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China's Poison for the Planet

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Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-05-07 01:09 PM
Original message
China's Poison for the Planet
snip>" China has become a global environmental problem. Initially, it was only the economists who were shocked by how the country was changing the world with its cheap clothes, televisions and washing machines. But now climate researchers are concerned about another Chinese export -- the pollution it is spreading across the planet. The massive nation is already the world's second-biggest producer of greenhouse gases after the United States."<snip

snip> "But it's not just sand, smog and ash that China is spewing into the atmosphere. The country's factories and power plants already emit more sulfur dioxide (SO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) than Europe, even though the booming Chinese economy manages only a fraction of the per capita gross domestic product that the old industrialized nations do. Between 2000 and 2005, China's SO2 emissions grew to 26 million tons. In just a few years the country will surpass the United States to become the world's biggest carbon dioxide producer. China already accounts for more than 15 percent of total global CO2 emissions."<snip
http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,4618...

Very fucking depressing.




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magellan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-05-07 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. So even if we somehow get ourselves under control
...there's still China to contend with. VF depressing indeed.
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The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-05-07 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
2. That's a shame
Endless growth comes at a price. Sorry. We're just never going to be able to have everything. The more we try, the worse things will get.
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-05-07 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. One complication is that it should be easier for the West to
curtail its growth with its relatively high standard of living. It is more challenging to tell the $5 a day (if they are lucky) Third World to curtail their growth.

I understand China's point of view that historically the West developed industrially to the point that pollution got so bad that popular domestic pressure forced changes in the way industry operated. The world now cannot wait for China's popular will to force pollution control and other significant changes in the way their economy operates. China thinks that is not fair and in some ways I say "Tough". But the Third World as a whole will not look kindly on any Western demands for growth control, as they cast an envious eye on our lifestyle which they can only dream of.

Somehow we will have to develop a system that allows the Third World to progress and make better lives for desperate people, while doing so in a more environmentally friendly manner. At the same time we will have to control our growth, or at least its environmental impact severely. That could result in stagnant, or even declining, standards of living in the West, depending on how we handle the environment.
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jakem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-05-07 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. carbon credits? n/t
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-05-07 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Sure. Sounds like a good idea.
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piedmont Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-05-07 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
5. They're also becoming the world's largest exporter of pesticides...
and other chemicals.
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4dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-05-07 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
6. Blame it on consumerism
Until we change our collective habit of SHOP, SPEND, AND WASTE, we are all guilty.
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-05-07 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. That is not what is driving the issues on the Chinese mainland
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-05-07 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. I think that many Chinese dream of developing a consumer
driven society like the West, but you are right, currently that is not what is driving pollution problems in China. It is something that we need to deal with to reduce our environmental footprint. China, at least its political leaders, will claim that our standard of living is much, much higher than theirs and we produce more pollution than they do.

To them it is obvious that we need to make the first move or at least a simultaneous move. They will face increasing domestic pressure on pollution, just like we did years ago, but will resist outside pressure just like the Mid West power plants resisted pressure from the East Coast to reduce emissions that caused acid rain.
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demrabble Donating Member (500 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-05-07 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
9. The US Imports
We're still guilty here.

The United State IMPORTS a lot of what China produces.

Those factories and power plants would not be belching SO2 and CO2 into the atmosphere if it were not for places like Walmart and Target that sell Chinese manufactured products.

And, of course, Walmart and Target would not sell those items if it were not for all the people who shop there.
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