Enjoy your stay at the top world economy, China.
It’s a long fall:
Climate change could have a “huge impact” on China, reducing crop yields and harming the environment, the country’s top weather scientist has warned, in a rare official admission.
Zheng Guogang told Xinhua news agency that climate change could be a “serious threat” to big infrastructure projects.
He said temperature rises in China were already higher than global averages.
China, the world’s biggest polluter, has said its emissions of gases that cause climate change will peak by 2030.
However, the country has not set a specific target for cutting emissions of the gases, mainly carbon dioxide.
Don’t worry, I haven’t gotten religion on global warming. I remain skeptical. Of the “scientists”. The science itself is complex and perplexing; I remain an interested observer.
But China is a mess:
Mr Zheng warned of more droughts, rainstorms, and higher temperatures, which would threaten river flows and harvests, as well as major infrastructure projects such as the Three Gorges Dam. He urged China to pursue a lower-carbon future.
“To face the challenges from past and future climate change, we must respect nature and live in harmony with it,” the Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.
“We must promote the idea of nature and emphasise climate security.”
China’s decades-long pursuit of rapid economic growth has boosted demand for energy, particularly coal.
Scientists fear that pledges made so far to cut emissions will not be enough to avoid the harmful impact of climate change.
Not so fast there, comrade. I’m not sure how you can have more of both droughts and rainstorms. Think about it. But that’s so typical of these General Gau’s chicken littles. You name the possible effect of possible global warming, and they’ll swear it’s coming. Except for improved growth from all the extra carbon dioxide. They never seem to mention that one.
In related ambiguous news:
China has announced continuing progress in reducing coal mine fatalities, although doubts remain about death counts and cover-ups in one of the most dangerous industries in the world.
On March 10, the director of the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) told a Beijing press conference that coal mine accidents claimed 931 lives last year, as the death toll dropped below 1,000 for the first time.
“The situation has been greatly improved,” said the SAWS director, Yang Dongliang, according to Agence France-Presse.
In 1996-2000, deaths in coal mines averaged 7,619 annually, or over 20 per day, about eight times more than last year, as cited in previous official reports.
But the 2014 figures appear inconsistent with the official reports that accidental deaths declined 14.3 percent from a year earlier, when 1,049 miners were listed as killed or missing.
So what if the number is a fiction? At least they’re headed in the right direction. Probably.
But if coal isn’t the death of China’s imperial dreams, and if global warming isn’t the death of China’s imperial dreams, you-know-what might be:
A Steyn I-told-you-so moment: America Alone was published in 2006 – and, as I always say with an eye to my Mann vs Steyn legal bills, personally autographed copies are exclusively available from the SteynOnline bookstore. The reason you should buy it is for things like the following:
Will China be the hyperpower of the 21st century? Answer: No. Its population will get old before it’s got rich…
Lots of experts crank out analyses positing China as the unstoppable hegemon of the 21st century. Yet the real threat is not the strengths of your enemies but their weaknesses. China is a weak power: its demographic and other structural defects are already hobbling its long-term ambitions.
Nine years later, the Chinese are beginning to figure it out:
China must open its doors to up to 100 million young immigrants from Africa and Southeast Asia to address the country’s aging workforce, according to a researcher with China’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC)…
Beijing has no choice but to choose this path, Luo said, adding that this would make China the country with the second-most immigrants in the world behind the United States.
Which would be a profound transformation in a country with no experience of mass immigration.
And then this:
From page 30 of America Alone:
Since China introduced its “one child” policy in 1978, the imbalance between the sexes has increased to the point where in today’s generation there are 119 boys for every 100 girls. The pioneer generation of that male surplus are now adults. Unless China’s planning on becoming the first gay superpower since Sparta, what’s going to happen to those young men? As a general rule, large numbers of excitable lads who can’t get any action are useful for manning the nuttier outposts of the jihad but not for much else.
Nine years later, the SASAC commissars are catching up with Steyn:
China’s rapidly aging population, a product of the country’s one-child policy, has become one of the government’s biggest headaches. While Beijing has eased the national birth control policy in recent years, economic constraints have so far prevented a new baby boom.
The Chinese tradition of preferring boys to girls has also led to a gross gender imbalance in the population, with estimates that 30 million Chinese men will not be able to find a female partner by 2020.
The year 2020 is but five years away, if you’ve lost count. Before you know it, there will be as many unaccompanied men in China, many of them Muslim, as there are people in Malaysia. Like watching a fat man try to dive, that’s worth sticking around to watch.
PS: Do newspapers and wire services pay royalties to Mark Steyn? Their reporting just repeats what he wrote five, ten years ago.
PPS: How about putting all those excess men to work in the coal mines? Kill two birds, and thousands of surplus men, with one bituminous stone.