Dave's Energy

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

on China

The rampant buzz on China's bright economic future has caused me--and I'm guessing at least a few others--to overlook some prime issues that Americans take for granted, such as how will the modern Chinese meet their basic needs, like food and water? I came across these two articles from Seed Magazine in succession and didn't make the connection until a little later.

Issue 1 - The Chinese can't afford to give up food crops for biofuel:
Biofuels Seen as a Luxury

Issue 2 - Water is a problem too:
Beijing's Tap Running Dry

Mainland China out-numbers the US by ~4.5X and has a younger population. Picture our domestic energy issues and quadruple them, and then take biofuels out of the solution. Environmentally, this could be bad. Politically, this could be really bad. The United States grew into modernization over the course of a few hundred years while China is trying to do it in a fraction of the time; I just hope that they are planning accordingly since there is plenty of room for error, assuming that they have more people and a smaller time frame.


  • Great point Grant. The China buzz is a lot of hype.

    China is still a very poor country. That is often overlooked.

    China's greatest asset is also crippling it-cheap labor. Call it the "Chinese Achilles heel". Ted Koppel coined the term in a 4 part discovery channel report. Check it out if you have time.

    By Blogger JOE KELLER, at 7:08 PM  

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