Sunday, February 16, 2014

China's cleaner cities means dooming the planet (say Scientists)

Articles with headlines that include the word "doom" and "scientists" needs to be read. 

China's Plan to Clean Up Air in Cities Will Doom the Climate, Scientists Say [Inside Climate News]

"China is erecting huge industrial complexes in remote areas to convert coal to synthetic fuel that could make the air in its megacities cleaner. But the complexes use so much energy that the carbon footprint of the fuel is almost double that of conventional coal and oil, spelling disaster for earth's climate, a growing chorus of scientists is warning.

Efforts by China to develop so-called "coal bases" in its far-flung regions have received scant attention beyond the trade press, but scientists watching the effort say it could cause climate damage that eclipses worldwide climate protection efforts.

The facilities, which resemble oil refineries, use coal to make liquid fuels, chemicals, power and "syngas," which is like natural gas but extracted from coal. The fuels and electricity are then transported to China's big cities to be burned in power plants, factories and cars.

Currently 16 coal base sites are being built and many are operational. One being constructed in Inner Mongolia will eventually occupy nearly 400 square miles—almost the size of the sprawling city of Los Angeles."
Click on the link to read more.

The figure below shows the impact of China alone.  Good stats.

It is interesting to note what the next story will be:

Next, coming soon: How the U.S. set up China as a pollution haven and exported its air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions at the expense of U.S. workers and communities.
This has been the topic of many of my own research papers.  The headlines are good - the reality is somewhat different.

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