China stepping up to the Ecological plate?

I’ve heard a lot of people speak out against that above comment, and even though I don’t have ALL the information to make an assessment, things point that way day after day.  It should be noted that we STILL have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol (an agreement signed by countries in the United Nations to cut down on Greenhouse gases and other air pollution) and have no intention of doing so.  It should also be noted that 179 countries have signed AND ratified the protocol, meaning they have signed it, acknowledged it, and have begun to act accordingly.

I’m not sure why the US signed the protocol with no intention of actually doing anything about it, but in my book, that puts us in the same place as the 15 countries who aren’t signed- though, admittedly, some of them weren’t asked.  Even though this is the case, doesn’t America consider itself a great world leader? How can we be if these are the kinds of examples we’re giving? It looks like even China is stepping up to the plate in a few ways.

The Australian company Solar Sailor recently signed an agreement with COSCO, China’s largest shipping line, to outfit all their ships with solar powered sails. A picture speaks a thousand words-

No matter what country is participating, this is an inspiring vision of the future.  These sails harness wind energy, just like our buddy Columbus did, but also draw in solar electricity to power parts of the ship.  Supposedly, this will cut fuel consumption by 20%-30%.  Maybe COSCO will pave the way for massive corporations and give alternative energy and new technologies a chance.



~ by candlehand on November 7, 2008.

2 Responses to “China stepping up to the Ecological plate?”

  1. Well I don’t want to start blabering on about stuff I don’t personally know much about so I’ll keep my responce simple…

    Is any of this expected to change as Obama takes over the presidency?

  2. On 25 July 1997, before the Kyoto Protocol was finalized (although it had been fully negotiated, and a penultimate draft was finished), the U.S. Senate unanimously passed by a 95–0 vote the Byrd-Hagel Resolution (S. Res. 98), which stated the sense of the Senate was that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing as well as industrialized nations or “would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States”. On 12 November 1998, Vice President Al Gore symbolically signed the protocol. Both Gore and Senator Joseph Lieberman indicated that the protocol would not be acted upon in the Senate until there was participation by the developing nations. The Clinton Administration never submitted the protocol to the Senate for ratification.

    Some things Obama has been saying about environmental policy in his campaign:

    Supports a cap-and-trade system to cut U.S. emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Would auction off 100% of emission credits, making polluters pay for the right to emit greenhouse gases.

    Generally opposes opening additional U.S. waters to offshore oil drilling, but says he would consider it as part of a comprehensive energy plan that includes incentives for renewable energy.

    Supports raising fuel-economy standards 4% — roughly one mile per gallon — each year. Proposes spending $4 billion to help U.S. automakers upgrade their plants to produce more efficient cars and trucks.

    Calls for getting 10% of U.S. electricity from renewables by 2012, and 25% by 2025. Proposes investing $150 billion over 10 years in renewables, advanced biofuels, efficiency, and other clean tech, and says this will help create 5 million green jobs.

    Calls for 60 billion gallons of “advanced biofuels” like cellulosic ethanol to be produced in the U.S. each year by 2030. Proposes federal tax incentives and other inducements to help develop the advanced biofuels.

    Supports “clean coal.” Supports coal-to-liquid fuels if they emit 20% less carbon over their lifecycle than conventional fuels. Says he would use “whatever tools are necessary to stop new dirty coal plants from being built in America — including a ban on new traditional coal facilities.”

    Has said we should explore nuclear power as part of the energy mix, but has also said nuclear is not a great option because of problems with safety and storage and because it usually requires big government subsidies.

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