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China Draws Line in Sand to End Pollution for Good
Reuters ^ | August 16, 2006 | Chris Buckley

Posted on 08/17/2006 2:18:05 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

BEIJING — China will rigorously enforce limits on industrial pollution as it seeks to rein in rampant pollution and tame frenetic economic growth, the nation's top environment official said.

Zhou Shengxian, head of China's State Environmental Protection Administration, said government efforts to cut sulphur dioxide and other pollutants belching into China's hazy skies were failing, the China Environment News reported on Wednesday.

Breakneck economic expansion was instead overwhelming official goals to cut emissions and energy use, he said in a speech to officials on Tuesday.

"The central leadership is treating reductions in energy use and major pollutant emissions as two major hard targets -- red lines that can't be crossed," he was quoted as saying.

Zhou urged environmental officials to latch on to the ruling Communist Party leadership's determination to cool the economy in a fresh effort to cut pollution.

"The party central leadership and State Council are using reduction of major pollutants as an important means to promote coordinated, sustainable development," he said, referring to China's cabinet.

China has promised to clean its dirty skies for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has made green development a key theme of his administration.

But Zhou said giddy investment in steel mills, cement plants, coal-fired power stations and other emissions-heavy industries was defeating pollution limits. He promised a campaign to vet planned projects, especially those with investment of 100 million yuan ($12.5 million) or more.

China has become the world's top emitter of acid rain-causing sulphur dioxide, with discharges rising 27 percent from 2000 to 2005, mostly from coal-burning power stations, SEPA officials said earlier this month.

Zhou said estimates from 17 Chinese provinces indicated that discharges grew another 5.8 percent last year.

"We must face up to the fact that in the first half of the year emissions of major pollutants nationwide didn't fall, but rose," Zhou said.

"Investment in some pollution-related industries accelerated," he added, noting investment in coal mining and processing grew 45.7 percent compared to the first half of last year.

But the government's determination to tame growth -- which hit 11.3 percent in the second quarter compared to the year-earlier period -- was an opportunity for environmental enforcers, Zhou said.

Wen has ordered local governments to establish accountability rules for implementing caps on sulphur dioxide and other pollutants, and demanded that local officials face inspections for pollution control, Zhou said.

"Implementing reduction goals for major pollutants is the key focus of our work in the second half of the year," he said, warning officials that they should not assume the government's five-year plan for reining in pollution gave them ample time. ($1=7.981 Yuan)


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: china; emmissions; environment; olympics; pollution
So the question for me is whether they are doing this because their citizens finally are putting value on their environment, the situation is so bad that it is going to start hampering economic growth, or it is just plain embarassing that Olmypic atheletes won't be able to perform because of the pollution?

Either way, I tend to believe they can do it if they really put their minds to it.

To bad most of the technology they will import will be German and Japanese. The US is really quite far behind at least in terms of household goods. Of course, a lot of what the US uses is imported as well.

Efficiency really is the future.

Second comment: This story may be the opposite of reality because it is, in fact, coming from Reuters.

1 posted on 08/17/2006 2:18:06 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

Oh, I wouldn't doubt the Chinese are *saying* they will do these things.

Whether anything substantive will actually change, is another thing altogether.


2 posted on 08/17/2006 2:30:14 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
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To: FreedomPoster

It will be honored more inthe breach then the observance.


3 posted on 08/17/2006 2:34:08 AM PDT by Hydroshock ( (Proverbs 22:7). The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

Anyone who has been in China knows the pollution is abysmal.
Combination of ignorance and the need to make money with no restrictions.


4 posted on 08/17/2006 3:07:57 AM PDT by Joe Boucher (an enemy of islam)
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To: Joe Boucher
the need to make money with no restrictions.

A bit of an odd way of putting here at FR.

Communists always ruin their environment, but in this circumstance I am having a hard time pigeon-holing the ChiComs to give them a political label. I suppose ChiComs will have to do.

Reminds a bit too much of IngSoc from the book that gave me my tag line.

5 posted on 08/17/2006 3:11:26 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (War is Peace__Freedom is Slavery__Ignorance is Strength)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

Here in Florida we have a river Called the steinhatchie. Decades ago the government gave the owners of a huge paper mill an exemption in regards to pollution. Over these decades the company has killed this river and the pollution is dumped into the Gulf of Mexico killing much of that body of water and causing red tide.
This occurs today and everyday even now.
This used to happen all over the U.S. and is now happening all over China.

Yeah, go and earn money but don't kill the environment.


6 posted on 08/17/2006 3:33:31 AM PDT by Joe Boucher (an enemy of islam)
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To: Joe Boucher
Yeah, go and earn money but don't kill the environment.

This is something I think most conservatives firmly believe. Unfortunately the conservative politicians don't act like. Environmentalism used to be a conservative cause, with promotion of converative policies.

It has now given as a gift to the left which is a real shame as we begin to face increasingly more significant global environmental issues.

This is basically what I have been posting for a long time now, so we are in agreement.

7 posted on 08/17/2006 3:38:31 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (War is Peace__Freedom is Slavery__Ignorance is Strength)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

I'll be fascinated to see how this actually works. Based on whose definition one chooses to use, pollution extends to everything related to human existence on earth and beyond.

Allow me to provide an example. Suppose that ALL human-related "pollution" were actually eliminated from China and the Chinese were forced to resort to the horse and buggy for their transportation and freight shipping needs. The problem they face is that horses still produce "pollution". They poop and they fart. Based on any given envirowacko's definition of pollution, horse poop can be considered a pollutant and farts emit methane gas (fineable if your a cattle farmer in New Zealand).

So, I generally scoff at the notion that China will end pollution once and for all. As the genteel among us might say, "It is to laugh".


8 posted on 08/17/2006 4:12:03 AM PDT by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
Conservatives usually want to promote good behavior by offering incentives, like tax breaks, whereas Liberals prefer the punitive approach. They have a vision of Corporate America as an Evil entity that needs to be punished and want laws that reflect this. They want to take private land and make it a sanctuary for whatever eyeless shrimp creature they find there. Conservatives would prefer either to compensate a landowner for a taking (if it is really needed), or encourage the landowner to develop his property with an eye towards preservation. I happen to feel the Conservative approach gets better results and is fair.
9 posted on 08/17/2006 4:14:12 AM PDT by sportutegrl (A person is a person, no matter how small. (Dr. Seuss))
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To: sportutegrl
Conservatives usually want to promote good behavior by offering incentives, like tax breaks

I agree with that the conservative approach (which I think you are implying is relying or tweaking market forces) is also the consistently better alternative.

The environment tends to be a commons and therefore suffers from the trgedy of that commons. Placing a price on pollution generally only happens when people start to place a value on clean air, water, etc. over immediate economic growth. Companies just play by the rules they are given.

That much said, of course you have to have taxes on something in order to give breaks.

The Chinese are just starting to place restrictions on burdening the environment i.e. internalizing external costs.

10 posted on 08/17/2006 4:31:23 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (War is Peace__Freedom is Slavery__Ignorance is Strength)
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To: DustyMoment

You seem to be exaggerating a bit.

I never promoting "ending pollution" but rather increasing efficiency.

There are a limited number of resources on the planet - except human ingenuity.

The whole world cannot use resources in the manner the West currently does. There simply is not enough.

The world will also not simply let the West continue its lifestyle while they adopt a more modest one.

The only solution is for the West to modify its resources use patterns. This is an impossible scenario to imagine the West voluntarily reducing its resource consumption. Of course, the alternative is the overuse the resources capacity of the earth. Thus, it is the most impossible likelihood, except for the all of the others.

The nations that start first in efficiency will be the big winners. Ever notice that Germany is the world's leading exporter with 1/5 of the US population? What they export are their very efficient manufactured goods.


11 posted on 08/17/2006 4:35:35 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (War is Peace__Freedom is Slavery__Ignorance is Strength)
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To: DustyMoment
As the genteel among us might say, "It is to laugh".Yeah, but the genteel would say in en francais.
12 posted on 08/17/2006 4:37:20 AM PDT by HIDEK6
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
The environment tends to be a commons and therefore suffers from the trgedy of that commons. Placing a price on pollution generally only happens when people start to place a value on clean air, water, etc. over immediate economic growth. Companies just play by the rules they are given.

That philosophy will always veer liberal in the long run. People like myself can put a mostly private value on clean air. I say mostly because I benefit from 100,000 or so acres of national forest next to me. But I pay for it in spades with a 75 mile commute. Companies can move out there and hire me, offer me telecommuting options, or whatever else, but if they don't pay even 1/2 of what I'm getting now, I'm not going to consider switching. That's why economic growth is important, it gives me opportunities to save energy.

The other proof is that you in Europe and we in America have stopped our runup in energy usage and now it's the third world's turn to do so. If allowed to prosper they will be able to create the same efficiencies.

13 posted on 08/17/2006 4:47:15 AM PDT by palmer (Money problems do not come from a lack of money, but from living an excessive, unrealistic lifestyle)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
Reuters is now officially a propaganda machine for the enemy.

China Draws Line in Sand to End Pollution for Good

And the MSM continues to die. You'd have to be a total idiot to believe it. You'd need to be sick to write and publish it.
14 posted on 08/17/2006 4:51:53 AM PDT by Vision (God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love and self-discipline 2Timothy1)
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To: palmer

You didn't write anything with which I disagree.

However, there simply are not enough resources on the planet for 1-2 billion more people to run up their energy and then find efficienies later. If you don't want to talk about climate chage than how about fresh water, trees, and fish.

The reality is that there is a net loss of forests, the majority of our fisheries are at capacity or in decline, etc. etc.

I am not a "sky is falling" moonbat. I consistently advocate market/technology based solutions. But the scale of the problem and size of the investment needed, combined with pricing in of previously externatilized costs requires policy. Smart policy.

Can you explain how that is "liberal thinking"?


15 posted on 08/17/2006 4:52:26 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (War is Peace__Freedom is Slavery__Ignorance is Strength)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

Liberal thinking is pretending that economic growth and prosperity can be created through central planning. If there is a little central planning (e.g. basic air quality protection), that is not going to necessarily lead to liberalism although even that bureaucracy will inevitably get crazy (e.g. formulas for gas that make people drive 20 miles extra to get it cheaper). The real liberal thinking comes from planning how people live, e.g. public transportation, mixed with promotion of politically favored projects like farm subsidies.


16 posted on 08/17/2006 5:00:29 AM PDT by palmer (Money problems do not come from a lack of money, but from living an excessive, unrealistic lifestyle)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
You seem to be exaggerating a bit.

I never promoting "ending pollution" but rather increasing efficiency.


Ummmmm . . . . . . . 'Scuse me, but did you even READ the article you posted? The one titled "China Draws Line in Sand to End Pollution for Good"?
17 posted on 08/17/2006 5:02:44 AM PDT by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

I didn't directly answer your question about the third world. My main answer is free trade to bring up their living standards. Our wealthy manufacturing work force has taken the brunt of this, while poor manufacturing workers have had a rapid increase in living standards. Wealth also seems to bring down birth rates.


18 posted on 08/17/2006 5:04:28 AM PDT by palmer (Money problems do not come from a lack of money, but from living an excessive, unrealistic lifestyle)
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To: palmer
The real liberal thinking comes from planning how people live, e.g. public transportation, mixed with promotion of politically favored projects like farm subsidies.

Public transport, however, is a public good. It is also too expensive of an investment (at least when referring to subways and light rail) to generally be something a private company could do. There is also a measure of fairness involved. Or would you say that people living in rural areas should not have gotten electricity or telephones?

Farm subsidies are tricky. The most outrageous like cotton are a result of concentrated political power. Others have benefits to the public good, like a secure food supply or maintenance of the land.

To deny that there is such a thing as the public good is absurd or anarchist. The environment is a public good. Pricing SOX, NOX or CO2 is just a matter of internalizing previously external costs. The market then has to work to minimize those costs.

Water used to be free, until there were too many people. One used to be able to go out in the woods and hunt or fish as much as you wanted. When these goods became scarce they became regulated. It is a natural progression.

I agree that command and control are the things to avoid. For the government to say who, what and when something will happen rarely if ever works. For the government to make the (least amount of) rules deemed necessary and let the players figure out how to best play the game is common, conservative sense.

19 posted on 08/17/2006 5:07:51 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (War is Peace__Freedom is Slavery__Ignorance is Strength)
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To: palmer

Fully agreed.


20 posted on 08/17/2006 5:19:15 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (War is Peace__Freedom is Slavery__Ignorance is Strength)
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To: DustyMoment

Umm . . did you even read the first line of the article?

The title was from Reuters! The Chinese themselves just said they want to actually enforce the rules that are on the books. Come on DM, you are smarter than that.


21 posted on 08/17/2006 5:21:11 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (War is Peace__Freedom is Slavery__Ignorance is Strength)
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To: Joe Boucher

"Yeah, go and earn money but don't kill the environment."

And this is the problem in America today. On one side you have radical environmentalists who understand that we need pristine land to live and on the other you have corporations, who produce their products and do at times pollute.

What we should be doing is putting both groups together to work together to produce the best solutions while eliminating government regs that stifle growth. Give incentives based on partnerships.


22 posted on 08/17/2006 5:26:41 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Kill all the lawyers? No, kill all the politicans.)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
Rural areas once needed wires for 2-way communication, that point has long since passed and would have passed sooner had it not been for bad spectrum policy, subsidies and other government boondoggles. I just finished reading an article on Swiss farm subsidies. It is probably one of the reasons that Switzerland has per-GDP CO2 emissions that are 4 times ours. It takes a lot of energy to farm above 2000 meters but they want it for its appearance and the farmers have a lot of political clout.

The "public good" is an overgeneralization of several rights and a lot of socialist junk. I have the right to clean air, CO2 doesn't make it dirty. I'm sure we've argued this before, but AGW is based on models that primarily use water vapor to warm the earth, CO2 only contributes a degree or two. If you insist on defining a "public good" then define it as a function of model output, then I can pay to have SO2 injected into the upper atmosphere or some other equally cheap solution to warming (if it is indeed a problem).

23 posted on 08/17/2006 5:37:21 AM PDT by palmer (Money problems do not come from a lack of money, but from living an excessive, unrealistic lifestyle)
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To: palmer

My guess is that in a face to face conversation we would find we agree on most points. Our mild areas of disagreement is what makes this interesting.

In terms of the anti climate change water vapour argument, I have posted about this before.

If you view the atmosphere (the greenhouse gasses that is) as a glass that is 99.99 water vapour, then it does make logical sense the .001% is irrelevant.

However, the reality is that it a glass is not the correct analogy, but rather a sensitive (yet sometimes self-correcting) balance. If you add too much is one direction you will get a signficant shift. We don't know how much that is and could be less than .001%. If you combine human emissions with what might be a normal cyclical warming, the shift could be very, very great and the self-balancing mechanism will take a time-period longer than is relevant for human beings.

Ultimately it is quite obvious from the time that I have been posting at FR that the climate change debate is moving in my direction and not the other way.

Even if you don't believe in it personally, it is simply time to start advocating reasonable measures based on conservative market mechanisms. Otherwise we are going to get something much, much worse, more costly and more destructive.

By the way, have you ever been to Switzerland? I have and I understand why they pay the price they do to keep their country looking like it does. Actually this is the first time I have ever, ever heard anyone criticize the way the Swiss run things. Very odd Palmer, very odd.


24 posted on 08/17/2006 5:49:54 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (War is Peace__Freedom is Slavery__Ignorance is Strength)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
I am 1/2 Swiss. I was quoting from an article in Swiss-American review (or something like that) which directly criticized wasteful farm subsidies. Nothing odd about that. As for your 0.001% argument, that requires models. There is no other way to argue it except as some fringe AGW alarmists do, theorizing about a venus-like CO2 effect. The debate is temporarily moving towards the alarmist side, but alarmists will always end up rejected in the end because their dire predictions, like this year's hurricanes, won't come true. That simply proves that models are more complex than they will admit, that weather provides numerous negative feedbacks, and their models do not adequately handle weather.

Again, I will repeat the challenge I make to all AGW enthusiasts. If your models really do predict warming, then let's use the same models to figure out the cheapest solution which will surely not be the limiting of CO2. Their general rejection of that challenge betrays their agenda which is anti-growth and ultimate anti-humanity. There is no "CO2 commons", there are much cheaper ways to deal with warming, if indeed it is a problem.

25 posted on 08/17/2006 6:04:28 AM PDT by palmer (Money problems do not come from a lack of money, but from living an excessive, unrealistic lifestyle)
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To: palmer
Does being 1/2 Swiss mean you hold a Swiss passport? Also, does that mean you have been there?

Regardless, you are correct that Climate Change models are correct and subject to inaccuracies. If they weren't there would be zero debate. That is the way science is.

As for the issue of being an alarmist, I would ask the following questions:

Does your town/city have a fire department? If so, would you say a significant percentage of calls to which they respond are false alarms? Is that a reason for the department not to respond? Is it a reason for them not to exist? When there are real fires, does it generally require the entire capacity of the fire department or is their spare capacity in case of a truly large problem?

Environmental alarmists sometimes are kooks and sometimes they shout when the problem is real. The potential problem in this case is huge and the number of people shouting is only growing.

Talking about 1 hurricane season as proof or disproof of a warming trend is evidence that one does not understand the issue or the debate. I know you are smarter than that.
26 posted on 08/17/2006 6:19:27 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (War is Peace__Freedom is Slavery__Ignorance is Strength)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
No. About 4 years ago. Dangerous fires are real, dangerous warming is a model output. Benign fire and benign warming are both generally good. A rule similar to what AGW proponents want would be to ban outdoor burning. I am allowed, under current conditions, to burn any time of day. I still choose after 4PM (the spring or drought rules) so I can keep better track of it and let it run in the less windy, less dry overnight hours.

Environmental alarmists will scream about forest fires ignoring the fact that I know what I am doing. They scream about super hurricanes, then when we don't have any, they look stupid. If anything, they hurt your cause since the average joe will tune everyone out, alarmist or not.

27 posted on 08/17/2006 6:34:29 AM PDT by palmer (Money problems do not come from a lack of money, but from living an excessive, unrealistic lifestyle)
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To: palmer
they hurt your cause since the average joe will tune everyone out

Science isn't a democratic process though.

I know the IDer's wish it were so, but it isn't. Scientists need to base their recommendations on the best available science. Politicians heed or ignore their advice at their own peril.

At the moment I see every industrialized nation with leaders that more or less except what the overwhelming majority of the scientific community is telling them about man's contribution to climate change. The only exception is the American President. The same statement could be made about evolution.

28 posted on 08/17/2006 6:38:55 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (War is Peace__Freedom is Slavery__Ignorance is Strength)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

Meetings, gotta go. When I warn about people tuning out, I am warning AGWers against hyping the threat. Don't hype. And if the models say it will warm, then the models can also tell us the consequences of the warming as well as the cheapest ways to fix it.


29 posted on 08/17/2006 6:45:14 AM PDT by palmer (Money problems do not come from a lack of money, but from living an excessive, unrealistic lifestyle)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

To put it more succinctly: "You can catch more flies with honey."


30 posted on 08/17/2006 6:53:42 AM PDT by sportutegrl (A person is a person, no matter how small. (Dr. Seuss))
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