dirty, dirty china

19 Jun

Reports that China has overtaken the US as the world’s biggest CO2 polluter should give us pause for thought.

China has become the largest manufacturer in the world, but they don’t produce primarily for their home market, they sell their wares globally. So when you buy cheap products from your local supermarket (i.e. that £25 DVD player for the kid’s bedroom), you take ownership of the Chinese pollution. In fact. In reality. We are all responsible for China’s rapid increase in emissions.

Westerners, enjoying slowing emissions as their economies become service and knowledge driven, are no stranger to hypocrisy. They’ll tut as they watch their cheap Chinese made flat-screen TVs, utterly unaware of their own symbiotic relationship with China’s environmental crimes.

This is a globalised world. No one will profit from cuts in emissions unless we re-gear our energy infrastructure as one. A move away from a carbon dependent global economy is vital, regardless of planetary warming. Oil and gas are running out. Unless we embrace new technologies we face a severe global recession as energy costs spiral. The arguments for action now, transcend scientific warnings and come down to cold hard economics.

Politicians can make no more cheap political capital from environmental posturing. We need cooperation, mutual support, and an end to the politics of national interest. We all have an interest in supporting the new industrial giants as they nourish their rampant appetite for energy.

A new generation of world leaders are entering the international stage. Germany, France, Japan have new leaders, and soon Britain, the US, and Russia will likewise welcome new political elites. Now is the time for action.

Maybe Al Gore isn’t such a bad choice for the Democrat nomination. If one country has the drive, innovation, and talent to lead, it is America.

I wrote this for the teahouse

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8 Responses to “dirty, dirty china”

  1. anticant@hotmail.co.uk June 20, 2007 at 10:07 am #

    That depends upon enough Americans realising that they need to be ‘leading’ in a very different direction to that of the past seven years’ nightmare.

  2. anticant@hotmail.co.uk June 20, 2007 at 10:07 am #

    That depends upon enough Americans realising that they need to be ‘leading’ in a very different direction to that of the past seven years’ nightmare.

  3. rwsymonds@hotmail.co.uk June 20, 2007 at 1:46 pm #

    Tyger says : “We need co-operation, mutual support, and an end to the politics of national interest”.I don’t think humanity is up to it, Tyger.We are now too greedy, too comfortable, too selfish – and simply don’t care enough for each other in this ‘global village’.As I see it, there are three options ahead :1. All countries to fully commit themselves to the United Nations Charter to form a World Government – especially the US, China & Russia – but there is as much chance of that happening at the moment, as me winning the 100 metres final in the 2012 Olympics.2. A tyrannical Alliance (or War) between 3 Superpowers (AngloAmerican-Russia-China) – something akin to Orwell’s 1984 (Oceania-Eurasia-Eastasia).3. We simply destroy ourselves on this planet by a nuclear holocaust.I pray for the first option.

  4. rwsymonds@hotmail.co.uk June 20, 2007 at 1:46 pm #

    Tyger says : “We need co-operation, mutual support, and an end to the politics of national interest”.I don’t think humanity is up to it, Tyger.We are now too greedy, too comfortable, too selfish – and simply don’t care enough for each other in this ‘global village’.As I see it, there are three options ahead :1. All countries to fully commit themselves to the United Nations Charter to form a World Government – especially the US, China & Russia – but there is as much chance of that happening at the moment, as me winning the 100 metres final in the 2012 Olympics.2. A tyrannical Alliance (or War) between 3 Superpowers (AngloAmerican-Russia-China) – something akin to Orwell’s 1984 (Oceania-Eurasia-Eastasia).3. We simply destroy ourselves on this planet by a nuclear holocaust.I pray for the first option.

  5. aaronsheath@gmail.com June 20, 2007 at 6:51 pm #

    Aye.Although I think criticisms of America, when many American states are reducing their emissions ahead of many Euro states, are not entirely fair. Although the US Presidency and the oil-beholden senate are not in step with the more reformist and progressive state legislature, this is a problem that will have to be addressed by the American people.I genuinely believe any solution must involve, nay be led by, America. Orwell was wise. But hopefully he’s wasn’t prescient too.

  6. aaronsheath@gmail.com June 20, 2007 at 6:51 pm #

    Aye.Although I think criticisms of America, when many American states are reducing their emissions ahead of many Euro states, are not entirely fair. Although the US Presidency and the oil-beholden senate are not in step with the more reformist and progressive state legislature, this is a problem that will have to be addressed by the American people.I genuinely believe any solution must involve, nay be led by, America. Orwell was wise. But hopefully he’s wasn’t prescient too.

  7. anticant@hotmail.co.uk June 21, 2007 at 2:41 am #

    It’s been suggested elsewhere that as the United Nstions has become the playground of tyrannous and corrupt governments, those countries who are still democratic should withdraw and set up their own Union of Democratic Nations. Trouble is, who would decide which was which? Would the USA, under the present administration, qualify? Or, for that matter, UK after the Blairian rape of our traditional civil liberties?

  8. anticant@hotmail.co.uk June 21, 2007 at 2:41 am #

    It’s been suggested elsewhere that as the United Nstions has become the playground of tyrannous and corrupt governments, those countries who are still democratic should withdraw and set up their own Union of Democratic Nations. Trouble is, who would decide which was which? Would the USA, under the present administration, qualify? Or, for that matter, UK after the Blairian rape of our traditional civil liberties?

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