Saturday, November 8, 2008

Unsustainable Lifestyles

Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, got chippy at a climate change conference yesterday.

From Reuters:

BEIJING, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said rich nations must abandon their "unsustainable lifestyle" to fight climate change and expand help to poor nations bearing the brunt of worsening droughts and rising sea levels.

Wen told the opening of a conference on Friday the financial crisis was no reason for rich nations to delay fighting global warming.

"As the global financial crisis spreads and worsens, and the world economy slows down apparently, the international community must not waver in its determination to tackle climate change," Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.

The two-day meeting is to push China's call for rich nations to fund a huge infusion of greenhouse gas-cutting technology for developing countries. But foreign officials at the meeting raised doubts about Beijing's proposal, which could stoke contention over who pays and how much.

China is widely believed to be the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from industry, power plants and vehicles lifting global temperatures. But Wen threw the onus back on rich nations, with their much higher emissions per person and long history of polluting the air.

"Developed countries shoulder the duty and responsibility to tackle climate change and should alter their unsustainable lifestyle," he told the meeting.

Read On
I can see where Wen is coming on this. Seeing Chinese people live on much less than people back in America do (and still be happy) is enlightening. The "lords of more" that control Western society are forever taking their toll on our fragile planet.

The citizens of Wen's own country could listen to his advice too though. His comments don't only apply to Western countries. China's rich strive to live like Americans. Judging by the amount of foreign cars and new condos and houses I see every day around town, it looks like scores of Chinese people are in fact reaching their dreams.

Reading this article reminds me a lot of this article about how venture capitalism is making serious investments into "green" energy production.

I'm not sure how green technologies are going to be developed - whether through private or government investment - but the sooner they can be implemented the better as far as I'm concerned.

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