Well, China has been working hard to catch up to the US in many areas, why not this one? As a response to Zou Ji’s comments (he of Renmin University and quoted in the article below). "When we become richer and richer, and feel safer and safer, then people will have more time and more resources to pay attention to something not directly linked to themselves", you need to realize that the costs of retrofitting your economy to both stop polluting as well as clean up your mess will be prohibitively expensive. China, both as a state and its citizenry, would be far better served by its leaders being more forward thinking. Additionally, the long-term health of their eco-system, of which their bodies are mere extensions, is something that’s hard, and expensive, to buy back. This attitude is much like, knowing you have cancer, to wait until you’re richer so the financial bite is less painful.
Anyway, as is so often the case, Grist says it so much better than me.
And They’re Off
China overtakes United States as world’s biggest polluter, agency says
The United States is no longer the world’s biggest polluter. That honor goes to China, which emitted some 8 percent more carbon dioxide in 2006 than Bushland, according to the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. But on a per-person basis, Americans pollute roughly four to five times more than folks in China. And while the emissions surge is tied to a booming industrial landscape — China opens the equivalent of two coal-fired power plants each week — that growth is spurred in part by Western consumers buying goods made in China, and by outsourced manufacturing. So: still your fault. While China‘s leaders work on a climate plan, observers say residents are more worried about their immediate environs: "Most people in China are either unaware of or uninterested in climate change," says Zou Ji of Renmin University. "When we become richer and richer, and feel safer and safer, then people will have more time and more resources to pay attention to something not directly linked to themselves."
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straight to the source: The Globe and Mail, Reuters, 20 Jun 2007
straight to the source: The Guardian, Jonathan Watts and John Vidal, 20 Jun 2007
straight to the source: BBC News, Roger Harrabin, 19 Jun 2007
straight to the source: The Guardian, John Vidal and David Adam, 19 Jun 2007