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View Diary: Climate War: the United States and China - DK GreenRoots (108 comments)

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  •  A Chinese Response (3+ / 0-)

    I'd like to comment on several issues here to offer a counter-point from the prespective of a Chinese environmentalist, or if you like, simply an environmentalist.

    First, the most essential thing required to reverse global warming is greater international cooperation since the failure many nations to do so has only delayed our response to the problems accelerating the rate of global warming and making the situation that much more urgent. Anyone familiar with the complexity of issues can only come to that conclusion.

    The general thesis of this diary strikes me as a bit strange; one one hand, we have the entirely reasonable suggestions that nations elevate the importance of and take a strategic approach to combating the problem with full view to the consequences if we fail to do so; on the other hand, we have what I percieve to be an adversarial and slightly paranoid viewpoint that developing Green Technology and solving the problem be approached as a nationalistic competition pitting "Superpowers" against each other (at least that is my reading, but comments seem support that).

    Some observations:

    :: No nation has a monopoly on good ideas and will dominate Green Technology; indeed, the status quo is that existing technology has come from numerous nations big and small, and as the process accelerates, we have more participants not fewer and that is good.

    :: Certianly national policy can have a critial effect on the development and deployment of Green technology and the more strategic it is the better since it's not merely about supporting R+D but economic, industrial, energy and transportsation policy. In this respect, the US is following not leading and the ROW looks forward to the US stepping up to the plate since the US (with China) is the largest CO2 emittor and whatever it takes to change that is what we need, the sooner the better.

    :: The suggestion that China will be some sort of Green "Superpower" suggests a misunderstanding of China's situation and what we are doing about it. China is the world's most populus country. While our per capita CO2 emissions are still below the world mean and far below the OCED per capita mean, economic develoment increases energy demand so unless China makes significant improvements in energy efficiency and Green generation, there is no chance for us to meet CO2 emissions targets so we have accelerated deployments and Green devloment is already a pillar of national policy (as it should be in the USA).

    :: Green technology development and deployment is particularly urgent for China since we are dependant on coal for a majority of baseload generation and to reduce/eliminate coal generation will require very agressive investment in Green generation. Given our energy use profile which includes a relatively high fraction of industrial consumption, reforming the industrial base to reduce the fraction of high CO2 emitting industries is imperative and a strategic goal already acted upon.

    :: Likewise, given the size and population of China mass transpotation is critical and another area of current investment in infrastructure.

    :: If the result of this makes China more economically efficient (we hope so) is it a problem? Certianly the goal is a sustainable economy for what will be a population of 1.3-1.5 billion people over the next centry. Do do otherwise would be a disaster for the world; what we ought to worry about is that goal will not be achieved.

    :: The issue of tarrifs and carbon taxes is presently framed by the interests of developed countries that have alread benifited from the economic activity that created the problem; that frame needs to be adjusted to system equitable for developed and developing nations and underlines the need for greater economic cooperation. As presently framed, such taxes are regresive in the sense that they would economically benifit consumming nations (who's governments will collect revenue) at the expense of producing nations (who will, in effect, subsidize consumption). As the saying goes, can someone explain to me how this will work to reduce CO2 emissions in producing nations like I'm a six year old?  I will consider writing a diry on the subject, it is a very importiant topic.

    :: Who is playing "chicken"? Would that be one party, two or more?  The frame suggests one party has a correct position and others do not. I will merely suggest the actions, policies and posture of the US up to this point have been anything but cooperative in the relm of international cooperation and moving forward will take a more open mind and approach or ultimately the US will isolate itself and lose because the rest of the world is moving forward and will not stop. You can chose to play the game or stand on the sidlines but the rules are work in progress and negotiation/Cooperation is the key for everyone involved, no exceptions.

    Debate!  Tipped + Rec'd, all Green diaries are good.

    Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

    by koNko on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 04:44:13 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Addenda - Link (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      beijingbetty

      If anyone is interested in China related environmental issues, I'd like to recommend the site Chinadialogue which is published bilingual Chinese/English, making the content accessable. This can provide you more up to date information and also a window on environmental/energy R+D and issues in China.

      Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

      by koNko on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 06:24:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry, Forgotten Link (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      beijingbetty

      I'd forgotten WWF china laso publishes in English, there is a direct link to WWF China EN.

      I hope these links are of interest.

      Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

      by koNko on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 06:30:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  War on Global Warming (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, beijingbetty

      The general thesis of this diary strikes me as a bit strange; one one hand, we have the entirely reasonable suggestions that nations elevate the importance of and take a strategic approach to combating the problem with full view to the consequences if we fail to do so; on the other hand, we have what I percieve to be an adversarial and slightly paranoid viewpoint that developing Green Technology and solving the problem be approached as a nationalistic competition pitting "Superpowers" against each other (at least that is my reading, but comments seem support that).

      The concept of a 'superpower' is more of a rhetorical device rather than paranoia. The U.S., at least from a defense budget standpoint, is still in a Cold War spending model. The military minds in the CNA study draw the parallels and I thought it was useful to extend them.

      Most of the U.S. federal discretionary budget is spent on 'defense', if Americans reframe what defense is, say fighting global warming, then we can spend that money wisely.

      Personally, I think Americans understand competition and the competing superpowers metaphor may be what is needed to move the defense community into seeing climate change as a threat to national security.

      And yes, I believe rktect's comment was snark using this framing.

      60 votes means no more excuses.

      by Magnifico on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 10:14:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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