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China Leads in "Clean" Energy Investment

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the for-some-definitions dept.

China 313

derekmead writes "According to a new study (PDF) from Pew Charitable Trusts, China was the world leader in clean energy investment in 2012. The U.S., meanwhile, saw its grip loosen on many of the clean energy technologies it developed. According to the research, total clean energy investment totaled $269 billion worldwide last year, a decline from 2011's record high of $302 billion. However, clean energy investment in the Asia and Oceania markets grew by 16 percent to $101 billion. In terms of investment — which is an indicator that a country or region has offered compelling projects, struck a good regulatory balance, and has a strong economy — that makes Asia the epicenter of the global clean energy market. The Pew researchers thus labeled the U.S. clean energy sector as 'underperforming,' largely for a trio of reasons. First, China's boom and manufacturing prowess has taken investment away from the U.S.. Second, the U.S. regulatory environment for clean energy is horrifically unstable (as is the regulatory environment as a whole) as politicians battle over budget rhetoric. Finally, the U.S. has failed to capitalize on its innovation prowess and develop its clean energy manufacturing sector to its full potential." They do not count nuclear as clean, but including nuclear would only widen China's lead over everyone else (they almost have their first new AP1000 ready and are building lots more).

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Clean Energy = Scam (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43522657)

Clean energy is nothing but a scam invented by the liberals who hate America and want to destroy this country with fear mongering (ie global warming).

It is a good thing that our enemy (China) is outpacing us in this budget-wasting regard! /s.

Re:Clean Energy = Scam (4, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43522683)

Clean energy is nothing but a scam invented by the liberals who hate America and want to destroy this country with fear mongering (ie global warming).

It is a good thing that our enemy (China) is outpacing us in this budget-wasting regard! /s.

Woah! [wikipedia.org]

Re:Clean Energy = Scam (3)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43523035)

Note the /s at the end of his post. It means "end of sarcasm".

Re:Clean Energy = Scam (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#43523377)

Ah but maybe he does know that it means sarcasm and they're a global warming skeptic?

Poe's Law indeed...

China has no choice (3, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#43523207)

China is over-polluted right now

The air, the land, the water, all polluted

They have no other choice but to go clean

It is good that they go clean --- in that way at least they get to stay in China, or else, they might move to USA

Can you imagine 1.3 Billion Chinese moving to the US of A?

Re:China has no choice (4, Funny)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about a year ago | (#43523271)

is it about 8-10% of US debt they own? They could just move in to a state and call it even.

Re:China has no choice (1)

bbelt16ag (744938) | about a year ago | (#43523545)

well then they would have to pay them proper wages. That would be a no go..

Re:China has no choice (4, Funny)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year ago | (#43523565)

is it about 8-10% of US debt they own? They could just move in to a state and call it even.

They can have Texas.

THAT Dream Comes From Pipes, sir... (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year ago | (#43523677)

By and large, Texas' legendary racism virtually ensures the Chinese will keep migrating to sunny Cali, NY/NJ, Seattle, Chicago, and the Capitol....like many Asian immigrants, they seem to prefer the Blue States.

Re:Clean Energy = Scam (1, Funny)

jandersen (462034) | about a year ago | (#43522729)

My, my, aren't you just a fountain of wisdom.

So, according to you:

- trying to reduce pollution is a scam
- being liberal (ie. having an open mind) is to hate America
- preparing for the consequences of climate change is fear mongering
- China is our enemy

As Robin williams once said: "Never have I seen a man in such dire need of a blowjob". Or perhaps a heavy dose of prune juice would do the trick.

Re:Clean Energy = Scam (4, Funny)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year ago | (#43522761)

And as Zontar The Mindless once said, "Never have I seen a man in such dire need of a sarcasm detector."

Re:Clean Energy = Scam (-1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43522795)

as chewbacca once said, "rawwwaawwarhh"

i dunno what made you think the op was being sarcastic, but your username kinda gives it away

Re:Clean Energy = Scam (4, Informative)

niftydude (1745144) | about a year ago | (#43522925)

i dunno what made you think the op was being sarcastic, but your username kinda gives it away

I'm guessing the "/s" at the end of the op's post was the indication everyone else was using to recognize sarcasm...

Re:Clean Energy = Scam (0)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | about a year ago | (#43523263)

You didn't even get liberal right. Liberals want (wait for it...) liberal amounts of government.

Re:Clean Energy = Scam (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about a year ago | (#43523537)

And liberal amounts of my money to give to people (who can't be bothered to work for themselves) so they'll vote liberal.

Re:Clean Energy = Scam (2)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about a year ago | (#43523531)

being liberal (ie. having an open mind)

And there's another myth - that 'being liberal' means having an open mind. The not-so-subtle implication of that statment is that you must also believe that anyone who is not 'liberal' does not have an open mind.

Re:Clean Energy = Scam (4, Informative)

silentcoder (1241496) | about a year ago | (#43523735)

>And there's another myth - that 'being liberal' means having an open mind. The not-so-subtle implication of that statment is that you must also believe that anyone who is not 'liberal' does not have an open mind.

No myth there. Simple fact. Conservative, by definition, means NOT having an open mind. It means "wanting to conserve the status quo" - which is ipso facto a closed-minded approach.

Re:Clean Energy = Scam (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43522981)

Nice troll, albeit lacking in originality. You should have linked the "socialist" Obama and communist China as a vast left-wing conspiracy to destabilize traditional capitalist energy investments by inventing disruptive clean energy technologies. Or maybe if they avert a climate catastrophe, they'll wreck the vulture capitalists' plans to get rich off cleaning up the mess at public expense.

Bonus points if you can work in an Elvis sighting or a reference to the Templars' origin as a Dacian sex cult, but since you're obviously an amateur that isn't necessary.

Re:Clean Energy = Scam (1)

WWJohnBrowningDo (2792397) | about a year ago | (#43523069)

You missed the sarcasm tag at the end of his post.

Re:Clean Energy = Scam (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523205)

Is that what it is? I thought it was the emoticon for disgruntled american - squinty eyes with baseball cap to the side /s

Re:Clean Energy = Scam (2)

siddesu (698447) | about a year ago | (#43523547)

In many parts of the world "clean energy" is indeed a scam to siphon off government subsidies to selected enterprises. I look at my energy bills in several jurisdictions and I see a huge add-on for "green energy".

One of the said jurisdictions is an Asian country, which, despite the massive "green bill", has been burning gas for the past two years exclusively as a tribute to the fuck-ups of its nuclear power sector.

Another is a small country in Europe, where European and state subsidies and tax transfers have created a huge mess of the energy sector and a situation in which the overinvestment in "green" energy has left the base load generation capacity unable to maintain itself, boding serious trouble in the coming decade.

In the third, also in Europe, local thermal power plant has mostly cut the trees from the adjacent forests and chopped it into pellets, for wood fuel. Again, this has been done with a huge, 300+ million euros grant from the EU for energy from "renewable" sources. Except they cut oak and beech trees that are 100 years old, and in their place only grass and bushes grow.

So, yeah, green energy is a scam in many places, and an ecologically dangerous scam too.

Long term vs. short term (5, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | about a year ago | (#43522697)

America is a corporate-driven economy, which needs results this quarter and the next. Any strategy that last for longer than 5 years is just not worth the investment.
China is still partially a plan-driven economy, which does not need to have a result this quarter or the next. Pay back times can be longer.

It is incredibly painful to an economy to move away from short term gains to longer term. At first, you only pay, and nothing comes back yet. But after a couple of years, you start to gain from this. Nobody in the USA seems willing to take that first step.

Re:Long term vs. short term (3, Insightful)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43522813)

"when you're hanging on by your fingernails you can't go waving your arms around" - virgil brigman

Re:Long term vs. short term (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43522831)

That's absurd. Most of our largest companies work primarily in projects measured in excess of 5 years. That they are not on things you'd like to see has no material relevance on the subject.

Some proof required (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523137)

Because unless massive layoffs is somehow going to be financially a good idea in 5 years time, just terrible from years 1-4, your assertion is complete bollocks.

Cutting R&D is also a big thing, which is good for short term (lower costs) but terrible for future viability (no products to sell).

See also the hostile takeover scenarios: take over the company on a large mark-up, gut the company to make money, sell the shell to make some more, company is now dead.

Re:Long term vs. short term (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43522989)

There's no need to sacrifice anything, everything regarding the economy can easily be resolved if politicians weren't in it for their own interest. I'm not willing to make anymore sacrifices until politicians get their act together, otherwise it's wasted effort.

And before that, it was China. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523157)

"If China don't do anything about it, I won't, otherwise it's wasted effort".

Then when the politicians are doing something:

"If Russia doesn't do anything about it, I won't, otherwise it is wasted effort".

And so on...

Re:Long term vs. short term (0)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year ago | (#43523219)

China is still partially a plan-driven economy, which does not need to have a result as long as the Party bosses get theirs.

There, fixed that for ya.

Re:Long term vs. short term (2)

Capt.Albatross (1301561) | about a year ago | (#43523451)

China is still partially a plan-driven economy, which does not need to have a result as long as the Party bosses get theirs.

There, fixed that for ya.

That's true, but it is not an argument against planning.

It has been suggested that democracy is not viable in the long term because it enables selfish behavior on too broad a base to be sustainable. I hope this is wrong, but I fear there's a grain of truth to it.

Re:Long term vs. short term (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year ago | (#43523611)

No form of government is sustainable once those who control the levers of power start using them primarily for selfish interests. Actually, central planning of the economy will always lead to economically bad results in the long term, whether that central planning is done at the corporate level or the government level. Central planners cannot know enough, soon enough, to make good decisions and since their decisions effect so many people, when they make a bad decision it is disastrous. While individuals may make bad decisions, if they are only making decisions for themselves, or a small group of people, those decisions do not have large impacts. It required central planners to create the famine in the Ukraine in the 1930s and the famine in China in the 1960s. Decentralized economies are incapable of creating such famines in fertile lands.

Re:Long term vs. short term (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43523695)

That's true, but it is not an argument against planning.

Sure. It's just an argument against having anyone, such as a government, in charge of the planning.

The assumption that planning is better than no planning at the country-level is unjustified. Sure, thinking ahead can have benefits. It works for you at a personal level, because you are both the planner and the primary recipient of the benefits of the planning. When that's no longer the case, the resulting conflict of interest and its exploitation can destroy any benefits from planning.

The other big problem with country-wide planning is that the private sector loses considerable incentive to plan. It's a variant of moral hazard.

If you can nakedly pursue short-sighted interests and have the government do all the long term thinking, including bailing you out when you break things too much or paying for your R&D, then why think past the next quarter? Your scheme creates the very problem that you complain about.

It has been suggested that democracy is not viable in the long term because it enables selfish behavior on too broad a base to be sustainable. I hope this is wrong, but I fear there's a grain of truth to it.

Then stop being part of the problem. Sure, everyone has their own interests and ideas of how things should be working. Democracy is just a good way to implement a decision making process fairly. It doesn't magically make bad decisions good.

Re:Long term vs. short term (0)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#43523281)

Plenty of companies are working on long term goals. It's the new breed of politicians who fail to come up with viable longer term plans (this seems to be much more of an issue than it was 20-30 years ago). Everything is focused on the next 4-5 years (whatever the election cycle is), and when our coalitions become unstable, the range may drop to mere months: anything to keep voters, constituents or coalition partners happy.

I can see why that would be less of a problem in China.

Re:Long term vs. short term (5, Interesting)

SimonInOz (579741) | about a year ago | (#43523405)

I just came back from China - Shanghai, actually. It's a city of 23 million people (more than Australia's entire population). It has many roads, full of - wait for it - electric scooters. Not those boring little ones, no these are full-on Vespa-like, two person carrying scooters. I would guess they carry half the city's traffic, in people-kms.
They have 400 watts, a top speed around 40kmh, and a range of about 40km. And they are pretty cheap. From 2400 YMB (=$400) these are real bargains. And they look pretty good.

So a Chinese city has moved half its transport to electricity. And nobody has said a word. Amazing.

These scooters looked pretty good to me - I'd buy one without question at that price. But they are banned here (Australia), and many other places. You are allowed up to 250 watts. Above that the regulations get all nasty. Registration, helmets, licenses, etc. So much so that you cannot buy such a thing, just a few rather expensive electric bikes.

For sure they are charged from the mains, sourced from coal fired generating plants - but that is surely far, far more efficient than the nasty engines normal scooters have, and use far less energy. I imagine they are way ahead, carbon-wise.

Maybe we should take a few lessons from the Chinese.

Re:Long term vs. short term (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | about a year ago | (#43523513)

Yeah, that is what I meant with long-term development. The Chinese now just try out some ideas. Some will succeed, some will fail. But they try them out on such a massive scale that they will learn all there is to learn. And then they will sell the successes to us at a profit. When us Western people finally see the light, we will be buying Chinese scooters, with Chinese charging stations and Chinese battery packs. And if we decide to go for cars, we'll still be buying their charging stations and battery packs.

The are starting to move away from their heavy focus on simple mass production of cheap goods. They are starting a new focus on high-tech goods, just out competing us on our only remaining stronghold of knowledge. Give it another 10, maybe 20 years, and China is no longer known for dumb mass production, but also for quality.

p.s. Do you have a link about these scooters?

Re:Long term vs. short term (3, Informative)

SimonInOz (579741) | about a year ago | (#43523569)

To find out about them google "shanghai electric scooter" - that's what I did!

An interesting link is
http://www.scooteretta.com/v5.html [scooteretta.com]

They really do look most impressive - and in the flesh, as it were, just as good. And they whine along quietly in a most satisfactory way.

Just for your interest, Shanghai scooter riders never wear helmets, never turn their lights on, and hoot a lot. I suspect they have a lot of accidents - but such crashing light vehicles at relatively low speeds must be far less damaging, physically and financially, than crashing cars [especially into pedestrians], especially those horrible SUVs beloved of Americans and [not as much] Australians.

Re:Long term vs. short term (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523663)

Ssssh, your pro-china position isn't going to go over well here.

As a Canadian who owns property in China i've been there a few times myself, and saw those scooters you speak of.

Have you seen some of the negatives?
-They ride them at night, and frequently turn off the headlights to conserve battery power.
-They rarely follow the laws of the road.
-When they get into accidents, while the outcome usually isn't positive for the rider.

In order for them to be adopted entire cities need to move to them and remove cars from the roads. Otherwise you end up with the bicycle shares road with car issue. In an accident one is hurt dis-proportionally worse then the other.

Re:Long term vs. short term (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43523467)

That is what government grants/loans are supposed to be for. People bitch and moan because of a lot of the companies involved fail but that's the point. Invest in long term development of technologies that are either unprofitable or risky, so than 10 or 20 years down the line your country has them and isn't left behind because investors were too short sighted.

Re:Long term vs. short term (1)

higuita (129722) | about a year ago | (#43523559)

Just pick the huge bonus, golden parachutes, stupid merge and acquisitions just to pump the stock, etc, etc and put in on real R&D (not patent waving) and engineering solutions and things might get better!

1. C++, Java, Python, Mandarin. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43522705)

2. Profit.

Not surprising -- and not a black eye for the U.S. (4, Insightful)

gregwbrooks (512319) | about a year ago | (#43522711)

China's energy needs -- in terms of year-over-year growth -- dwarf those of any other country. Their regulatory processes, for projects that the state deems necessary, can be incredibly streamlined. AND they've got money to spend. It's no surprise they're the hotspot for all kinds of energy investment -- clean and otherwise.

Re:Not surprising -- and not a black eye for the U (5, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43522963)

Whilst it might not be surprising to you or me, many people argue that there's not worth being more green as a nation because the Chinese won't follow. When in actual fact the boot is on the other foot. China is leading and America is lagging behind.

And why would it be that it's not a "black eye" for the US? It's hardly the case that they are not spending money on creating ever more energy sources. It's just that not enough of them are green.

Re:Not surprising -- and not a black eye for the U (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#43523239)

And why would it be that it's not a "black eye" for the US? It's hardly the case that they are not spending money on creating ever more energy sources. It's just that not enough of them are green.

Fine. A "brown eye" then.

Re:Not surprising -- and not a black eye for the U (2, Interesting)

budgenator (254554) | about a year ago | (#43523679)

The US is probably the only nation that has met the Koyoto Treaty goals, and that is without being a signatory!

I should hope so... (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about a year ago | (#43522739)

... because right now they're leading in carbon emissions and unless it's changed recently, the RATE of emission growth is accelerating.

It used to be the West that was fucking up the planet and now China has taken over that role. If they want to continue to grow without killing the rest of us then they have a hell of a lot of work to do.

Re:I should hope so... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43522787)

I really hope you posted this from your Ipad.

Re:I should hope so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43522933)

Does it really matter what he used to post it with? Everything's made in china nowdays, in case you haven't noticed.

Re:I should hope so... (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43522985)

Does it really matter what he used to post it with? Everything's made in china nowdays, in case you haven't noticed.

Actually I bought a shirt this weekend and was astonished to see that it was made somewhere else. Could Chinese economic hegemony already be coming to an end? Is that one shirt the crack in the dam?

Re:I should hope so... (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43522995)

Does it really matter what he used to post it with? Everything's made in china nowdays, in case you haven't noticed.

I think his point was that an iPad (or any other tablet/phone) consumes a fraction of the energy of a PC when it's being used. Presumably also when it's manufactured.

Re:I should hope so... (4, Insightful)

thephydes (727739) | about a year ago | (#43522827)

WTF What gives you the right to complain about China if you live in USA or EU . Christ you've been fucking up the planet for decades - no centuries, and now you have the gall to complain about China. Where was all the work you did to avoid it? Oh yes that's right into the pockets of "Global Corporations" global rapists more like......... Geez I though I'd heard it all!

Re:I should hope so... (1, Funny)

Tailhook (98486) | about a year ago | (#43523071)

What gives you the right to complain about China if you live in USA or EU

That's right. China's per capita coal consumption is far less than typical Westerners, so until the Chinese have wrecked the environment at least as much as you have, for at least as long as you have, and a good deal worse and longer for good measure, then you need to shut your stupid fat face.

Re:I should hope so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523175)

HA. OP is misbehaving, text his mom that she should go down to the basement and give junior a good spanking.

Re:I should hope so... (4, Insightful)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#43523431)

That's right. China's per capita coal consumption is far less than typical Westerners, so until the Chinese have wrecked the environment at least as much as you have, for at least as long as you have, and a good deal worse and longer for good measure, then you need to shut your stupid fat face.

You know that is illogical, right? Just because someone has done something wrong doesn't mean that they can't point out, complain, or attempt to stop another from doing the same thing. Even if they're still doing that same thing themselves it makes it no less wrong. It is hypocritical but the act is still wrong regardless of the source or history of the accuser.

What is sad is that you're not the only one who presumes such. I'd hope that more people could think logically but most of my hopes seem to expect too much of people.

Re:I should hope so... (2)

xelah (176252) | about a year ago | (#43523087)

I think that blaming someone for the actions of others merely because he lives in the same geographical area where those others lived and died is a bit of a stretch. However, I do think it's next to impossible to come up with any morally defensible position that doesn't start with assuming everyone has a right to an equal share of the planet's pollution carrying capacity. That's a problem for industrialized countries (and most especially some individuals within them), and it'd be politically impossible for their politicians to start there. So instead of it being about what's fair, it's always been about power, and it'll remain all about power unless technology can make the problem obsolete.

No, it's avoidance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523169)

Since we in the west made our expansion out of fossil fuels, it really IS our fault for the past emissions since we've had the benefits and it behooves us to pull others up and lead the change to a lower level of fossil fuel use.

Re:No, it's avoidance. (2)

F. Lynx Pardinus (2804961) | about a year ago | (#43523235)

it really IS our fault for the past emissions since we've had the benefits

The whole world has the benefits--the patents on the technologies developed in such an expansion have long expired, and the science and engineering knowledge from that period has freely spread around the world.

Re:I should hope so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523179)

Why does population come into it? Does it really matter how many people there are in a country? Especially if a great deal of them are still barely scratching at the earth.
Would people demand emission cutbacks from a country populated by a single cow, just because that country's methane output per capita was the highest in the world?

Correct me if I'm wrong but, economically speaking, wouldn't it be far better to measure pollution in relation to GDP (or another measure of national productivity)? A more "green" country is surely one which can manage to eke out more productivity with the same amount of pollution (or the same productivity while being less polluting). It surely shouldn't matter (in terms of ranking) if they manage that with solar power, people power, robots, or whatever?

And FWIW, I have no idea which country would "win" using such a measure.

Re:I should hope so... (1)

xelah (176252) | about a year ago | (#43523297)

Why does population come into it? Does it really matter how many people there are in a country? Especially if a great deal of them are still barely scratching at the earth.

Does it really matter what political boundaries have been drawn around a person? Does a subsistence farming hermit in the US have a moral right to emit more greenhouse gases and particulates than a subsistence farming hermit in Montserrat, or Myanmar, or Uganda? Does person X have more moral right to impose costs on others via pollution than person Y merely because of his habitual location? It's hard to imagine a reason why.

Would people demand emission cutbacks from a country populated by a single cow, just because that country's methane output per capita was the highest in the world?

If the country has no population then I can't help thinking demanding cutbacks from the local wildlife would be ridiculous. Besides, it's consumption that matters, not production, so if this magical cow were to export its own milk to import grass then the pollution burden is being caused by its customers.

Correct me if I'm wrong but, economically speaking, wouldn't it be far better to measure pollution in relation to GDP (or another measure of national productivity)? A more "green" country is surely one which can manage to eke out more productivity with the same amount of pollution (or the same productivity while being less polluting). It surely shouldn't matter (in terms of ranking) if they manage that with solar power, people power, robots, or whatever?

A more efficient economy would product more stuff with less cost (and pollution is still a cost, even if there's often no transfer of money to represent it). That more efficient economy could provide more consumption to its participants for the same amount of pollution rights. But I don't see why person X consuming more than person Y would give person X more right to impose pollution costs on others than person Y. Aside from being a destructive and inequitable feedback loop that entrenches the current world balance of resource use, it makes no sense. There's nothing inherent about person X that makes him 'worth' more pollution and deserving of more of its products. He's just a random human, no more or less than person Y.

And FWIW, I have no idea which country would "win" using such a measure.

Why do countries matter? Giving everyone equal rights to pollute would, of course, mean those rights would have to be traded (because most people don't do the polluting themselves, they do it via trade (ie, buying stuff from people who do it for them)). The outcome would be that most especially high consumers (but almost everyone to some degree) in the industrialized world would have to pay to buy pollution rights from low consumers outside it. There'd be very strong incentives to produce more efficiently, very strong incentives to substitue certain kinds of consumption for other kinds, and a large transfer of consumption to poorer parts of the world. In some ways it'd be a sort of global basic income. We'd all suffer lower pollution costs, but most people on slashdot (including me) would be a lot poorer. For that reason - self interest - neither I, nor most people here, nor our politicians are going to push for this. But don't pretend there's a moral excuse. There isn't.

Re:I should hope so... (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#43523247)

Christ you've been fucking up the planet for decades - no centuries, and now you have the gall to complain about China.

Ah ha! Bad move high-grounder, you exposed yourself as an immortal. Now that I've found you, and There Can Be Only One!

Re:I should hope so... (5, Informative)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43522859)

actually per capita china is still doing pretty well

in 2008, china produced 5.3 tonnes per capita of CO2, whereas the US produced 18.5 tonnes per capita

if the US is telling china that it needs to clean up its act, it would definitely be a case of pot calling the kettle black

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita [wikipedia.org]

Re:I should hope so... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year ago | (#43523231)

I don't really care about CO2 emissions. I care more about pollutants that will lead to early deaths and killing off everything living in a stream, river, or lake. China far outstrips the U.S. in the production of those.

Re:I should hope so... (3, Informative)

dasunt (249686) | about a year ago | (#43523275)

in 2008, china produced 5.3 tonnes per capita of CO2, whereas the US produced 18.5 tonnes per capita

It's PPP GDP per ton of CO2 is not as good though.

The US produces $2,291 per ton of CO2, China produces $1,003 per ton of CO2 (international dollars used for dollar amounts).

China is actually near the bottom. The US is not that ideal either (we're basically the same as Canada). Countries like Norway and Sweden are about 2.5x more productive per ton of CO2 than the US.

Re:I should hope so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523643)

What is that in pollution per GDP unit? If we're talking "green economy" that should be the measure.

Re:I should hope so... (4, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43522987)

Only because they are by far the most populous country. You can only really judge based on per capita rates. China is 78th among countries with 5.3 metric tonnes CO2 per capita. The USA is 7th with 22.1.

When you look at consumption, the USA comes out even worse. America consumes more per person than any other country. There are around 200 countries in the world, and the USA alone consumes about 25% of the energy.

America is still the biggest offender in "fucking up the planet".

Re:I should hope so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523409)

Ummm ... the USA also produces about 25% of the global economic output of the planet, so in terms of "fucking up the planet", please get your facts straight ...

Re:I should hope so... (1)

X.25 (255792) | about a year ago | (#43523305)

It used to be the West that was fucking up the planet and now China has taken over that role. If they want to continue to grow without killing the rest of us then they have a hell of a lot of work to do.

Maybe if the West hasn't outsourced whole fucking production of just about everything, to China, they'd still be fucking up the planet?

Are you seriously accusing China of 'fucking up the planet'?

Brown coal from Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43522753)

They should stop buying brown coal from Australia

Re:Brown coal from Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43522811)

Nah it's all good mate

Re:Brown coal from Australia (1)

thephydes (727739) | about a year ago | (#43522839)

Actually whilst the biggest deposits in Oz are brown ( if I remember correctly that is) the biggest exports are in black coal - more energy for you buck

Re:Brown coal from Australia (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43522867)

hell no they should keep bloody buying it mate

someone's gotta pay for our future swimming pools to be dug

Re:Brown coal from Australia (5, Insightful)

jonwil (467024) | about a year ago | (#43523057)

As an Aussie and an environmentalist, I consider coal to be evil and think that the less of that dirty black/brown crap we dig out of the ground the better. Plenty of ways to generate electricity (even baseload electricity) without using coal if people are willing to put in the investment.
I do not believe the government should be giving a single cent in money to the coal industry or to coal fired power stations (the exception being if the money is to be used to decommission said power stations)

anyone seen recent pictures from china? (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about a year ago | (#43522755)

Its clear Why they are leading in it.

Re:anyone seen recent pictures from china? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43523007)

That rather depends on whether the photo is of a city, where the minority of Chinese live, or the country where the majority live.

In terms of consumption, China, and every other country on the planet, is well behind America.

Of course they're investing in it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43522799)

They're investing in manufacturing it so they can sell it to gullible westerners. They're not stupid enough to buy any of it themselves.

Want to catch up? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43522823)

Obama trumped the Endangered Species Act [redstate.com] to allow our Eastern ports to be dredged for the Super Panamax shipping coming in 2015. Why not for clean energy?

Beating China is easy. Just suspend a few regs, starting with the ESA and exempt 'clean' energy development from pressure group lawsuits.

Instead, our 'clean' energy dies the death of a thousand cuts [latimes.com] in courtrooms while you mopes whinge about Republicans and the budget.

Whatever. Suck it. You made it.

Re:Want to catch up? (2)

thephydes (727739) | about a year ago | (#43522947)

Endangered species ... BAH! what have they ever done for us? You never see the painted snipe holding a placard "save the humans" now do you? [obligatory monty python non-quote] Sadly your post is indicative of money vs environment and all too frequently money wins because not enough people give a flying fuck about the painted snipe ( or whatever )

Per Capita? (2)

foobsr (693224) | about a year ago | (#43522835)

Alone from what I pay for electricity it must be Germany, and the report gives further evidence.

CC.

Re:Per Capita? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43523027)

You're right. According to the report, the USA is second and used to be first, which is an absolute joke. It's simply biasing towards the most populous countries. Which also tend to have the most total emissions, for obvious reasons. In all these measures, they have to be per capita to have any meaning. And the words "per capita" don't even get a mention in the report.

Re:Per Capita? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year ago | (#43523165)

Well, quite. An equally accurate headline would be "China #1 for dirty energy production".

Let China waste their money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523013)

Renewable energy has very limited ROI. By the time it pays itself (or maybe never) off the equipment will be end of life. Don't forget the fossil fuel "backups" which will be running most of the time because solar/wind sourced renewables will be idle most of the time not producing any useful amounts of energy. Renewable energy requires massive government subsidies or artificial manipulations of the price of fossil fuels by governments ie carbon taxes to even begin to look cost effective. Renewable energy projects are nothing more than overpriced ziggurats created by governments to conspicuously show they care about sustainability, but the cold hard truth is that renewable energy is a pipe dream that has no hope of ever being able to meet the energy needs of an industrialized society.

Re:Let China waste their money (2)

jonwil (467024) | about a year ago | (#43523195)

Solar can very much be baseload (in areas that get lots of sun at least) by using solar thermal generation. The heat from the sun is used to heat molten salt (or another good storage of heat) and then the stored heat is used to generate electricity when the sun isn't shining. There are already examples of this kind of solar power station operating in the real world generating grid electricity.

And solar thermal generation systems can cost a lot less than solar photovoltaic cells to build and run.

Production? (1)

locater16 (2326718) | about a year ago | (#43523023)

Seriously, production? China wants to have factories, let them. It's all vastly low margin stuff. Investment in research is much more of high return on investment. Other countries can manufacture your designs all you want, let them have the pollution and low paying jobs.

Re:Production? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43523029)

let them have the pollution

Much pollution is global in nature.

Yeah (3, Informative)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about a year ago | (#43523107)

And let them have the well payed middle income families earning a living in factories and sending their children to school and buying all the products those factories produce. That will show them, let them have the American dream while the US has the eh... wait what?

There is this idea among some tea party idiots that you can cut half the economy and still have a healthy economy. That is like reasoning that since you do all your thinking with your head (well, non-tea party members do) you can cut of that useless gut bit at the bottom and be fine.

A normal working economy needs something to do for all layers of the work force. The supposed bright people are not capable nor willing to work for everyone else, so where are the people who are not leaders in their field going to work, and if they are not working, how are they going to pay for the products made by the 1% of workers?

The choice isn't between high paying and low paying. The choice is between low paying and non paying. If the west continues as it is doing now, soon we can't even afford to buy chinese made anymore.

Oh and Japan was once the dump ground for unwanted manufacturing too. Kiddies like Locater16 just don't understand anything. Not history, not economics or common sense.

Nuclear is the only clean energy that scales... (1)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | about a year ago | (#43523123)

Subsidizing the deployment of "clean" energy technologies which are not economically viable is a waste of both time and money, at a time when humanity can afford neither. No amount of subsidies are going to make a dent in the global energy landscape; the requirements are simply too vast to be satisfied by expensive and diffuse energy sources like wind and solar in a timely manner.

Nuclear, in the form of molten salt reactors, is the only proven technology which has even a of hope of meeting the economic and scalability requirements.

Nuclear gets 7bn subsidies in the USA alone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523191)

And the initial production is 60 years old now, so there's no need to get over the "early adopter" speedbunp.

Re:Nuclear is the only clean energy that scales... (1)

paavo512 (2866903) | about a year ago | (#43523621)

Subsidizing the deployment of "clean" energy technologies which are not economically viable is a waste of both time and money

No problem, they will become viable as soon as other sources are depleted. And then we will start synthesizing oil for chemical plants from the windmill energy...

China also buiding coal plants like mad (1)

Alaska Jack (679307) | about a year ago | (#43523129)

If my understanding is correct -- and I don't pretend to be an expert on this -- the summary is pretty misleading. It's not that China is a white knight crusading for green energy. It's that China is doing EVERYTHING: Green, nuclear, coal, you name it.

Googling around ("china coal plants") suggest that China is opening a new coal plant at a rate of one per WEEK. They built as many coal plants as exist in the entirety of Texas + Ohio **in 2011 alone**.

(Also, let me state the obvious. In China, the government has great power. It can use this power to accomplish big things. Some of these things are good. Many are bad. Use state media and censorship to give the population one side of story? Check. Decide you need a big dam, so just evict 1.3 million people and ravage the local environment? Say no more -- done. Artificially surpress the standard of living of a billion people to subsidize trade? Hey, to make an omelette you gotta crack a few eggs.)

lllll aj

Re:China also buiding coal plants like mad (1)

some old guy (674482) | about a year ago | (#43523233)

Also, let me state the obvious. In China, the government has great power. It can use this power to accomplish big things. Some of these things are good. Many are bad. Use state media and censorship to give the population one side of story? Check.

China's economic and political power structure is merely the reverse-polarity flow of the USA's, all of it biased by the Big Global Capital Dynamo. In China, government controls and enables companies; in the US, companies control and enable the government.

Oh, that crap about Constitutions, Manifestos, and other political ideology? C'mon, mate. That's SO mid-20th Century. It's window dressing for the masses, nothing more.

There is no "competition" with China, because there is no competition. Just international profiteering.

Insert obligatory "In Soviet Russia..." remark here:___________________

Re:China also buiding coal plants like mad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523441)

"Companies control and enable the government ..." So how do things like the EPA ever come to exist? Because companies "let" them happen?

God, life must be so easy when you can just throw up your hands and say, "I give up" ...

Re:China also buiding coal plants like mad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523675)

If my understanding is correct -- and I don't pretend to be an expert on this -- the summary is pretty misleading. It's not that China is a white knight crusading for green energy. It's that China is doing EVERYTHING: Green, nuclear, coal, you name it.

Googling around ("china coal plants") suggest that China is opening a new coal plant at a rate of one per WEEK. They built as many coal plants as exist in the entirety of Texas + Ohio **in 2011 alone**.

(Also, let me state the obvious. In China, the government has great power. It can use this power to accomplish big things. Some of these things are good. Many are bad. Use state media and censorship to give the population one side of story? Check. Decide you need a big dam, so just evict 1.3 million people and ravage the local environment? Say no more -- done. Artificially surpress the standard of living of a billion people to subsidize trade? Hey, to make an omelette you gotta crack a few eggs.)

lllll aj

And they are burning some nasty coal without any regard for emission scrubbing. This will not change until the Chinese people refuse to put up with it (which is slowly beginning to happen). One can criticise China for displacing 1.3 million people to build a dam but they are doing nothing that the USA didn't do when it was emerging as an industrial power. The US doesn't exactly have a pristine record on displacing populations. Need to settle a few million white people? Drive the Native Amercians of their land... There! ... Pogress!

US == oil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523211)

And it's been that way for more than 100 years. Ironically that's why they've been doing so well until now and that's why they can't easily adapt and won't be doing so well in the future...

Re:US == oil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523645)

And it's been that way for more than 100 years. Ironically that's why they've been doing so well until now and that's why they can't easily adapt and won't be doing so well in the future...

Many of the more right wing US Americans that I meet seem to equate mindless uncritical support for everything big oil and coal (and lately the fracking/gas industry) do with a form of patriotism. Thankfully I also regularly meet US Americans who still haven't been brainwashed by Fox News which is encouraging.

duh, it's capitalism. (3, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | about a year ago | (#43523327)

Two points:
1) command economies are good at big stuff. Has anyone ever said otherwise?
2) Perhaps the main reason that clean energy isn't taking off in the US is because (at least for the moment) it's still largely a capitalistic society, and 'clean' energy is an entirely contrived, laterally-motivated concept (ie not driven by customer demand, but by tangential forces like a 'desire' for a clean environment contrived by the eco-lobby) whose existence relies almost entirely on government subsidy, regulatory 'sticks', and accounting sleight-of-hand?

Face it, as much as eco-nuts 'demand' we be cleaner, and legislators 'believe' we should be cleaner, Joe Public *generally* is uninterested in paying 2x the price for power if it comes from 'clean' sources. Maybe if Joe lived in 1870 London where everything was covered in soot, or something, he'd be motivated to change his habits. But the fact is, the environment in the USA hasn't reached the sort of obtrusive levels of pollution like Love Canal or the burning Hudson River that DID spark such motivations a generation ago.

Without motivation, consumers aren't typically really good at making 'commons' choices, because they're too consumed with affording things NOW to really be concerned about incremental impacts 20-50-100 years from now. No matter how much they're preached to.

Re:duh, it's capitalism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523437)

Wealthy capitalistic countries ARE willing to spend to clean the environment. The problem with most green energy is that it's more about pork barrel spending than CO2 reductions. The biggest reduction in CO2 emissions comes from replacing other fuels with natural gas, which the environmentalists have fought all the way.

Just don't breathe and you'll be fine. (4, Informative)

game kid (805301) | about a year ago | (#43523373)

China is a wonderfully clean and healthy place, as long as you don't breathe [nytimes.com] .

The Dirtiest Should Spend The Most On Cleaning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523419)

China is practically a national toxic waste dump. They should be putting more money into cleaning up.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523495)

I didn't think the Chinese were that stupid. Then again, I suppose in the 1980s people said the same thing about the Japanese, and look how the past two decades have treated them.

Its amazing: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523591)

We let them steal the technology from from us, we paid for the instructors, and the constructors, and in the workers paradise, we will see power come to the masses...

Oversupply due to China's policies (2)

Arakageeta (671142) | about a year ago | (#43523641)

A capitalist economy partly guards against oversupply. However, oversupply has resulted directly from Chinese policies: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/05/business/global/glut-of-solar-panels-is-a-new-test-for-china.html [nytimes.com]

Now both American and Chinese solar companies are failing. Further private investment in this oversupplied economy seems unwise; there is a distaste for subsidizing failed business models in the US (at least where green tech is concerned). Perhaps university research is the best alternative investment.

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