Copy Cat Chinese Middle Class

June 16, 2010

The Chinese are getting fat off McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut and having more heart attacks and diabetes just like Americans.

I believe in going green and weaning the world off oil and that has nothing to do with global warming.  It has to do with the pollutants that turned Los Angele’s air purple and caused asthma levels among kids to leap. If you want to find out how toxic carbon emissions are, park in a garage, close the door and sit there for twelve hours with the engine running. 

When I go to a movie theater, I walk and when I drive, I use a hybrid that averages about 40 mpg. I sneer at SUVs and there are many where we live—mostly driven by small, pot-bellied men and blonde-haired, white women wearing dark glasses.

I read in The Truth About Cars that SUV sales have climbed 90% in China, and the Wall Street Journal reports that China’s government has extended subsidies for trading-in old polluting vehicles for hybrids and all electrics to the end of the year.  If China is the totalitarian dictatorship critics in the West claim it to be, why can’t China rid itself of SUVs?

See China Going Green


Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning My Splendid Concubine and writes The Soulful Veteran and Crazy Normal.

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Bringing the Pollution Home

June 5, 2010

Business Insider reports that China may soon restrict exports for rare-earth minerals that are used in hybrid car batteries, computers, cell phones, flat screen monitors and high tech weapons that the US military depends on to fight wars around the globe.

It’s about time that the United States and other countries that uses these rare earth metals builds their own refining capability.  Until now, they have bought from China, the only supplier on the planet.  However, China has announced plans to curb pollution and greenhouse emissions dramatically. One strategy is to offer huge rebates to Chinese who buy plug-in hybrids or all electric vehicles meaning China will be using what they refine.

Recently, China also expressed concerns about some of the minerals crucial to green technologies since extracting and refining them pollutes and causes serious damage to China’s environment. That means the US and other countries will have to build refining capabilities to extract and refine rare-earth metals at home instead of in China’s back yard.

See Cornering the Plug-In Hybrid all Electric Car


Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning novels My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart. He also Blogs at The Soulful Veteran and Crazy Normal.

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Holding a Vital Key to Humanity’s Future

February 20, 2010

China controls the production to several vital, rare earth elements, and is the only country today that produces europium, dysprosium and terbium. Why are these rare elements important to humanity’s future?

Europium is a rare, critical chemical that makes the red color for television monitors and energy-efficient LED light bulbs, and lanthanum is a primary component of the nickel-metal hydride battery in Toyota’s popular hybrid car, Prius.

Toyota Prius

Deposits of these rare elements exist in other countries, but only China had the foresight, thanks to engineers, who are also among the rulers of China, that supported building the mining and refining industries capable of processing these materials. The leaders saw the future and acted.

If other countries like America do not support mining and refining these minerals soon, the supply may vanish since China is developing energy efficient industries and products that will stay in China.

One example is China’s wind production efforts to generate energy that could consume all the available neodymium production and leave nothing for the rest of the world’s booming wind industry.

Discover Greenpeace in China


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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China Going Green

February 8, 2010

The evidence shows that China is waking up sooner than Western countries did after their industrial revolutions. China now leads the world in hydroelectric power providing 20% of the country’s power. China has made it a priority to use hydroelectric power to reduce pollution in the future. Chine also plans to lead the world in solar cell and wind turbine production.

The Dabancheng Wind Farm – At 100 megawatts, China’s largest

China plans to relocate 15,000 citizens from an area poisoned by lead (due to manufacturing) that would cost the government 146 million dollars or one billion yuan.

In August 2009, two chemical factory officials were convicted of releasing carbolic acid into a river and they were sentenced to prison terms of 6 and 11 years. In the past, such acts usually resulted in little more than a fine. Recently, Chinese authorities made it clear that China is entering a new era in environmental enforcement.

In April 2009, China’s leaders announced a plan to turn the country into the leading producer of hybrid and all-electric cars in three years. In addition, subsidies of up to $8,800 are being offered to taxi fleets and local government agencies in 13 Chinese cities for each hybrid or all-electric vehicle purchased. The state electricity grid has been ordered to set up electric car charging stations in Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin.

One goal is to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent. Another is to close down polluting factories including the heaviest polluting coal power plants. The plan is to switch those plants from coal to natural gas something that is also being considered in the United States. China is also building nuclear power plants with plans for thirty in the next fifteen years.

Another goal is to increase the amount of land covered by forests from 28 percent to 30 percent over a five-year period. If you have traveled extensively in China recently, you may have witnessed this taking place. We have.

I am optimistic. Considering that the Chinese built the Great Wall and the Grand Canal more than two thousand years ago, I predict that the Chinese will do this too, but it will take time–maybe decades to reverse a trend started by the rest of the world hundreds of years before China became the world’s factory floor.

At the Copenhagen environmental conference, China sounded like the bad guy in the Western media—as usual. You may want to read this piece to find out more at

Also, consider that the call to have China policed by the world to make sure they cut back on carbon emissions as they said they would was a slap saying, “We don’t trust you?”  That’s a loss of face and embarrassing to the Chinese. If China made it public that they are going to cut back a certain amount of carbon emissions by a certain date and they do not, that will also be a loss of face. There’s a good chance that they will cut more than they pledged. Let’s wait and see.

Return to Where Did All That Pollution Come From


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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