16 April 2008

US is Not #1 (in CO2 Emissions)!

Monday, BBC News reported that China has become “the world’s biggest polluter” according to a study by the University of California. This is no real surprise. It was going to happen at some point. The research also “warns that unless China radically changes its energy policies, its increases in greenhouse gases will be several times larger than the cuts in emissions being made by rich nations under the Kyoto Protocol.” No surprise there. And to think that the US was, and is, criticized for not signing Kyoto, largely because the process did not include rapidly industrializing countries like China.

The crazy thing here – and there’s always at least a little bit of madness when it comes to “global warming” – is that the US might get tagged to help alleviate the pollution caused by rapid industrialization in China. “The Chinese - and the UN - insist that rich countries with high per capita levels of pollution must cut emissions first, and help poorer countries to invest in clean technology” (emphasis added). This is said due to the US having higher per capita pollution levels than China. But given populations, China would have to inject three times more pollutants into the environment to match US pollution levels. That won’t happen; I truly hope China never has three times the pollution levels of the US!

But it does make one wonder why an industrialized country, namely the US, would subsidize pollution reduction processes of another competing country, namely China, when the latter clearly has the money to accomplish pollution reduction itself. I suppose the “warm” answer is that because the US buys Chinese goods in such quantity, the US should also subsidize Chinese efforts against pollution. That answer presupposes two things: that dollars flowing east for trade are not, in effect, subsidies, and that the Chinese are interested in fighting pollution at all.

And lastly, from what I’ve read, the study only looks at carbon emissions. I’d be more interested to know about all types of pollution comparison between the US and China. It is telling that the demon of “global warming”, CO2, whose true effect is still unknown (excuse my blasphemy) is the focus of global studies and global news. Industrial waste in water supplies does not get a mention. I’ve heard anecdotal evidence of gross water pollution in industrializing countries, but I don’t have any hard facts. Perhaps that is where real news is at. But what do I know. I’m not a journalist.

1 comment:

JackN said...

Water pollution is old news..
Circa 1970's I believe..
The do-good\environmental wackos have cleaned up\protected all the water sources on the planet!!
They are on to their next windmill!!