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Wow, China takes the bull by the horns!

Post in 'The Green Room' started by webbie, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/10/business/energy-environment/10yuan.html?src=busln
    "The current Chinese five-year plan calls for using 20 percent less energy this year for each unit of economic output than in 2005."
    "President Hu Jintao late last year called for China to reduce its carbon emissions per unit of economic output by 40 to 45 percent by 2020, compared with 2005 levels."

    Sometimes there are benefits, as GW so famously stated, of having a dictatorship!

    I would wager, though, that the USA could do better if we all got behind a plan. However, as it stands now, the conflicting interests are stopping us dead in the water.

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed - I really wish we would get off of dead center and make it happen.
  3. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    As they are on pretty much every issue of import to the people of this country. :shut:
  4. pyper

    pyper New Member

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    In the House of Representatives the leadership seems rather disinclined to pass any legislation that has any chance of attracting more than the bare minimum number of votes in the Senate.

    They also seem woefully ignorant of basic economic concepts. In the short run, it's going to cost money to get greener. What we need is an equitable way to pay for it.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    This was covered from another perspective in our Sunday paper. There is a huge technology expo going on in Shanghai. Wish I could attend. China is telling the world and showing them that they will have the technology of the future. In the meantime we squabble over racism, sordid affairs and political posturing. Our country continues to lose traction here while the rest of the world pulls ahead in the green economy.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2012565355_chinatech.html
  6. Wallyworld

    Wallyworld Member

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  7. pyper

    pyper New Member

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    Maybe that was all part of the previous five-year plan: build a bunch of dirty coal plants and then sell carbon offsets for cleaning them up. :lol:
  8. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    And it will always be so unless we can keep PAC money out of the pockets of politicians. Money and legislative votes shouldn't be dependent upon each other.
  9. Wallyworld

    Wallyworld Member

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    They probably have Al Gore telling them how to make money :)
  10. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    "As China has become increasingly dependent on imported oil and coal, its national security establishment has become more visibly involved in energy policy and energy security, including efforts to improve energy efficiency."

    Maybe we could learn a lesson from them? Imagine other energy solutions than invading oil rich, sovereign states or "Drill Baby Drill"!
  11. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    You must be thinking of the Shanghai World Expo. Same thing as the old World's fairs of years ago.

    I got the chance to go to it for a I was in Shanghai for work in May. Unfortunately I couldn't see many exhibits, due to the enormous crowds the waiting lines for most country pavilions was 3 to 5 hours. the China pavilion, where they are showing off their exploits, is pretty much impossible to get into unless you know some official or go at 5am to wait in line.

    What I DID experience of green tech there was a ride on electric buses they are using to ferry people around the expo sites. I think I almost died in the shoving crowd trying to get on said bus however.

    http://en.expo2010.cn/

    Shanghai itself is a blast to visit. The place is growing like gangbusters and everywhere you look you are surrounded by gadgets. New skyscrapers go up yearly, the subways are amazing, heck I even rode in a taxi with touch screen LCD entertainment for the passengers.

    But on the flip side, the air has the same stink of smog that Mumbai does. And this is with the local factories shut down (just like they did for the Olympics) Don't forget that in spite of all their green efforts they still burn more coal every year than all the western nations combined.

    -Jeremy
  12. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Actually, I was wrong. Going by EIA data China uses not just more than the western nations, but more than all OECD nations combined. 3.4 billion tons a year vs 2.5 billion for OECD (inc. ~1billion USA)

    Total world coal usage is 7 billion.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Yes, the article focuses on the green technologies being shown at the fair. It's great that you got to visit the expo.

    I wonder if Shanghai smog is more industrial and not quite the same stink as Mumbai? If it's like Delhi, their smog comes in part from a lot of cow dung fires.
  14. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Everything that comes out of China has to be taken with a grain of salt. Our own media leaves much to be desired, but from talking with people who struggle to verify "official" data in that country the real story is not always the real story.
  15. zknowlto

    zknowlto New Member

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    Not trying to go out of my way to stick up for China, but there are a few things to keep in my mind about it's coal consumption.

    1) China has around four times as many people as the US. Calculated on a per capita basis, USA is still the number number one coal burner.

    2) China produces about half the world's steel. USA produces less than 5%. If you're talking about producing new steel (not recycling old steel) burning coal is the way it's done.

    3) China has a much less diverse energy portfolio than much of the world. By US standards, China greatly lacks natural gas and petroleum reserves.

    While I agree that Shanghai's air quality is terrible and the country's investment in green technology may be overstated, I hope that the Chinese are able to reduce, or at least slow, their carbon emissions.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Good observations blue.
  17. lowroadacres

    lowroadacres Minister of Fire

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    “President Hu Jintao late last year called for China to reduce its carbon emissions per unit of economic output by 40 to 45 percent by 2020, compared with 2005 levels.”

    When it comes to talking about reductions in emissions in the terms above, unless I am reading it incorrectly, there are two ways to meet the target they are discussing....

    A direct cut in emissions right here and now....

    or ....

    Increase the number of "units of economic output" without adding more emissions. I would suggest that this is well underway at the rate at which China's economy is growing.

    Given that China has built coal fired generating stations like "Quads" cuts firewood it isn't a stretch for them to reduce their emissions per "unit of economic output".

    China is playing the game and people will fall for it.

    Its a little bit like the look people give me when I tell them I have lost more than 200 pounds over the past 10 years...

    The same 20 pounds .... TEN TIMES!
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    China is playing the capitalist game of making money. They clearly see the market trends and needs of the next decade. Developing cleaner technologies makes sense given their growth. They benefit solving internal problems of growth and external needs of the world. This is just smart business. Don't be surprised by the number of Chinese cars that start showing up on our shores soon. One of them is already here - Volvo.
  19. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    The Communists are getting pretty good at Capitalism.
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The Chinese are a pragmatic society. Communism is a new experiment for them historically. If it doesn't work, they will change it or drop it.
  21. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    China works the same way the US and the rest of the world does. The government will set 'goals', but when it comes down to the decision of whether to build a coal plant or a 'green' plant in a city or province, the decision is based on economics unless there is a strict regulation requiring green energy. Did the central government actually require a reduction in CO2 output, or merely set a goal? Without regulations, a government goal in China wouldn't have much more impact than Obama declaring his wish to reduce carbon emissions in the US.

    I have visited a bunch of Chinese cities, and the air quality is bad in all of them. I think Shanghai is actually better than average, probably because it is near the coast.
  22. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Check out the article! Apparently, they are shutting down polluters!

    I have little doubt that China will succeed in their efforts to go green...at least on a comparative basis when compared with our per capita directions.

    BG, it's not just capitalism which is driving their economy - it is LACK of laziness and sloth. It's hard for us to compete without hundreds of millions of people willing to work hard. We might be able to survive using the "multiplier" effect - that being one Steve Jobs can prop up perhaps tens of millions of others. At this point, it is the brain power of a relatively few which holds the most promise for holding up the US Economy....or so it seems.
  23. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I have to disagree with China's reasons for wanting to go green. I feel it has less to do with character and more to do with an almost total lack of native resources. They import food, raw material, and most of all OIL!!!!! They're leaning heavy on the green train because its do or die. 1.3 billion people all looking for 2 cars, meat 3x day, and a better life for their children.

    One thing to think about with China is the NEED for growth, because there is no alternative for them other than starving. With the fallout of the 1950's encouragement of as many babies as possible, followed by the 1-child policy they are looking at a demographic nightmare that is 4x the size of our baby boomer problem. Soon 1 in 7 Chinese will be producing for those either too young or too old. Their rapid change towards a market economy has everything to do with this and less to do with some inherent ingenuity they may have.
  24. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Is that different from US?

    We don't have much oil, last time I looked.

    China can buy oil just as easily as the next country, and they have been making deals all over the world.

    No, they aren't doing it because they want to sing Kumbaya - but from a business and political and common sense viewpoint, it seems like the smart thing to do. I'm pleased to use the USA heading in the same direction, but we seem to be continually torn about going there - we have massive forces in this country fighting against increased energy efficiency and more investment in alt energy.

    As I mentioned, a dictatorship can be an advantage in such cases - because they can TELL the a-holes what to do (shut down or clean up that factory).

    In 20 years they might be selling us all the machines they invent. That would be sad.
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    China can plan ahead and make commitments for the next 5, 10, 20 years. The US can no longer plan for more than a year or two if even that. It's all based on the next election cycle or next FOX broadcast now.

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