Sunday, February 08, 2009

China and Climate Change

"Dao Liang said the following: you know, Americans use 7 times CO2 per capita as Chinese. Then he asked: why should China sacrifice our growth so that the west can continue to profitable and stupid. Anybody here has an answer for him? I don't."

About that comment. Well, you know, I have a very good answer to that question. Yes, USA uses more energy and produces more CO2 per person than any other country, and USA will suffer...from droughts, floods and hurricanes, lack of tourism. China will suffer as well. China will suffer worse, and because China is poorer, China will not be able to cope as well as USA will. That is not fair. It is especially not fair, because USA, over the last 150 years, has generated thousands more CO2 than China has, as China has only had factories for 10-20 years (and some before that, but not much). BUT, and this is the problem, China will suffer. If China just blames USA, will that save Chinese lives? No. Will that make USA more willing to work with China -being called the enemy? No.

I agree it is not fair. But, when you look at the facts...which is that a lot of Chinese people will suffer; no matter whose fault that is, we need to look at what is the best way to stop them suffering in the future. That solution involves encouraging other countries, like USA, to reduce their CO2, but that is hard to control. The only thing China can control, is its own emissions. And for the same of its people, China is, in the next 5 years, going to realize this. Criticizing other people will not save Chinese people, or stop Global Warming. It is not fair. It is definitely not fair. But that is the way it is. Ideally, of course, China, USA, everyone will work together to reduce their CO2 -and i hope that will happen. China is trying to reduce how much CO2 is released per unit of GDP, but China has said it will never consider reducing its total CO2 emissions until after China gets to about 5,000 USD GDP per person (i think) -currently on about 2,300 USD per person. But China cannot wait that long -the longer China waits, the more China will suffer, and the harder it will be to get to that level. I think, soon, Chinese government will realize this. Climate Change is going to destroy China. It might not be China's fault, but China has to do everything it can to try to stop it. And that means reducing its total emissions. Yes that will harm the economy (and nowadays the economy here is bad), but there is no choice.

Of course America has the same problem. It will also suffer a lot from Climate Change, and it needs, for its own reason (not to help China, but to help itself) reduce CO2 etc. Finally, USA government is realizing this. But USA reducing its emissions will not help China if China's emissions keep going up. China will still suffer. USA will still suffer. Let's hope everyone works together to reduce their emissions.

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