- A severe drought in northern China — considered the country’s breadbasket — has hit almost 43% of the country’s wheat crop this winter, senior officials have warned….Henan Daily reported that the drought is the province’s most severe since 1951, with no rain for 105 days. It warned that up to 63% of the region’s wheat crop is threatened.
- Chinese scientists said Wednesday glaciers that serve as water sources on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau are melting at a “worrisome speed,” having receded 196 square km over the past nearly 40 years.
A senior family planning official in China has noted an alarming rise in the number of babies with birth defects….Jiang Fan, from China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission, said environmental pollution was a cause of the increase. The coal-mining heartland of Shanxi province had the biggest problem.
Despite this triad of negative environmental impacts from coal and carbon emissions in general, when asked “Is China ready to sign a treaty to cap carbon emissions?”, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao answered
...it’s difficult for China to take quantified emission reduction quotas at the Copenhagen conference, because this country is still at an early stage of development. Europe started its industrialisation several hundred years ago, but for China, it has only been dozens of years.
To which Joseph Romm appropriately responds,
China is going to have to get past this nonsense that it is like Haiti or Kenya. It is a hyperdeveloping country that has been consuming more coal, steel, cement than any other country by far for years. It is perfectly reasonable for China to develop fast, but to impy that it is only at an “early stage of development” is a canard.
Looks like Obama and Steven Chu have their work cut out for them getting China to slow down its coal use and carbon emissions.
Edited by dana1981 - Fri, 6 Feb 2009 21:51:50 UTC