Spokane Regional Networking, Social Media, Professional and Business Development
Hi all --
You may have already seen it but there was an article in yesterday's New York Times that laid out the current state of affairs with China's energy supply -- a fascinating read with no shortage of dots to be connected within the article. Take a glance at it and you'll see what I mean... manufacturing capacity, greenhouse gases, coal, social unrest, standard of living, economic growth, free market demands vs. governmental dictates, economic stagnation, etc., etc., etc. One of the most engaging newspaper articles that I've seen for a long time...
Thanks, Mark. I look forward to reading it. And in return, here is another show-stopper article for you that I've been thinking about ever since it came out 14 years ago. http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/97nov/china.htm: "The price of China's surging economy is a vast degradation of the environment, with planetary implications. Although the Chinese government knows the environment needs protection, writes the author, who spent six weeks inside China investigating the growing environmental crisis, it fears that doing the right thing could be political suicide." Talk about the ultimate game of "chicken"! (Reminds me of how they drove when I lived there the summer of 1993.)
Thanks for The Atlantic article... I'll check it out. And while we're on the topic of China and their energy prognosis I'm reminded of another great bit of writing from Bill McKibben that was printed in Harper's in 2005. Only eleven pages but it has stuck with me over the past six years... I've attached a PDF version of the article (straight from one of the library's databases, thank you very much!) since you have to have a Harper's subscription to be able to read it from their web site.
Thanks, Mark. This actually applies directly to Spokane in a major way. China, the Obama Administration, Peabody Coal and Australia's Ambre Energy are collaborating on a system to send China vast amounts of coal from Montana and Wyoming, and nearly all of it would pass through the middle of Spokane on an extra 45 huge trains daily, enroute to the world's two largest coal ports, which Peabody and Ambre are pushing hard to build in Longview and Bellingham.
A big liability for Spokane, a disaster for the climate, and once the whole system is built it will be nearly impossible to stop. Spokane will be on the hook for millions to build overpasses, we'll choke on hundreds of tons of coal dust from uncovered railcars, and we'll have three times as many giant trains blaring through town at all hours. If you're interested, I can tell you more. I'm working with the Sierra Club to prevent this.
I would be interested to hear a bit more about this. It seems to me that the economics of moving a lump of coal half way around the world is predicated on petroleum staying within a fairly narrow price range. Either that or it is assuming that all Chinese boys and girls will behave badly year after year after year and that Santa will deliver the coal for free.