China’s Goals to clean Dirty Coal

November 6, 2013

America’s Congress passed its Clean Air Act in 1970 because of dense, visible smog in many U.S. cities and industrial centers.  The U.S. has emitted over 90 billion metric tons of carbon since 1800 from fossil-fuel consumption and cement production. U.S. fossil-fuel emissions have doubled since the 1950s but the U.S. share of global emissions has declined from 44% to 19% over the same interval because of higher growth rates in other countries. Source: cdiac.gov

China’s Clean Air Act was first introduced in 1987. For an example of China’s progress, in 2006, Greenpeace was consulted by the CCP on an early draft of a renewable energy law by China’s National People’s Congress. Today—seven years later—China is the world’s leader in the production of renewable energy—in 2011, China produced 797.4 billion annual kilowatt-hours from alternative sources of energy production [hydroelectricity, wind power, biomass and solar] compared to the United States in second place with 699.3 billion.

While China’s air pollution problems may sound extreme and incomparable to air quality here in the U.S., we should not forget that America actually did face a very similar environmental situation during its industrialization. Source: Think Progress.org

Bill Chameides writes in the Huffington Post about China’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses by 40 to 45 percent by 2020.  He goes into detail how the Chinese plan to accomplish this.

Since 70% of China’s electricity comes from thousands of coal burning power plants, Chameides expresses doubts that China will be able to meet these lofty goals.  However, I disagree.  When you discover the downside of China’s coal burning power plants, it is obvious there is no choice but to clean up.

China’s one-party system has demonstrated the ability to get things done quickly and mistakes are made but so are course corrections.  I witnessed China’s ability to get things done in Shanghai. We were staying in what was once the French concession. The stately mansions that had 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, the walls were there. In the morning, they 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.

Although I disagree with Chameides conclusion, his piece is worth reading. And we should not lose sight of the fact that China’s population represents 19% of the earth’s total compared to 4.5% for the U.S. In addition, China’s average per capita CO2 emissions in 2011 was 7.2 tonnes per capita (per person) compared to 17.2 tonnes in America—one of the largest in the world. Imagine how many tons of CO2 the US would pollute the environment with if it had China’s population. Source: PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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Wheezing for Profits

February 20, 2010

Thomas L. Friedman wrote in an OP-ED column for the New York Times, “China, of course, understands that (about Global warming), which is why it is investing heavily in clean-tech, efficiency and high-speed rail. It sees the future trends and is betting on them. Indeed, I suspect China is quietly laughing at us right now.”

It is obvious from Friedman’s OP-Ed piece that there is a benefit when Chinese engineers run the country instead of lawyers, accountants, corporate CEO’s with next quarter’s profits in mind, lobbyists, professional politicians and people like Rush Limbaugh, who confuses his ditto heads with bogus opinions.

If China’s engineers and scientists are laughing, it is because of the American fools that preach that carbon emissions are not the cause of global warming as if they are fighting a crusade against the infidel while ignoring all the other reasons why oil and coal are bad.

coal burning power plant - how would you like to breath this?

Let’s examine some other reasons why carbon emissions are not good and why humans should wean themselves from this dirty source of energy as quickly as possible.

1. Living near a freeway is not healthy
2. Carbon emissions and asthma
3. Dirty power from coal
4. Ocean acidification
5. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning