T Nation

China No. 1 Greenhouse Gas Source

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

In the meantime, let’s worry about our own backyard and lead by example.[/quote]

So you would be anti-Kyoto as that’s the rest of the world paying attention to our backyard?

And we are leading by example, it just happens to be an example that you don’t exactly like.

Does this make you feel better?:
http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2007a/070515WoodallHydrogen.html
http://www.news.wisc.edu/releases/11260.html

[quote]lucasa wrote:
So you would be anti-Kyoto as that’s the rest of the world paying attention to our backyard?

And we are leading by example, it just happens to be an example that you don’t exactly like.
[/quote]
I don’t think the Bush Admin is qualified to make environmental decisions based solely on their obvious biased opinion on the matter. We either agree to absolute free trade and leave it to American business to decide what they want or we regulate ad nauseam and force every business to comply to the same standards. Either way, leading by example would require some level of consistency, in my opinion.

The problem I see is mainly that we say we are pro free-trade yet have a government that is completely entrenched in corporate interests. Maybe I would have an easier time accepting the Bush admin’s stance if I knew for sure it wasn’t acting in complete self-interest.

Personally, I am pro free trade and do not think Kyoto would work; however, I don’t think we will be able to sustain our current production levels without some sort of environmental policy in place to combat pollution and help switch the focus to sustainability instead of unfettered growth. Maybe it’s not possible–I really don’t know for sure and I think the debate needs to remain open.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
I think the US should seek to reduce its pollution despite what China or India does. “Lead by example” is what I have always been taught. I think that China and India (all of the developing world) will eventually be able to take the same economic opportunity to reduce pollution when they become more efficient at production–in fact, I think China will eventually exceed the US in its capabilities because they have much more at stake. In the meantime, let’s worry about our own backyard and lead by example.[/quote]

You advocate punitive measures, especially on the US, for payment on the whole industrial revolution. At the same time, exempting others, because they didn’t do as much. Is that it in a nutshell?

That is the most absurd and illogical thing I’ve heard (in this thread).

[quote]lixy wrote:
pat36 wrote:
And so that makes it A-OK if they pollute like motherfuckers.

Chinese ride bicycles while Americans drive SUVs.

Hmmm…[/quote]

When I go to Beijing I dont see that many people riding bicycles. Not everybody can afford a car, but there are lots of taxis cruising about. Anyway, for whatever reasons, it’s polluted as hell.

[quote]kroby wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
I think the US should seek to reduce its pollution despite what China or India does. “Lead by example” is what I have always been taught. I think that China and India (all of the developing world) will eventually be able to take the same economic opportunity to reduce pollution when they become more efficient at production–in fact, I think China will eventually exceed the US in its capabilities because they have much more at stake. In the meantime, let’s worry about our own backyard and lead by example.

You advocate punitive measures, especially on the US, for payment on the whole industrial revolution. At the same time, exempting others, because they didn’t do as much. Is that it in a nutshell?

That is the most absurd and illogical thing I’ve heard (in this thread).[/quote]

Sustainability is not a free lunch. It must be paid for by consumers. Calling it a “punitive measure” is just a rhetorical argument. Everything ever produced has “cost” consumers in some way–thats the downside of living in a opportunistic world. It can be done in the free market but businesses have to be motivated to do it.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

I don’t think the Bush Admin is qualified to make environmental decisions based solely on their obvious biased opinion on the matter. We either agree to absolute free trade and leave it to American business to decide what they want or we regulate ad nauseam and force every business to comply to the same standards. Either way, leading by example would require some level of consistency, in my opinion.[/quote]

  1. As BB said, Clinton didn’t even submit Kyoto to be ratified.

  2. The latter half of that paragraph, as I understand it, says “either socialism or laissez-faire” and I’m pretty sure you’re bright enough to realize that neither of those is optimal and that the best option might lie somewhere in between.

When you say self interest, do you mean Bush’s? US Corporations’? US shareholders’ or consumers’?

I agree that there needs to be a better separation between gov’t and corporations, but I believe it to be nowhere near localized to the Bush Admin., nor do I believe it singularly and wholly to be to the detriment of everyone except Bush or whatever corporate interest may exist.

It will always be better, in every way, to have the pressure of unfettered growth breathing down the necks of our innovators than to have the fear of death empowering our legislators.

[quote]entheogens wrote:

When I go to Beijing I dont see that many people riding bicycles. Not everybody can afford a car, but there are lots of taxis cruising about. Anyway, for whatever reasons, it’s polluted as hell.[/quote]

lixy’s “arguments”, as usual, can be summed up by the sentiment “The US sucks”. Whether they make sense or not is immaterial.

We all know that not everyone in China rides bikes. We all know that even if they are all riding bikes, they are still polluting more than we are and increasing at a greater rate.

We all know that the most likely reason lixy only sees Chinamen riding bicycles is because he only looks in the areas where the laborers have to take out loans to buy the bicycles whereas laborers in virtually any western country could at least afford a car. But because it’s socialism and it’s not the US, he looks around and says, “See? Life is good!..and the US sucks.”

[quote]lucasa wrote:
2. The latter half of that paragraph, as I understand it, says “either socialism or laissez-faire” and I’m pretty sure you’re bright enough to realize that neither of those is optimal and that the best option might lie somewhere in between.
[/quote]
Yes, I read “in between” to mean fascism. This means that some people will benefit from regulation and some people will not–a la Cosa nostra. There is no way to make it 100% fair without being consistent.

We all know money buys influence. Mom-and-pop will suffer because they cannot afford to buy influence and our friendly elected officials only respect $$$ thanks to our wonderful commercial advertising society. Those in control stay in control because the playing field is always tilted to their advantage.

[quote]Wreckless wrote:
How many Chinese are there? And how many Americans?
Also, China is still stuck in a early industrial age while the US is moving towards a service oriented society.

And then.
What’s your point. Do you support Bush in not signing the Kyoto agreements? It looks like you do. So why would you be worried then about what the Chinese do?[/quote]

One of the reasons I support the U.S. not signing on to Kyoto is because it wouldn’t have much of an effect if China, India and Brazil didn’t sign on.

[quote]lixy wrote:
pat36 wrote:
And so that makes it A-OK if they pollute like motherfuckers.

Chinese ride bicycles while Americans drive SUVs.

Hmmm…[/quote]

Coal-fired power plants, which the Chinese are using and building in droves, are much worse than SUVs, both from a CO2 standpoint, and, more importantly, from a pollution standpoint.

That is, if you care about CO2 and believe it’s problematic because it causes global warming. Solely for the purposes of this discussion in this thread, I’m ceding that point - so now explain to me why Europe, Canada and the U.S. should pay large amounts for something that would have little effect because CO2 levels wouldn’t fall.

[quote]Wreckless wrote:
pat36 wrote:
Wreckless wrote:
How many Chinese are there? And how many Americans?
Also, China is still stuck in a early industrial age while the US is moving towards a service oriented society.

And then.
What’s your point. Do you support Bush in not signing the Kyoto agreements? It looks like you do. So why would you be worried then about what the Chinese do?

And so that makes it A-OK if they pollute like motherfuckers.

Funny that you didn’t seem the least worried last year, when YOU polluted like motherfuckers. You still do btw.

And I’ll have to ask this question again. How many Chinese are there? And how many Americans?[/quote]

And per capita production matters how again? Here I thought it was total CO2 in the atmosphere that mattered…

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

I think the US should seek to reduce its pollution despite what China or India does. “Lead by example” is what I have always been taught. I think that China and India (all of the developing world) will eventually be able to take the same economic opportunity to reduce pollution when they become more efficient at production–in fact, I think China will eventually exceed the US in its capabilities because they have much more at stake. In the meantime, let’s worry about our own backyard and lead by example.[/quote]

They could reduce massively right now just by moving away from coal-fired power – or even to cleaner coal technology, which is available. But they’re not. It’s not as if the Chinese are producing all that CO2 with cars, as lixy pointed out. And they are ramping up their economy – building new plants – why give them a pass on ramping up with the latest technology?

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
They could reduce massively right now just by moving away from coal-fired power – or even to cleaner coal technology, which is available. But they’re not. It’s not as if the Chinese are producing all that CO2 with cars, as lixy pointed out. And they are ramping up their economy – building new plants – why give them a pass on ramping up with the latest technology?[/quote]

I am not suggesting giving them a pass. I would love to see trade restrictions against them. But we cannot expect laissez faire for the US and not the rest of the world. We have to behave consistently with our trading partners as we do with the rest of the world. China will take advantage of cleaner emissions when it becomes more economical for them.

In the meantime just quit purchasing goods that are MADE IN CHINA. Consumers have the power to set economic/environmental policy even if governments don’t. Consumers can help speed up China’s motivation to change environmental policies.

It’s not just C02 either – China’s kicking out a lot of air pollution – so much that Asian countries (yes, I realize the difference, but I don’t have a breakdown) generated air pollution contributes as much as 1/3 of California’s particulate air pollution.

See here: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?topic_id=1421&fuseaction=topics.item&news_id=218780

"The Financial Times said the Bank report, entitled ‘Cost of Pollution in China’, found up to 760,000 people die prematurely each year in China because of air and water pollution.

High levels of air pollution in China’s cities leads to 350,000-400,000 premature deaths, it said. Another 300,000 die because of poor-quality air indoors.

The newspaper article, quoting World Bank advisers and Chinese officials, also said research showing that there are 60,000 premature deaths each year because of poor-quality water was also left out of the report. "

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6265098.stm

That is left out of the report due to the potential for social unrest in China. It’s good they don’t know, because they might actually make their government responsible for their health and welfare. You know, like they’re supposed to in a communist regime.

[quote]kroby wrote:
It’s good they don’t know, because they might actually make their government responsible for their health and welfare. You know, like they’re supposed to in a communist regime. [/quote]

Communist regime? Have you been to China lately?

[quote]lixy wrote:
Communist regime? Have you been to China lately?
[/quote]

No, I have never been to China. What is their state of government called?