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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:27 AM
Original message
China's growth unsustainable
A comment over at the Oil Drum said that China's new middle class are buying 800,000 new cars each month. /

BEIJING | If China's economy continues to expand rapidly and rely heavily on coal and other fossil fuels until the middle of the century, its power consumption would be unsustainable, according to a study by government think tanks released Wednesday.

The two-year study, supported by the U.S.-based Energy Foundation and the international environmental group WWF, also said if China's energy usage structure remains unchanged, its emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming would reach 17 billion tons a year by 2050. That would represent 60 percent of total global emissions and three times China's current production, it said.

"If the current mode of economic development drags on, the scale of China's fossil fuel consumption will be shocking," said the study, titled "China's Low Carbon Development Pathways by 2050."

The researchers said global warming will challenge China more than many other countries, with its developed east coast cities contending with rising sea levels, and already drought-prone agricultural areas suffering further water shortages.

While the study does not officially represent the government's views or policy, it is from a group of high-profile experts at government-backed institutes. It also follows comments by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, who has said the government will accelerate a shift away from fossil fuels that produce carbon dioxide, a leading greenhouse gas.

Global leaders hope to reach an agreement at a U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen in December on future cuts in emissions of carbon dioxide, but China has resisted making concrete commitments, saying rich countries have a heavy historical responsibility to cut emissions and that any deal should take into account countries' levels of development.

Using energy consumption growth trends from 2002 to 2008, the study said China's energy usage could exceed 100 billion tons of standard coal in 2050, more than the Earth's capacity to sustain and far more than the 16.1 billion tons of standard coal the entire planet consumed in 2008...

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Gman2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:31 AM
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1. Out of curiosity, how would WE handle others telling us to slow down?
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tama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. In my experience
generally not very well. :)
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Ask Jimmy Carter.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. heh. +1
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Massacure Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
5. Carbon emission allowances should be set based on population.
Allowances should be based on population and not on 1990 levels.

Allowances will never be allocated that way though. It would (1) mean that industrialized countries would have to control emissions much more tightly and (2) would force industrialized countries to transfer wealth to third world countries when they buy unused allowances. Of course, industrialized countries are wealthy because they exploit the resources of the third world and they wield great power because of their wealth. Hence, such a proposal wouldn't be well received.
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excess_3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. that'll only work for an amusement park economy, like Europe
countries with manufacturing, and international responsibilities,
like the US, will not agree.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. What manufacturing?
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 08:57 PM by NNadir
Manufacturing profits, a la Bernie who Madoff?

The United States is the world's largest debtor nation, making it the poorest nation in the world.

It has used up many of its basic resources and now must import intellect from vast natural deposits overseas, including Chinese resources.

The real complaint against China is that Chinese seem to feel they should be able to live like Americans, although it's something of an international mystery why Americans should get away with living as they do given their vast natural deposits of laziness, deliberate ignorance and arrogance.

In 25 years the US is going to be an effete has been power, sort of like Britain was in the early 1960s and 1970's, at least until North Sea deposits of dangerous oil and dangerous natural gas were discovered, allowing Britain to get rich from dumping crap in the atmosphere.

Britain's in deep shit, by the way, since the gas and oil is running out and all that wind farm talk is doing exactly what wind farm talk does in all the countries practicing it: Next to nothing.

It's a shame really. British engineers in the early 1950's built the world's first scale commercial nuclear reactor it operated for 50 years.

Devaluing science has costs, and in this country, the United States, everybody wants an MBA and nobody wants Ph.D. is science - or if one cannot manage a formal education - even a shred of knowledge for its own sake. It's why we make so little now and why we are a nation running a Ponzi scheme based on paper shuffling.
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excess_3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. 'something of an international mystery' .... comment
the US is the customer of last resort.
even the Chinese are reluctant to buy Chinese stuff.

If the international community did not supply credit
to the US, by buying US federal debt...

a lot of the, what I call,
'touch labor type economies',
such as China,
would lose their only customer
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