AuthorTopic: Malthus to China Potpourri  (Read 39901 times)

Offline RE

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #45 on: July 22, 2012, 05:25:25 AM »

No big deal. If you can re-title this thread, that would be cool, but no bigee either way.
No need to make a big operation out of it.

The software does not enable Retitling of threads once they are begun.  You can re-Title each Post you make to the thread, but even Admin cannot Retitle the whole thread once begun on this software package.  The ONLY way to retitle a thread is to start a new one and Migrate all the posting over to it.  I CAN do that, because of course I am ADMIN, Power of GOD on a Forum.  :icon_mrgreen:

If you start the new thread under the title you like, since this one is your baby overall I will migrate the whole thread over there.  No problem, not complicated,  I can do that in under a minute.

Save As Many As You Can

Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #46 on: July 22, 2012, 05:30:27 AM »
The overall success of the Five Year Plans, up to the 11th, are a matter of
historical record.  Now comes (or CAME, as of 2011) the 12th FYP, and
it is a doozie!


12th Five Year Plan Hailed as `Greenest FYP in China's

Posted on April 5, 2011 by China Briefing

One of the most significant messages that emerged from the
Annual Sessions of China's National People's Congress last
month was undoubtedly the importance and urgency to create a
"green" China - one where sustainable development will be the
top priority and one which will be fully compatible with
China's economic plans for growth.

China's new 12th Five Year Plan (FYP), hailed as the "Greenest
FYP in China's History," contains a series of social and
economic objectives to be achieved by 2015, of which one-third
are targets relating to natural resources and environmental
issues, aiming to build sustainable development practices into
Chinese industries.

The new targets are no less ambitious than those from the last
FYP, where the government managed to successfully reduce
China's energy intensity by 20 percent from 2006 to 2010. The
new targets, signed off by the NPC and the State Party earlier
this month, intend to lower energy intensity by a further 16
percent over the next five years. Other equally impressive
goals arising from the Annual Sessions include China's goal to
boost the proportion of non-fossil fuels in overall primary
energy use from the current 8 percent up to 11.4 percent; to
cut CO2 emission by 17 percent overall; and to reduce major
pollutant emissions, such as heavy metal and chemical waste
from manufacturing processes, by around 8 percent to 10


Although traditionally it had been relatively difficult for
foreign investors to get involved in the renewable energy
market, it is possible that new avenues could be opening up in
this sector as China pushes forward with the new
environmentally-friendly FYP. In order to restructure and
upgrade Chinese industries with the new targets in mind,
authorities have recognized that there is a need for foreign
input in terms of new investment and technologies in these


Note well, Ash, since you had asked about the dependence of China's
renewable energy development on "foreign capital": "traditionally
it had been relatively difficult for foreign investors to get involved in
the renewable energy market"

Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #47 on: July 22, 2012, 05:51:35 AM »

This is snippets from one section, of several that I
will post, from an ebook about the 12th FYP:

China's Green Revolution: Energy, Environment and the 12th
Five-Year Plan

page 17:

China's green era begins

Hu Angang and Liang Jiaochen

Five-year plans (FYPs), which set down and clarify national
strategy, are one of China's most important policy tools. Just
as they have helped to drive China's economic success over
recent decades, so they will play a pivotal role in putting
the country on a green development path.
The 12th
Five-Year Plan, now under consideration by the National
People's Congress, marks the beginning of that process in

FYPs embody the concept of progressing by degrees, or
developing step by step. This approach has been one of the
driving forces behind China's economic progress in recent
decades, and will now provide the platform for its green
development. It is the methodology underpinning China's
socialist modernisation: to reach a new step in development
every five years. Unstinting efforts over a number of FYPs
have driven China's transformation.18

Climate change presents a long-term and all-encompassing
challenge for China. It demands a long-term development
strategy and broad goals, as well as near-term action plans
and concrete policies. Combining these is precisely the idea
behind FYPs.

At the global climate-change summit in Copenhagen in 2009,
China demonstrated it has the long-term political will to
respond to climate change; to work with the world to limit
global temperatures to no more than two degrees Celsius above
pre-industrial temperatures (the goal set out in the
Copenhagen Accord). In November that year, the Chinese
government formally put forward its medium-term targets on
climate change: a reduction in energy intensity of 40% to 45%
on 2005 levels by 2020, and generation of 15% of energy from
non-fossil fuel sources by the same date.

The period from 2005 to 2020 takes in three FYPs, the 11th,
12th and 13th. In each five-year period, national
circumstances and long-term strategy will inform the selection
of appropriate targets. In this way, further steps towards the
medium-term development goals set for 2020 - themselves part
of a longer-term green development strategy - will be taken.
The development philosophy of China's five-year plans will be
combined with its green development strategy.

We have already seen some success in the 11th FYP period
(2005 to 2010), during which China met its energy-saving and
emission-reduction targets, a good first step towards
achieving 2020 targets.
Next we need to research, set and
implement energy-saving and emission-reduction goals for the
12th FYP, taking further steps along the same path.

One of the key strengths of Chinese socialism is its capacity
for long-term, national-level planning - its political
continuity. FYPs are an important example of this. Despite the
twists and turns of history, China has held firm in its
modernisation goals. China is one of the few nations able to
pursue 19 long-term development goals, rather than chop and
change as political parties with differing stances succeed one

Long-term policy continuity is vital for dealing with issues
like climate change. Cutting greenhouse-gas emissions and
building a low-carbon economy require an overhaul of both our
mode of economic development and our lifestyles. Achieving
this requires perseverance. This is where China's policymaking
framework shows its strengths. China's enduring and stable
political system, in combination with its five-year planning
structure, will ensure that the country maintains a
consistent, long-term strategy for tackling climate change at
the same time as formulating policies that respond to the
needs of the time.

These are strengths many other nations lack.


Successes in energy-saving and emissions-reduction over the
last five years give us a taste of what's to come. In our
evaluation of the 11th FYP, we found that targets on
population, resource conservation and environment were all
fulfilled. Energy intensity dropped by about 20% as planned.

Arable land cover was held at 1.2 million square kilometres, a
higher figure than was targeted.20

Meanwhile, water consumption per unit of industrial value
added dropped 35% against a target of 30%.
The coefficient of
effective use of water for irrigation reached the targeted
0.5. And chemical oxygen demand (an indirect measure of water
pollution) dropped by 14%.

Carbon-dioxide emissions also fell - by an accumulative 12% -
more than the 10% goal mandated by the plan.
The binding
targets for energy-saving and emission-reduction in particular
showed the value of "hard limits". Major progress was made on
green development, providing important experience for further
implementation during the 12th FYP.

The 12th FYP is the first for which the theme will be green
development. Again, a point will be made of the need to
"construct a resource-conserving and environmentally friendly
The plan will explicitly say that, faced with
ever-stronger environmental and resource constraints, China
must increase its sense of urgency and establish concepts of
green and low- carbon development. With a focus on
energy-saving and emission-reduction, it must introduce
incentives and disincentives to help promote resource
conservation and green production and consumption.

The green development strategy has six supporting pillars,
each with its own section in the plan: actively responding to
climate change; strengthening conservation and management of
resources; developing the "circular economy"; enhancing
environmental protection; promoting ecological protection and
restoration; and strengthening systems for water management
and disaster prevention and alleviation.

Green development targets are also more apparent in the new

Population goals aside, the number of resource and
environmental targets accounts for 33.3% of the total, up from
27.2% in the 11th FYP. It also sets the key aims that will
frame China's response to climate change. These include:
reductions in carbon-dioxide intensity, reductions in carbon-
dioxide emissions - by increasing the proportion of non-fossil
fuels in 21 energy structure - and the creation of new forest
areas to boost forest cover, timber reserves and carbon sinks.

The 12th FYP sets out both "carrot" and "stick" approaches.
For the first time, this FYP aims to reform resource pricing
and establish a system of payment for environmental services.
It requires stronger assessment of responsibility for
energy-saving and emission-reduction targets, appropriate
control of total energy consumption and the application of
green development in all economic activity.

Also for the first time, the 12th FYP puts forward an
"ecological security" strategy. In areas where development is
limited or banned, ecological protection will be rigorously
enforced and green buffer zones will be used to shield
vulnerable land. There will also be funding for specific
ecological restoration projects, so that our children and
grandchildren will be able to enjoy a beautiful China.

The 12th FYP is a true green development plan, which marks
China's entry into a green development era. It is a historical
moment: the point at which China launches - and joins - the
global green revolution and adopts a concrete plan of action
for responding to climate change. The positive effects will be
felt worldwide.


Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #48 on: July 22, 2012, 05:55:31 AM »
Snippets from another section of the ebook:

China's Green Revolution: Energy, Environment and the 12th
Five-Year Plan

page 38:

A test for Europe?

Shin Wei Ng

China's 12th Five-Year Plan was approved after the annual
sessions of the National People's Congress and Chinese
People's Political Consultative Conference - bodies that meet
once a year to discuss and determine national-level policies.
Central to the FYP are the government's aims to accelerate
social development, expand domestic demand and develop new
strategic industries.

Over the next five years, the Chinese economy is expected to
grow by 50% to US$7.5 trillion (49.3 trillion yuan); its
working population, however, is also expected to peak around
2015 to 2017. To address the impending challenges and maintain
steady economic growth, the Chinese government will shift from
a focus on the quantity of growth to the quality of

Five-year plans are more than mere political intent -
delivery of their targets is a crucial source of political
legitimacy for the Chinese leadership. Despite some
difficulties, strong top-down measures have meant that the
Chinese government has managed to achieve most of the
environmental targets set under the 11th FYP.

 As China starts to deliver on its potential, the 12th
FYP will further intensify China's "green transition", which
is particularly critical in helping China to implement its 40%
to 45% carbon- intensity reduction target by 2020.


China's new industrial strategy will prioritise the
development of seven industries: alternative energy,
biotechnology, new-generation information technology, high-end
equipment manufacturing, advanced materials, alternative-fuel
cars and energy saving and environmental protection. The total
value-added output of the new industries is expected to
account for 8% of China's GDP in 2015 and 15% by 2020.

By placing substantial amounts of public investment in these
sectors and providing the right policy framework over the next
five to 10 years, the Chinese government aims to increase
dramatically the capacity and competitiveness of Chinese
businesses in the green sector. For example, under the draft
"New Energy Industry Development Plan 2011-2020", the Chinese
government plans to invest 5 trillion yuan (US$761 billion) in
the new-energy sector by 2020. Investment in environmental
protection is expected to top 3 trillion yuan by 2015, and the
government also plans to invest 100 billion yuan in the
alternative-energy vehicles industry over the next 10 years.


Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #49 on: July 22, 2012, 06:01:55 AM »

Snippets from another section of the ebook:

China's Green Revolution: Energy, Environment and the 12th
Five-Year Plan

page 48:

A spur to action in Hong Kong

Thomas Ho

Chinese officials have clearly determined that wealth
generation alone won't deliver greater economic and social
maturity. Energy efficiency, renewables, clean technologies
and environmental protection are essential as well. Hong Kong
should take heed.

In fact, the relative weighting afforded to the environment as
against the economy in the recently released 12th Five Year
Plan is truly stunning.

The plan calls for the current rapid pace of growth to be
slowed substantially, from the 11.2% average of 2006-2010, to
7% for the upcoming five-year period.
It aims to deliver more
sustainable, energy-efficient growth through an array of
interlocking targets and policies.

When Chinese policymakers set themselves a goal, they spare no
policy tool in its pursuit. Thus traditional inputs to wealth
creation - land, water and coal - are all to be limited.

On the supply side, trillions of yuan will be invested in
cleaner, more carbon-efficient power generation and
distribution. On the demand side, energy-intensive industries
will face increasing constraints, while consumers will be
encouraged to purchase greener, reusable or recyclable
Experiments with market mechanisms, such as taxing
and trading, will inform broader efforts to put a price on

As any business leader knows, the proof of a plan is in its
execution. China is undertaking a radical transformation of
its economy, on a scale never before attempted. Even if it
hits every target, its carbon footprint will rise. But two
central tenets will help ensure China's low-carbon movement is
a one-way journey. The first is an increasingly transparent
policy and legal regime to spur business investment.


Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #50 on: July 22, 2012, 06:13:48 AM »

Note well:
 -- "China's MASSIVE GOVERNMENT SUPPORT for the solar industry"
 -- "The Solar Industry [is] a Strategic Emerging Industry... Targeted
     for Preferential Treatment"
 -- etc.

THAT is the kind of stuff that "big government" ought, of
course, to be doing. And it IS doing it -- over there. Not here.



Prepared by the international trade practice of Wiley Rein
LLP, based in Washington, D.C., for the Coalition for American
Solar Manufacturing



The Plans Identify the Solar Industry as a Strategic Emerging
Industry that Should be Targeted for Preferential Treatment

China's 12th FYP sets forth which industries, enterprises, and
products should be targeted for preferential treatment during
the 2011-2015 period. In particular, the plan identifies seven
"strategic emerging industries" and mandates the provision of
government subsidies and other support to develop these
industries. Among the seven strategic emerging industries is
"new energy," which includes solar power. Indeed, the plan
explicitly calls for the development of "solar energy
utilization and photovoltaic and photo-thermal power
generation" and for the transformation of the solar industry
into a "leading and pillar" industry.

China's Solar 12th FYP states that "[t]he expedited
development of China's solar PV industry is of great
importance" and that the "industry will continue to maintain
rapid development" from 2011-2015. The plan sets forth the
goals of "strengthen[ing] China's PV industry," "promot[ing]
the innovation of key technologies," "improv[ing] production
techniques," and "enhanc[ing] the overall competitiveness of
China's PV industry." To accomplish these objectives, the
Chinese government will "strengthen national macro policy
guidance, persist in overall industry planning and reasonable
industrial deployment, and set norms for the healthy
development of the PV industry."

B. The Plans Call for Government Subsidies and Other
Assistance to Develop the Solar Industry

The 12th FYP calls for substantial government subsidies to
support China's strategic emerging industries, including
solar.  Indeed, news reports indicate that subsidies for the
seven strategic emerging industries will total more than $1.5
trillion. Subsidies appear to include cash grants as well as
preferential tax, fiscal, and procurement policies.


Offline EndIsNigh

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #51 on: July 22, 2012, 06:17:30 AM »
Even if it hits every target, it's carbon footprint will rise.

Sustainability is a much abused term, I'm curious how the Chinese choose to define it.  Is that in the FYP?

In my view sustainability and growth is a contradiction of terms.

Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #52 on: July 22, 2012, 06:18:09 AM »
This is a lengthy, detailed report, which is unfortunately
placed behind a registration wall. You have to register to
enter; however, registration is easy and FREE, so go ahead
and do it to get the full text. Also, this is one of two
reports along similar lines (see at the link).

These are just fragmentary snippets:

The China Greentech Report 2012
Faced with Challenges, China Accelerates Greentech Growth


page 14, 15 and on:

Ambitious emission and energy intensity targets set by the
central government will promote cleaner and more diversified
energy production and use. On the energy production side,
China's nuclear and gas sectors will experience strong growth
while the government continues to restructure the coal mining
industry, implementing efficiencies and cleaner processes.
Stricter emission standards will affect coal plants, and the
government will introduce carbon trading pilot programs. Gas
power, especially distributed gas energy, should experience
rapid growth with strong government policy support.


In 2011, the central government set out ambitious plans for
renewable energy by setting 2015 installation targets,
doubling the renewable energy surcharge rate, issuing
standards to mitigate grid connection problems and introducing
specific carbon reduction policies.


China began the Construction Phase of its 2009-2020 Strong and
Smart Grid Plan in 2011, initiating the world's largest effort
to build a reliable, efficient and smart grid.


Cleaner Transportation is an important element of China's plan
to reduce carbon emissions and fossil-fuel use.
 To reduce dependence on oil imports and cut emissions, the
Chinese government is pursuing a range of transportation
policies including development and adoption of new energy
vehicles (NEVs), improved fuel-efficiency, high-speed rail and
biofuels. NEVs were named as one of the seven strategic
emerging industries (SEIs) under the 12th Five-Year Plan,
translating into government financial and regulatory support.


Clean Water:
 To address its dire water situation, including low resources
per capita, severe pollution and uneven distribution, China
has set water protection as a priority over the next decade.
 China's water resources are scarce, poorly distributed and
heavily polluted. In January 2011, the State Council announced
a RMB 4 trillion water investment plan for the next decade,
and the government's 12th Five-Year Plan introduced ambitious
national targets on water efficiency and pollution control.
Given government support, private equity and venture capital
funds invested eight times more capital in China's water
sector in the first four months of 2011 than the whole of

Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #53 on: July 22, 2012, 06:34:22 AM »
Even if it hits every target, it's carbon footprint will rise.
Sustainability is a much abused term, I'm curious how the Chinese choose to define it. 
Is that in the FYP?
In my view sustainability and growth is a contradiction of terms.


No one knows what, exactly, sustainability will look like in the modern/post-modern
world. (We know what it LOOKED like -- past tense -- for hunter-gatherers, but that
is irrelevant to our situation, here and forward.)  In order to "define" it, we will have
to create it, and then see in the rear-view mirror just how close we came (or failed
to come).  Sustainability will be achieved (IF it is achieved) by successive
approximations (experiments), hundreds of them, and incremental imrprovements,
over decades and centuries.  It is not something we simply go to, directly, overnight.
It is an unfolding process, an adventure, a journey into an uncharted land.

As for sustainability and growth being a contradiction: I think you're right. And obviously
the Chinese do, too, which is why the 12th FYP calls for a deliberate reduction in the
rate of growth
, so as to accomodate sustainability/environmental targets.

Actually, sustainability and growth are not a contradiction in all contexts. A certain
amount of growth is necessary in order to reach the demographic transition, which
is critical for sustainability. Growth well beyond that point -- as we have here
in the U.S./West -- is of course unsustainable, or at least is a terrible environmental
burden that probably cannot be sustained for more than a couple centuries.

Regarding this: "Even if it hits every target, it's carbon footprint will rise."  Yes, of course.
That's the way it is, chasing this thing up the slope that it has been on.  In the same way,
China's population is still rising and will continue to rise for a few decades, even though
they have reduced their fertility to below replacement (i.e. they cannot possibly improve
on that front). It takes a LONG TIME for these improvements to work their way through
to distal endpoints such as gross population.  The point is the process, the trajectory,
not the state at any given moment.

Offline Surly1

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #54 on: July 22, 2012, 06:36:27 AM »
Craig Dilworth, in Too Smart for our Own Good, has this to say:

“[C]apitalism must be regarded as an economy of unpaid costs, ‘unpaid’ in so far as a substantial proportion of the actual costs of production remain unaccounted for in entrepreneurial outlays; instead they are shifted to, and ultimately borne by, third persons, or by the community as a whole.”

// One social effect of constant economic growth is increasing psychological stress, the result of being caught up in the rat race, and constantly having to run faster and faster. Lorenz traces this stress back to its biological preconditions, suggesting that: “The rushed existence into which industrialized man has precipitated himself is actually a good example of an inexpedient development caused entirely by competition between members of the same species.”

 . . . continuing growth, far from solving problems, is the primary generator of our growing social distress. The ultimate pressures resulting from growth are of a social nature – crime, civil disorder, declining mental health, war, drug addiction, and the collapse of goals and values. For each technical goal that is met, some social or economic goal must be forgone. Though population growth and migration have been controlled at all times, that control has often been guided by short-term considerations, with unexpected and undesirable long-term results. (Cf. Mishan: “Rapid economic development over the last century has been responsible not only for an unprecedented expansion of populations the world over but also, and especially in the richer countries, for the growing mobility of their populations.”) The issue is not one of control or no control. The issue is the kind of control and towards what end. No group can be expected to exert the self-discipline now necessary to limit population size and the environmental demands of industrialisation unless there is a way to keep the future advantages of such self-discipline from being swallowed up by inward migration.

The view that at least a good part of GNP represents a cost may be seen as being society’s point of view, or, ultimately, the point of view of the species. But it is not the point of view of individual capitalists. As suggested earlier, war, for example, which represents a cost for society, is a source of profit to capitalists. In this way we can partly understand e.g. the American military expenditures in the Persian Gulf area. Already before the first Gulf War, i.e. in 1985, the United States spent $47 billion projecting power into the region. If seen as being spent to obtain Gulf oil, it amounted to $468 per barrel, or 18 times the $27 or so that at that time was paid for the oil itself. In fact, if Americans had spent as much to make buildings heat-tight as they spent in one year at the end of the 1980s on the military forces meant to protect the Middle Eastern oil fields, they could have eliminated the need to import oil from the Middle East. So why have they not done so? Because, while the $468 per barrel may be seen as being a cost the American taxpayers had to bear, and a negative social effect those living in the Gulf area had to bear, it meant only profits for American capitalists.

But there are large economic discrepancies even within wealthy nations. As Schumacher asks regarding the United States, how could there be public squalor in the richest country in the world, and in fact much more of it than in many other countries whose per capita GNP is markedly smaller? Schumacher wrote at the beginning of the 1970s, but the subsequent 35 years of continuous growth haven’t helped the situation. As Reiman remarks, the richest nation in the world continues to produce massive poverty, 37 million people in the US – over 12 per cent of the population – today being classed as poor. The life expectancy of the average African-American is lower than that of the average Chinese, and the infant mortality rate in cities such as Washington, Baltimore and St. Louis is higher than in cities such as Bangkok and Cairo. As Schumacher says, if economic growth to the present American level has been unable to get rid of public squalor – or has even been accompanied by its increase – how could one reasonably expect that further such growth would mitigate or remove it? It is strange indeed that the conventional wisdom of present-day economics can do nothing to help the poor. Invariably it proves that only such policies are viable as have in fact the result of making those already rich and powerful, richer and more powerful. The conventional wisdom of what is now taught as economics bypasses the poor, the very people for whom development is really needed. The economics of giantism and automation is totally incapable of solving any of the real problems of today.

As regards free trade, Douthwaite points out that international free trade inescapably leads to a levelling down. It means that salaries and wages will tend to converge at Third World levels, and social security provisions in industrial countries will continue to be cut, since these are an overhead that economies cannot bear if they are to compete successfully with countries without them. Only the owners of the surviving transnational companies and of natural resources will escape the general impoverishment. Already the islands of prosperity are growing steadily smaller in an otherwise sick, dilapidated and hungry world.

 . . . modern man has built a system of production that ravishes nature and a type of society that mutilates man. If only there were more and more wealth, everything else, it is thought, would fall into place. Money is considered to be all-powerful; if it could not actually buy non-material values, such as justice, harmony, beauty or even health, it could circumvent the need for them or compensate for their loss. The development of production and the acquisition of wealth have thus become the highest goals of the modern world in relation to which all other goals, no matter how much lip-service may still be paid to them, have come to take second place. The highest goals require no justification; all secondary goals have finally to justify themselves in terms of the service their attainment renders to the attainment of the highest. This is the philosophy of [ social ] materialism, and it is this philosophy – or metaphysic – which is now being challenged by events.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (p. 400 - 405). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

This set of quotes really caught my attention.

My weekend plans having blown up, I found myself last night at a birthday party for a young occupier who just turned 30. His apartment, and the outside area was filled with young people, all of whom were 20 somethings and 30 somethings. (My girlfriend and I were the oldest people in attendance, by several decades.) My young friend, the birthday boy, is working at a restaurant, learning a trade, working in cooperation with the owner to try to make that business profitable. He is also wise enough to see the self-interest of learning everything he can by doing so, the better to gain knowledge to apply to his own best interest. Many of the young people in attendance were sketchily employed, if employed at all. This was not a gaggle of young, secure professionals, their educations having been paid for in themselves well on their way to professional jobs laden with status and benefits. When I saw last night was a gaggle of 20 to 30 young people in various stages of coping with an economy in which all of the money had been sucked away.

My girlfriend and I are old enough to remember when it was possible for middle-class kids, particular those that education to go to work, get a job, and make a life for themselves. To own a house, to own a car, to maybe own a vacation home and even a boat. Those days are long gone. For the young people in attendance at this party last night, the new normal is part-time work, no benefits, no health insurance, and happy to get it. It became apparent to both my girlfriend and I that what we're seeing is the formation of an entire generation who simply doesn't know that there is a better way to live, and who've been denied the expectation for a functional middle-class lifestyle. The quotes you have cited above resonate with the sound of the bells of the Cathedral of Notre Dame for me.

 Not surprisingly, many of these young people are completely disaffected with the consumerist, happy motoring lifestyle, and are pursuing ways of living that are more sustainable and less contributive to the giant capitalist bloodsucking wealth machine.

I clearly have got to get my hands on that Dilworth book.
"...reprehensible lying communist..."

Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #55 on: July 22, 2012, 06:55:23 AM »
I am not fond of Thomas Friedman, but in this case he's
written a potent column, worthy of posting and reading in
entirety. Spot-on, both for what it says about China, and what
it says about us, in contrast.


Who's Sleeping Now?
Published: January 9, 2010 - new york times

C. H. Tung, the first Chinese-appointed chief executive of
Hong Kong after the handover in 1997, offered me a
three-sentence summary the other day of China's modern
economic history: "China was asleep during the Industrial
Revolution. She was just waking during the Information
Technology Revolution. She intends to participate fully in the
Green Revolution."

I'll say. Being in China right now I am more convinced than
ever that when historians look back at the end of the first
decade of the 21st century, they will say that the most
important thing to happen was not the Great Recession, but
China's Green Leap Forward. The Beijing leadership clearly
understands that the E.T. -- Energy Technology -- revolution
is both a necessity and an opportunity, and they do not intend
to miss it.

We, by contrast, intend to fix Afghanistan. Have a nice day.

O.K., that was a cheap shot. But here's one that isn't: Andy
Grove, co-founder of Intel, liked to say that companies come
to "strategic inflection points," where the fundamentals of a
business change and they either make the hard decision to
invest in a down cycle and take a more promising trajectory or
do nothing and wither. The same is true for countries.

The U.S. is at just such a strategic inflection point. We are
either going to put in place a price on carbon and the right
regulatory incentives to ensure that America is China's main
competitor/partner in the E.T. revolution, or we are going to
gradually cede this industry to Beijing and the good jobs and
energy security that would go with it.

Is President Obama going to finish health care and then put
aside the pending energy legislation -- and carbon pricing --
that Congress has already passed in order to get through the
midterms without Republicans screaming "new taxes?" Or is he
going to seize this moment before the midterms -- possibly his
last window to put together a majority in the Senate,
including some Republicans, for a price on carbon -- and put
in place a real U.S. engine for clean energy innovation and
energy security?

I've been stunned to learn about the sheer volume of wind,
solar, mass transit, nuclear and more efficient coal-burning
projects that have sprouted in China in just the last year.

 Here's e-mail from Bill Gross, who runs eSolar, a promising
California solar-thermal start-up: On Saturday, in Beijing,
said Gross, he announced "the biggest solar-thermal deal ever.
It's a 2 gigawatt, $5 billion deal to build plants in China
using our California-based technology. China is being even
more aggressive than the U.S. We applied for a [U.S.
Department of Energy] loan for a 92 megawatt project in New
Mexico, and in less time than it took them to do stage 1 of
the application review, China signs, approves, and is ready to
begin construction this year on a 20 times bigger project!"

Yes, climate change is a concern for Beijing, but more
immediately China's leaders know that their country is in the
midst of the biggest migration of people from the countryside
to urban centers in the history of mankind. This is creating a
surge in energy demand, which China is determined to meet with
cleaner, homegrown sources so that its future economy will be
less vulnerable to supply shocks and so it doesn't pollute
itself to death.

In the last year alone, so many new solar panel makers emerged
in China that the price of solar power has fallen from roughly
59 cents a kilowatt hour to 16 cents,
according to The Times's
bureau chief here, Keith Bradsher. Meanwhile, China last week
tested the fastest bullet train in the world -- 217 miles per
hour -- from Wuhan to Guangzhou. As Bradsher noted, China "has
nearly finished the construction of a high-speed rail route
from Beijing to Shanghai at a cost of $23.5 billion. Trains
will cover the 700-mile route in just five hours, compared
with 12 hours today. By comparison, Amtrak trains require at
least 18 hours to travel a similar distance from New York to

China is also engaged in the world's most rapid expansion of
nuclear power. It is expected to build some 50 new nuclear
reactors by 2020; the rest of the world combined might build

"By the end of this decade, China will be dominating global
production of the whole range of power equipment," said Andrew
Brandler, the C.E.O. of the CLP Group, Hong Kong's largest
power utility.

In the process, China is going to make clean power
technologies cheaper for itself and everyone else. But even
Chinese experts will tell you that it will all happen faster
and more effectively if China and America work together --
with the U.S. specializing in energy research and innovation,
at which China is still weak, as well as in venture investing
and servicing of new clean technologies, and with China
specializing in mass production.

This is a strategic inflection point. It is clear that if we,
America, care about our energy security, economic strength and
environmental quality we need to put in place a long-term
carbon price that stimulates and rewards clean power
innovation. We can't afford to be asleep with an invigorated
China wide awake.

A version of this article appeared in print on January 10,
2010, on page WK10 of the New York edition.

« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 06:57:18 AM by alan2102 »

Offline JoeP

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #56 on: July 22, 2012, 06:55:59 AM »
I'm adding a link to an article by CHS (below) that I think is a pretty good summary of the present and future state of things in China.  My question is related to point #10 in the article.  Why are wealthy elites fleeing China if they have such a great plan for the future?

just my straight shooting honest opinion

Offline EndIsNigh

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #57 on: July 22, 2012, 07:06:54 AM »
Surly, yes the party is over.  Good to note there are some adaptable guests.

Dilworth's book is wildly comprehensive.  I bought it on the Kindle but it's one I'd prefer and recommend in hard copy.

Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #58 on: July 22, 2012, 07:25:10 AM »
Regarding China's forests and forested areas: This is an area
of great concern, as it impacts the total environment so
profoundly. Desertification is in part a matter of
deforestation; trees hold water in the soil, and beneficially
modify micro-climates. And that is apart from the more
obvious: the carbon-sink role of trees.

The PRC was dealt a VERY poor hand (1948) in this respect,
as described in this document from 1958:

Unasylva - Vol. 12, No. 3  1958
An International Review of Forestry and Forest Products
 "According to the latest figures of the Ministry of Forests,
China's forested area covers 76,000,000 hectares, a proportion
of only 7.9 percent of the total land area....
 clearly China is inadequately forested. During the former
Empire, the forest cover was progressively destroyed and steps
were rarely taken to restore it. Uplands were usually denuded.
It is considered that, in historical times, 300 million
hectares - 30 percent of the land area - were deforested. As
shown later, continually increasing erosion still ravages over
half of these lands today, denuding 160 million hectares."


So, they started with an abysmal situation. And what has
happened since then?  A LOT. A LOT. Stunning progress, as
you will see.

I find this amusing in a bitter-sweet way: "China recently set
the short-, medium- and long-term goals for completing its
ecological environment construction program, a grand
systematic project.  For the short-term goal, it will take
some 15 years to curb the trend of a deteriorating ecological
environment...".  Ha! fifteen years is considered
"short-term"! Over here, we can barely pay attention for fifteen

This is, of course, how we should be thinking and acting --
with "short-, medium- and long-term goals for completing [our]
ecological environment construction programs, a grand
systematic project."  Well, thank heaven someone, somewhere
is doing it.


Afforestation: A Strenuous Ecological Project
by Li Kangmei


"Each year, China creates 5.3 million hectares of forests,
afforests another 3.7 million hectares of mountains where
hunting and grazing are prohibited, and plants 2.4 billion
trees by advancing the compulsory tree-planting campaign.
These efforts have stabilized the coverage of the nation's
manually planted forests at 33 million hectares, and China now
ranks first in the world in both the speed and scale of
afforestation. The country's current forest coverage rate is
nearly 6 percentage points higher than what it was in the
early 1950s."


"In November 1978... the State Council decided to construct a
huge shelter belt crossing north, northeast and northwest
China, known as the Three-North Shelter Belt Development
Program. This gigantic project, referred to abroad as China's
green Great Wall, is expected to shelter over 4 million square
km of land. At present, this largest ecological project in the
world has already entered its final phase.... During the
construction of the Three-North Shelter Belt over the past 19
years, a total of 18 million hectares of forests have been
created, raising the forest coverage rate in the three-north
regions from 5.05 percent to 9 percent, and bringing large
tracts of desertified land and extensive areas suffering soil
erosion under control."


"Compared with many other countries, China faces more arduous
tasks in forest protection and development. While providing
consumption for 22 percent of the world's population and
ecological protection for 7 percent of the global land area,
but with only 3-4 percent of the world's forest resources,
China must also tackle problems of ecological environment
destruction both left by history and occurring currently."


"[T]he trend of ecological deterioration has not yet been
fundamentally curbed, and the country still faces a very grim
situation.  At present, the land area affected by soil erosion
covers 3.67 million square km, and 5 billion tons of soil
continue to be lost annually. The 1.61 million square km of
desertified land nationwide exceeds the country's total
acreage of cultivated land. Moreover, land desertification
continues to expand at an annual speed of 2,460 square km"


"China recently set the short-, medium- and long-term goals
for completing its ecological environment construction
program, a grand systematic project.  For the short-term goal,
it will take some 15 years to curb the trend of a
deteriorating ecological environment, put man-made soil
erosion under control, and stop the expansion of land affected
by soil erosion and desertification.  It will require another
15 years to meet the medium-term goal of significantly
improving the ecological environment.  The long-term goal, to
be attained by the mid-21st century, focuses on the
establishment of a sound ecological system suiting the
sustainable development of China's national economy and
ensuring that most parts of the country are adorned with
beautiful landscapes featuring green mountains and clear


Another item below. There is some discrepancy with the above
in the precise numbers; this might be due to variations in
definitions of "forested area". The main point is the
trajectory, which is obviously very much in the right


China's Tree-Planting Benefits the World


"China's [current] average annual forest growth exceeds 4
million hectares, with an average growth rate of 53.2 percent.
At the present time, China's forest coverage is 195 million
hectares and its rate has increased from 8.6 percent at the
founding of the PRC to today's 20.36 percent."


"Asian forest coverage has begun to show net growth despite
the decrease in the 1990s. This was mainly attributable to
China's large-scale tree-planting efforts, which are
cushioning the continuous huge loss of forest resources in
South Asia and Southeast Asia."


"China now has 61.69 million hectares of planted forests, with
wood stock of 1.961 billion cubic meters, making it the
country with the largest area of man-made forests in the
world. China has been conducting massive campaigns of tree
planting and returning farmland to forests for a long time.
Government statistics say that 590 million people voluntarily
planted a total of 2.48 billion trees in 2009. Over the last
29 years, 12.11 billion voluntary tree-planting trips have
been recorded, resulting in a total of 56.33 billion new


"The Chinese Government has invested nearly 500 billion yuan
($73.5 billion) during the last 10 years to implement six
vital forestry projects.... Projects to protect old-growth
forests have effectively curbed exploitation of the forests
for wood."

« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 07:27:41 AM by alan2102 »

Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #59 on: July 22, 2012, 07:36:29 AM »

Here's a scholarly item, abstract only. The full text would
doubtless contain a lot of useful detail. I could obtain full
text if anyone is interested. (Don't all jump at once, now. Hyuk.)


Environ Manage. 2011 May 7. [Epub ahead of print]

Major Ecosystems in China: Dynamics and Challenges for
Sustainable Management.

Lü Y, Fu B, Wei W, Yu X, Sun R.

State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research
Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of
Sciences, Beijing, China.


Ecosystems, though impacted by global environmental change,
can also contribute to the adaptation and mitigation of such
large scale changes. Therefore, sustainable ecosystem
management is crucial in reaching a sustainable future for the
biosphere. Based on the published literature and publicly
accessible data, this paper discussed the status and trends of
forest, grassland, and wetland ecosystems in China that play
important roles in the ecological integrity and human welfare
of the nation. Ecological degradation has been observed in
these ecosystems at various levels and geographic locations.
Biophysical (e.g., climate change) and socioeconomic factors
(e.g., intensive human use) are the main reasons for ecosystem
degradation with the latter factors serving as the dominant
driving forces. The three broad categories of ecosystems in
China have partially recovered from degradation thanks to
large scale ecological restoration projects implemented in the
last few decades.
China, as the largest and most populated
developing nation, still faces huge challenges regarding
ecosystem management in a changing and globalizing world. To
further improve ecosystem management in China, four
recommendations were proposed, including: (1) advance
ecosystem management towards an application-oriented,
multidisciplinary science; (2) establish a well-functioning
national ecological monitoring and data sharing mechanism; (3)
develop impact and effectiveness assessment approaches for
policies, plans, and ecological restoration projects; and (4)
promote legal and institutional innovations to balance the
intrinsic needs of ecological and socioeconomic systems. Any
change in China's ecosystem management approach towards a more
sustainable one will benefit the whole world. Therefore,
international collaborations on ecological and environmental
issues need to be expanded.

PMID: 21553106