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China’s Other Hobby

Original post made by Tom Cushing, Danville, on Feb 21, 2013

News that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has been seeking to liberate data from all manner of American computing systems has dominated the high-tech news this week. I’m no expert on the defense side of cyber-warfare, but it seems to me that if this country wanted to launch a successful, full-frontal assault on China, or Iran and North Korea for that matter, all we’d have to do is make it a video game with a catchy title, throw-in a few impossibly fast cars and impossibly endowed protagonists – and market it to middle school gamers (meaning anyone under thirty). Them furriners’ll rush to the peace table, gangnam-style.

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Comments (16)

Like this comment
Posted by Don Gnass
a resident of Blackhawk
on Feb 21, 2013 at 9:46 pm

even that was too long.


Like this comment
Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Alamo
on Feb 22, 2013 at 6:22 am

Darn it! Well Don, maybe ask for a refund?


Like this comment
Posted by Christine Connor
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2013 at 10:47 am

This was interesting always TC. Thank you. I wonder too how this will line up in the future with the trend in Chin now to duplicate (faster and bigger natch) our trend to graduate masses of college graduates unable to find "good" jobs and feeling manufacturing jobs are beneath them. Less Chinese workers would , it seems, be available for "export" and manufacturing outside of China could become more reliant on local labor. I wonder what that will look like in the end...


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Alamo
on Feb 24, 2013 at 7:36 am

Thanks, 2C. See guys? They read me in Boston (if you define 'they' as my friend from middle school). Atlanta, too, when Enderdog shows up. She even made a point about the actual content of the blog, for which I'm also grateful.

To paraphrase the philosopher Bueller, F.: Life moves pretty fast. It's no doubt true that China faces a whole host of challenges -- meeting the the expectations of its burgeoning middle class, as above, control of information in the Digital Age, air polluted enough to gag a chain-smoking Angeleno. They're also looking over Their shoulders at now-lower-cost manufacturing locales. Who knows -- maybe some day they'll have to worry about Sequestration?

I wish I knew more, but I know frighteningly little about a land whose future and ours are bound to be increasingly intertwined. I thought this book was fascinating, though, and certainly credible enough to report-out here.

Any actual China Hands want to chime-in?


Like this comment
Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Feb 25, 2013 at 10:56 am

U.S. policies have enabled China to become what it is today, a big polluting slave labor empire that undermines the stability of third world governments through bribes.

Democrats enacted pro-labor and pro-environmental policies that raised the cost of U.S. labor. U.S. businesses responded by lobbying for free trade rules that enabled companies to move operations to China and other low cost countries in order to get cheap foreign labor and lax environmental rules.

Free trade enable Americans to enjoy cheap imported goods and cleaner air and water. We can also feel superior to other nations, as the U.S. no longer has as much pollution or as bad of labor practices. All of those evils still exist, of course, just here not as much. We pushed it offshore.

The U.S. also enacted the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prevents U.S. companies from paying bribes to foreign officials. This gives Chinese companies an advantage with corrupt third world governments, as China is not concerned about bribes.

The good news is, China is starting to get sick of pollution. Just last week, China’s Ministry of Finance proposed environmental tax reforms, including the introduction of a carbon tax. Maybe China will follow America’s lead and pass laws that push pollution to other low cost countries. Then they can feel smug about themselves too.


Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Danville
on Feb 26, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Spcwt seems almost wistful for the days of low wages and unchecked industrial pollution........Ah, the good old days!


Like this comment
Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Feb 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Me? No way. I love clean air and cheap imported goods.


Like this comment
Posted by Citizen Paine
a resident of Danville
on Feb 27, 2013 at 8:01 am

More on China's response to its development/pollution challenges: Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Feb 27, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Thanks for the article CP. It should be required reading for the dreamers who still think we can stop climate change.

Trying to stop climate change is like trying to stop a bus full of unruly teenagers from farting. The adults can agree to hold it in, but that’s not going to stop the teens. Better to adapt than try to stop it. Roll down the windows.

Even the so-called mature economies aren’t doing a good job reducing CO2 emissions. The developed countries that signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 were supposed to reduce their carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2010 They ended up INCREASING them by 10% to 20% and more.

Japan promised a 6% reduction relative to its 1990 levels, but instead saw a 7.4% increase, despite 20 years of economic stagnation. Australia, where growth has been more robust, pledged to let carbon increase by no more than 8%. Instead its 1990-2010 emissions rose 47.5%. Netherlands increased by 20%. Canada increased by 24%.

China’s CO2 emissions are increasing by over 9% per year. They now account for 30% of all CO2 emissions. The U.S. accounts for 16%. The U.S. and Europe could get rid of every car, bus, and all motorized vehicles and global CO2 emissions would still increase.

I’ve read China must grow its economy by 8% per year just to create enough jobs for workers displaced from modernizing state-owned industries. As Zou Ji noted in the article, China has no choice but to grow using coal.

How do you tell poor people that they can’t rely on cheap coal to rise out of poverty? The average Chinese citizen lives on $2 per day or less. Do you just tell them they must remain poor?

You can’t expect the Chinese economy to rely on alternative energy. Low carbon fuels are expensive and will be for the foreseeable future. People who deny that, deny science.

Did you see the comment that China now spends 3% of their GDP on treating smog-related illnesses?

Still glad we outsourced our production to China?

What a disaster.


Like this comment
Posted by Everywoman
a resident of Danville
on Feb 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm

@ spcwt -- I was fascinated by your analysis, and I have one question: How do I get my husband to 'agree to hold it in?'


Like this comment
Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Feb 27, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Open the window.


Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Danville
on Feb 28, 2013 at 9:43 pm

One hopeful sign, though, is that China is rapidly developing its manufacturing capacity for solar energy panels.


Like this comment
Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Mar 1, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Uh... yeah. Solar panels will fix this. ha ha.

That's like peeing in the desert and expecting it to turn into a garden paradise. Not going to happen.


Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Danville
on Mar 4, 2013 at 1:42 pm

To date, China has installed 21 gigawatts of solar energy capacity already and has plans to increase that to 35 gigawatts by 2015. That is a lot. This rapid expansion is large part a response to increasing pollution from the burning of fossil fuels.


Like this comment
Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Mar 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm

21 gigawatts is not a lot.

China has more than 500 gigawatts of coal burning power plants.

China burns almost as much coal as the rest of the world — combined. 3.8 billion tons per year.

And its coal use is growing. China builds, on average, one new coal burning power plant every week. Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Danville
on Mar 7, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Seems like pretty rapid change in the right direction. It won't be long before China far surpasses the U.S. in solar energy production.


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