The United States Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1970 because of polluted rivers, lakes, and dense, visible smog in many U.S. cities and industrial centers. I grew up in the Los Angeles basin in the 1950s – 60s and was a witness and victim of that air pollution.
A 2016 Report of the Trends in Global CO2 Emissions said, “top emitters China (1st place) and the United States (2nd place) set an example by effectively reducing their CO2 emissions over 2015 by 0.7% and 2.6%, respectively, compared to 2014 levels. … The largest decreases in coal consumption were seen in the United States and China.”
But all of the gains made by the United States since the 1970s are being reversed by #FakePresident Donald Trump and his extremist administration.
Yes, the United States is listed as the second largest producer of carbon dioxide emissions in the world, but if the U.S. had China’s population, the pollution generated would dwarf China. In 2015, China’s global share of emissions was 29 percent vs 14-percent in the United States, but if both countries had equal populations, the U.S. share would be almost twice China’s.
China’s first Clean Air Act was signed into law in 1987. In 2006, Greenpeace was consulted by China’s CCP on an early draft of a renewable energy law by China’s National People’s Congress. Now China is the world’s leader in the production of renewable energy. DW.com reports, “China is one of the driving forces behind the solar power boom. Last year, around 45 percent of the world’s new solar installations were built there. The United States, Japan and India were also top adopters of the technology, albeit significantly behind China.”
China’s one-party system has demonstrated the ability to get things done quickly and, yes, mistakes are made but so are course corrections. For instance, I witnessed China’s ability to get things done in Shanghai. At the time, we were staying in what was once the French concession. The stately mansions that once housed wealthy French families and their Chinese servants had been converted to communal multi-family homes still surrounded by high walls. When we went to sleep one night, the walls were there. In the morning, the walls were gone.
An army of workers arrived at night, took down the walls and trucked out the debris without making enough noise to wake people.
History already shows us that when China’s leaders set a goal to achieve something, they get it done even if it takes centuries.
Need proof? China is responsible for two of the largest engineering projects of all time: The Great Wall and the Grand Canal.
China Highlights reveals that “Over 2,000 years, many imperial dynasties and kingdoms built, rebuilt, and extended walls many times that subsequently eroded. The latest imperial construction was performed by the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), and the length was then over 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles). This is the wall often referred to when we talk about the Great Wall.”
Britannica.com says, “The Grand Canal was built to enable successive Chinese regimes to transport surplus grain from the agriculturally rich Yangtze (Chang) and Huai river valleys to feed the capital cities and large standing armies in northern China.”
Global Securtiy.org says, “The Grand Canal is composed of the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal, Sui-Tang Canal and Zhedong Canal, and is over two thousand years old. It starts in Beijing and passes through Tianjin and the provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Zhejiang, Henan, Anhui and Jiangsu. It is 21 times longer than the Panama Canal, and surpasses the Suze Canal by 10 times … the Grand Canal of China is the longest waterway in existence and one of the most ancient.”
When someone thinks China can’t replace coal with renewable green energy sources, remind them of The Great Wall and the Grand Canal. All China needs is time to get the work done. Want another example? About thirty years ago, China decided to seriously deal with poverty and led the world by reducing global poverty by 90-percent but only in China. The rest of the world was only responsible for 10-percent of that reduction.
Discover China’s First Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi, the man that unified China more than 2,000 years ago.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.
Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about new releases and get a free copy of my award-winning, historical fiction short story “A Night at the Well of Purity”.
Yes it will happen. its already underway. it just takes time, as you say. its just very difficult for the nation now, all the people living with such bad quality air, causing so much sickness. but it will change. eventually.
How long did it take China to build the Great Wall and the Grand Canal? No other country on the planet has ever built a project to equal those two.
Meanwhile, the United States, the alleged land of the free where that freedom allows you to freely hate, threaten, bully, cheat, poison, insult, and kill anyone that isn’t the same color as you or belongs to the same religion as you, has more people in prison than any country on Earth and is going backwards, thanks to Fake President Donald Trump, the Kremlin’s Agent Orange (and his Alt-Right Extremist billionaire supporters), getting rid of its laws to protect our air, our food, our water and our workers by waging war against minimum wages, labor unions, overtime pay, retirement funds, and the social safety net (Social Security, food stamps, Medicare, unemployment insurance). Get sick, if you aren’t wealthy, and we will make sure to bankrupt you (and your family) and then once we’ve taken everything you worked hard to have, we will let you die hungry, homeless, and in misery.
In the U.S. it’s all about profits and the wealth of the 1%, and the hell with the infrastructure, the bridges, the airports, the roads, the railroads, the ports, because it costs too much to keep them up and drains millions in taxes from the bank accounts of billionaires and corporate profits.
Do the Chinese really want this kind of freedom?