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Is China an Environmental Steward, Demon or Magician?

By Barry Stevens | Wed, 11 December 2013 23:02 | 0

China’s growing role as the world’s largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions is undisputed. China is the epicenter of building out environmental markets as it struggles to balance the need for economic growth and climate protection.  But is China’s leadership sincere and capable to stem the tide of environmental doom?

On the world stage, China's Reaction to the New IPCC Climate Change Report is loud but feeble. Their “710-page Second National Assessment Report on Climate Change, warns that China itself faces extremely grim ecological and environmental consequences from global warming. Even at the recent Conference of Parties (COP), China announced it is seeking to cut emissions per unit of economic output by at least 40 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels."

Related article: China Increases Purchases of LNG on Spot Market

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. And like that, China's new clothes are not so new after all. In one of the most distorted thinking of the 21st century, Huffington Post reported “China’s state-run media announced in an editorial that there are actually some benefits to China's smog. This announcement comes after “thick blankets of smog forced schools and airports to close across China …..”

The editorial states “five unexpected gains the haze has brought such as uniting people across social boundaries by affecting both the affluent and impoverished, and has also spurred citizens to turn to comedy in the face of the health hazard.” “Another nationalist (China) newspaper, Global Times, also published a report on the potential military advantages of China's smog. The piece claims that since dense air pollution lowers visibility, China's smog may actually cripple missile guidance systems.”

Earlier this year, Bloomberg News reported “China’s state media announced that the government would invest 1.8 trillion yuan ($294 billion USD) in the five years through 2015 as part of the nation’s efforts to counter climate change.” Future, Bloomberg news reported “China may invest another 2.3 trillion yuan in key energy-saving and emission-reducing projects….”

Related article: Is a Green Revolution Likely to Happen?

In closing, making environmental benefits out of environmental destruction is without exception the quintessential example of screwed up logic and inept political thinking. While China has invested considerable sums of money to combat environmental pollution, the terms “would invest” and “may invest” are less than reassuring. Just ask the Dutch boy who tried to plug a levee with his finger.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author Dr. Barry Stevens, an accomplished business developer and entrepreneur in technology-driven enterprises. He is the founder and President of TBD America Inc., a global technology business development group serving the private and public sectors in energy, fuels and water industries. To learn more about TBD America, please visit http://tbdamericainc.com/

By. Barry Stevens, Ph.D.

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