China Chokes on a Coal-Fired Boom

In regards to global warming, take my word for this: the end-game is China. What China does (or does not do) is what will shape the rest of the world in the years to come.

China, with its enormous economy, is a net-energy importer. As such, they are making deals hand-over fist with literally anyone who can supply them with energy, even if they are far away from them, i.e. Canadian tar sands.

Given the above scenario, it’s no wonder that China has horrible environmental problems:

Toxic cloud of progress can be seen from space

A great coal rush is under way across China on a scale not seen anywhere since the 19th century.

Its consequences have been detected half a world away in toxic clouds so big that they can seen from space, drifting across the Pacific to California laden with microscopic particles of chemicals that cause cancer and diseases of the heart and lung.

Nonetheless, the Chinese plan to build no fewer than 500 new coal-fired power stations, adding to some 2,000, most of them unmodernised, that spew smoke, carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere.

They have a toxic cloud so big that it can even be seen from space, and what to they do? Build more power plants, specifically coal-powered plants, which are even more toxic. Coal is used because it is cheap and plentiful (thus far that is) but as mentioned it is horribly toxic. It is used because oil is peaking throughout the world, and China – along with the rest of the world – is in a frantic scramble for oil.

Of course, there are consequences from all this coal-burning:

China had a hot and disastrous year in 2006, with average temperatures the highest since 1951, state media reported Sunday.

Xinhua News Agency said temperatures were on average 1 degree higher than in normal years. Meteorological officials were quoted as saying there was less rain than normal, down 16 millimeters (half an inch) from an average year.

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