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Ear to the Ground

China Gets the (Sooty) Gold in Power Emissions

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Posted on Aug 27, 2008
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China’s coal-based power sector is estimated to surpass the United States’ astronomical emissions levels this year, a development that casts doubt on the environmental sustainability of China’s growth.

China’s unceasing economic growth has always worried environmentalists, and a new report by the Center for Global Development may put those concerns on a new level. After increasing power-plant emissions by a third this year, China’s coal-based power sector is poised to be the most polluting in the world ... even worse than that of the United States.


The Washington Post:

The carbon emissions of China’s electric power sector will jump by about a third this year and surpass the total emissions of the U.S. electric power industry for the first time, according to a report by the Center for Global Development, a Washington-based think tank.

The estimate, gathered from a variety of public data, shows that while China and India are becoming somewhat more efficient in energy use, their rapid pace of economic growth would mean a doubling of their carbon emissions from power plants over the next dozen years.

“We see some marginal signs of improvement in carbon intensity, particularly in some of the major developing countries,” said Kevin Ummel, a researcher at the Center for Global Development. “But even with that slight silver lining, aggregate emissions—the only measure that matters to the atmosphere—continue to race upward.”

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By tres, August 27, 2008 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

and only pollutes the same amount?

Does that mean each Chinese only pollutes 1/5th of an American?

We should applaud that. Come on Truth Dig, you suppose to know better.

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By jackpine savage, August 27, 2008 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

If China’s pollution is the result of producing literal boat loads of stuff for Americans to buy, should the emissions count towards China or America? (if shared, how?)

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Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, August 27, 2008 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

How (not) surprising this comes from the pages of the Washington Post - that bastion of pro-American propaganda.

Stop reprinting from that paper, Truthdig!

Come on. We ask for the TRUTH here!

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By Big B, August 27, 2008 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

Note to the DNC;

Global warming is still going on. Social Security is still going broke. Universal Healthcare still needs implemented. Our right wing reactionary court system is still broken. Our highway infrastructure still needs fixed.
All these problems, and more, should be being addressed by the DNC leadership (‘cause the repugs sure as shit won’t) Instead, the dimmos are moving (have moved) to the center/right on most issues, which means, like the repugs, they won’t do shit to address these issues either.
Maybe if the US would have implemented alternative energy technologies a decade ago, China and other developing nations may have followed suite, thus not burning coal to generate electricity.
The irony of all this is that the only thing that may stop human carbon emissions is a collapse of the world economy. This would slow down China and India’s development as it crippled their biggest customer, us. People will stop driving their cars, because they have no jobs. Because they have no money they won’t be able to heat or cool their homes, or buy food. People will freeze and starve, eliminating their carbon footprint altogether. frogs will fall from the sky! dogs and cats will live together!
My point is that we may already be too far gone, China and India not withstanding. The elimination of the global warming risk is going to require extraordinary leadership skills.
Do we think that two men, Obama and McCain, posses that kind of leadership quality, when neither one will ever address it on the campaign trail?
We’re screwed!

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, August 27, 2008 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

How nice to be a world barometer of pollution.

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