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okanogen's picture

This year a projected 16-17 million automobiles were sold in China. That exceeds the largest annual number ever sold in the United States (which occured in 2007). Projected annual automobile sales in China are expected to be as high as 40 million by 2020.

So this is couched in a story saying that it is "hard work" for China to reduce it's horrifically inefficient energy usage. What is completely missing is that all they need to stem that increase is to not accomodate it!!! How many nine-day traffic jams would you be willing to sit through before you decided maybe a car wasn't your best option?

In some ways (actually, many ways) our energy problems - which are supposedly a function of "people doing what they want" in a "free-market" capitalist society - are actually caused by government decisions to subsidize automobiles by building (and expanding) roads, bridges, etc. .

If it was really a "free market", those costs would be included in the price of gas, or the price of your car.

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Jonallen's picture
Submitted by Jonallen on

The truly frightening part of this is that China is officially modeling itself more after a European model of development, while consistently being sidetracked into following the lead of the US. A good example of this was the plan for the phenomenal growth of Shen Zhen, just north of Kowloon. It grew phenomenally fast alright, but only a tiny portion of the originally planned subway system was built, and so even Shenzhen, the most modern industrial city in all of China, is bogging down in long term traffic jams.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

What I posted was not meant to bash China. China-bashing being about the lamest sport going. What I meant to point out is the utter stupidity of the human race, and especially what passes for global political leadership. We are faced with two realities that are so obvious and stark that they leave the entire world paralyzed like (soon to be obliterated) deer in a truck's headlights.

Reality 1: Fossil fuels are limited, yet despite enormous expense in exploration, production is maxed out. The above post shows we are looking at an exponential growth in the demand, and this is in a country that is actually serious about reducing it's energy consumption. Can anyone not see what the sum is of that equation? Even on a pure economic level?

Reality 2: Despite all of the subterfuge, global climate is happening. It is happening right now and it is caused humans, specifically by CO2 production through the burning of fossil fuels (and destruction of the carbon sinks like rain forests). We have known this for decades. Unless we reverse, rather than exponentially increase, our burning of fossil fuels, the consequences are so dire they while make you vomit with fear. We are talking about the extinction of thousands and thousands of species, the collapse of much of our global food production, the collapse of countless ecosystems, and the deaths of billions of people. Sorry, there is no "mitigating" what will happen, because nobody really knows what will happen or how it will happen. You can't mitigate what you can't predict, and the fact is that the actual intricacies of the consequences of global warming are not known, all that is known is that a catestrophic change in climate will occur.

Still, people don't seem to have a grasp of what "global climate change" actually means. Well, here is an example: about 13,000 years ago or so, the earth had a different climate, it was called an "ice age". All of Canada, the north half of the midwest, the Puget Sound area, and the norhtern portion of the eastern seaboard were covered in ice about a mile thick. Talk about reducing your property values! In addition, most so was most of the north half of Europe, and almost all of Eurasia (Ukraine, Russia, etc.). So all those regions, including entire countries, were completely uninhabitable. What, if similar areas of the world became completely uninhabitable? Say, for instance, the entire equatorial region? Or what if we had another ice age, as a consequence of global warming shutting off the gulf stream? Where would those people go? Where would the food production come from?

Is this sinking in at all?