Bank unveiled a 70-foot tall carbon counter Thursday in New York City that tracks the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The counter is meant to spur conversation, increase awareness about climate change and affect change.

"It makes this concept of climate change and greenhouse gases something tangible," said Kevin Parker, Global Head of Deutsche Bank’s Asset Management told reporters after unveiling the counter. “We think the world is moving way too slow to fight climate change.”

The counter, located next to highly trafficked Madison Square Garden and Penn Station, is about ten blocks away from the National Debt Clock that has been counting the nation's public debt since it was first erected in a different location in 1989.

One thing they do have in common: the numbers on both are increasing at an alarming rate. The debt clock had to be reformatted last fall when the national debt crossed $10 trillion and the sign had run out of space for all the numbers. As for the carbon counter, the number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is increasing at a rate of about 2 billion metric tons a month. Currently, the number is at 3.64 trillion metric tons.

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