China Hot Dish

“Skating has been banned on the melting ice of Beijing lakes, trees are blossoming early and people are shedding their heavy clothes as China experiences its warmest winter on record. Magnolias are blooming in Beijing as if it were April.” seedmagazine

Yep. It’s global warming, say Chinese officials. Officials who are as proud of their cognitive dissonance as Americans in the same role, knowing that…

“China is one of the world’s biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas blamed for global warming, which is released into the atmosphere through the burning of coal, oil and other fossil fuels.

About 70 percent of China’s energy comes from burning coal, and there are plans to dramatically increase production as the energy demands of the nation’s fast-modernising population of 1.3 billion people continue to soar.”

Get ready for this little factoid:

China built 117 government-approved coal-fired power plants in 2005–a rate of roughly one every three days, according to official figures.

They blame existing conditions on the developed world. True enough. But to knowingly invest so heavily in more of the same gives some indication of how well the global community is going to cooperate on this most serious environmental issue of our times. In the end, a solution will come, and the atmosphere will return to pre-industrial levels.

Our species might not be here in significant numbers to see it.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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