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Mon, 2008-01-14 12:56Bill Miller
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It’s already later than we realize in the struggle to arrest climate change

A recent essay says the most pressing current scientific and political challenge is to avoid what is known as “dangerous” global warming – the point where world temperatures become irreversible.

As there’s a 25-to-30-year lag between greenhouse emissions and the full impact of their warming, current climate chaos is a result of carbon spewed in the late 1970s. The hit from more recent discharges – including China’s coal plants – is but pain yet to come.

So we’re dangerously close already.

Tue, 2008-01-08 09:58Bill Miller
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China’s economic juggernaut wreaks social and environmental havoc in smaller nations

Having sped past the U.S. as the world's leading emitter of greenhouse gases, China has become a despoiler on a scale as monumental as its economic expansion, plundering smaller nations to fuel its own rising tide of consumption.

A New York Times article just after the UN climate-change conference in Indonesia identified China as the pivotal determinant on global warming. Now, the left-leaning Mother Jones magazine has drawn a scathing portrait of a nation that not only leads the world in coal consumption, but also uses more than the next three highest-ranked nations – the U.S., Russia and India – combined, with ominous implications for the planet.

China says that as a poor nation of 1.3-billion people, it is entitled to pollute and spew greenhouse emissions to alleviate poverty. But with its middle class projected to leap from less than 100 million to 700 million by 2020, and with sales of Porsches, Ferraris and Maseratis flourishing in Beijing, that argument is rapidly losing its edge.

Mon, 2007-12-17 18:21Bill Miller
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China-U.S. rift casts long shadow after Bali

As dust settles from the recent UN climate-change conference in Indonesia, some observers are looking to China as the looming pivotal factor in the global-warming struggle.

The world’s most populous nation, now also neck-and-neck with the U.S. as its biggest greenhouse polluter, was the subject of a recent news article under the banner “As China goes, so goes global warming.”

The best the Bali delegates could achieve was two more years of talks on setting emission curbs, but with China building new coal-burning plants at the rate of one a week, in what states of peril will the planet be two years hence?

Thu, 2007-12-13 11:53Bill Miller
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China, U.S. intransigence over climate policy hijacks Bali talks

A face off between the world’s largest greenhouse-gas spewers has taken center stage at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, and China appears to be winning its public-relations battle with the U.S.

China has reiterated it will not consider mandatory emissions cuts until the U.S. and other industrialized countries such as Canada embrace a less-extravagant lifestyle. The U.S. is standing pat in its opposition to mandatory limits.

Although both countries have dug in their heels, China, which many believe has already surpassed the U.S. as the world's top emitter of heat-trapping gases, is now seen as playing a constructive role on global warming after years of dodging the issue.

In that scenario, the U.S. is losing friends fast.

Tue, 2007-12-04 13:59Bill Miller
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U.S.- China intransigence imperils climate-change breakthrough in Bali

If members of the 187 nations in Bali, Indonesia, are going to reach explicit agreement on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the world’s largest greenhouse-gas spewers are going to have to come on board.

The U.S. and China are responsible for some 40 per cent of global emissions and their commitment is essential to rein in global warming.

Neither has shown willingness to make concessions, however, thus reducing the current round of talks to a political tap-dance.

Fri, 2007-11-23 12:39Bill Miller
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Global warming is a problem for rich countries to solve, China says

The world’s most populous nation and one of its biggest polluters has thrown down the gauntlet ahead of next month’s UN climate-change conference by saying richer countries like the U.S. have caused global warming and now it’s up to them to tackle it.

China is already neck-and-neck with the U.S. in carbon emissions, mainly due to heavy reliance on coal and its massive 1.3 billion population. But as far as China is concerned, success at Bali depends on nations like the U.S. and Canada.

Sat, 2007-11-17 11:54Bill Miller
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UN raises stakes in latest report on global warming; showdown set for Bali roundup

A panel of UN scientists has fired an opening salvo for world political leaders meeting next month in Bali to negotiate a successor to the Kyoto protocol.

And it’s a stern warning of what’s at stake if governments fail to take action, far stronger than three previous IPCC reports despite lively debate – highlighted by objections from the U.S., China and India – among about 130 governments who gave final approval.

Sun, 2007-11-11 12:51Bill Miller
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Former Gore advisor warns that global warming could sound death knell for globalization

“The Age of Consequences” report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in the US, predicts that scarcity of resources may “dictate the terms of international relations” for years to come as rich countries could “go through a 30-year process of kicking away from the lifeboat.”

Another report says energy needs in 2030 could rise more than 50% above current levels, mainly due to rapid economic growth in China and India. So who’s going to be kicking who?

Fri, 2007-11-09 09:44Kevin Grandia
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Global Warming Behind Water Crisis in Northeast China

Government officials in China are claiming global warming as the culprit behind massive water shortages in Northeast China.

The famous Crescent Moon lake used to be over 10 meters deep, but is now only 1 meter deep as the encroaching desert sucks up the water. The disappearing lake at this point of the Silk Road is the most powerful symbol of an emerging water crisis.

China's Water Resources minister, Chen Lei, said recently that an annual water shortage of nearly 40 billion cubic meters in China can be blamed on global warming. “The changes have led to a combination of both frequent drought and flooding.”
Mon, 2007-11-05 14:00Bill Miller
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Poll shows governments lag behind citizens in readiness to tackle global warming

A sweeping global survey conducted for BBC World Service has found people are far more willing to make financial and lifestyle sacrifices to arrest climate change than most leaders acknowledge. But whatever else politicians think of the findings, they will certainly pounce on respondents’ willingness to pay higher taxes.

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