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Author Topic: china
JanitorBlade
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1. I'd quibble over the ratios, but you are right that cheap labor is a big part of it. Yes it's true being the reserve currency lets us print money, but our GDP to Debt ratio is not unlike quite a few other countries (notably countries that I'd say are red flags for meltdowns, but... [Wink] )

Further while we print money, it's only because other countries continue to buy our bonds that we aren't struggling with inflation yet. We should be though at some point. Still, it's not like we're making them buy them up. If people didn't buy our bonds, we'd stop printing money at some point.

2. Agreed on energy, but I'm not sure even some of the jobs are coming back here. People are already starting to move manufacturing to Vietnam, Thailand, and perhaps Indonesia. Parts of Africa are conceivable too.

3. Ultimately I think foreign firms are starting to see the problems with business in China. I think ultimately corporate law is going to have to develop at an extremely rapid pace in China, or else business will start leaving, at least in
the tech industry. Companies like Walmart and Amazon I don't think have the same challenges. Hopefully the Chinese will see the benefits of IP protection, and allow trademark law to be developed in the country. It would be a self-correcting problem.

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Stone_Wolf_
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To be honest most of this conversation has been above my pay grade, but I have found it quite informative and interesting to read.

To Blayne...your personality makes it difficult for me to converse with you. Sorry.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
To be honest most of this conversation has been above my pay grade, but I have found it quite informative and interesting to read.

If there is a part you would like to understand I'd be more than happy to explain. [Smile]
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Lyrhawn
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It'd be different if India hadn't tanked their own economy. If they'd kept pace with China, businesses wouldn't be so beholden to China's consumers which would give them a great deal more leverage in deals. But that didn't pan out the way a lot of people wanted it to.

As far as jobs...no, they aren't coming back in huge numbers, but maybe not for the reason you might be suggesting. Factories will return to America, but they'll largely be automated. Automation has dramatically cut jobs in America over the last 30 years but also dramatically increased profits and productivity.

Thus, seemingly bizarrely, manufacturing will become a bigger sector of the economy though its share of jobs in the economy will only get a slight uptick.

Still, that's something.

Edit to add: Some economists would point out a key difference between our economy and say, Greece/Spain/Ireland's. That's growth. So long as our debt grows at a slower pace than our economy, the curve on the debt to GDP ratio is sustainable, which allows us to continue deficit-spending even as the debt seems to spiral out of control. Obviously we'll have to get that under control at some point, but being the world's reserve currency gives us that power. We won't go under like the others.

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Stone_Wolf_
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It isn't that I don't understand what you guys are saying. I do. It's that I have nothing of value to add as most of the discussion is new to me. But thanks BB.
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Elison R. Salazar
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quote:
Originally posted by capaxinfiniti:
quote:
Originally posted by Elison R. Salazar:
This really isn't hard, its Keynesian economics applied globally.

How is that an example of Keynesian economics?
Aside from the fact that what's considered "Keynesian" is in of itself a huge field at its simplest explanation Keynesian economics is the idea of boosting aggregate demand in order to grow the economy.

So if various developing countries say, double their purchasing power, then they are more likely to purchase more American goods; more American goods bought generally means more jobs.

quote:

To Blayne...your personality makes it difficult for me to converse with you. Sorry.

My personality is irrelevant when it comes down to it, you made easily verifiable claims that you could have researched on your own. Life and the pursuit of knowledge is just about knowing how to do your own research and critical thinking as it is about asking to be taught, sometimes whats needed is knowing how to acquire that knowledge on your own.

Exaggerated claims about how America doesn't make anything anymore is a great standup bit but makes for poor discussion.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Misha McBride:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Misha misused it. Lyrhawn used it correctly.

I disagree. Rick Perry only pays lip service to the idea of morality because it serves his purposes, not because he actually has any morals. His decisions are ultimately based only on possible benefit to himself, not whether they are Right or Wrong. He has no empathy for other human beings and no feelings of guilt or remorse for anything because he doesn't really think he's done anything wrong. He completely lacks a conscience and probably has antisocial personality disorder. In short, he's amoral (as much as a human being can be) and as such all his choices are based on that lack of morality.
This is a little harsh, misha. you're making rick perry out to be like some sort of texas conservative
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Elison R. Salazar
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quote:

3: The US made a *big* mistake letting China into the WTO without insisting on more liberal policies in regards to economic policy. When Japan butted heads with China over a Chinese trawler smashing into a Japanese coast guard vessel, the Chinese restricted rare earth exports, sending a harsh blow to the Japanese electronics industry. It was a vagrant violation of WTO policy, but they simply waited out the process, and then stopped restricting flow before the process was completed. The damage had already done, and the message was loud and clear. Fortunately this stimulated US firms to find rare earth metal deposits elsewhere. But its thuggery, plain and simple.

I don't believe its this simple, harvesting rare earths is one of the most ecologically harmful industries that have ever existed and if any percentage however small of the claims of them doing it to restructure so its less harmful are true; then I think it was perfectly justified. The good outweights the harm and industries relying on China alone for rare earths were asking for it.
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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Elison R. Salazar:
quote:

3: The US made a *big* mistake letting China into the WTO without insisting on more liberal policies in regards to economic policy. When Japan butted heads with China over a Chinese trawler smashing into a Japanese coast guard vessel, the Chinese restricted rare earth exports, sending a harsh blow to the Japanese electronics industry. It was a vagrant violation of WTO policy, but they simply waited out the process, and then stopped restricting flow before the process was completed. The damage had already done, and the message was loud and clear. Fortunately this stimulated US firms to find rare earth metal deposits elsewhere. But its thuggery, plain and simple.

I don't believe its this simple, harvesting rare earths is one of the most ecologically harmful industries that have ever existed and if any percentage however small of the claims of them doing it to restructure so its less harmful are true; then I think it was perfectly justified. The good outweights the harm and industries relying on China alone for rare earths were asking for it.
Wait, hold up! China stopped without warning exporting, what was for them basically a monopoly commodity (95% of rare earth exports), because of environmental concerns? I know it's a stereotype, but do you *know* how freaking low the environment is on Chinese policy maker's agendas?

And lets just say for the sake of argument it was the environment. They implemented quotas, didn't actually meet even these reduced quotas, and when the trawler incident happened, China stopped shipping to Japan. Not other countries.

Also, China has since the 1990s been trying to get electronics firms to move their factories to China in exchange for cheaper rare earth metals. But guess what else firms get? IP theft.

I'm sorry I just don't buy Captain Planet's explanation for Chinese stopping shipments of rare earth metals to Japan. Not to mention as soon as they announced it, the Japanese released the trawler captain.

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Hobbes
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
This is a little harsh, misha. you're making rick perry out to be like some sort of texas conservative [/QB]

I hate articles like that. Using "immigrant" in place of "illegal immigrant". That's not shortening anything, or a slight imprecision, it's a straight-out lie. I fall into the liberal/Democrat camp on the issue of immigration, and I agree with the writer here on the reasonableness, or lack thereof, of this plan. But I do so without deliberately obfuscating the intentions of those involved to make them look worse. Why would I need to? I think the current policy and this particular "awareness campaign" are plenty bad without me making it so.

Hobbes [Smile]

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Samprimary
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do you mean how the article called it a 'catch an immigrant' game in the headline when you would prefer they had not used any shorthand?

They specify pretty clearly what the game is right off, but if it is an issue then replace the link with this one

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/11/18/young-conservatives-of-texas-to-hold-catch-an-illegal-immigrant-event-on-wednesday/

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I don't believe its this simple, harvesting rare earths is one of the most ecologically harmful industries that have ever existed and if any percentage however small of the claims of them doing it to restructure so its less harmful are true; then I think it was perfectly justified. The good outweights the harm and industries relying on China alone for rare earths were asking for it.
This is so silly I might almost think it's an elaborate long-term game for you, Elison. Are you seriously suggesting that the PRC did this because of environmental concerns? That environmental impact, rather than money and power in business, was their motivation? Everyone knows you love China but please be serious.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Elison R. Salazar:
My personality is irrelevant when it comes down to it...

Obviously not. Being right is far less useful in this life than driving people away with unnecessary aggression and snottiness. When it comes down to it, I was wrong and you were right. America is #2 producer in the world. But when you blow your stack and act like a jerk over a simple stating of opinion (not a claim btw) who is going to come back with anything positive to say?

quote:
Life and the pursuit of knowledge is just about knowing how to do your own research and critical thinking as it is about asking to be taught, sometimes whats needed is knowing how to acquire that knowledge on your own.
Please do not lecture me about the meaning of life. From what I know of your life you have no legs to stand on. I might not (read AM not) be as knowledgeable about microeconomics as you and others on the board, and freely admit it, but I'm the sole caregiver for my two small children and bed ridden wife and I'm bloody well busy doing better things.

If you really think that -how- you talk to people isn't as important as what you say then perhaps you should reexamine how human beings work.

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Samprimary
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yeah china flat-out pulled its rare earth embargo for political reasons. it was a row over territory. they were specifically cutting off japan.

the environmental pressures excuse is eminently transparent. oh I guess it was pollution purely from the rare earths that would happen to go to japan in 2010 that they were concerned about. phew! i guess i'm glad they halted that environmental issue!

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
... business will start leaving, at least in
the tech industry. Companies like Walmart and Amazon I don't think have the same challenges. Hopefully the Chinese will see the benefits of IP protection, and allow trademark law to be developed in the country. It would be a self-correcting problem.

Two things:
a) I think they want the American tech industry to leave and I would have to agree, given American enthusiasm for spying and hacking these days.

b) I think there's an assumption inherent that having China's IP laws be equivalent to American laws would be a good thing. I would have to whole-heartedly disagree. Between dedicated patent troll companies, the whole anti-consumer Google-Apple lawsuit fiasco, over-priced pharmaceutical drugs, etc, that can't be something that I can support.

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Hobbes
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quote:
do you mean how the article called it a 'catch an immigrant' game in the headline when you would prefer they had not used any shorthand?
Yes. Because "immigrant" is not shorthand for "illegal immigrant".

Hobbes [Smile]

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
I know it's a stereotype, but do you *know* how freaking low the environment is on Chinese policy maker's agendas?

First, it is a stereotype, and it's pretty incorrect. The environment is near the top of the public agenda and the government has responded with some pretty incredible stuff.

For example:

quote:
Given all that, the remarkable thing is not what China has failed to do but what it has achieved, especially in reining in carbon dioxide. Its carbon emissions are growing at half the rate of GDP, a bit better than the global average. China has also boosted investment in renewable energy far more than any other country. It has the world’s most ambitious plans for building new nuclear power stations.


To combine economic growth and environmental improvement, China has concentrated on reducing carbon intensity—emissions per unit of GDP (see chart 3). This fell by about 20% in the past five years and the government is aiming to cut it by 40-45% by 2020, compared with 2005. Most of the improvement is coming from a scheme to bully 1,000 state-owned enterprises (SOEs) into using energy more efficiently—arguably the single most important climate policy in the world.

The enterprises sign a contract with the central government agreeing to meet efficiency targets, abide by new building codes and install environmental-control equipment. This helped Chinese cement-makers (who produce as much of the stuff as the rest of the world put together) reduce the energy needed to make a tonne of cement by 30% in the ten years to 2009. The scheme has now been expanded to 10,000 SOEs, covering the majority of polluters.

China is also generating energy more efficiently. According to the World Bank, better operations and the closure of clapped-out plants helped to push the average thermal efficiency of its coal-fired power stations from 31% in 2000 to 37% in 2010; America’s remained flat, at 33%.

The other big energy change is China’s vast renewables programme. The government aims to get 20% of its energy from such sources by 2020, the same target as in richer Europe. The largest slice will come from hydropower, which accounted for around 15% of total energy in 2012 (with nuclear power at 2%). But the big rise comes from wind and solar: the government will roughly double investment in these two in 2011-16, compared with 2006-10. Chinese investment in renewables puts others to shame. It amounted to $67 billion in 2012, says REN21, a network of policymakers, more than three times what Germany spent. The aim is to have 100 gigawatts of wind capacity and 35 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2015.

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21583245-china-worlds-worst-polluter-largest-investor-green-energy-its-rise-will-have

And all this with a per capita income that's less than Mexico's.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
The Chinese government has fiercely denied paying hackers to steal IP or sabotage foreign firms, but security experts have found a pretty obvious proof that this is a lie. Chinese hackers all take weekends off. Only government employees do that.

Ummm. This is a standard of proof that I would expect from a pot-smoker, "I got hacked by the FBI man. How do I know? It stopped during the weekend." Totally impossible to fake.

I'm not even asking for impossible standards here. We have a few examples, like for example government powerpoint presentations about hacking, released by a government employee with everything to lose, pursued by the government, and with policies that are acknowledged and then defended by government leaders. I'm just sayin'

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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
do you mean how the article called it a 'catch an immigrant' game in the headline when you would prefer they had not used any shorthand?

They specify pretty clearly what the game is right off, but if it is an issue then replace the link with this one

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/11/18/young-conservatives-of-texas-to-hold-catch-an-illegal-immigrant-event-on-wednesday/

I was actually relieved to read that link. From the title I thought they were advocating a day of vigilante-INS volunteerism and encouraging people to report on their neighbors and confront strangers to question them about their citizenship/residency status.
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JanitorBlade
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Mucus:
quote:
a) I think they want the American tech industry to leave and I would have to agree, given American enthusiasm for spying and hacking these days.
Spying is a government thing, I seriously doubt American tech companies *want* to participate in government spying. I don't know much about the US side of hacking. But as I said before, I don't think the US is stealing Chinese trade secrets.

quote:
b) I think there's an assumption inherent that having China's IP laws be equivalent to American laws would be a good thing. I would have to whole-heartedly disagree. Between dedicated patent troll companies, the whole anti-consumer Google-Apple lawsuit fiasco, over-priced pharmaceutical drugs, etc, that can't be something that I can support.
No, I'm saying that China doesn't have a concept at all that if I design something, I should be able to enjoy the fruits of those labors rather than my efforts being buried under copy cat trolls who jump in. The US has problems with patent law sure, but it still has a lot of good checks in place to stimulate innovation.

quote:
First, it is a stereotype, and it's pretty incorrect. The environment is near the top of the public agenda and the government has responded with some pretty incredible stuff.
First of all, that's renewable energy reform, not environmental reform. Further, slowing down a little carbon and only growing slightly slower than the global average means almost nothing. Look, the US is crappy about this too. As soon as you talk about nuclear everybody is going to scream Fukushima for the next 20 years. And people think driving electric cars is somehow reducing carbon output. But China has turned their atmosphere into soup, I've seen it. People don't even want to go to Beijing for business it's so unhealthy.

The only thing I know of that I think signals environmental reform on China's end from the past year was the decision to make environmental crimes a capital offense.

Well see if that stops it from happening.

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JanitorBlade
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Mucus:
quote:
Ummm. This is a standard of proof that I would expect from a pot-smoker, "I got hacked by the FBI man. How do I know? It stopped during the weekend." Totally impossible to fake.
I agree on its own it's not much. But when you have a security expert put up a ton of data on hacking behavior, and amidst it all, you can see hackers taking the weekends off as well as Chinese holidays, you have to find measures like that because it's too hard to trace back to the original source a lot of the time.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
quote:
a) I think they want the American tech industry to leave and I would have to agree, given American enthusiasm for spying and hacking these days.
I don't know much about the US side of hacking. But as I said before, I don't think the US is stealing Chinese trade secrets.
Of course they're stealing Chinese trade secrets, they're stealing pretty much everything which includes trade secrets.

For example, in South America, that includes mining companies, government energy regulators, etc.

quote:
Citing documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the fugitive former American intelligence contractor, O Globo newspaper said the NSA programs went beyond military affairs to what it termed "commercial secrets."

These included petroleum in Venezuela and energy in Mexico, according to a graphic O Globo identified as being from the NSA and dated February of this year.

Also swept up in what O Globo termed as U.S. spying were Argentina, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and El Salvador.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/09/us-usa-security-latinamerica-idUSBRE96816H20130709

In China specifically, the NSA was specifically hacking public officials and businesses.
quote:
The documents don't reveal any details about Chinese military systems, Snowden told the newspaper. However, they do show hacking by the U.S. against targets in China's Special Administrative Regions, which include Hong Kong and Macau. Those targets include public officials, businesses, and students of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57589100-83/nsa-whistleblower-u.s-has-been-hacking-into-china-hong-kong/

The idea that they managed to filter out and avoid stealing trade secrets when they've managed to steal pretty much everything else is pretty ridiculous.


quote:
No, I'm saying that China doesn't have a concept at all that if I design something, I should be able to enjoy the fruits of those labors
That's just plain false, of course the concept exists.

quote:
Yes, prior art exists in China with respect to the patent law — which requires both novelty and an inventive step over the prior art. “prior art” with respect to trademarks is a bit different, so I believe that you may be getting these concepts confused.
http://www.chinalawblog.com/2013/10/having-china-ip-problems-whose-fault-is-that.html
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
But when you have a security expert put up a ton of data on hacking behavior, and amidst it all, you can see hackers taking the weekends off as well as Chinese holidays, you have to find measures like that because it's too hard to trace back to the original source a lot of the time.

One doesn't *have* to believe anything given crappy data. We've seen American "experts" go right up to the UN present hard data on weapons of mass destruction in order to justify an invasion that would kill tens of thousands of people. This data is much crappier than that and similarly self-interested.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
First of all, that's renewable energy reform, not environmental reform.

These two are pretty inextricably linked. I don't see how you can separate it out. Hydroelectric power generation displaces coal plants, nuclear power plants, the same. In Ontario, a key strategy to improve air quality is to shut down thermal power and replace it with renewables.

quote:
Further, slowing down a little carbon and only growing slightly slower than the global average means almost nothing.
I don't see it as a "little." China has leap-frogged the US, a rich developed country, in the efficiency of its coal-fired plants in just ten years. The US can't even build a single high speed rail line in less than ten years. That's a huge accomplishment in such a poor country.

quote:
As soon as you talk about nuclear everybody is going to scream Fukushima for the next 20 years.
Not everyone and that's part of the point. As the article says, China is building more nuclear power plants than the rest of the world. Environmentally, that's huge. That's going to displace tonnes of carbon. It's true, Americans are going to scream about Fukushima, but China's the one that's going to take the risk to actually help the environment.

quote:
But China has turned their atmosphere into soup, I've seen it.
And I haven't seen it?

The US went through things like rivers on fire when it was significantly richer. China is already taking action way ahead of the curve at a significantly earlier point in terms of things like income, education, and capability.

There's a lot of hard work and perseverance there, contrary to American stereotypes.

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JanitorBlade
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Mucus: [url=These two are pretty inextricably linked. I don't see how you can separate it out. Hydroelectric power generation displaces coal plants, nuclear power plants, the same. In Ontario, a key strategy to improve air quality is to shut down thermal power and replace it with renewables.
[/url]As I said there is some overlap. Maybe even a lot, but just because you make a bunch of nuclear power plants instead of coal plants to manage your energy needs, doesn't mean those coal plants are still in operation.

quote:
I don't see it as a "little." China has leap-frogged the US, a rich developed country, in the efficiency of its coal-fired plants in just ten years. The US can't even build a single high speed rail line in less than ten years. That's a huge accomplishment in such a poor country.

You keep using the US as a point of comparison, I think the US is abysmal at environmentalism. We are only talking about Chinese environmentalism because Ellison said rare earth imports to Japan were stopped for a short time purely because of environmental concerns.

quote:
And I haven't seen it?
Didn't say anything about your experiences, I affirmed what mine were.

If China is serious about the environment, then lets see it get on board with the Kyoto protocols. China is the only reason the US didn't also sign on.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes:
quote:
do you mean how the article called it a 'catch an immigrant' game in the headline when you would prefer they had not used any shorthand?
Yes. Because "immigrant" is not shorthand for "illegal immigrant".

Hobbes [Smile]

Do you think that this should make an appreciable difference in how we view the actions of the people playing this game?
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Mucus
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JanitorBlade: That's just silly. China signed Kyoto over ten years ago. It's the US that didn't sign on and there's no way they can blame their failure to sign on a country that did sign.

Second, you may be addressing Blayne's rare earths angle. I'm addressing this: "I know it's a stereotype" It is a stereotype and it's incorrect. I'm just using the US as a frame of reference, but it doesn't really matter what developed country you use. China is significantly ahead of the curve as a developing country, let alone where it will be in decades when its a developed country.

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BlackBlade
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Mucus: China signed Kyoto? This is news to me. *scurries off*.
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BlackBlade
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Huh. They signed in 1998. That makes me irrationally angry at a certain instructor I just finished taking a class from.
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capaxinfiniti
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes:
quote:
do you mean how the article called it a 'catch an immigrant' game in the headline when you would prefer they had not used any shorthand?
Yes. Because "immigrant" is not shorthand for "illegal immigrant".

Hobbes [Smile]

Do you think that this should make an appreciable difference in how we view the actions of the people playing this game?
It should and does make a considerable difference. It's dishonest to conflate the two in order to advance a political agenda.
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Hobbes
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Kate, are you asking if I think there's a difference between a person who wants to catch and deport immigrants and a person who wants to catch and deport illegal immigrants? If so: yes, yes I do think there's a difference. I have to admit that I would loose a great deal of respect for you if you think there isn't a difference.

Hobbes [Smile]

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Huh. They signed in 1998. That makes me irrationally angry at a certain instructor I just finished taking a class from.

Technically, the United States DID sign the Protocol, they just never ratified it.

The US signed but didn't ratify, and the Chinese signed and ratified, but their CO2 reduction numbers were not binding, which means they opted out of signing into the part of the agreement that actually had teeth. Only the EU and a handful of other countries signed on to the binding parts of the law.

So I'm not really sure how much significance you can give to who signed.

In reality, China couldn't sign onto the Annex I binding targets. Those targets mandated that countries reduce their emissions to 5% below their 1990 levels. China hadn't really gotten industrialization off the ground to any appreciable level at that point. (Rough numbers ahead). I think they were emitting something like 2 billion tons of CO2 in 1990, but by 2006 it was 10 billion. To reduce their emissions to 5% of their 1990 numbers would have required them to deindustrialize the entire country. That's why they signed onto the non-binding parts intended for third world countries.

Having said that...anyone who wants to excoriate the US for not ratifying needs to actually look at the emissions levels over the last half decade. In 2006 China overtook the United States as the lead producer of GHG. Fair enough, perhaps, since they're a century behind the curve on industrializing. Their renewable energy investments are laudable, but ultimately a drop in the bucket. More than 90% of their ever-expanding energy production is still fossil fuels, mostly coal. And that 10% renewable includes a massive amount of hydroelectric, which isn't exactly environmentally friendly, it's just atmospherically friendly.

Meanwhile, United States emissions are at their lowest levels since 1995. Coal-fired plants are closing and being replaced by less-polluting gas-fired plants, even as coal-fired plants begin construction in the European Union. In 2012, China was responsible for 27% of all worldwide emissions. The United States 14%, the EU 10% and India 7%.

United States emissions have fallen year over year for the last half decade at unheard of rates. 3.7% last year, and that wasn't a recession year.

So no, the United States did not ratify Kyoto, and yes, China did.

So what?

Edit to add: A qualifier, I recognize that China is in an incredibly difficult position. Trying to raise hundreds of millions of people into a 21st Century first world standard of living and stuffing a century's worth of progress into a couple decades is a dirty, difficult task. And it's not fair that we got the jump on industrializing then turned around and said "hey, you're ruining the atmosphere!" to a bunch of guys who just got here after we played such a large role in keeping them down for so long.

There's a reality though, that while it's not really fair, we also need to seriously reduce emissions levels, and that burden is going to fall most heavily on China and to a lesser extent India. It's not fair, but we can't let the world burn in the longterm for the sake of fairness to them now. The difference, I think, in our perspectives is that China needs to solve this problem alone. That's crap. We've largely outsourced our emissions to them by moving manufacturing abroad, and as consumers we have a guilty hand involved.

I think we can do a little more to reduce our own emissions to help offset the rise in theirs. But we should be looking at the other side of the equation too. Global emissions aren't just about reducing the output, it's also about increasing the number the planet can safely process. In other words, we should be focusing more on deforestation and creating carbon sinks. Every square mile of rainforest that gets slash and burned is that much less CO2 the planet can tolerate. We should focus our efforts there.

[ November 20, 2013, 09:42 PM: Message edited by: Lyrhawn ]

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Mucus
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Quick note: A lot of that is just obfuscating the fact that the US didn't in fact meet its Kyoto emissions targets. But moving onto the meat:

quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
In 2012, China was responsible for 27% of all worldwide emissions. The United States 14%, the EU 10% and India 7%.

This comparison implies that these groups are, well, comparable. Why not throw in Canada? We're responsible for, what, 2% of worldwide emissions? We're doing great! (no, we're not) Both China and India are more than and almost four times larger than the US respectively.

To put that into terms easier to grasp, if China, India, and Europe were separated into US-sized countries, the Chinese countries would only be responsible for 6% of the world's emissions each, only a little-ahead of the US-sized portion of the EU, and India ... well, India would be hardly worth mentioning with the same emissions as Canada.

So when it comes to stuff like this:
quote:
... we also need to seriously reduce emissions levels, and that burden is going to fall most heavily on China and to a lesser extent India.
No, there should be no reductions for India. If anything, we should be encouraging them to develop more and emit more so they can do some basic things like get flush toilets and food to all of their citizens.

As for China, Chinese people have to more than double their emissions to reach American levels. In fact, their current level of emissions is only roughly at the level of Europe, which is more than three times as rich per person.

Now let's look at the best case scenario. Let's say China develops into something like Hong Kong, pretty much no one middle class has a car, people live in densely populated areas so they can have a walk-able city, awesome public transit, and so forth. Well, according to World Bank data ( http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.ATM.CO2E.PC ), they're going to be able to pull roughly 5 tonnes of emissions per person, down from 7 tonnes. It's worth doing, but it underscores how little manoeuvring room that mainland China really has.

The real burden should be put on countries that really have a lot of room to manoeuvre. For example, the US has an income five times that of China and emissions at roughly 17 tonnes per person.

To further put that into perspective, those fast food strikes you're having in the States, with fast food workers earning less than a "living" wage? The median salary for them in 2010 was almost twice that of the average person in China. Imagine the spectacle of middle class Americans asking for the burden of cutting back to be placed on fast food workers in America. That would be reprehensible. This is twice as bad.

[ November 21, 2013, 03:05 PM: Message edited by: Mucus ]

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BlackBlade
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For those interested in IP theft, according to The Australian Australia is losing 1% of GDP annually to IP theft. The article estimates the US at 2% GDP loss, in the US' case, that's $333 billion.
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BlackBlade
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Newsweek also have a must-read article about Edward Snowden stopping American efforts to curtail Chinese espionage.

Link.

I think the argument that the US never leaks the information it gets to American firms while the Chinese do falls kinda flat. Who cares? It's the stealing of information that is problematic, what's done with it is secondary to that.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
For those interested in IP theft, according to The Australian Australia is losing 1% of GDP annually to IP theft. The article estimates the US at 2% GDP loss, in the US' case, that's $333 billion.

Most estimations (especially industry estimates) are highly dubious. They often just use some very broad shorthand to get the number that barely scratches the deeper economic impacts. Since content providers set the expected value of their own content on the market, their projections of profitability typically fit with the assumption that a degree of piracy will occur, and the property will remain financially viable.

People wouldn't produce content if this were not the case. So a post hoc analysis of "losses," doesn't properly reflect the fact that content is marketed and sold with the understanding that its illicit use is inevitable. This is like Pfizzer saying that because 50% of its production of Vicodin is abused or trafficked in the black market, they are losing 50% of their profits. Not exactly: they know that their products are being abused for the profit of others, and their sales model still makes sense.

And with non-finite properties like content, it's even more ridiculous. For example, if the "loss," in IP theft is calculated as the gross or even net value of the content being consumed if it had been purchased on the market, this ignores the large number of illegal uses which don't replace a legal use, such as by people who can't afford the content in question, or to whom that content is not available on the market.

Second, it ignores the potential for properties to gain market potential through proliferation by pirating. Pirated properties such as music can *easily* return some portion of the potential loss in other revenues, such as concert tickets, other branded products, and similar revenue streams.

Just as a thought experiment, suppose I placed my music library on Itunes for $1000 a song (if this were to be allowed by Itunes of course). I will know that I will not have a lot of takers at that price, but even if I just get one, and that one person shares the file with 100 people, are my losses $100,000? I set the market for my product, and the market doesn't support it. But wait, I still make $1000 where most people on Itunes only make $1. That's not so bad for me.

Content businesses understand that the value of their content is inherently limited by the number of people who are willing to pay for it. And contrary to popular consumer opinion, they do not set prices as high as they are to be greedy, but because they know, and have spent considerable time and energy finding out, the price that the customers who *really* want or need to purchase the product will pay for it.

Pricing for non-finite content is not "supply and demand," it's just a product of these two dimensions: need and means. If the customer needs the product, and has the means to buy it, she probably will buy it. If she needs the product, and doesn't have the means, she will steal it if she can. But that customer never had the means to buy, and understanding where your company is on the sales funnel is important: it is not the business of a content provider to assure the world that it will make content available at whatever price people can afford. It will carefully analyze its market and determine that at a certain price, most of the people who need it, will have the means to buy it. You can't sell things to people if they don't need them- that's rule number one. A person who steals content either can't afford it, or doesn't need it.

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BlackBlade
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Interesting thoughts Orincoro.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes:
Kate, are you asking if I think there's a difference between a person who wants to catch and deport immigrants and a person who wants to catch and deport illegal immigrants? If so: yes, yes I do think there's a difference. I have to admit that I would loose a great deal of respect for you if you think there isn't a difference.

Hobbes [Smile]

I think that a person who thinks that deporting anyone is fun is so deeply lacking in empathy that I see very little difference.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
For those interested in IP theft, according to The Australian Australia is losing 1% of GDP annually to IP theft. The article estimates the US at 2% GDP loss, in the US' case, that's $333 billion.

Security consultant whose paycheque depends on cyber-security spending urges increased spending on cyber-security? News at 11.

Also, poke around a bit the article, you might notice a conspicuous lack of sources. The closest thing to clue is the caption "Source: Supplied"

Ok, so no evidence. Who is this person?

Google her name and it turns out she worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, the same company that Snowden worked for and has her own Revolving Door entry https://www.opensecrets.org/revolving../rev_summary.php?id=71598

Hmmm.

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Lyrhawn
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Mucus -

quote:
Quick note: A lot of that is just obfuscating the fact that the US didn't in fact meet its Kyoto emissions targets.
::shrug:: I'm not obfuscating anything. We didn't meet the targets set by Kyoto. Most estimates right now have us 5% above 1990 levels instead of 5% below, where we should be. But how many countries actually have hit their Kyoto levels? Canada is what, a quarter of the way to that goal? So do I feel especially bad? Meh, not really. We've bent the curve in the United States from runaway emissions growth to a staggering decline that will only continue for at least the next decade as renewables become cheaper, coal becomes more expensive, new CAFE standards kick in and the US LDV fleet turns over, and gas plants come online. I don't think we're doing awesome, but we're doing just fine.

Really though, it's not like it matters. At the end of the day, The United States is roughly 600 million tons of CO2 over what it should be producing (we actually HAVE reduced three atmospheric gasses 7% or more below their 1990 levels, in methane (an important one), PFCs and SF6). We're on track, as a planet, to be over our 2020 global targets by 6 BILLION tons. You can keep blaming the United States if you want, but the fact of the matter is we're simply never going to hit our targets as a planet. You could eliminate ALL United States emissions and we would STILL go over the limit in 2020. It seems a foregone conclusion at this point. Could we do more? Sure.

quote:
This comparison implies that these groups are, well, comparable. Why not throw in Canada? We're responsible for, what, 2% of worldwide emissions? We're doing great! (no, we're not) Both China and India are more than and almost four times larger than the US respectively.

To put that into terms easier to grasp, if China, India, and Europe were separated into US-sized countries, the Chinese countries would only be responsible for 6% of the world's emissions each, only a little-ahead of the US-sized portion of the EU, and India ... well, India would be hardly worth mentioning with the same emissions as Canada.

I mean of course they're comparable. I didn't pick random countries, I picked the four largest emitters. But sure, let's try to solve the problem by only addressing 25% of it. Sounds like a surefire recipe for success.

quote:
No, there should be no reductions for India. If anything, we should be encouraging them to develop more and emit more so they can do some basic things like get flush toilets and food to all of their citizens.

As for China, Chinese people have to more than double their emissions to reach American levels. In fact, their current level of emissions is only roughly at the level of Europe, which is more than three times as rich per person.

Now let's look at the best case scenario. Let's say China develops into something like Hong Kong, pretty much no one middle class has a car, people live in densely populated areas so they can have a walk-able city, awesome public transit, and so forth. Well, according to World Bank data ( http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.ATM.CO2E.PC ), they're going to be able to pull roughly 5 tonnes of emissions per person, down from 7 tonnes. It's worth doing, but it underscores how little manoeuvring room that mainland China really has.

The real burden should be put on countries that really have a lot of room to manoeuvre. For example, the US has an income five times that of China and emissions at roughly 17 tonnes per person.

I get that. It's just not realistic when you look at the scale of the problem. You'd have to solve it one of two ways, or a combination of the two. 1. Pour trillions of dollars in public money into renewable energy and electric cars. 2. Literally force tens of millions of people living in the suburbs to uproot and cluster closer to city centers, then build a mult-trillion dollar public mass transit center in every one of those cities.

And it would still take decades, the end result of which probably wouldn't be a significant amount of reduction over and above the reductions already taking place in America when you look at current trends and cost-competitiveness of energy sources.

The thing is, no matter how much you whip the United States for being problematic (and it is very, very problematic), at the end of the day there's only so much savings you can squeeze out of it before you have to get those savings from the third world. It's just not enough.

quote:
The real burden should be put on countries that really have a lot of room to manoeuvre. For example, the US has an income five times that of China and emissions at roughly 17 tonnes per person.
I agree. I'm wondering if you really read my whole post, because I said as much throughout much of it. My post wasn't a ra-ra America is awesome and China needs to do all the work post. I guess I can see why you'd read past a lot of what I said to assume that, give the discussions we've had in the past, but if you read what I actually wrote, that's not really it. My post was mainly to demonstrate that who did and did not sign Kyoto, for the purposes of discussing global emissions, isn't really the most important part of the discussion when you look at the actual numbers around the planet.

quote:
To further put that into perspective, those fast food strikes you're having in the States, with fast food workers earning less than a "living" wage? The median salary for them in 2010 was almost twice that of the average person in China. Imagine the spectacle of middle class Americans asking for the burden of cutting back to be placed on fast food workers in America. That would be reprehensible. This is twice as bad.
This is neither here nor there, but what's the cost of living in China compared to here?

Maybe you could make this easier on my by answering this question: Do you really think this is a problem that can be solved by the developed world alone? Because the numbers suggest no, it's not possible. Estimates are that if the current trends for the United States and China continue, China will emit more per capita within 10 years. Then what? Cutting American emissions by half so we're roughly on par with China take a nice bite out of global emissions...but not nearly enough to make up for China and India.

Maybe it's just time we realized the planet is simply doomed. If your rhetoric is the de facto policy of the third world, we're simply never going to solve the problem, because if the entire world was even at China's baseline per capita levels, we'd still be too high. How do you square that circle?

The third world attitude seems to be that the developed world mostly created this problem, so the developed world is responsible for solving it in a way that allows the third world to develop just like the developed world did, albeit at an accelerated pace. And you know what, that sounds perfectly fair. It's just not feasible if what scientists are saying is even remotely true.

[ November 22, 2013, 07:10 PM: Message edited by: Lyrhawn ]

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
But how many countries actually have hit their Kyoto levels?

To be clear, the world actually did meet the Kyoto targets as a group. In fact, since the ones that didn't (countries Australia for example) missed goals by a much larger margin than the ones that exceeded goals, many more countries actually met Kyoto targets than missed them.

ex:
quote:
Industrialised countries meet collective Kyoto
target of -4.2%

Collectively the group of industrialised countries
presently committed to a Kyoto target, i.e. all Annex B
countries excluding the United States and Canada, have a
target of reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 4.2
% on average for the period 2008-2012 relative to the
base year, which in most cases is 1990 but 1995 for the
F-gases. The collective target is met even without
accounting for emission credits purchased from certified
emission reduction projects under the UN’s Clean
Development Mechanism (CDM). With an estimated
average emission reduction of 20.5% over the 2008–2012
period, excluding the United States and Canada (and by
9.5% if including them), industrialised countries are
certain to achieve their targets quite comfortably (Figure
2.8).
...
With emissions slowly increasing until they
peaked in 2005, and decreasing in 2008-2012 to a level
that was about 8.5% higher than in 1990, the United
States will not meet the intended reduction target of 6%
included in the protocol.

http://www.pbl.nl/sites/default/files/cms/publicaties/pbl-2013-trends-in-global-co2-emissions-2013-report-1148.pdf

quote:
I get that. It's just not realistic when you look at the scale of the problem. You'd have to solve it one of two ways, or a combination of the two. 1. Pour trillions of dollars in public money into renewable energy and electric cars. 2. Literally force tens of millions of people living in the suburbs to uproot and cluster closer to city centers, then build a mult-trillion dollar public mass transit center in every one of those cities.
It is a big problem and on a big scale, which makes it only more puzzling when you talk about putting the burden on China and India.

As noted in the above handy report, the US, China, the EU, and India produce 16.4, 7.1, 7.4, and 1.6 tonnes/CO2 per person in order to produce 16%, 29%, 11%, and 6% of the world's emissions respectively.

On a small scale, if you imagine that one American could roughly halve their emissions and live like a European, that would save 9 tonnes/CO2. In order to match that, 2.5 Chinese citizens would need to halve their emissions. 11.25 Indians would need to halve their emissions.

On a large scale, let's use a simplified model of the world and assume that those numbers above are static going forward and let's say we want to reduce the world's emissions by 7% of the total.

How can we accomplish this? Well, the 314 million Americans can as a group reduce their emissions from 16% to 9%. That implies that each American would *still* be allowed to pollute 25% more than the average European. You have a perfect model in Europe for how to accomplish this, it's been done before, and you have significantly more money than Europe. It's within the realm of possibility.

How can China accomplish this? Well, 1.351 billion Chinese people would need to reduce their emissions from 29% to 22%. This implies that each Chinese person would need to reduce their emissions to 5.4 which is pretty much unheard of in the developed world, France as the best performing member of the EU is at 5.8. So somehow more than four times as many Chinese people than there are Americans would need to innovate and sacrifice their way to somehow emit less than the best performing member of the EU. Its literally never been done before and you have less than half the wage of a fast food worker in the States to do it with for each person. I don't really see that as being in the realm of possibility.

And Indians, they would need to die. And turn into magical carbon sinks that can suck an additional 1% of the world's emissions. Per year.

So when you imply that massive change is not preferred but that the burden of reductions should be placed on China and India, that's contradictory. Many times more Chinese people would need to change on a scale never seen before in order to match what a much smaller number of Americans could do relatively easily.

quote:
Maybe you could make this easier on my by answering this question: Do you really think this is a problem that can be solved by the developed world alone?
Personally, I don't think the problem can be solved. The third world simply doesn't have the ability to as noted above. The developed world, particularly the non-EU part of it (like the US, Russia, Canada, Australia) simply hasn't shown any willingness to do much of anything.

But as I laid out, if you want to solve 7% of the world's emissions, the above is what we need to do.

quote:
Estimates are that if the current trends for the United States and China continue, China will emit more per capita within 10 years.
Well, several assumptions here. First, it sounds like you're using per decade numbers rather than last years's numbers. Since China's current plan is to plateau in around 2025, emissions growth is slowing.
quote:
In 2012, China’s CO2
emissions increased by 3.3% (‘actual’)
to 9.9 billion tonnes, the slowest rate of increase in a
decade. This mainly was caused by a relatively small
increase of 2.5% in domestic coal consumption, as
reported by NBS (2013), whereas in the receding decade,
the annual growth rate was mostly around 10%

In ten years, that would place China's per capita emissions only at 9.5 tonnes/person or the upper end of Europe rather than anything approaching Americans. It would take something like 28 years of growth to match Americans.

Second, that assumes no recessions at all over that time, which is impossible.

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Mucus
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This should probably be addressed separately
quote:
This is neither here nor there, but what's the cost of living in China compared to here?

I'm using PPP adjusted numbers ( http://goo.gl/bNgT3Y ). So as far as I understand it (not an economist) when it says the average Chinese person has an income of 9,223 and the average American has 49,965 it really means that for a normalized set of standardized goods, the average American can buy more than five times more, of those baskets of goods.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
For those interested in IP theft, according to The Australian Australia is losing 1% of GDP annually to IP theft. The article estimates the US at 2% GDP loss, in the US' case, that's $333 billion.

Security consultant whose paycheque depends on cyber-security spending urges increased spending on cyber-security? News at 11.

Also, poke around a bit the article, you might notice a conspicuous lack of sources. The closest thing to clue is the caption "Source: Supplied"

Ok, so no evidence. Who is this person?

Google her name and it turns out she worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, the same company that Snowden worked for and has her own Revolving Door entry https://www.opensecrets.org/revolving../rev_summary.php?id=71598

Hmmm.

This doesn't help you, but I have it on good authority from people I trust who mentioned the article that while the figures aren't verifiable, the person isn't wrong in principle.

I think it's clear that the Chinese learned the lessons of the Gulf War clearly. A conventional army is a loser strategy. So save hundreds of billions in R&D by stealing. It's the US's fault for not identifying the problem, and coming up with a good fix. We still don't seem close to one.

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Mucus
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To tie in this forum's more popular debate, as an atheist, I'm obviously not willing to take that on faith [Wink]
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
In ten years, that would place China's per capita emissions only at 9.5 tonnes/person or the upper end of Europe rather than anything approaching Americans. It would take something like 28 years of growth to match Americans.

Second, that assumes no recessions at all over that time, which is impossible.

In 2013, their emissions have increased by 5.9% while the United States' have decreased by 3.7%. You're only accounting for Chinese growth and not for the reduction in United States emissions. If 2013 numbers were to continue for a decade, US emissions would be closer to 11 tonnes per person. China's would be roughly 11.5. Yes, that assumes a lot, but it shows that it's not out of the realm of possibility. Maybe China slows down, maybe they don't. Maybe the US stops reducing emissions, and maybe the trend accelerates. Maybe there's a huge global recession and emissions drop everywhere. It's impossible to predict all that.

quote:
On a small scale, if you imagine that one American could roughly halve their emissions and live like a European, that would save 9 tonnes/CO2.
And in the grand scheme of things, when you look at the targets for what climate change scientists say we need to hit as a planet in order to stop climate change from reaching a tipping point, how big an effect is that when weighed against what's happening on the rest of the planet?

2020 Global emissions targets

To keep on pace to reduce global emissions to the level required to satisfy scientists and to meet the goals set by the UN at the 2010 conference, the world needs to be at 44 billion tonnes of CO2 by 2020. If they miss that, it becomes increasingly impossible to meet the next two sets of deadlines to keep this century's temperature increase down.

How are we doing?

quote:
In order to avoid this scenario, the report recommends that emissions should reach a maximum of 44 gigatonnes of CO2 by 2020, falling to 40 gigatonnes by 2025 and further to 22 gigatonnes by 2050.

However, given that the 2C target was set based on the assumption that action would start in 2010, the report warns it will become “increasingly difficult” to meet this goal. Global greenhouse gas emissions for 2010, the latest year for which data is available, stood at 50.1 gigatonnes.
*
The UN Environment Program said that even if nations meet their current emissions reduction pledges, carbon emissions in 2020 will be eight to 12 gigatonnes above the level required to avoid a costly nosedive in greenhouse gas output.

8 to 12 billion tonnes of CO2 over the targets, and according do you, China still thinks it will grow its emissions for 5 years beyond that? And what about India?

We're talking about an emissions gap (just for 2020!) that, if we're ignoring the third world, would require the the EU and the United States to almost literally go zero emissions within 7 years. And then what? The target in 2020 is 44 billion tonnes.

quote:
In order to avoid this scenario, the report recommends that emissions should reach a maximum of 44 gigatonnes of CO2 by 2020, falling to 40 gigatonnes by 2025 and further to 22 gigatonnes by 2050.
In other words, in our scenario, after the EU and United States have gone zero emissions, the world needs to cut a further 4 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions within 5 years when China and India are still slated to be growing their emissions.

What's your solution to all that?

I get it, the United States isn't doing enough, they could and should be doing more, they should put a tax on carbon, an aggressive tax, that would help bend that curve dramatically downward...but you seem to be losing the bigger picture in your criticisms of the United States.

quote:
So when you imply that massive change is not preferred but that the burden of reductions should be placed on China and India, that's contradictory. Many times more Chinese people would need to change on a scale never seen before in order to match what a much smaller number of Americans could do relatively easily.
It's not about change and burdens. If the United States could reduce its own emissions by 30 billion tonnes of CO2 and get global emissions down to a sustainable level, I would argue pretty strongly in favor of a massive change in our national priorities to do so.

But we can't. We just don't emit enough.

If you were to look at the global population and the global emissions output, each person on earth would get about 6.9 tonnes of carbon per capita. That's the 2010 status quo. If you use the projected numbers for how much is expected we'll be emitting in 2020 based on current rates, it would be between 7.49 and 8.01 (using 7.75 billion as the estimated global population in 2020). But if you look at the TARGET emissions per capita, globally, it's 5.6 tonnes. Assuming every one in the world got an equal share of carbon and keeping in mind targets for where we should be in 2020 to keep us on pace to avert catastrophe, China is already over where it needs to be in 6 years assuming everyone was equal.

My point in all this is not to excuse the United States from its responsibility in dramatically reducing its own emissions. It's that you can't solve the problem by only addressing such a relatively small part of it.

The developed world can't solve this problem alone.

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Mucus
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FYI, not ignoring you, just got hit by some fever or something over night.

I'm going to have to wait until I feel better to crunch the numbers, but my initial thought is that we're boned. I've laid out the relative difficulty in making significant cuts and the difficulty doesn't change simply because it's not enough. As I said above, I don't think there is a (realistic) solution.

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BlackBlade
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Remember the Senkaku islands mentioned earlier in the thread? The ones China blocked rare-earth metals to Japan over.

Well China just claimed the airspace over the islands. And are already flying patrols over it. Japan is responding in kind.

We'll see if China punishes Japan again over it.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
FYI, not ignoring you, just got hit by some fever or something over night.

I'm going to have to wait until I feel better to crunch the numbers, but my initial thought is that we're boned. I've laid out the relative difficulty in making significant cuts and the difficulty doesn't change simply because it's not enough. As I said above, I don't think there is a (realistic) solution.

Take your time. I got hit with a bad cold last week and almost fainted when my blood pressure dropped giving blood last Friday. Unpleasant.

But yes, I agree. Unless the third world can plateau their emissions growth by the end of the decade, or there's a major tech breakthrough, we have to accept higher sea levels by the end of the century.

The first world could invest in carbon sinks or carbon capture technology. But I don't think the former can make a big enough dent, and I don't think the latter is realistic.

The part that sucks is that raised sea levels will hurt the third world disproportionately. China will suffer a heavy toll.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Remember the Senkaku islands mentioned earlier in the thread? The ones China blocked rare-earth metals to Japan over.

Well China just claimed the airspace over the islands. And are already flying patrols over it. Japan is responding in kind.

We'll see if China punishes Japan again over it.

I'm less worried about economic retribution than I am one of those pilots getting confused and accidentally firing on each other. It's one thing when boats and ships are sailing around each other. Two different nations flying CAP over the same airspace is a recipe for disaster.
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BlackBlade
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Gao Yaojie, one of the saddest stories I've read in a very long time.

quote:
China has never provided a full accounting of the infection rate and death toll from the plasma disaster in Henan and surrounding provinces. Low estimates say 50,000 people contracted the virus through selling blood; many more sources put the number at at least 1 million. Another million may have contracted HIV through transfusions of the contaminated blood. Gao believes as many as 10 million people might have been infected, but she is alone in that high estimate.

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