Thursday, January 31, 2013

Will China's development destroy the world?

Um, maybe?

I'm not an expert on global warming, but I do think that of all the fossil fuels, burning coal is the worst for our environment, and China is burning a buttload of coal!

While coal consumption in the rest of the world grew somewhat slowly over the last 12 years, consumption in China more than doubled. China now burns almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined:

(clic the pic for an even more smoky image)

China is both the biggest coal producer AND the biggest coal importer.

Can it be that the biggest single problem facing the world is the need to find a much cleaner energy source for the developing world?

One thing is for sure: a rich world carbon tax is not going to do much, if anything at all, for the environment. Unlike acid rain, carbon dioxide emission is a global externality, not a local one.


Anonymous said...

get China fracking. Natural gas has much lower CO2 and soot (recently found to be one of the key contributors to warming). US is producing less CO2 now then in the past 15 years. China needs to frack.

Brad Belschner said...

The answer: Nuclear energy! But NOT using uranium. We should use thorium instead. With thorium reactors there's little-to-no radioactive waste, meltdowns can't happen, and it's almost impossible to weaponize the byproducts. It's a proven technology that we just need to implement on a large scale. China and India and several other nations are already testing big thorium-reactor prototypes. Google it.