Will China show us up on climate solutions?

While Republican lawmakers in our country continue to deny the proven science of climate change, China is waging an all-out war on coal in that nation.

According to a recent article over at the Think Progress Blog, China cut coal usage by three percent in 2014, five percent in 2015, and they're projecting another three percent decline in 2016. That may not sound like a lot, but China's across-the-board cuts are far stronger than the disjointed, and often disputed climate action plans we see here in the US.

At the rate they are going, and the rate that Republicans in the States are blocking meaningful climate action, pretty soon the climate deniers here won't be able to use China's pollution as an excuse not to clean up our own.

In addition to cleaning up their coal usage, that nation has announced the beginning of their cap-and-trade system, and their electric grid “Green Dispatch” system, which will require low and zero-carbon sources to be utilized before using dirty energy like coal.

That policy has helped slash their coal use, and will continue to cut carbon emissions. As Joe Romm explained over at Think Progress, “China is using the equivalent of only half its coal plants.” And, he added, “the utilization rate will continue to drop as China enacts the policies President Xi Jinping announced in the United States last September.”

While that's great news for our planet, it should be embarrassing for our country. Our legislators love to talk about how we should be leading the world with American Exceptionalism, but we're really only exceptional when it comes to denying the basic science that pretty much every other nation in the world already accepts.

We need big ideas and big policy changes, and all of that starts by voting in lawmakers who will accept the science and fight for big solutions to our climate crisis.


Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 6 years 47 weeks ago

Yes! I would say so since the us ranks 43 behind

Not far above the bottom 10

52. Chinese Taipei
53. Korea
54. Turkey
55. Estonia
56. Russian Federation
57. Australia
58. Canada
59. Iran
60. Kazakhstan
61. Saudi Arabia

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 6 years 47 weeks ago

Unfortunately, enabling the United States to take meaningful action on climate change will require outlawing Christian Fundamentalism, which not only welcomes climate change as a harbinger of "End Times" but -- because according to the latest polls these tacitly suicidal fanatics make up 68 percent of the U.S. citizenry -- provides the massive popular opposition our One Percent overlords muster any time there is an effort minimize USian befoulment of the environment.

This is what, in the ultimate sense, combines with the Christian Fundamentalists' ever-more-triumphant war against female sexual freedom to define the U.S. as already a de facto theocracy.

Given that the Abrahamic Fundamentalists (be they Jews, Christians or Muslims) have the most violently change-resistant minds on Earth, it is also what makes it obvious to anyone who knows history that the only way the U.S. will ever be cured of its maliciously ecocidal ways is by invasion -- which of course means not just war, but a war of such magnitude it would leave our species extinct.

The self-same deadly closed-mindedness explains not just why the violent misogyny of Islam and Chassidic Judaism is ultimately incurable, but why, beyond the rhetorical posturing, there is not even the most remote possibility of peace in the Middle East, now or ever. Literally, our species will destroy itself before that happens.

Just as it is already doing.

Indeed, if I were a believer in extraterrestrial intervention -- which I am not -- I would say that patriarchy, which arose in response to sundry "talking snake," "burning-bush" and "fiery wheel" phenomena about five thousand years ago, is the intergalactic conquistadors' equivalent of smallpox-infested blankets. Why? Because it is from patriarchy that Abrahamic Fundamentalism grew, just as it is from Christian Fundamentalism that capitalism grew, just as it is for the perpetuation of capitalism that fascism and Nazism grew.

Need I say more?

RJ Schundler's picture
RJ Schundler 6 years 47 weeks ago

Please don't say global warming is a settle science .... Some of the best in the field are saying that the models can not predict within acceptable range .... In fact it seems that CO2 is the result of warming and not the cause of it. Increase levels of CO2 seems to be following warming not leasing it.

It is wiser to say that we should conserve our non-renewable energy, and as we conserve we drive the prices down (as we are now seeing) ..... No matter what is settled in the future conservation is wise. Wast Not Want Not .... Repealing labor base taxes would promote employment, and tax CO2 energy would promote conservation. Let's go with win/win efforts, and not efforts that may discredit us in the future.

RJ Schundler's picture
RJ Schundler 6 years 47 weeks ago

Please take not that Nazism and fascism are forms of socialism, not free enterprize. I would also like to point out in terms of Capitialism/Free Enterprise did not come out of Chritian Fundamentalism. In fact it was just the opposite. Free Enterprise broke down the control of powerful Church/State political systems systems and led to the period of Enlightment and Reforms that broke controls of kings and nobles.

As for Theocracy .... That has always been associated with States like the USSR, Red China, Hitler's Germany .... All trying to promote Sectular Humanism, or dictatorship Like the Roman Empire.

RJ Schundler's picture
RJ Schundler 6 years 47 weeks ago

Please take note that Nazism and fascism are forms of socialism, not free enterprize. I would also like to point out in terms of Capitialism/Free Enterprise did not come out of Chritian Fundamentalism. In fact it was just the opposite. Free Enterprise broke down the control of powerful Church/State political systems systems and led to the period of Enlightment and Reforms that broke controls of kings and nobles.

As for Theocracy .... That has always been associated with States like the USSR, Red China, Hitler's Germany .... All trying to promote Sectular Humanism, or dictatorship Like the Roman Empire.

Klover's picture
Klover 6 years 47 weeks ago

Unfortunately, at this point, most of these countries will surpass us. At the risk of losing all optimism, I can only count on Bernie having long coat tails, even if he doesn't get the nomination. Hopefully he will continue o ignite the voters to vote. It's our only hope.

Dostoyevsky-Kar... 6 years 47 weeks ago

I Just received this email where $Hillarity is trying to now b e the noble "Joan of Arc" in the Climate Change battle. I am so cynical about everything she says - I wish she would just bow out and go knit some booties for her grandbaby.


Dear xxxxx

The science of climate change is unforgiving. 2015 was the hottest year on record by a mile, and 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have occurred in this century. Already, communities across America are seeing the impacts of climate change, from longer, hotter wildfire seasons in the West to rising sea levels flooding streets in Miami and Annapolis at high tide. Scientists are concerned that climate change is making it easier for vector-borne diseases like Zika to spread—and we know this won’t be the last public health challenge we’ll face. The Obama Administration recently awarded a grant to the state of Louisiana to resettle the entire population of the Isle de Jean Charles, which has lost 98 percent of its land mass to coastal erosion and rising seas—and we know they won’t be the last community facing that hard choice here in America or elsewhere in the world. Climate change is a real and urgent threat, and we must use every tool we have to tackle it.

Please vote for Hillary in CHV's Climate Hawks Primary today.

That’s why I have a comprehensive plan to combat climate change and make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. My plan focuses on using the extensive authorities a President has to tackle this problem using laws already on the books, and on bringing together the diverse range of cities, states, rural communities, universities, businesses, nonprofits, and others who are committed to taking action—including local Republican leaders.

I believe it would be a mistake to assume that Republicans in Congress will get with the program in the near term—because we can’t wait for them to start paying more attention to scientists than they do to Big Oil. Eventually reality will catch up with them—but we can’t wait for that to happen. The next president has to start building on the progress President Obama has made right away because the next decade will be decisive in our ability to meet the climate challenge.

On my first day in office I will set big new goals for our country that we will achieve within ten years, and get to work immediately on meeting them:

  • Enough renewable electricity to power every home in America, with 500 million solar panels installed by the end of my first term
  • Increase clean energy production on public lands ten-fold
  • Cut energy waste from our homes and businesses by one-third
  • Cut oil consumption across the economy by one-third

I’ll achieve these goals by defending, implementing and extending smart federal pollution and efficiency standards, including President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, appliance standards, and building codes. And I’ll launch a new $60 billion Clean Energy Challenge to partner with cities, states, and rural communities that are ready to lead on clean energy and efficiency and exceed federal standards. We’ll lower energy costs for homes and businesses, protect American families from the harmful impacts of pollution and create good-paying jobs across the country.

It’s past time we eliminate fossil fuel subsides and take away the special tax breaks that benefit big oil and gas companies and invest in clean energy. And when oil companies come knocking because they want to open up new offshore areas to drilling, I’ll tell them loud and clear: Not on my watch. I believe there are places where we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground or under the ocean—like the Arctic Ocean and the off the East Coast—and I strongly believe that we should be phasing out the production of fossil fuels on public lands, starting with the dirtiest sources, and making our public lands and waters into major drivers of the clean energy economy.

If we’re honest about the challenge of climate change, we know we can’t take any option that cuts carbon pollution off the table. That’s why I support safe nuclear power, which accounts for about 20 percent of U.S. power generation and nearly two-thirds of our zero-carbon electricity today, and believe we shouldn’t consider shutting down this reliable power source when we don’t have a realistic way to replace it with equivalent zero-carbon power. And we should increase research and development investment in advanced nuclear power. I also believe that with the right safeguards in place, natural gas production can help move us toward a clean energy future. I know natural gas is controversial—but it can be an important near term tool for displacing much dirtier fuels, like coal and higher-polluting fuel oil, delivering important public health and climate benefits. For that to work, we absolutely must do more to curb methane emissions, which is why I will set tough standards for both new and existing sources, launch a natural effort to repair and replace leaky old pipelines in our communities, and cut methane emissions by 40-45 percent. We can’t have more crises like the massive methane leak in Porter Ranch, CA. We need to repeal the egregious “Halliburton loophole” in the Safe Drinking Water Act, require full disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, and ensure it does not pose a risk to public health. And we need to respect the decision of states, cities and towns that decide they don’t want fracking to occur in their communities.

If we do all of that, we won’t just meet the goals President Obama and the world set in Paris—we’ll exceed them. My plan will cut greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide by up to 30 percent by 2025, and put us on the path to cut emissions more than 80 percent by the middle of the century. I’m proud of what President Obama achieved in Paris, and I will work with our partners to continue to drive international progress in combating this global threat, including by forging a new North American Climate Compact with Canada and Mexico so we’re working together to invest in clean energy, reduce emissions, and combat climate change continent-wide. I know how to build coalitions and get big things done—and that’s what we need to do to take on this global fight.

As a new grandmother, this is personal for me. I want my granddaughter—and my second grandchild on the way—to live in a safe world with clean air and clean water, where they can enjoy all the wonders of nature. I want the very same for every young person, every child, every grandchild in America and everywhere in the world. I know that can only happen if America leads this fight—and that will take all of us, using every tool we have, making progress wherever we can.

Ask CHV to endorse Hillary by casting your vote in their 2016 Climate Hawks Primary now.

This is a fight for our lives—and it’s a fight we must wage and win together. I hope to earn your vote, and to stand together as we take on the climate challenge.

Hillary Clinton

Paid for by Climate Hawks Vote Political Action, http://www.climatehawksvote.com and not authorized by any candidate. Contributions to Climate Hawks Vote Political Action are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.

Instant-RunOff-... 6 years 47 weeks ago

Hillary's plan is more of a scam than a plan. A lot of Greenwashing for Natural Gas, a lot of Spin & Hype. Very little substance. Not much different than Germany's & California's plans which have already proven to be dismal failures. Successful at only one thing, pushing electricity prices up so high that the poor can't afford electricity, and therefore electricity consumption is reduced. Wonderful.

People are really gullible to believe these expensive, and yet mickey-mouse, propaganda energy plans will do anything to stabilize, let alone reduce world greenhouse gas emissions.

There is only one possible way to solve this problem and that is a rapid worldwide build-out of Nuclear Power. That would immediately decimate the fossil fuel industry and so it cannot be allowed. Thus the status quo will continue, with a lot of bait-and-switch scams like Hillary's here being presented for propaganda & disinformation purposes. Shame though how many $trillions will by thrown down the sewer on these nutty scams.

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