Vehicles in China, Environment in the election, etc

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reikiman's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Sunday, November 19, 2006 - 17:52
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Vehicles in China, Environment in the election, etc

While this report mentioned by DaveW is really exciting: NPR Report: EBikes Trendy in China

There is much more going on with transportation in China. This weeks episode of Living On Earth has a piece along these lines. LOE is a Public Radio International (PRI is associated with NPR) program which I listen to as a podcast.

For transportation in China they discuss what I've read elsewhere... that there is growing prosperity in China and cars is becoming more common. The story focused on Beijing, I think, and there the bicycle riders are often having a hard time due to more cars.

There's a kind of crazy making thing here that's a form of society superiority. If I look at China and say "they ought to stay with bicycles and not adopt cars" but how is it okay for me to continue driving a car? That's what I mean by 'society superiority'. DaveW's signature reads 'be the change you want to see in the world' which I believe comes from Ghandi, and one way I see that statement is to make the change in myself which I want others to make. It's worrisome that China and India are both more frequently driving cars and ramping up energy use and thereby ramping up their pollution output. But the truth is that in the U.S. we consume a much higher proportion of energy per person than anywhere else, and therefore produce a much higher proportion of pollution per person than anywhere else. The reason I worry about India and China increasing their energy use is if their huge populations were to start consuming 'energy' at the same proportion we do in the U.S. .. well .. that's just gonna make this issue of global carbon levels and global warming all the more worse than it already is.

The LOE show also has a recording of Sen. Hillary Clinton at a debate, and one of the things she does is point at India and say that rather than make deals with India for Nuclear energy (as Pres Bush did, in violation of the anti-proliferation treaties) she would act to encourage them to use solar and wind and other alternatives. Okay, I happen to agree with her, but it's a kind of social superiority to point at India and not point the same level of demand at our own people. And for that matter, having been to India myself, I know very well that India is already practicing alternative energy in a much bigger way than we do in the U.S.

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PJD's picture
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: Wednesday, November 22, 2006 - 05:44
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Re: Vehicles in China, Environment in the election, etc

It is only "social superiority" if one believes that there is something superior about a car-oriented society. For a while, I lived in a neighborhood and had a downtown job where I didn't need a car. I hated having to leave when my job moved to the burbs. I found that owning and being dependent on a car for transportation does NOT enhance my living standard in any way (aside from needing my truck to pursue a peculiar outdoor sport activity - hang gliding.)

Unfortunately north America has been subjected to years of incredibly inefficient suburban sprawl, the dismantling of good public transportation, and now, urban-gentrification that prices many people out of city neighborhoods where it its possible to live without a car. So, most North Americans have no other transportation alternative except a car.

So, I don't see any hypocracy in my opinion that India or China should not pursue a car-intensive society, I view it more as "don't make the same mistake we did!"

Don Harmon
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Joined: Saturday, October 20, 2007 - 17:15
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Re: Vehicles in China, Environment in the election, etc

I really believe the Government in China (not sure about India?) will be pushing the automobile away from gas power and realizing that 1.8 billion people cannot drive fossil fuel cars. I think they will still be driving more cars for sure-but they will all be EV's and they will get there a lot faster than we will. While we wait for the Volt, they are already planning on shipping PHEV cars by Q-4, 2008 to the U.S.



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