This is cool: The folks at the World Resources Institute have animated the history of carbon emissions, organized by country. Watch:
Two takeaways. First, while China is now the biggest emitter by a wide margin, the United States was the worst offender for most of industrial history. Second, human society is quickly running out of time to procrastinate on climate policy. Remember the year 2000? From that time to the present we blew through about a quarter of our carbon budget (the total amount we can release and still forestall dangerous warming). If we don't take serious action soon, we'll have blown through the rest of it by 2033.