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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    25 Nov '09 21:11 / 3 edits
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hlFHlfH4ch0M4bTr15oijjInyyPgD9C6OO580

    China will seek binding pollution targets for developed countries and reject similar requirements for itself at an international climate summit next month, China's top climate envoy said Wednesday.

    I understand that China's per capita emissions are still lower than most of the developed World. Great.

    But, if people are serious about this reducing emissions stuff (which many of them are probably not, but that's another issue), then what's the point of making an agreement while ignoring the #1 carbon emitter in the World, and one who is likely to exponentially increase emissions at a torrid pace in the coming decades?? If you have any doubt about that last assertion, read about China's untapped coal resources in the north.

    China has roughly the same geographic area as the US and now emits more carbon. Yes, China has 4.5 times the number of people as the US. Whoop-de-doo. I thought we were supposed to be discouraging overpopulation in today's environmentally conscious World, not rewarding it!?

    Does China now get a free pass until it catches the West in emissions per capita?? And India too? Well, gee, if that's the strategy, then Europe decreasing its own emissions is spitting into a tornado. Whatever benefit Kyoto can have will be dwarfed by the harm caused by not having China and India do their share to curb emissions.

    Face it. Either we have a World wide concerted effort to develop new technologies and replace carbon emitting ones; or Copenhagen will be as worthless as Kyoto.

    And that, my friends, is saying something.
  2. 25 Nov '09 21:29 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hlFHlfH4ch0M4bTr15oijjInyyPgD9C6OO580

    China will seek binding pollution targets for developed countries and reject similar requirements for itself at an international climate summit next month, China's top climate envoy said Wednesday.

    I understand that China's per capita emissions are still lower t r Copenhagen will be as worthless as Kyoto.

    And that, my friends, is saying something.
    Let me remind us that every American is responsible for 19 units on average, and every Chinese is responsible for 4.6 units of carbondioxide emission.
    This makes an average American is responsible for more than 4 times more emission as an average Chinese.

    China is doing a good job, America has much yet to do.

    Why China is #1 in absolute emissions is simply because they are so many, nothing more.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita
  3. 25 Nov '09 21:29 / 1 edit
    Yes I mostly agree [with the OP], but I don't think any effort should be spent on particularly reducing carbon emissions, rather we should change to more renewable sources of energy which will automatically reduce carbon emissions. Anything that reduces carbon emissions but does nothing to aid renewability is going to be useless in the long run when we run out of fossil fuels anyway!
  4. Standard member DrKF
    incipit parodia
    25 Nov '09 21:30
    Let's wait and see where the negotiations lead - the ludicrous game of high international diplomacy is notoriously difficult to read (including for the participants), and this could be simply an outrageous opening offer. That said, if that is really China's expectation and hope, I agree with the sentiment of the OP. The notion being bandied about that there could be 'politically binding' agreements instead of 'legally binding' agreements is about as useful as no agreement at all.
  5. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    25 Nov '09 21:40 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    Let me remind us that every American is responsible for 19 units on average, and every Chinese is responsible for 4.6 units of carbondioxide emission.
    This makes an average American is responsible for more than 4 times more emission as an average Chinese.

    China is doing a good job, America has much yet to do.

    Why China is #1 in absolute emissions ...[text shortened]...

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita
    What "good job"??

    China has done squat to reduce (or limit the rise in) their emissions.

    The reason they only produce 1/4 of the emissions per capita as western countries do is because they were repressed by communism for so many decades that their economy was mired in third World status until they finally got smart and instituted capitalism. Now that they're developing, they'll catch the west in emissions per capita within a couple of decades unless they do something to avoid doing so.

    In any case, I conceded everything you said in my OP. The point is that if China catches the west in emissions per capita (and especially if India does) then everything the west does to limit emissions will be borderline irrelevant.
  6. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    25 Nov '09 21:46
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Yes I mostly agree [with the OP], but I don't think any effort should be spent on particularly reducing carbon emissions, rather we should change to more renewable sources of energy which will automatically reduce carbon emissions. Anything that reduces carbon emissions but does nothing to aid renewability is going to be useless in the long run when we run out of fossil fuels anyway!
    It's going to be a loooong time before we run out of fossil fuels; especially when it becomes economical to use fossil fuel sources like shale oil.

    If one believes that the use of fossil fuels is causing potentially irreversible climate change and significant damage to our environment (and I'm not 100% whether I do or not, but that's beside the point), then we don't have time to wait until we run out of fossil fuels.

    I agree 100% on developing alternative energy sources, though.
  7. 25 Nov '09 21:55
    Originally posted by sh76
    It's going to be a loooong time before we run out of fossil fuels; especially when it becomes economical to use fossil fuel sources like shale oil.

    If one believes that the use of fossil fuels is causing potentially irreversible climate change and significant damage to our environment (and I'm not 100% whether I do or not, but that's beside the point), then ...[text shortened]... e run out of fossil fuels.

    I agree 100% on developing alternative energy sources, though.
    Well, oil at least is going to get quite expensive quite soon. There is quite a lot of coal, still, but coal is apart from carbon emitting also very polluting for the air. The Dutch government just constructs more coal plants to make more power, and the entire country is densely populated. This caused unnessecary deaths since the same power can be easily generated using nuclear power. Oil and gas are going to get increasingly expensive quite quickly, and coal is undesirable - that leaves nuclear and green power.
  8. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    26 Nov '09 01:31
    Originally posted by sh76
    Whatever benefit Kyoto can have will be dwarfed by the harm caused by not having China and India do their share to curb emissions. Face it. Either we have a World wide concerted effort to develop new technologies and replace carbon emitting ones; or Copenhagen will be as worthless as Kyoto. And that, my friends, is saying something.
    Your slightly sanctimonious carping would have more traction if the U.S. had actually ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Demonstrating a little sincerity and leadership - even if it is by way of symbolism - wouldn't have done any real harm. Now you're getting the debris of your exceptionalism kicked in your face rather than "a World wide concerted effort". What a pity for all concerned.
  9. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    26 Nov '09 01:42 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by FMF
    Your slightly sanctimonious carping would have more traction if the U.S. had actually ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Demonstrating a little sincerity and leadership - even if it is by way of symbolism - wouldn't have done any real harm. Now you're getting the debris of your exceptionalism kicked in your face rather than "a World wide concerted effort". What a pity for all concerned.
    That's not the point. I'm not judging whether the US has done it share to curb emissions. My point is that w/o China and India any agreement reached at Copenhagen would be ineffective. Fault is not the issue.

    Am I right or wrong? Would not an agreement to curb emissions that leaves China and India completely on the sidelines be ineffective?

    Edit: I also think the major failing of Kyoto was its failure to account for developing countries. If it had, maybe Bush would not have abrogated it.
  10. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    26 Nov '09 02:16
    Originally posted by sh76
    That's not the point. I'm not judging whether the US has done it share to curb emissions. My point is that w/o China and India any agreement reached at Copenhagen would be ineffective. Fault is not the issue.

    Am I right or wrong? Would not an agreement to curb emissions that leaves China and India completely on the sidelines be ineffective?

    Edit: I also t ...[text shortened]... ailure to account for developing countries. If it had, maybe Bush would not have abrogated it.
    China and India - it's leaders and it's industrialists - are thinking and behaving in much the same way as Western politicians and industrialists. Now it seems that Chinese and Indian rhetoric/pronouncements are, in fact, more honest than those of the West. They don't want to play ball and they are saying so. When the West didn't want to play ball, it was all dressed up in janus words and PR blather.

    Your whole angle here is as if this latest development is especially galling what with all the self sacrifice and leadership that the West has offered. China and India's frankness over this issue is perhaps to be applauded. It trumps all the two faced, self-serving empty words of the West over the last 20 years.

    You say "Fault is not the issue." I undertsand what you mean. But if you attempt to analyze the reality, while at the same time refusing to acknowledge the blowback factor, then I think - consciously or unconsciously - the boiled down nub of what you are saying is "Fault is not the issue. But China and India are at fault."
  11. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    26 Nov '09 03:40
    Originally posted by sh76
    ..........Am I right or wrong? Would not an agreement to curb emissions that leaves China and India completely on the sidelines be ineffective?
    I think you are wrong. If your basic argument rests on the premise that its futile to do anything unless everyone does it together ignores one thing. Influence. Sometimes you need to just do the right thing and use your influence to get others to do the same.

    If the British had taken that view with the abolition of slavery, then lord knows how long it would have taken for the idea to have taken hold and in the space of less than a lifetime see a centuries old practice go the way of the Dodo.

    America is still the leader of the free world and by leading on this issue might find that China could be helped to change their minds, especially when a united world places a tarrif on their goods because they may not be willing to quickly adapt to cleaner energy.

    Once enough players ratify Stockholm then the rest will just have to follow, especially if they give the concorde 'teeth'
  12. 26 Nov '09 04:18 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hlFHlfH4ch0M4bTr15oijjInyyPgD9C6OO580

    China will seek binding pollution targets for developed countries and reject similar requirements for itself at an international climate summit next month, China's top climate envoy said Wednesday.

    I understand that China's per capita emissions are still lower t r Copenhagen will be as worthless as Kyoto.

    And that, my friends, is saying something.
    As the US and China are the two biggest polluters on the planet and seeing as how you are advocating co-operation on climate change policies, would you then agree to meet China half way? Say, the US cuts its emissions by half while at the same time allowing China to double its emissions (per capita)?

    Let's not forget that it is because of the West's rampant industrialisation and use of fossil fuels, etc. that the world is in the state it is in. Do you not think it hypocritical that the means by which the West achieved its prosperity should be denied (by the West) to developing countries? Perhaps the West should spread some of its wealth around the globe to alleviate matters. Otherwise, you can't place blame on other countries playing the game by the rules which the West set up - free market ideology, industrial growth, technological advancements, etc.
  13. 26 Nov '09 05:34
    Originally posted by sh76
    while ignoring the #1 carbon emitter in the World,
    They are only no 1 because they are the biggest nation on earth. Per capita makes more sense than political boundaries.

    China has roughly the same geographic area as the US and now emits more carbon.
    What does geographic area have to do with anything.

    Yes, China has 4.5 times the number of people as the US. Whoop-de-doo. I thought we were supposed to be discouraging overpopulation in today's environmentally conscious World, not rewarding it!?
    China has been doing more to discourage population growth than any other country in the world and has taken a lot of flack for it. Having said that, it is the world that is over populated not China in particular. Over population is not just a question of land area over population.

    Face it. Either we have a World wide concerted effort to develop new technologies and replace carbon emitting ones; or Copenhagen will be as worthless as Kyoto.
    And that, my friends, is saying something.

    China is doing more with regards to green technologies than any other country in the world. The US on the other hand is actively trying to stop many of them - such as electric cars and more efficient gas powered cars - all the while trying to cover it up with ideas such as 'the hydrogen economy' and bio fuels (which are worse than fossil fuels).
  14. 26 Nov '09 05:55
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    Let me remind us that every American is responsible for 19 units on average, and every Chinese is responsible for 4.6 units of carbondioxide emission.
    This makes an average American is responsible for more than 4 times more emission as an average Chinese.

    China is doing a good job, America has much yet to do.

    Why China is #1 in absolute emissions ...[text shortened]...

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita
    who's doing the measuring?
  15. 26 Nov '09 05:56
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hlFHlfH4ch0M4bTr15oijjInyyPgD9C6OO580

    China will seek binding pollution targets for developed countries and reject similar requirements for itself at an international climate summit next month, China's top climate envoy said Wednesday.

    I understand that China's per capita emissions are still lower t ...[text shortened]... r Copenhagen will be as worthless as Kyoto.

    And that, my friends, is saying something.
    i wouldn't expect too much of them. think they haven't read the Climategate emails?