Wednesday, October 29, 2008

China Now America's Peer in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

This has come sooner than many expected a few years ago.

From The Irish Times:

CHINA HAS caught up with the US in greenhouse gas emissions and the level is not likely to fall anytime soon as the country continues to expand, particularly because its industry is so dependent on burning fossil fuels like coal.

Releasing a white paper on climate change, Chinese officials conceded that increased emissions of carbon dioxide had played havoc with the environment in China, but said economic growth on such a massive scale was necessary to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of poor people.

"Climate change has already brought real threats to China's ecological system and economic and social development," Xie Zhenhua, a deputy chief of the National Development and Reform Commission, said.

It is China's first official acknowledgement that it could already be the world's biggest greenhouse gas polluter, although environmentalists have said for a while now that China has surpassed the US in producing carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from burning fossil fuels. Two-thirds of China's energy needs are supplied by coal.

Read On
This news doesn't surprise me.

I'm consistently choking on breathing in Xi'an's noxious fumes smoggy air. Being in the heart of Shaanxi Province, I'm right on the edge of China's coal country and its desertification frontier. It's a wonderful conflation of environmental hazards we've got going on here!

Unfortunately, I'm afraid that this is just the tip of the iceburg when it comes to China's CO2 emissions over the coming years.

An iceburg analogy, aren't I clever?!

Disko Bay, Greenland

Himalayas, China

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