China, Not So Green

AEI’s Steven Hayward has a sharply critical commentary on China’s supposed green revolution. His conclusions: Not so green after all, and limited green potential. The likelihood that he’s correct on the second part is, I think, worrisome.

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About J@m3z Aitch

J@m3z Aitch is a two-bit college professor who'd rather be canoeing.
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3 Responses to China, Not So Green

  1. Michael Heath says:

    I would have to be an expert wonk on both China and energy policy before I’d consider myself able to consider an AEI article and not become misinformed. It doesn’t help the author’s first sentence is a strawman.

  2. Ed Darrell says:

    AEI’s purpose here is pure polemics. If China’s drive to corner the market on solar cells (to pick one wild example) isn’t working to make China greener, then we don’t need to put money into U.S. solar industries, and — voila! — global climate change isn’t happening.

    Come on. We’d be better to have five or six Solyndras rather than one more BP in the Gulf of Mexico, and whether China can achieve green industries or not is wholly irrelevant to that discussion.

  3. James Hanley says:

    Ed,

    Having an ulterior motive doesn’t necessarily make an argument wrong. As a military guy who worked in propaganda once told me, “the best propaganda is the propaganda that contains the most truth.”

    I generally agree with you that I’d like to see more investment in solar than in more oil drilling in the Gulf. But A) there are–unfortunately–real questions still as to the potential for solar,* and B) as you note, what we should do is irrelevant to the point I was making, which is that China is not such a green leader as a few folks have tried to claim.

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    *Solar doesn’t have to be “cheaper” than oil for me to support it. It’s net cost-benefit has to be better, and I would include in the calculation oil’s non-market costs. I’m very dubious about government subsidies of favored industries, so I’m not a fan of subsidizing solar, but I would also advocate eliminating our many de facto subsidies on oil.

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