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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » "The Greening of China"

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Author Topic: "The Greening of China"
javelin
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quote:
AN ELABORATE points system that determines the careers of officials is often blamed for many of China's problems. In their drive to meet targets for economic growth, local mandarins squander money, ride roughshod over citizens and ravish the environment. So now China is trying to devise and embed into its assessment of officials a way of calculating a “green GDP”—which allows for environmental costs in national accounts—to help mitigate some of these excesses.
I'm heartened that one of the worst polluters, world-wide, is attempting to put something in place to get things under control. Of course, I'm not sure I like their methods, but what can you do? It's China.

quote:
Mr Pan says that devising a green GDP target would help to focus official minds on the price of reckless development. Such a figure would be calculated by subtracting the cost of the natural resources used and the pollution caused from regular GDP. If only it were that simple. From calculating the market value of the extinction of a species, to the cost of soil erosion resulting from the felling of trees, to the health damage from pollution, the exercise is riddled with complexity. China's normal GDP figures are often suspect enough, particularly those produced by local governments, without adding a whole new layer of numbers even more prone to manipulation and dispute.
quote:
owever, the National Bureau of Statistics, which is running the pilot programmes jointly with the environmental-protection agency, is less enthusiastic about the project. In Anhui province, one of the pilot regions, the team responsible for devising a way to calculate green GDP consists mainly of environmentalists rather than economists. Some people say the scheme is a ploy by the environment agency to draw political attention to China's pollution problem, but one that is unlikely to produce practical results.
quote:
China's top leaders themselves may be getting cold feet. A draft of the national economic-development plan for the next five years, published this week, stresses the need for an “a resources-saving and environment-friendly society”. But it makes no mention of a green GDP.

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A. Alzabo
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quote:
I'm heartened that one of the worst polluters, world-wide, is attempting to put something in place to get things under control. Of course, I'm not sure I like their methods, but what can you do? It's China.

This is really interesting.

I remember that about a year ago a Chinese town actually rebelled, killing a number of soldiers and precipitating a standoff with the Army -- and it started as an environmental protest. I guess the Chinese government doesn't want more of that sort of thing.

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Sibir
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Governments are now, and have historically been, the worst polluters on the planet. I doubt that will change anytime soon.
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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Sibir:
Governments are now, and have historically been, the worst polluters on the planet. I doubt that will change anytime soon.

Worse than corporations? Or, well, individuals? [Wink]
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Sibir
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quote:
Originally posted by javelin:
Worse than corporations? Or, well, individuals?

Indeed, many times worse.

As far as your confusion with my choice of refering to governments as groups, and speaking of there actions, I feel a bit more justified in doing so, as those individuals who make up the government chose to be a part of it. They took some positive action to become part of a group of people who loot others to support themselves. Simply being born within a certain boundary is not a positive action and does not imply acceptance of any policy.

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javelin
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Ah.
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