Tuesday, May 12, 2009

China may save the planet, and crush us in the process

There's no debate about global warming in China. Instead, it's about whether they should do anything about it. Now, the country is charging forward on renewable energy solutions, and if they create cheap technologies to solve the problems before us--and then sell it to the rest of the world--we're hurting.

Here's why China has an even more urgent incentive than us:

Currently, one-third of China's rivers are polluted; one-fourth of its territory is desert while another one-third suffers from severe soil erosion and drought; more than three-fourths of its forests are gone; urban residents are forced to breathe air containing lead, mercury, sulfur dioxide and other elements of coal-burning and car exhaust. The number of cars is expected to grow from 33 million to 130 million in the next 12 years and every 30 seconds a baby is born with pollution-related birth defects.
Just last year, China overtook the United States as the world's biggest emitter of carbon dioxide. By 2030, the International Energy Agency says China's emissions will be 41 percent greater than those of the United States.