Environmental experts paint a bleak picture of the future when the subject comes to global warming. Now, it turns out because of the rapid increase in energy needs in China, what were originally worst-case scenarios for global warming will now, almost surely, turn into best-case scenarios.
This is because many of the decisions for new power plants and energy have been pushed from Beijing down to the provincial levels, and simply put, the provinces have more incentive to produce more energy than to decrease carbon emissions. What was a bad situation becomes much worse, not just for China, but for the whole world. While the US has previously been the world’s worst emitter of hydrocarbons, China is on the path to replacing the US to become a hydrocarbon emitting country on a much grander scale, and in a league of its own. This will lead to much greater condemnation of China in the international press and also in China’s more vocal domestic arena of public opinion which uses the Internet as its main venue.
Richard Carson, a professor at the University of San Diego, is the leading expert on China’s carbon emissions, and he has co-authored a paper on his measurements and forecasts for carbon emissions based on his on-the-ground work in China. You can read about it here.