China Is Going Green?

Recently, heaps of attention has been paid to the fact that China leads the world on carbon pollution. While this is true in terms of total pollution output, the average Chinese person has roughly 20% the carbon footprint of your average American person. The only problem is China has more than 1.3 billion people.

China has major ambitions to become the most productive economy on the planet, and this marks one of the reasons why China focuses on developing low carbon industrial solutions. Being green makes businesses more profitable, and also insures that the business can maintain a steady supply of resources without depleting the environment’s ability to replenish those resources. A great example of this would be rice. If you are running a rice company and you do not take excellent care of your farms, then very soon your crop yields will go down and the quality of your rice will decline. You need good and plentiful ingredients to compete in the food marketplace. The more green China becomes, the more fearsome they will become as an economic superpower.

China also has an enormous population that takes up more habitat space each year. This population has placed a burgeoning burden on the ecological habitats of China. You may remember the huge deal made out of the air quality in Beijing prior to the start of the ’08 Olympic Games. Check out this news story [] for more info on the environmental considerations China was forced to deal with because of the Olympics.

In recent international summits on climate change, the U.S. has maintained its position that it cannot invest in a low carbon economy until other countries like China and Russia do likewise. The fear is that the U.S. will spend a lot of money adapting to low carbon industrial infrastructures and other large countries who do not spend this money will be more competitive than America. This argument is dangerous to the future of the United States for a few reasons.

You only get one backyard. Regardless of what the rest of the world does, the U.S. controlled portion of the North American Continent will have to supply natural resources like food, water, clean air to the population of the United States. These are necessary services that only a strong, healthy and robust nature can provide. No matter how strong your economy becomes, if the fields are filled with poisonous pesticides, then you will have to spend a lot of money cleaning up that pollution after it has already started to affect your bottom line. With the application of some foresight, you could spend a little money to prevent the pollution problem from becoming critical, thereby shielding your bottom line from jeopardy.

The second problem with the U.S. climate change position of “everybody or nobody” stems from economic reasons. China currently leads the world in the production and exportation of solar panels. They are poised to be the world’s largest producer of wind turbines. China heats up water internationally by controlling two-thirds of the solar water heater industry. China wants to be the world’s most influential and powerful superpower, so you can bet they have some great economic reasons for investing this kind of money into environmentally friendly industries such as the ones listed above. Chinese people, by and large, desperately want to prove that their Communist State rivals all other countries in the world. They would not be pursuing industries like wind energy, solar energy and sustainable water heating if they did not believe that this was the most advantageous economic position to occupy. Is the U.S. willing to let China fulfill the demand for alternative energy industries?

Phelps may have dominated swimming events in the ’08 Summer Olympics with his large collection of gold medals, but who is winning the gold medal for investing in a healthy planet?