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China top CO2 emitter - 14 years early
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, April 16, 2008

And my bet is they really don't care.
China has already surpassed the United States as the world's largest carbon polluter, the authors of a California study said Tuesday.

"Our best forecast has China's CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions correctly surpassing the United States in 2006 rather than 2020 as previously anticipated," said the study by researchers at the University of California.
In the meantime, our politicians, to include the present administration and all 3 of the presidential candidates are set to cave in to the "do something now" crowd and it won't make a bit of difference.
The spike in air pollution by China has largely cancelled out efforts by other countries' attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol, the authors said.
But when we're staring at our ruined economy, we'll feel much better about ourselves, won't we?
 
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But when we’re staring at our ruined economy, we’ll feel much better about ourselves, won’t we?
No, we’ll see a gaping need for more government programs.
 
Written By: Ryan
URL: http://
Actually, China is starting to get concerned because, well, their land, water and air is becoming poisonious. They have not only approved Kyoto, but talked about negotiating their own limits (but only if the US signs on too, which has been a stumbling block). The fact of the matter is that the Chinese don’t want their country to be polluted beyond all recognition. They’re moving towards green technology and starting to take pollution seriously.

To be sure, China has 1.2 billion people and we have only 300 million, so in per capita terms we’re still producing far more CO2 than they are. But the Chinese are learning that it’s irrational to pursue economic growth at all costs — quality of life and quality of the environment has value too. Hopefully, the bureaucrats there will continue to move towards more sustainable development.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Um, yes, in per capita terms we’re producing more CO2. But we’re producing more of the world’s GDP per capita as well, meaning we’re more efficient with our use of processes that emit CO2.

Oddly enough, we’re not signed on to the Kyoto treaty but our CO2 emissions fell in 2006. Kyoto signatories in Europe saw their CO2 levels rise. Oops.

A ruined economy is exactly what a lot of green types want. Then, everybody will have the same as everybody else (nothing).
 
Written By: A fine scotch
URL: http://
Geeze, do you invent this stuff or what? Your wishful thinking world in which we’re the only @ssholes?
They’re moving towards green technology and starting to take pollution seriously.
China, within the last month, came out and said the CO2 problem was a WESTERN INDUSTRIALIZED problem, because we’ve had longer to contribute to it.
That means they aren’t going to do a damn thing to slow down their growth in that department.
I’m not even TRYING to keep track of what goes on in China, but just from reading the news casually every day I know, within the last year they’ve had to stop people from taking water from rivers on at least 2 occasions because of the upstream dumping of heavy metals and various health damaging chemicals. There was an article recently about one of their ’green’ plants driving the various effluents from their processes out the gates of the plant to be dumped in various locations in the country side in what hardly constitutes a safe manner.
They lose coal miners at a dime a dozen on a monthly basis.

And these are just some the things we hear about.

But you go along with your great, smart, rising China theme.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
There will always be a natural demand for more environmental progress as countries get richer. When you are dirt poor, that electroplating plant provides needed jobs. When you’re richer, you’d like a clean river for your boating pleasure, so no thanks on the electroplating. However, the countervailing action is that your boat, car, jetski also pollutes.

China as it gets richer of course is thinking more abouts its environment. But its still an enviromental hell, as any country with industrial parks that cover huge swathes of its territory would be. I doubt anyone who has never visited the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong can quite grasp the scope of industry there. The corresponding pollution is horrendous.

Sure, some cities there are now so rich they try to avoid having new factories move in, but those cities are clogged with cars. The high population density doesn’t help either. I always think its weird that America "pollutes" so much, when if you were to visit either country you would guess that China pollutes far, far more than the USA.

 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
I’m not even TRYING to keep track of what goes on in China,
In another thread you accuse me of appealing to unknown authority in stating my view on what many if not most state department folk think about the Iraq war. Yet you, despite that statement above, say:

China, within the last month, came out and said the CO2 problem was a WESTERN INDUSTRIALIZED problem, because we’ve had longer to contribute to it.
That means they aren’t going to do a damn thing to slow down their growth in that department.
There is no way you can know if they aren’t taking the pollution problem seriously. Yet you are not only quoting it as fact (based on what was just a press statement about the CO2 problem), but accusing ME of inventing stuff.

This article: As China Rises, Pollution Soars gives a good balanced account. It shows how the Chinese know pollution is a huge problem, but they also have trouble figuring out how to address it and taking the steps necessary. Remember, I wrote "China is starting to get concerned," which you seem to think means "China is making major efforts." They are starting to take pollution seriously. I think that article suggests as much. If they end up being able to do much about it, well, for the sake of the Chinese and the planet, let’s hope so!

A Fine Scotch: The point developed countries make is that they want to have the GDP levels we have, but it would take the same kind of per capita CO2 production to get there. Thus, holding them down to current per capita CO2 levels would be, in essence, to say that we want to reserve high GDP for ourselves, and limit them to a much lower level. The idea of Kyoto was to show that we could limit our growth in CO2, and then use the technology we developed to do so to help them achieve sustainable development. One problem with Kyoto is that the way they’ve interpreted it, Europe benefits from the decline in Eastern Europe of CO2 emissions after the fall of communism (Russia benefits even more). That seems to me a flaw in the treaty.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Scott, I posted this for you in another section, but it is just as pertinent here -

And here’s another little something for the Erb-meister...
When Global Warmingest-in-Chief Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize last year, the media’s prideful gushing was so obvious it was almost sick-making.

Now, six months later, a fellow Nobel Peace Prize recipient is part of a group asking the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change "admit that there is no observational evidence in measured data going back 22,000 years or even millions of years that CO2 levels (whether from man or nature) have driven or are driving world temperatures."
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Actually, China is starting to get concerned because, well, their land, water and air is becoming poisonious. They have not only approved Kyoto, but talked about negotiating their own limits (but only if the US signs on too, which has been a stumbling block). The fact of the matter is that the Chinese don’t want their country to be polluted beyond all recognition. They’re moving towards green technology and starting to take pollution seriously
.

Serious dissconnect there, Erb. It’s one thing to want to clean up your backyard, another to worry about a shared problem like GW—tragedy of the commons, and all that.

Further, just ’cause they signed Kyoto doesn’t mean they take it seriously as anything but propaganda.
But the Chinese are learning that it’s irrational to pursue economic growth at all costs — quality of life and quality of the environment has value too.
Yeah. First thing I think about when someone says "Chinese communists" is "quality of life".

The fact is, they will persue economic growth at full speed in order to gain on the US. Concern for something like GW won’t stop them, in fact it would be irrational for them to let that throttle back their growth.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Actually, China is starting to get concerned because, well, their land, water and air is becoming poisonious. They have not only approved Kyoto, but talked about negotiating their own limits (but only if the US signs on too, which has been a stumbling block). The fact of the matter is that the Chinese don’t want their country to be polluted beyond all recognition. They’re moving towards green technology and starting to take pollution seriously
.

Serious dissconnect there, Erb. It’s one thing to want to clean up your backyard, another to worry about a shared problem like GW—tragedy of the commons, and all that.

Further, just ’cause they signed Kyoto doesn’t mean they take it seriously as anything but propaganda.
But the Chinese are learning that it’s irrational to pursue economic growth at all costs — quality of life and quality of the environment has value too.
Yeah. First thing I think about when someone says "Chinese communists" is "quality of life".

The fact is, they will persue economic growth at full speed in order to gain on the US. Concern for something like GW won’t stop them, in fact it would be irrational for them to let that throttle back their growth.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Well, the Chinese are authoritarians, but they aren’t communists anymore.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Hey Scott - the link I gave - did you read it? Since you wouldn’t watch the ’video’s’ last week because they are ’propaganda’, how about reading what a Nobel prize winner has to say about CO2 and temps...

Or are you going to revert to form here and disappear from this thread?
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Scott: Of course China "approved" Kyoto.

It doesn’t constrain them, and does constrain geopolitical opponents.

(Nor is "carbon pollution" the same as "making their land, air, and water poison". CO2 isn’t a poison (in practical terms) and it makes plants grow.

Even if one is an anthropologic global warmenist, the idea that CO2 is "poison" (again, in terms of the concentrations dealt with here) is utterly unsupportable.

Your exhalations have a two orders of magnitude higher CO2 concentration than the atmosphere does. The Kyoto Idiocy would act to reduce CO2 levels by ... a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent. Signing Kyoto has nothing at all to do with protecting China from "poison" and everything to do with economic and geopolitical positioning.)
 
Written By: Sigivald
URL: http://
Meagain, your quote discredited your link with its first three words. I’ve read most stuff on global warming on different sides of the issue to prepare for classes on it. You’re not giving me anything new. I could probably make a stronger argument against global warming than I’ve seen here if I wanted to, focusing on the skeptical arguments and ignoring the other side. Because I balance what I read and consider, I end up finding the skeptical arguments unconvincing, I think most people who don’t go into this biased end up about where I am. Most people here are biased to disbelieve global warming because of their dislike of regulation. It’s so obvious as to be almost funny.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
You’re not giving me anything new.
My bad Scott - giving you a link to an article posted on April 14th... what was I thinking. Expecting you to read what a Nobel Peace prize winner has to say and give us some thoughts... yeah, my bad.

I can see you’ve got it covered. This debate is over.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
I could probably make a stronger argument against global warming than I’ve seen here if I wanted to,
You really haven’t presented any strong argument on GW. And your argument with respect to the PRC is nonsense. Sigivald and I both demonstrated that.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
How about this quote from the letter Scott...
We are writing to you and others associated with the IPCC position – that man’s CO2 is a driver of global warming and climate change – to ask that you now in view of the evidence retract support from the current IPCC position [as in footnote 1] and admit that there is no observational evidence in measured data going back 22,000 years or even millions of years that CO2 levels (whether from man or nature) have driven or are driving world temperatures or climate change.

If you believe there is evidence of the CO2 driver theory in the available data please present a graph of it.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
You really haven’t presented any strong argument on GW
Why should I? You guys have your minds made up completely, all I’d be doing is spending a lot of time going through articles and websites and explaining why I believe the evidence on rising C02 in recent years has likely played a role in creating global warming. I could post numerous quotes from scientists, graphs, and the like. But it would be a lot of work for nothing, you guys wouldn’t take it seriously. So why bother? It doesn’t matter to me if you hold the position you hold; but don’t expect me to think I have to persuade or explain to you how I reached my position. You guys just cherry pick a letter or a scientist and expect that to be enough, and it just doesn’t work that way (that sentence directed especially to meagain). So believe what you want, and accept that I’m going to have my perspective based on my interpretation of the evidence, and that’s OK. Reasonable people can have different views on this.

My point in responding was to make a political point. With Bush, McCain, Obama, Clinton, and really almost all the developed world against you on this, you’ve lost the political debate about what the science suggests. The skeptics are there, but they aren’t the majority by any means. You need to switch to talking about policies — why even if one believes global warming real and caused by humans, large amounts of regulations aren’t necessarily the best choice. The way the debate is framed now is: If you believe this is a problem, then the solution is big government; the only argument against government regulations as the solution is if you don’t believe it’s a problem. Don’t you see how strategically misguided relying on such a dichotomy is?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
why even if one believes global warming real and caused by humans, large amounts of regulations aren’t necessarily the best choice. The way the debate is framed now is: If you believe this is a problem, then the solution is big government; the only argument against government regulations as the solution is if you don’t believe it’s a problem. Don’t you see how strategically misguided relying on such a dichotomy is?
I call BS on you Scott. You want the regulation. If you really believed it wasn’t required, as someone pointed out to you yesterday, you’d come down on the side of the skeptics just to forestall the legislation that you claim you don’t believe is necessary.

As a practical matter the proposal to spend lots of money to do things you don’t believe are necessary, just because you believe that Global Warming does exist is a poorly thought out position. You may address your logic for that position, or perhaps it will be easier to label me a denier and observe that I’m being emotional.

If you took time to read what many of us have posted, you’d see, we agree, it possibly IS getting warming. We attribute this to the sun, however. And it is our contention that you can’t address that issue via legislation. That is sufficient rational on our part to decry attempts to enforce policies that will adversely affect our economy while doing absolutely nothing to address the problem. You are the one creating the dichotomy. You take the position of the ’do something!’ crowd, even if there is nothing to be done. And your argument is to legislate on the side of caution, because given your view, legislation is the only viable answer. In your view people will not ’do something’ unless they are forced into it by government coercion.

You could believe, as some of us do, it is getting warmer without presuming that ’government can solve the problem’. You do not. So, at least have the intellectual honesty to concede you are in fact, in favor of legislation to ’stop global warming’.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Why should I? You guys have your minds made up completely . .
No, and thats the problem. Unlike you, our minds have not been made up for us. We still have questions and the answers have not been provided. That is called debate. But for you the debate is over - it’s the Consensus, don’t you know?
If you believe this is a problem, then the solution is big government; the only argument against government regulations as the solution is if you don’t believe it’s a problem.
No, that’s not it at all. The problem is not whether it is warming out there but what is really causing it and what, if anything, can be done to mitigate it. Even the very sites you rely on for your backing show little or no impact upon the continued warming trend if the world were to employ all of the possible applications being discussed. So, without answering questions regarding causation, the other question remains - what, if anything, can be done about it? And until that is resolved we are in the process of regulating what? Our conscious? Because none of the regulatory answers you are so willing to indulge will affect the final outcome.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Unlike you, our minds have not been made up for us.
I think you’re fooling yourself. I think you’re part of a subculture that simply is looking for reasons not to accept the idea of human caused global warming, and thus cherry pick those studies that are skeptical, and deride, ridicule and don’t take seriously those who don’t. I do not see any evidence of critical thought, there is just a quick dismissal and ridicule of any position that argues global warming is real.

I have a professional responsibility in teaching international relations and the issue of environmental law and policy to read all sides. Accordingly, my view is very contingent on new evidence. In weighing all I’ve read on both sides, it seems to me that there is a strong argument that global warming is real, and at least part of it is caused by humans. I am not sure how much. I agree we need to keep an open mind and consider new evidence, but I assure you I did not reach this position lightly. I was skeptical of global warming theories in the past, the science has been convincing to me.

Now, while looker may want to assign positions to me contrary to those I’ve taken (I guess it’s easier that way), my own view is that most regulations will not solve this. First, Kyoto and other proposed regulations simply can’t do what the science says needs to be done, so they are likely to be ineffective. Second, regulations have unintended consequences that could cause more harm than good. Third, what really needs to happen if there is to be a change is for people to think differently about these issues, not to overly regulate. Almost everyone is for some regulation — Democrats and Republicans support some clean air standards and the like — but massive efforts to use government policy to solve this problem are likely to do more harm than good.

Your approach — to simply choose to believe nothing’s wrong, and ignore evidence to the contrary — makes the kind of cultural change needed less likely. You won’t worry about driving SUVs or supporting companies who don’t try to improve things. That means many people who are concerned will see no alternative but to force you, and because you don’t want a problem to be there, you’ll act as if there is no way it can be there.

So we’ll probably end up waiting for things to become a crisis, and then having to deal with that. I suspect you’ll just blame the sun or do anything to avoid admitting that just maybe all those scientists who argued this was a problem might be right. I seem to be the one of the few who respects the research on both sides and takes all of it seriously.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I think you’re fooling yourself.
Who’s fooling who? I really could care less what you teach - I am an environmental professional and have been for almost 20 years (my title was Environmental Protection Specialist for the last 7 years of my military career, and have actively worked as an Environmental Program Manager for more than 12 years since I retired.) I know hundreds of like professionals and I can tell you there is no such concensus.

I have never said there isn’t a problem. There has been warming. I have never disputed that nor have any of my professional peers. I have questioned the simplistic answer for the cause and have questioned the draconian methods proposed to fix the problem. I do not know there is a fix. It is like asking "How do you propose to fix the Andreas Fault?" Yes, there is a fault line there. But - can you fix it? If you can’t fix it, what is the real risk associated with it? If there is a risk associated with it, how do you minimize that risk?

With the global warming issue, I do not believe the simplistic approach of quelling CO2 emmissions will be effective. And as I said before, every Pro-AGW site out there shows very little effect on the future temperature curve if you apply all of the draconian measures being proposed. That tells me they haven’t found the fix - but are willing to destroy the economy of the west to prove that fact. I am all for measures that will clean the air and waters but not to destroy the economy in order to accomplish that - so I ask again - Who’s fooling who?
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
That means many people who are concerned will see no alternative but to force you, and because you don’t want a problem to be there, you’ll act as if there is no way it can be there.
who’s ascribing positions to who?
How many times do we need to repeat that we agree it may be getting warmer only to have you claim we’re denying it so you can go on with your justifications for legislation, cloaked in your denial for wanting them?

In weighing all I’ve read on both sides, it seems to me that there is a strong argument that global warming is real, and at least part of it is caused by humans. I am not sure how much.
"I am not sure how much" - you can’t even quantify it. If you can’t quantify it, you can’t be sure anything you do will affect it, and yet....
Your approach — to simply choose to believe nothing’s wrong, and ignore evidence to the contrary — makes the kind of cultural change needed less likely. You won’t worry about driving SUVs or supporting companies who don’t try to improve things. That means many people who are concerned will see no alternative but to force you, and because you don’t want a problem to be there, you’ll act as if there is no way it can be there.

So we’ll probably end up waiting for things to become a crisis, and then having to deal with that. I suspect you’ll just blame the sun or do anything to avoid admitting that just maybe all those scientists who argued this was a problem might be right. I seem to be the one of the few who respects the research on both sides and takes all of it seriously.
translates to - we don’t REALLY know what’s causing this, but we’re going to ’do something’ and any of you who don’t agree to help us ’do something’ will be forced, for your own good, to acknowledge that what WE’RE doing will actually have some effect on the problem. We acknowledge that it won’t really have much effect on the overall amount of CO2 being generated, but
if you stop us from ’doing something’, and bad things happen, we’ll be able to say "I told you so" and you’d better not complain when we do.

Thank God we’re out of the witch burning age, women in your community would otherwise have reason to live in fear.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://

With the global warming issue, I do not believe the simplistic approach of quelling CO2 emmissions will be effective.
Nor do I.
"I am not sure how much" - you can’t even quantify it.
That’s the problem of trying to deal with the real world, not everything comes with a simple answer. But that doesn’t mean you ignore the data you have.

I don’t know what the point of your post is looker, but it doesn’t really pertain to anything I wrote.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I don’t know what the point of your post is looker, but it doesn’t really pertain to anything I wrote.
Is that why why you wrote this first...???
"I am not sure how much" - you can’t even quantify it"

That’s the problem of trying to deal with the real world, not everything comes with a simple answer. But that doesn’t mean you ignore the data you have.
Because you were replying to things that didn’t pertain to what you wrote.....????

As you like to say, you didn’t deny my statement -
If you can’t quantify it, you can’t be sure anything you do will affect it...
Hence I have to conclude in life you approve of doing essentially random things hoping they will have a positive outcome on something that you’re trying to change.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Hence I have to conclude in life you approve of doing essentially random things hoping they will have a positive outcome on something that you’re trying to change.
Most choices we have to make deal with things that can’t be exactly quantified. If you consider all those choices to be random, well, you’re on very shaky ground indeed!
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"I have a professional responsibility in teaching international relations and the issue of environmental law and policy to read all sides. Accordingly, my view is very contingent on new evidence"

That may be the theory. The reality, as we all know, is quite different.

There are 7 ’I’s in that paragraph, by the way. Also a few ’me’s and ’my’s.



 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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