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China, The New France?

January 28th, 2008

By Barbara Kessler

Here’s some environmental spin on that viewpoint that fingers China (along with India and other fast-developing industrial edefense-banner.gifnations) as “the problem” when it comes to global warming. You’ve heard the Bush Administration complain that China and India must improve their pollution records and sign up to reduce global warming before the United States can really get on board (treaty-wise).

Bush’s contention: Until China cleans up its burgeoning coal plants (which would be a good idea) and gets a grip on its rising greenhouse gas emissions (another good idea), we’ll just sit tight over here in the United States. Huh? We’ve never really followed that logic. The U.S. is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases on the planet…. So we should wait on someone else before promising to clean up? Like kids debating who has to take a bath: “I will, but only if he’ll go first!”

The Environmental Defense Action Fund’s recent list – “Global Warming By the Numbers”, challenges this scapegoating of China. The list points out that China ranks second in the world as a global producer of solar cells, behind Japan. The U.S. ranks 4th.

It also notes that while the U.S. spends $1.5 billion on renewable energy research in a year, China has committed to spending $200 billion over the next 15 years – or more than $13 billion a year. For more fun facts, like what ExxonMobil earns in one day, read the list.


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