Real estate is super expensive & the owners couldn't afford to sit idle and play games with the government so they decided to run the mall from morning till night on diesel generators. That's ~ $4500 of diesel each day, probably 6-8k litres. This is an example of a pollution source that's completely avoidable. I'm not sure for how many years this continued on.
What's worse is that there was no widespread public outrage. Why didn't people boycott the mall that's polluting their city and at the same time put pressure on the government to set things right ?
For a perspective, the city I'm talking about is a modern affluent city, close to Delhi (~ 160 miles). Home to a lot of politicians & celebrities, one of the most well planned cities in the world  & one of the cleanest in India 
> "Let me give you a lesson in practical politics. It is a mistake to suppose that the public wants the environment protected or their lives saved and that they will be grateful to any idealist who will fight for such ends. What the public wants is their own individual comfort."
What you have mentioned applies to every tech park in Bangalore, so should people now protest against their very source of employment?
There's something fundamentally broken about this statement, which suggests a deeper problem - why isn't the market for electricity working in India?
In other countries we take a national grid for granted. In Europe, power can be bought and sold from country to country. India may be lacking in capacity, but even if they're not, the grid is fragile, unreliable and not a national one.
There are over a billion people living there too, in a land mass way smaller than their more populous neighbour to the north (and let's not forget all of China's trouble with pollution as well).
PS: You can draw a strait line in China with 6% of the population on the larger half, and 94% of the population on the smaller half.
America's most populous county, Los Angeles County, is approximately the same. The northeastern part is mostly very hot high desert or national forest land (severe building restrictions). By contrast, the southwestern part is coastal and much more suitable for human habitation.
In general, Californians live in the third of the state along the Pacific coast.
Given n (city,population, area) tuples for country C, find 2 cities, the line thru which slices C into two land masses M and N. M would then have k tuples and N would have n-k, such that the ratio of aggregate population of k tuples to the aggregate population of n-k would be 90+delta:10-delta, for delta in interval [1,9], whilst simultaneously you have the ratio of the aggregate area of the k tuples to the aggregate area of n-k working out to 1+nabla:1-nabla, for nabla in [0,0.5].
No idea what the optimal algorithm would be, short of brute force so O(n^2).
This is the sort of DS project a HuffPo would run - you can slice up countries not just based on 94:6 population but also crime rate, education, victims of homicide, what have you; all you need in tuples with larger arity.
Given the generality and popularity of sweepline algorithms in computational geometry, I'm wondering where the problem is here. Can't you just move a sweepline across a given territory in any direction and get a result? If you want maximum outrage (largest value of X in smallest area), I agree that's more complex and I'm not sure how you would prove an optimum result.
It'd be curious what different countries look like in terms of gradient decent difficulty on population density. I'd imagine most look fairly similar (densely populated regional urban areas surrounded by rural), but I imagine there are exceptions to some degree out there?
This part is quite messy. For every given (c1,c2) city pair, you'd get 1 straight line that connects c1 to c2. Then for every city ck, you need info on whether ck is above that line or below - you can compute that by point-slope geometry with the lat-long coordinates ( given point p(x,y) & line l with some slope, is p above l or below ).
If you want to poke around, the dataset is here: http://seer.cancer.gov/popdata/
The 'low' areas have minimal rainfall and are 1KM over sea level. http://www.chinamaps.org/china/china-map-of-precipitation-an...
The high areas get a little more rainfall, but are mostly 4-5+km over sea level. http://www.china-food-security.org/data/maps/dem/dem_h.htm
Combine them and you can see why the population map looks the way it does. http://www.china-mike.com/china-travel-tips/tourist-maps/chi...
> You could probably do the same in Canada fwiw.
In addition to the rather obvious climate this implies (eg, rather cold), from what I understand, building anything on permafrost is very challenging.
Most of the eastern half of Canada north of a certain is "Canadian shield" and is granite shield rock with little if any topsoil.
The other half is boreal forest and some of it is indeed farmed to a fairly high latittude (central Alberta where I'm from) but once you get up high enough the growing degree days are not sufficient to grow a lot of crops. It's good for grazing if that. And also fairly arid in spots.
And the rest is mountains, or arctic.
~94% of 1.357b = 1.28 billion population.
~40% of 3.7 mill = 1.5 million square miles.
= ~0.85 billion people per million square miles.
1.252 billion people on
1.269 million mi
=~ 1 billion people per million square miles.
But are the rents even increasing for the majority poor that live in the very cramped areas surrounding most cities? How about the rural population?
I ask because, while it makes sense that places like London, SF, and Vancouver would have huge property price increases due to increases in demand (foreign wealth, start-up success, etc.) it seems very disturbing that more and more areas where wages have simply not risen at all for decades are also going through prices increases.
For example, the rents in the Midwest city I come from have gone up about 50% in the last 7 or 8 years, though housing itself has not. Wages have actually gone down, adjusted for inflation.
Is the huge amount part of the relatively uninhabited himalaya accounted for in that statement?
2. There is scarcity of Coal, and Coal that is mined in India is high-soot
3. The demand for electricity outstrips Supply.
4. The supply never caught up with the demand because Transmission lines are owned by Government(state-level) and there is rampant theft
5. Because of theft and subsidies money is lost by government and the more the cost of generation the more loss the government will incur, so renewable is mostly costed out till recently.
There is hope though, Russia is building six nuclear power plants in India, more dams are coming online and investments in Renewables have increased.
Once distributed solar becomes affordable, the electricity owes in many parts of India would diminish or become tolerable.
Last mile distribution infrastructure is still a WIP in many places but the real problem is financial. Many distribution companies are owned by state govts. and unable to charge/recover for the electricity they distribute. This incentivizes them to procure/supply as little power as possible.
Many states have now opted for a financial restructuring  and I expect demand will pick up sharply.
Things have improved, but the pace is not something to write home about.
I sell gensets in the southern states and the market is shrinking.
Additionally what's being missed in this entire chain is that the new CPCB norms were released a few years ago and all gensets sold in india now conform to it one way or the other.
To still add to this - most gensets don't run as much as they are able to. For a majority of sets they run very little in the span of years.
The OP gave an example where power was not given to a mall due to corruption, not lack of power.
> why isn't the market for electricity working in India?
Electricity in India is a government monopoly. Even using a generator is illegal if you produce electricity above certain level. In very few cities government has allowed private players like Tata and Reliance to produce electricity and yet given them a complete monopoly over certain parts of the city.
Land acquisition in India is a big mess. People dont have proper property rights, clear land titles etc. It is illegal for a private company to buy land for commercial purposes if the land is not under particular zone. For example let us say I want to build my own power-lines over 100miles. I cant erect a pole in a farmland because erecting a poll is a commercial activity and the land is meant for farming only.
So the companies have to ask government to acquire land. It is a huge corrupt mess.
Any infrastructure sector which requires heavy investment to produce but once there can be used by anyone will remain in bad shape. That is why India has many world class hospitals, 5-star hotels etc because they can be made exclusively available to those who can afford. While roads, piped water supply, sewage systems, public transport, education remain in terrible shape.
Investment into electric infrastructure is not sufficient. Coal provides almost 3/4 of the electricity.
AND if the government purposely delayed an electricity connection by months or years, then you should protest against them too. The above problem doesn't seem to be an issue of supply & demand of electricity, but more of a power tussle between the builder & authorities for possible kickbacks.
Related, it seems like India is almost power surplus according to these sources :   
 "By the end of calendar year 2015, India has become power surplus country despite lower power tariffs" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_sector_in_India
Nearly every major set up runs on diesel generators, where all would you stop going?
These sort of protests, bans etc don't scale well.
When I went to India, I though to my-self the living standard in the villages were HIGHER then the cities.
The air in the villages were clean - it was much cooler weather due to not being trapped in the congested cities.
The village people though I was crazy to think that their village was a paradise, and everyone wanted to move to the city.
I think its a serious lack of education that India/Bangladesh will not learn easily. A large number of people need to die due to cancer for it be taken seriously, unfortunately.
We are talking about a country where chain smoking is really common !
And no I a person from the sub-continent so I am not being racist, just pointing out some of the terrible facts about why I am terrified of going back.
I agree about smoking though, and specially the prevalence of the cheap cigarettes called "beedis", these are simply tobacco rolled over in a tobacco leaf and do not even have filters. Being very cheap, it is consumed by the poorer people and when coupled with lack of education, I assume does contributes to lot of smoking related diseases.
Since my source of income was built due to being in global cities and the only infrastructure I need is the Internet and my ability to think. My source of income is not disrupted due to being in the village.
But I think if your work doesn't allow you to do things remotely, yes there is a lack of opportunity in the village.
I was just thinking of the fact that my main income drain is rent in a global city. So moving to the village eliminates my biggest expense.
Edit: Also I think its hard for anyone (including myself) to relate to kind of lifestyle that most Indian villagers face. Lack of education, illiteracy, importance of superstitions and so on can greatly hinder the progress of any people.
However you are looking at the advantages of villages as a visitor with a point of view towards being closer to nature. There are other problems in villages that you probably won't encounter unless you live there on a day to day basis. Finally, grass is always greener on the other side (holds true for both villages & city dwellers).
> A large number of people need to die due to cancer for it be taken seriously
Cancer isn't uncommon in villages and city pollution isn't the only cause.
For that you prolly need to move to a big city, but from my immediate reasoning, I could work remotely from the village for the rest of my life as a programmer and could have a higher standard of living then being in the city.
But I guess that is due to the nature of my job, rather than anything.
You may not get your favorite loaf of bread, although you'll get fresh organic eggs. You may not be able to watch the latest movies in a theater. A good gymnasium probably won't exist, but you can always run in a grass field. There are countless other differences. People are materialistic & not everyone can make that compromise :)
>>The village people though I was crazy to think that their village was a paradise, and everyone wanted to move to the city.
Well this is because 'standard of living' these days in India is largely measured through a proxy of wealth you own. Not on the factors you mentioned.
Poor people move to cities because they want to escape malnutrition.
A city like Bangalore has almost an impossible amount of scooters on roads. Almost every house has at least one, and most homes have easily 1 for every two people staying in the home. And its not like US where there are laws on building homes. People take a 1200 sqft plot and build 4 floors, with 4 families, so at least 6 two wheelers for a small plot of land. This is even possible because auto rickshaws and buses have gotten expensive. Public transport of any kind is expensive, unpredictable and not worth when you look at the overall comfort and economics of having our own scooter.
At the other hand trees are being cut at an alarming rate. The area where I stay, around 15 years back, had a drive where students from an agricultural campus plotted a tree per home. In the time since a countable few trees remain. People cut trees for various reasons, some which are down right stupid. Reasons go like- A big tree will attract birds who will in turn crap on our cars/scooters, or that chirping birds disturb their morning sleep to impossibility of cutting the tree if grows too high.
The garbage landfill are full. So the government often doesn't collect garbage on time. Sometimes even a whole month passes before the garbage is collected. So you have massive piles of trash(Medical and all other toxic waste included) piling right at the corner of the lane. This causes mosquitoes to breed, and then diseases like dengue spread. The most obvious solution people around the place work to is burn the trash, causing all this toxic fumes to now mix in the air and reach almost everyone's lungs in the area.
On top of this comes industrial pollution. Rivers and lakes are being polluted, encroached and destroyed almost everywhere. Bangalore's lakes have almost disappeared. Many remaining are now cesspools. There was a lake which caught fire recently.
India needs something on the lines of Clean air act, and clean water act urgently. Feasibility of implementation remains a problem though.
Frankly, India's problem can only be fixed by population control. If Sanjay Gandhi hadn't been an idiot and forever poisoned the idea of population control, India would be much better off, especially if we can get the population to around 300M - 500M
Frankly, the whole world is going to have to get in line.
And with tax accountability.
>>If Sanjay Gandhi hadn't been an idiot and forever poisoned the idea of population control, India would be much better off, especially if we can get the population to around 300M - 500M
Wrong solutions lead to mistakes from which it is hard to recover. The ideal solution was industrialization and planned urbanization. Urban population levels today have largely stabilized, and in places steadily falling.
Most couples these days don't have more than one kid. So really we will see a decline in population levels as standard of living, and urbanization levels increase. This is a long term solution, there is no short term solution.
Btw, can you explain the tax accountability part, I'm not really sure I understand what you're trying to say there?
Best bet currently is cashless transactions. The more we have them, the better. If some one has more than explainable income in the bank they will be forced to show that up in tax returns, if its legal they will have to pay taxes, if its illegal then they face action.
Cash transactions are at the core of why everyday corruption is even possible. Liquid cash is easy to exchange without traceability.
A majority of drivers in India never took a test - they simply bribed an official to receive a license. Only a fool would pay the Rs 20,000 fee for a commercial vehicle roadworthiness test when the certificate can simply be bought for Rs 1,500. It's easier and cheaper to pay bribes than to work through the official bureaucracy.
While I agree on the point of vehicles made pre norms, but vehicle manufactured after their adoption are all mostly going to be compliant (although with the VW scam, I'm sure there are going to be significant doubts about whether the vehicles stay that way).
Can't argue on the emission check though, that I definitely believe. One can only hope newer vehicles don't have significant degradation in emissions over time.
I guess the main takeaway is that the Indian government has to enforce the rules more than anything.
Typically, the game goes as follows: new laws get drafted, local groups such as auto rickshaw unions get together and demand time/cash incentives to move to more expensive, cleaner equipment, local governments grant extensions, and the cycle repeats.
Then there are the general issues plaguing enforcement in India, which are listed in the wikipedia article.
When I lived in Bangalore, and whenever I visit there, BMTC (the public bus transport provider) has buses at least every few minutes along the main corridors during the day.
They are often crowded, but I don't think I could call the service "unpredictable", beyond the general variations that apply to all means of vehicular transport in Bangalore. Last mile connectivity though is often painful.
The service is indeed expensive, especially when one is sharing a commute with another person.
This said, I really like your summary of Bangalore.
Actually definition of city has changed. Bangalore has gotten so big to a point, not all go to the core city for work these days. Plus it takes a lot of time negotiating traffic.
Underground metro is the best bet Bangalore has currently.
You haven't experienced air pollution if you haven't breathed in the evening air in Mumbai or Bangalore during the rush hour.
You'd have to be insane to even consider that it could be otherwise.
The incentive to care about pollution, then, is the potential to save money when producing some thing or things by reducing the levels of pollution. That is, if it would cost less money to reduce pollution than the pollution causes the costs of production to increase, then you have an opportunity to save money by reducing pollution and possibly an opportunity to produce more (incentive to reduce pollution).
Problem is, the incentive might not be recognized as being enough to move the needle because the increase in costs of producing is likely distributed across many producers and its effect might be too minimal on a per-producer basis for them to either recognize that it exists or too costly to do anything at the level that they experience its effects.
The market cares about whatever customers care about.
The Clean Water Act applies to everyone equally. The market cares only about customers with money.
Pollution is a global problem though, so this isn't a solution that works yet it's absolutely what the free market would decide.
Economically, it may be a good sign that 1,400 new cars are added to Delhi's vehicle population every day.
According to the Centre for Science and Environment, the number of passenger cars in Delhi has gone up from around 75,000 in 2005-06 to more than half a million today.
The pollution makes sense when you start to understand how many cars they are putting on the roads every day with no sign of letting up. They have recently said they want the whole country to have nothing but electric cars by 2030.
That, and the fact that abysmal city planning has created unhealthy environments, such as locating chemical plants in suburban Mumbai, where a massive population resides.
Bhopal was a one-time disaster. But the cities of India are a continuous, on-going, everyday disaster.
To be fair though, like in any Indian metropolitan, there is immense pressure on the infrastructure that takes solving such problems to the next level. The sheer growth in population(primarily due to immigrants from other parts of India) on a daily basis would put any government in a quandary.
Indian engineers are smart people and given that much of EV technology is now proven and even open source!, I think it will make sense for the people there to adopt alternative tech. Have you tried talking to Tesla to open up R&D center with Tatas/Mahindras/whoever?
I do sense that corruption and its acceptance among citizenry is still going to be a major impediment but then it might just work. The only challenge would probably be to manufacture at scale and keep the car costs low to fit the average budget there.
But then India does get more than its fair share of tropical sun! :-)
I am trying to come out of this issue at all. At the same time I don't want to leave my lovable tech job.
Anybody experienced the same issues? Any advise ?
You could also use any of 3M's N95 disposable filters. They look a bit better, but you have to be more careful about getting a good seal when you put them on.
For home, you need to ensure your windows and doors have good seals. Then you need an air purifier (and to regularly change its filters). If you are on a budget, consider this one: http://smartairfilters.com/in/en/product-category/diy/
If money is no object, then get the IQAir Healthpro 250.
I'd recommend getting cheap disposable surgical masks as a backup strategy. They won't prevent the air being polluted but they will still filter the tiny particulates in the air that cause so many problems.
This is such a common misconception. Surgical masks are meant to prevent the transmission of diseases by blocking blood droplets etc. from entering your mouth. They are NOT intended nor capable of filtering particles from the air (except perhaps if they are visible to the eye). I see so many individuals in Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and some in China wearing them, but the only role they can play is to (i) keep you warm, (ii) fit in with the locals, (iii) avoid spreading disease, (iv) keep bugs out of your mouth when riding with a moped down the street.
If you want to filter PM2.5 you need proper respirators or activated charcoal masks that can do the job.
If you can have plants at work/home that should help. I don't normally like TED talks but this guy seemed to have interesting information on the right kinds.
- You have a lot of control over your home's internal environment
- You probably spend 1/3 to 1/2 your time at home
It's also challenging:
- All windows and doors must be sealed from draughts to minimise pollution coming in
- Filter machines must be regularly maintained, and filters replaced
- Windows must be opened for short periods (e.g. 20 mins) a couple of times per day, to let bad gases out, and let oxygen in
Sure, you can wear a mask in other environments, but you probably take the mask for many functions (talking with people, eating).
Now whenever I go back to India with my family, someone always will end up getting sick. If you go out during the day time you can feel a layer of sticky stuff starting to cover your face and eventually more dust and air pollutants stick to your body. After you get back indoors if you take a white towel and just rub it gently on your face you will see amount of black dirt that comes off. I hope India takes steps to move forward with clean and renewal energy sources because they can have serious consequences on health of all Indian Citizens.
Counterintuitively, I get far dirtier traveling to the trail with my Jeep stripped than I do actually running the trail. Even dusty ones. I tend to keep it buttoned up now.
Pollution sucks everywhere. I'm not making a claim whether it's better or worse anywhere or disagreeing with your comment, just making an observation. (And yes, I'm aware the hobby I'm mentioning in this comment contributes. I offset it when I can.)
This seems like a promising opportunity for startups to tackle...I wonder if there are any out there, would love to hear more.
Quite a lot worse, as you can see!
And if I scroll down a bit more you'll find a web worker spawned by the same page consuming another 120MB of RAM. This is a lot of stuff happening on what is suppose to be just a news article.
Climate change? We have literally changed the climate for the entirety of humanity's future unless we devise a system, whose energy requirements would overshadow practically anything we have ever invented and whose workings we still don't understand, and even so its impact would take decades, at the very least, to be felt.
Yep, found it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_fertilization
If history is any indication, fertilizer runoff from rivers causes anoxic events in the ocean. That is shit is not to be fucked with; you can trivially destabilize an ecosystem and destroy it, as has already happened in many places.
Researchers from the GEOMAR Institute of Marine Biology have seeded the oceans in the southpolar sea with iron in large amounts.
Yes, a huge algae bloom happened – but also a huge growth of animals eating the algae, etc.
The end result was no CO2 being trapped, but fishers in South Africa had a good year.
So yes, air pollution is not only more important, but also easier to fix.
If anyone disagrees, go visit one of these cities. A few days of burning nasal passages and you probably won't be able to pay much attention to the decades-distant consequences of climate change.
The tradeoffs tend to be in smaller fixes anyway. With diesel engines, there's a point where you may have to choose between more CO2 and fewer particulates, or more particulates and less CO2. But obviously both will be improved greatly if you replace that with an electric motor and batteries charged by CO2-neutral energy.
Another issue is that agricultural and sea food products sourced from polluted nations may carry the pollution with them, needing increased monitoring of imports.
> The question poses a false dichotomy.
Eh.. assessing relative importance does not present a dichotomy, false or otherwise.
I love the fact that when we have air quality warnings, I can't even tell the difference. I hate the fact that half the time I'm in Beijing, I can't comfortably breathe outside. I would hate to see the air quality here made worse just because China hasn't made theirs better.
You would need to combine the emissions of the U.S, India and the entirety of the European Union to equal China's annual CO2 emissions. See for yourself: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_di...
Basically, China emits as much CO2 as the next 3 countries. And they do nothing to curb it. Oh, they have regulations on books (Hey look, see, we have laws too!) but there is virtually zero enforcement unless something big is coming to town, like the olympics. And then they only focus on the relevant region, not the whole country. Oh, and they tell the factories to turn off completely rather than adding scrubbers or filtering.
China could reduce its emissions by orders of magnitude if they could get these factory owners and coal plants to put the bare minimum filters/scrubbers in play. But that cost money, and factory owners/government need every penny. Regulations you say? I must have forgot my monthly bribe money. Here you go sir. That's how it plays out, and will continue to play out until there is a massive systemic change to China's culture. The corruption is simply to high for anything else. They rank 100 on corruption, with 1 being the least corrupt. The U.S? Usually between 13 and 17. Source: http://www.transparency.org/cpi2014/results
I've noticed that discussions about pollution frequently mix up CO2 and other types of pollution. It's weird.
If you want to combat climate change, then yes, efforts should be directed at China. But if you want clean air in the United States, then efforts should be directed at the United States, and possibly parts of Canada, Mexico, and Cuba. (Although I doubt Cuba contributes much.)
For something like CO2 it makes perfect sense. That has global impact, so emissions anywhere are essentially the same.
But when it comes to particulates and air quality, it's mostly a local problem. Polluting Chinese factories and cars hurt people in China. The Chinese government and people should be the ones making the effort to clean it up. There's no reason for the US to take it on, unless you're suggesting that we do it as some sort of massive charity scheme.
1) For altruistic reasons: help people who suffer.
2) For selfish reasons: block from markets industrial competitors who are gaining an advantage by applying much poorer environmental norms and therefore take market share.
i'm sort of surprised that would need to be pointed out, though
It is true for CO2, but it's not true for many other pollutants.
Right now, air quality index in central San Francisco is 15 . That's "good". In central Los Angeles, it is 84, a "moderate" day . Those figures are on linear scale .
The cities are about on an equal distance from China, and the figure for San Francisco is 18 % of that in LA.
If 20 % of Los Angeles pollution would be from China, then 110 % of San Francisco air pollution would be from China. Hey, it could only be 100 %. You took a bait.
Advice: don't believe everything in Guardian.
Link to the paper. Abstract:
tmospheric modeling shows that transport of the export-related Chinese pollution contributed 3-10% of annual mean surface sulfate concentrations and 0.5-1.5% of ozone over the western United States in 2006. This Chinese pollution also resulted in one extra day or more of noncompliance with the US ozone standard in 2006 over the Los Angeles area and many regions in the eastern United States. On a daily basis, the export-related Chinese pollution contributed, at a maximum, 12-24% of sulfate concentrations over the western United States. As the United States outsourced manufacturing to China, sulfate pollution in 2006 increased in the western United States but decreased in the eastern United States, reflecting the competing effect between enhanced transport of Chinese pollution and reduced US emissions. Our findings are relevant to international efforts to reduce transboundary air pollution.
Yes, some pollutants are measurable over Western USA, at least in areas where there are no local pollutant sources.
Though if you want to go that route, India trounces China on C02, despite having more people.
You can't have a non-polluting China, and cheap crap at Wal-Mart.
China is a country capable of deciding what it wants for itself. If it wants to be a factory, then that's what it will be. It's "grown up" enough to make its own decisions and be held accountable for them. Blaming the west is just that; trying to redirect the blame.
I say good, let manufacturing move back to the countries they came from. Let them operate under actual regulations. It will be slightly more expense, maybe, but the air will be cleaner. That would require China to do its job and enforce environmental regulations. Which they're not willing to do because profits... So no, the west gets none of the blame here. It's 100% China. If a gang war broke out over drug dealing spots, would you blame the drug user for the violence? Of course you wouldn't. The dealers are the ones responsible. They have free will and can choose to be violent, non-violent, or not deal at all.
Given that, let's get the facts straight:
- China has 1.382 billion people, India is a close second with 1.327 billion people and United States is a distant 3rd with 324 million people 
- Since human activities are the major factor of carbon emission increase. Let's talk a look at the emission by capita data as it's a better metric to proportionally tells the whole picture. According to 2013's data, US is ranked at #7 with 16.5 ton per capita. The first 6 countries are mostly middle east oil producers with the exception of Australia. That's more than 2x of China's per capita rate or almost 10x of India's.
So it's hypocritical for someone from developed countries to criticize developing countries because if China and India were emitting CO2 at the rate of United States', the total emission would have been A LOT WORSE! (I'll leave the math for you to calculate how many times worse :-)
It might make a difference if they were actually using the C02 to do something worthwhile, instead they're using it to make goods to sell for a profit. It's about profit and has nothing to do with China being an developing/industrial country new to the game.
Except India's CO2 emissions are less than a third of China's, despite having more people.
Per capita is a common sense rather because more people further developed hence more industrialization and more CO2 emission.
Along the same lines, smogs and air pollution are also part of the emission that had happened badly for the major industrial hubs in the western world like London and Los Angeles in the early 20th century. Although most developed countries has realized the environmental impact of industrialization and the cost of repairing it.
Since no one has mentioned the Kuznets curve yet, the Environmental Kuznets Curve is a bell-shaped curve that posits that before a certain point, the environment is sacrificed for economic growth. After that inflection point where citizens demand better environmental stewardship, the environment improves.
However, in China, the problem is that economic growth is how the ruling party maintains power. The break-even for political stability economic rate in China is said to be around 6-7%. Under that, the economy cannot sustain the migration of rural workers to urban centers.
If we're talking about reducing CO2 emissions, then yes, further cutting emissions in the US is probably not going to do much good compared to putting similar effort into China. But CO2 is just one piece of the puzzle, and it's one which can even be at odds with combating other types of pollution in some cases (as we saw in the VW emissions scandal).
So better turn off your electronic devices etc. NOW.
I think it's fair to point out that the US cutting emissions could have a larger impact than China limiting increases (at least on a per capita basis).
I'd wager that you get much more bang for your buck in China. The US is much more efficient at generating wealth from CO2 emissions: our emissions are about half, while our GDP is somewhat larger. China still has a lot of low-hanging fruit when it comes to cutting CO2 emissions.
In any case, per-capita doesn't matter at all unless you want to come at it from a moral angle.
It certainly shouldn't be the only measure that gets discussion.
> I would really hate to see the US loosen pollution regulations because of some weird idea that we shouldn't bother cleaning up our air unless everybody else does too.
which, to me, only makes sense for types of pollution that are shared. Why would anyone think that China's position one way or the other on a strictly local pollutant should influence the corresponding US policy?
But in any case, my comment is true regardless. Even for local pollutants, there will be more low hanging fruit in China.
India may well be a different story. Either way, polluters should be made to bear the costs of their pollution. Then the correct course of action just falls out naturally. If the pollution is still worth the cost, it will continue. If it's not, it will stop.
I don't know the details, but I suspect my explanation is better. Chinese per capita GDP is $6.8k, which is the equivalent of 1910 USA. Beijing is $10k, which is 1940 USA. Parts of the US had similarly bad or worse smog up into the '40s.
I predict the country will cause the biggest climate-induced migration in the early 2020's... there will be deaths and outbreak of war too.
The issue you are probably referring to is Global Warming ... in which case what the US does still matters a great deal.