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Livestock pollution stays in U.S.; pork chops go to China

With its successful bid to purchase the U.S. pork giant Smithfield, which is pending U.S. governmental approval, China has revealed its major vulnerability—that of feeding its own people. Its race to get to the top of global manufacturing has extracted the heavy cost of fouling its water, land and air so that it must look outside its boundaries to keep its increasingly unsustainable growth on track.

In a stunning piece, Bloomberg details China's predicament as a coal/water dilemma. In order to continue its manufacturing miracle unabated, China must rely on the use of coal, its number one energy source. Coal requires a massive use of water both in mining and in burning. Coal industries and power stations use as much as 17 percent of China’s water.

About half of China’s rivers have dried up since 1990 and those that remain are mostly contaminated. Without enough water, coal can’t be mined, new power stations can’t run and the economy can’t grow. At least 80 percent of the nation’s coal comes from regions where the United Nations says water supplies are either “stressed” or in “absolute scarcity.”

China has about 1,730 cubic meters of fresh water per person, close to the 1,700 cubic meter-level the UN deems “stressed.” The situation is worse in the north, where half China’s people, most of its coal and only 20 percent of its water are located.

More, including video, below the fold.


Severe water pollution affects 75 percent of China’s rivers and lakes and 28 percent are unsuitable even for agricultural use, according to the 2012 book “China’s Environmental Challenges,” by Judith Shapiro, director of the Masters program in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development at the School of International Service at American University in Washington.
With the now readily available information on the unsustainablity of livestock production especially as pertains to water use, it seems the height of lunacy to continue to double down on the pork chops.
Nearly half of all the water used in the United States goes to raising animals for food.

It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat, while growing 1 pound of wheat only requires 25 gallons. You save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you do by not showering for six months!

The U.S. has its own problems with its water supply, which is being exacerbated by the recurring and more severe droughts brought on by climate change.

So is the U.S. willing to be a CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operation) to China?

Originally posted to beach babe in fl on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 08:29 AM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS, Meatless Advocates Meetup, DK GreenRoots, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (124+ / 0-)

    Macca's Meatless Monday

    by VL Baker on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 08:29:53 AM PDT

  •  To all who ever believed in unending "growth", (21+ / 0-)

    the verdict is coming in.

    The will be interesting, in a less-fun sense, to see how China now deals with the arrival of immutable limits on water resources, at the same time as their air quality crisis and other ways that the piper is demanding to be paid.

    •  it's all hitting the fan at the same time n/t (13+ / 0-)

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 08:43:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Cheap burgers is our God given right as Amurkans (4+ / 0-)

      All that other stuff about water shortages, antibiotic resistant superbugs, etc, are just minor inconveniences.

    •  Growth is not the problem. The problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thomask

      is people not cleaning up after themselves.

      •  there's nowhere else to sweep the dirt (5+ / 0-)

        When you sweep or vacuum your floors, you put the dust in the trash can and it's taken somewhere else that's not your house.  Same when you clean your body, your dishes, your clothes, your car, etc.: the oil and dirt - and the toxic solvents - all gets washed away somewhere else.

        As far as the whole Earth is concerned, there is no "somewhere else".

        War Nerd: changed the way I think. Free stuff here & here

        by Visceral on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 11:52:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The earth actually has systems for dealing with (0+ / 0-)

          organic wastes. It's the inorganic and man-made compounds that overwhelm the natural systems.

          •  "organic" is anything with carbon (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pvasileff, Roadbed Guy, hannah, VL Baker

            Something man-made can also be organic.  There are bacteria that eat crude oil and nylon, but then those are both carbon-based organic compounds.  Life can handle toxic substances at sufficiently low concentrations, and over time they get flushed out of the ecosystem completely since they have no biological role or are less functional or available than the real thing.

            It's the sheer quantity of waste that's overwhelming the natural recycling systems. If we reduced the global population sufficiently, we could all live energy and resource-intensive First World lifestyles with no harm done.  As the population grows, we need to scale back our consumption simply to keep things from getting worse even faster than they already are ... but try telling that to the people who are already starving.

            War Nerd: changed the way I think. Free stuff here & here

            by Visceral on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 12:38:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Not right as to bathwater and a few others. It can (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Wells

          be reused for flushing or for most kinds of irrigation, where the organics and cleansers in bath water don't affect the plants.  And 'night soil' is not an uncommon fertilizer in many places.

      •  Actually, growth is a problem (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassandra77

        There is no such thing as a free lunch, ever.

        If you can get wealthy nations to lower their consumption to give poor and developing nations some room to grow it would be appreciated but the fact is the wealthy of this world take their lifestyles to be a given right and for the most part they are in the position to dictate that since they control the economics.

        •  Growth isn't exactly the problem... (0+ / 0-)

          at least not if we're talking about growth in the economic sense.  There is no reason we can't produce more goods, more efficiently and without destroying the environment.  It may be more of a challenge, but there is no reason to believe we can't do it.  There are obviously some ultimate limits, but there is no reason to believe we have hit them.  

          China's problem is they are pursuing cheap and dirty growth.  They are industrializing using old technologies at an incredibly rapid rate.  Their population is too large and they are just trashing everything.  

          The leadership there has not done a good job of managing their growth at all.  There's more to it than just rate of growth.  Who wants to live in a city where you can't see the sky half the time due to pollution?  

    •  Edward Abbey said... (15+ / 0-)

      See the sig line.

      Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

      by ricklewsive on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 10:17:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  All hail the miracle of state-enable capitalism... (5+ / 0-)

      Air not fit to breath, water not fit to drink, food not fit to eat.

      Life not fit to live.

      "A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both." - James Madison, 1822

      by Superskepticalman on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 02:17:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Have you seen the ghost cities that (6+ / 0-)

        they've built in China?  Those are not the product of anything related to capitalism and they are certainly not profitable for anyone, at this point - and are not likely to be profitable ever.

        China's got something completely unrelated to capitalism going on and there are a lot of reasons to believe that their economy will implode on itself.

        The documentary I saw about the ghost cities featured displaced farmers whose land had been taken to create these cities full of high rises who are now struggling to survive.

        •  I've seen pics of some (3+ / 0-)

          A replica of Paris, London, skyscrapers with nobody living in them. Why on earth did they even build them?

        •  The other problem... (0+ / 0-)

          is a lot of the construction in China is very cheaply built.  Commercial buildings in the U.S. have an expected life span of 75 years (before they need to be torn down or reinforced/rebuilt).  The ones in China only last for 30 years!  

          So all this overconstruction is even worse because it's not like it can just wait 10-15 years until it's actually needed.  By that time half the lifespan of the construction will have already passed and it will be time to rebuild it.  

          China claims really high growth rates, but I'm wondering how high their growth really is if you exclude work that is done for no justifiable purpose.  Supposedly capital investment is no longer stimulating their economic growth as much as it has in the past, but maybe reality is that there are simply limits to fake growth brought about building cities and highways that have no current use.  

      •  China's coal usage v. everyone else: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Superskepticalman

        "Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe of sweet hemp, and playing my Hohner harmonica." -Abraham Lincoln

        by hotdamn on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 03:44:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Capitalism? in China? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Wells, Superskepticalman

        The problem isn't just capitalism; state-owned industry has been just as much of an ecological disaster, in Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, and elsewhere. It's the ideology of growth and externalizing costs.

        •  Yes, capitalism in China. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Superskepticalman

          But as you point out, it doesn't matter at all whether the decision makers are in charge of state-run industries, private businesses, or some God-forsaken-Kenyan-commie-socialist-hybrid. The problem is that we have too many people in positions of power who are ready and willing to trade the lives of other people for money.  

    •  The economic model is deeply flawed as it ... (14+ / 0-)

      relies on a sort of modified pyramid scheme - a constant source of consumers forming the base of the pyramid and continuous growth (ignoring the ultimate result) allowing the system to forever expand and supply the base. It differs from a true pyramid scheme in that most of the people, rather than only a few, at the bottom actually got something, at least initially (distribution is a problem, however.) Still, nothing expands forever (except perhaps the universe) and if the mass of consumers at the base become so poor (and possibly sick from the resulting pollution) that they cannot buy the production and (as seems to be the case) the raw materials and their associated essentials (such as water) become in short supply, the whole thing collapses. Unfortunately the entire planet has bought into this idea of endless expansion, as if all resources were infinite.  Whenever anyone questions such insane ideas as fracking one is politely (and sometimes not so politely) told that the local economy demands the jobs and influx of cash, never mind the destruction of drinkable water.  

      We have now had the graphic illustration of the collapsing fisheries and pollution of the oceans to demonstrate that even renewable resources can become non-renewable.  We are in a pickle of our own making and I currently see no way out of it!  I wish I did.

      •  You refer to the global economic model? /eom (0+ / 0-)
        •  I refer to what we actually practice. (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not sure what economists would call it, but it is based on a continually growing population and and endlessly expanding production model.  This idea is flawed in any case as constant expansion is an illusion, but it is further messed up by the inclusion of non-productive paper pushing (stocks, bonds, derivatives, etc.) and individual greed.  The so-called free market is never free because there will always be individuals who will do what they can to game the system in their favor. That is why we need regulation! Even in Ur they recognized this. You simply cannot trust everybody to do the right thing or for individual greeds to cancel each other out.  Government may have its flaws, but I really prefer it to living in the U.S. version of Somalia.

          As Kant said "Do not that which, if everybody did it, would destroy civilization."

      •  When you go to the fish counter in your local… (2+ / 0-)

        …grocery store have you ever noticed the fish imported from China? Silly Americans we eat their water pollution too.

        Union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com.

        by DemSign on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 09:29:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We hit the overdraft limit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Desert Scientist

        last week.  I think 8/20 was the day that we had consumed all of the natural resources the earth could replenish in 2013.  Which means that the last 1/3 of the year we'll be running a deficit.  With global population headed for the 9Bn mark by the middle of the century, the deficits will only get bigger.

        So basically, absent an extinction level event out of a Hollywood movie, we're pretty much screwed.  Some of us -- like me for example -- will be long gone by 2050.  But my grandson will only be 40.

        I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

        by mojo11 on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 07:25:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  verdict came in long time ago, even Plato bemoaned (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Wells, 417els, Woody, TKO333, koNko

      the erosion issues by Grecian city states due to over harvesting of trees for fuel

      the cities were flooded with rivers of mud and so to the farms

      thus why he recommended building practices that oriented homes to receive winter sunlight for warmth (shade summer sunlight to keep cool) wider spaces between buildings to allow more light in etc so less need to burn wood for warmth and light

    •  I suspect (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Wells

      that they will continue to largely ignore the impending disaster.

      The more people I encounter, the more I appreciate our cats.

      by Old Sailor on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 03:12:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The next big question (0+ / 0-)

      is what happens when China's need for food to keep its people from open revolt meets America's need for food to keep its people from dying in very large numbers.

      I propose this dichotomy because, under no circumstances, will the American people revolt.

      My suggestion is that the people who own America will use their massive PR machine to enable the rest to accept the deaths of as many Americans as are needed.

      Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

      by Deep Dark on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 04:15:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, we struggle with it just as wealthy nations (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Claudius Bombarnac, James Wells

      Did during their periods of industrialization and growth before they exported dirty industries to the developing world.

      Only our case is different; having become wealthy and clean(er), the developed world now points fingers at developing countries in the middle of the process as the bad guys, demanding they take a more sustainable path and make more sacrifices in a classic case of "do as I say, not as I do/did".

      Kind of like this diary points finger at Chinese for eating meat at half the per capita rate Americans do.

      But obviously, developing countries cannot take the unsustainable path developed nations did; the world does not have enough water, energy and air for the poor to consume and pollute at the rate the wealthy do, so we have to think and act differently.

      Pollution is now one of the top 3 public concerns in China, the others being food quality/security and economics, and obviously these three issues are joined at the hip.

      Chinese policy reflects this, but the question is how to and how quickly.

      Lots of progress is being made on energy, some on air, much less on water, which is the real crisis China faces.

      Diarist has that part correct.

      •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

        The rest of the developed world did go through a dirty phase just like China currently is, but no country in the history of the world has ever pursued cheap, and dirty growth on the scale China currently is.  At the level of environmental damage they are currently inflicting, the whole thing just becomes unsustainable.  

        And their leadership really has not risen to the task.  Why are they building any more coal power plants at all?  Their air is already horrendously polluted.  They need to pull the plug on coal and start producing cleaner energy, or using less energy, not adding more and more coal to meet their needs.  

        They are already basically at a red alert stage, in a decade if they keep building more coal power plants and polluting, there will be nothing left.  The only way China is going to benefit from this is by the fact their population will be end up being significantly reduced from additional illness caused by pollution.  

  •  Water is the MOST critical issue facing (20+ / 0-)

    the next generation and yet the fracking and other polluters, including coal production.

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 08:43:25 AM PDT

    •  chhina has no water to frack or make power (4+ / 0-)

      so they need new energy sources or how to rework issues,

      •  Which is probably why China installed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy, JeffW
        ...they need new energy sources....
        more wind power than new coal power in 2012.  http://thinkprogress.org/...

        "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

        by Calamity Jean on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 12:02:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They still have a long way to go, though (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          and, it's hard to imagine the level of pollution there without actually witnessing it and experiencing it.

          "I'm not a member of an organized political party - I'm a Democrat." Will Rogers

          by newjeffct on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 02:16:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not hard at all… (0+ / 0-)

            …just go hang out near an oil refinery. I remember both "The Smell of New Jersey" and "LA Smog" in the early 80s. China just combines both (makes 'em 10x worse and covers an area the size of the eastern seaboard with it).

            The saddest part is that when you combine the one child policy (and its resulting male overpopulation) with the inevitable pollution related cancers and lung diseases that China is going to suffer a massive depopulation soon.

            Union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com.

            by DemSign on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 09:40:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  No, that's not what the article you linked said (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WillR, Sherri in TX, koNko

          This is a direct quote from it:

          additions to coal power capacity, even if they have been slowing down in recent years, still stood at 50 GW last year, even more than investments in wind.
          just saying, it's sometimes good to read one's links!  (or, and this has happened to me too, you can end up looking a tad foolish . . . .).
          •  But it still ends on a positive note (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            417els, Calamity Jean
            So while some of the conditions that helped new wind power production pass coal may not repeat this year, it is also clear that the coal industry will continue to be challenged and undermined by clean energy and by China’s new policy priorities to address the air pollution crisis.
            The important thing is that the Chinese government is putting megabucks behind it's rhetoric - unlike the US.
            •  The US generates more electricity (0+ / 0-)

              from wind and solar (combined) than China.

              For whatever that's worth.

              •  I believe they will pass us (0+ / 0-)

                and fairly quickly

                -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

                by Blueslide on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 07:16:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That link indicates wind is "approaching maturity" (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TKO333

                  meaning growth will slow.

                  Solar is negligible (i.e., although the growth rate is fast in percentage terms, high percentages of very small numbers are small in absolute terms).

                  What is troubling is that coal installed 50 GW of capacity last year - that's a major coal fired power plant opening each week.  That's not good!

                  •  Solar is useless is areas… (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Roadbed Guy, ModerateJosh

                    …where pollution prevents the sun from shining.

                    Union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com.

                    by DemSign on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 09:42:09 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  No argument from me on the coal plants (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Calamity Jean

                    And i don't pretend to think anyone will surpass carbon fuel use with renewables. But that said, China and Asia in general is where renewable energy is growing. Europe's demand for new solar and wind is down drastically and the US is still not carrying its weight.

                    -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

                    by Blueslide on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 07:33:42 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Umm, I posted the wiki link below (0+ / 0-)

                      but here it is again showing that year by year US wind "capacity factor" was in the 22 to25% range while China's was in the 10 to 13% range.

                      Thus, considering that the generating capacity grew by about the same amount in both countries in 2012 (you can also find that info by scrolling up and down at the link) - the lead the US has in actually producing electricity by wind almost certainly increased last year because our facilities are twice as efficient as China's.

                      Could we being doing more?  Yeah, no doubt.  But we're actually not doing badly by comparison with others - even the much vaunted "Asian" countries.

                      •  Your original comment was to wind and solar (0+ / 0-)

                        not just wind. Wind is a resource not nearly as readily available as solar. Our ability to generate from that resource is not as yet, as cost effective as solar in most regions.

                        China will surpass renewable energy production of the OECD Americas before the end of this decade according to this GTM article.

                        -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

                        by Blueslide on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 09:56:59 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Yes, but solar is so small of a factor as to (0+ / 0-)

                          be negligible (e.g., it generates less than one one thousandth of China's electricity).

                          I seriously don't know why people believe all the shit they read on the internet that runs counter to firmly established historical records.

                          •  You move the goal posts (0+ / 0-)

                            LOTS.

                            -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

                            by Blueslide on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 10:29:13 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  How so, I've gone back over what I wrote (0+ / 0-)

                            and have been consistent from top to bottom.

                          •  Basically you keep conjecturing they will pass (0+ / 0-)

                            us quickly, while I have repeatedly posted ACTUAL DATA showing that our lead is not only being maintained, but is increasing.

                            How is that "moving the goalposts"?

                          •  I'm sorry (0+ / 0-)

                            You stated wind and solar production (capacity factor x installed nameplate) is greater than China's. I agree.

                            I made the statement that China will pass us quickly and you claimed that's not true. China's historical capacity factor is not as robust as ours and will not be made up by any increase in total capacity.

                            The GTM article I linked clearly shows you are incorrect. It states that China will surpass us in renewable power generation within a few years. I believe that substantiates my declaration. You can choose to dismiss the article a la:

                            the shit they read on the internet that runs counter to firmly established historical records.
                            You also state that solar is so "small a factor" which I also disagree with.
                            but note the GTM article uses IEA data. A source your wiki link also uses.

                            You then go on to claim that solar power generation is so small as to be inconsequential. Presumably, you have a source for this statement but regardless, I can say that Germany produces 5 twh of production in July which exceeded its record wind production of January

                            -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

                            by Blueslide on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 02:01:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It is amusing that you bring Germany (0+ / 0-)

                            into this discussion after you accuse me of shifting the goalposts

                            In any event, if China has to undertake a Germany-level effort to meet their alleged renewable energy goals, the falls right into my claims that these goals will never be met.

                          •  Germany is very germain (0+ / 0-)

                            to your claim (not mine) that solar is inconsequential.

                            Good luck.

                            -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

                            by Blueslide on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 06:26:35 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  We were discussing the US and China (0+ / 0-)

                            and solar IS inconsequential in both countries

                            In a way in Germany too because despite their massive investment in that, they're still increasing their use of coal.

                            Which, despite all the skepticism here and on environmental websites (which seem to believe the Chinese government's propaganda), I fully predict will also be the case in China over the 5, 10, 20 and maybe even 50 years.

                          •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

                            This country has spent precious little to develop alternative fuels. The same right wingers that insist on American exceptional ism insist that we cannot develop alternative energies that are benign to our environment.

                            The missing piece to make wind and solar universally viable is power storage. Unbelievably, we are just starting to work on this issue. The new interest in this field is not oyer pending fossil fuel demise, but rather the inconvenience of grid outtages in major storms (caused by environmental destruction).

                            We currently have a President that has done precious little to support renewables. The net metering bills are under attack all around the country and the 30% federal tax credit will likely expire in 2016.

                            By saying solar is "inconsequential" even in Germany, you are denying the fact that through subsidies, deploying solar is vastly cheaper today than ever before. The R&D  that has gone into both wind and solar has produced greater products that produce more power at significantly less cost. This is a "Public Good" that ONLY the government could produce.

                            Is the job done? No. Is the work done to date inconsequential ? Not hardly..and in fact it may be the only thing that may rescue us from our self destruction.

                            -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

                            by Blueslide on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 06:52:54 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  That's what Blueslide's link says, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    JeffW
                    That link indicates wind is "approaching maturity" meaning growth will slow.  
                    but that's not how I would interpret a technology "approaching maturity".  I'd think that a technology that's "approaching maturity" is one that is no longer experimental or preliminary, but is well-developed and ready for widespread use.  

                    Well, we'll see.  I wouldn't be surprised if five years from now ALL of China's new electrical capacity is wind, solar, or other renewable.  The money and pollution cost of coal are making it too darned expensive.  

                    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

                    by Calamity Jean on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 08:31:05 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, if that is that case that means that (0+ / 0-)

                      wind power in China is a huge boondoggle insofar if it really is mature (aka fully developed from a technology POV) that means it has peaked out at about 12% capacity utilization (compared to 2x that in the USA).  

                      Clearly they are doing something in a majorly suboptimal manner.

                  •  High growth rate is important (0+ / 0-)

                    At the current rate solar is growing, even from a small base, it will become quite large within a decade or two.  The cost of solar panels has dropped 70% in the last two years.  Once the cost starts to significantly undercut other sources of utility power, it will take off even more.  

              •  Citation please (0+ / 0-)

                I'd be interested to lean that.

              •  It seems no longer the case (0+ / 0-)

                Below is current 2012 data on renewables from Pew/Bloomberg. There was not complete data for biomass/waste to energy or geothermal so it is excluded.

                China presently leads on wind and overall, US leads on solar.

                •  Seems the chart is not loading (2+ / 0-)

                  Maybe the PNG will magically appear later, but here is the wind and solar data:

                  Source: Pew/Bloomberg (PDF)

                  2012 Capacity Gw        China       USA

                  Wind                             74.0        59.4
                  Solar                               6.5          8.1
                  Total W+S                     80.5        67.3
                  Small Hydro                   65.0        48.7
                  Total W+S+SH            145.5       116.2

                  If you read the linked report, it provides an excellent analysis of global, regional and G20 country policy, status and trends.

                  Overall in China, the rate of wind is slowing due to saturation of the grid and the rate of solar is sharply increasing so in the next few years the relative positions in wind and solar could reverse, i.e., US would have more wind, China would have more solar.

                  Solar is now cheaper in China as it has a large PV manufacturing base with greater economy of scale and less taxation/import duty burden.

                  Secondly, a significant problem China has faced (and the US faces) is grid capacity to transmit wind power from remote regions to consuming regions. Solar is more flexible to deploy as off-grid or local grid, so despite the higher generation cost, the effective installed cost (if you throw in new grid infrastructure) is lower in many cases and more incremental.

                  The US, on the other hand, has a high capacity grid more adaptable to wind and more geographically divers distribution of suitable sites for wind, so may be a better solution.

                  Also, in contrast to China, the prospect for large scale production of conventional PV is the US is poor and import duties on PV imports from China quite high, so wind would continue to be a cheaper solution for some time.

                  •  That is capacity, not generation (0+ / 0-)

                    If you look at the generation stats from 2011

                    You'll see that the USA had a sizable lead (119 to 73 TWh despite lagging in capacity (46 cf 62 thousand MW) for that year.

                    In 2012 both countries installed roughly equivalent amounts of generating capacity getting China up to 100 TWh of actual electricity that was produced  - I can't find the USA generating capacity for 2012 but it should be up by approximately the same absolute amount, to a total of 150 TWh).

                    Thus, even though China has more nominal generating capacity, it is used inefficiently compared to the USA and the USA DOES have a big lead in wind power where it counts - actually freakin' using it!

                    •  Ooops - that IS given at the Wikipedia link (0+ / 0-)
                      I can't find the USA generating capacity
                      what I can't find is the actual amount of electricity PRODUCED in the USA by wind in 2012

                      the value for China for 2012 is given here as 100.4 billion kWh (or 100.4 Twh) -  which is ~ 19% LOWER than than 2011 value for the USA despite the large increase in their generating CAPACITY.

                      And like I mentioned, the USA had a similarly large increase in generating capacity in 2012, so they certainly maintained and probably even INCREASED their lead in PRODUCTION.

          •  Well, there's this, from the second paragraph (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JeffW

            of my link.  

            Thermal power use, which is predominantly coal, grew by only about 0.3 percent in China during 2012, an addition of roughly 12 terawatt hours (TWh) more electricity. In contrast, wind power production expanded by about 26 TWh.
            I'm sure I've read somewhere that China is building new, more efficient coal-fired power plants and taking older, less efficient ones out of service.  So the net effect is that coal-burning power capacity is expanding slowly even though new coal-burning plants are being built fairly fast.  

            And there's the next sentence after the one you cited:

            So it seems that some of the total coal capacity was not used last year, due to higher coal and transport costs, and increased costs of environmental protection.
            A coal-fired power plant takes about five years to build.  It may be that they "threw good money after bad" by completing coal power plants that had already been started, and then realized that they couldn't use them.  That would point to a lot fewer coal power plants being started in 2013 and later years.  By 2015 maybe none?  Wind farms only take three years to build, so they are desirable for quicker results as well as no pollution.  

            "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

            by Calamity Jean on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 08:20:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you read the actual link (0+ / 0-)

              to the Chinese source, it appears that that interpretation is less true than simply the fact that hydroelectric enjoyed a very good year due to plentiful water supplies  - allowing hydroelectric to increase by 200 TWh over the previous year (or about 8x more than the vaunted increase in wind).

              Chances are that "good water" years will not occur regularly and some or much of the unused coal capacity will have to kick in.  In fact, Australia is gearing up big time to expand coal exports to China - massive infrastructure is already built or well on it's way to completion.

              The problem is that while wind is good from several perspectives, in the overall scheme of things it is tiny (about 2%)

              In any event over the next 5 years, the largest source of new electricity generation in China is almost certainly going to be nuclear.  The plants are already under construction.  

  •  strategically (11+ / 0-)

    that might not be a bad idea for the intermediate future, a new version of MAD,   they can't live without our food, we can't live without their spare parts for our military.   Peace for our times.

    Long term survival, however, requires both countries and several other major industrial countries/power centers to smarten up and cooperate if we want any chance for mankind to survive the disasters coming our way from climate change.  Less meat, less military, more population growth controls, more sustainable methods of providing food, energy and consumer goods for everyday life.  We can't prevent all the harm coming our way, but we might prevent mass extinction of all current life.  Except the cockroaches, of course.

    •  And food is just about the only thing we have (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sturunner, DemSign

      that we can sell them.  Balance of payments, trade deficit, dontcha know.

      How convenient that China is about the only large country on the planet with food standards worse than ours . . .

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 02:53:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cynic. . . nt (0+ / 0-)

        "I'll not yield. -- Wendy Davis" "Fear is a habit. I am not afraid. -- Aung San Suu Kyi"

        by sturunner on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 03:09:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually not quite that bad (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Claudius Bombarnac

        My understanding is that China is starting a separate Smithfield production line for porkers headed for China -- because they don't want GMO-fed pigs. I don't know what else they will feed them, since almost all corn & soy in the US is GMO, but am glad they still have some standards.

        •  melamine n/t (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Claudius Bombarnac, DemSign, TKO333

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 06:56:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Can't do that in China anymore. (0+ / 0-)

            It will get you executed.

            •  Yes, you can. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DemSign

              Until you are caught.

              Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

              by corvo on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 08:32:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There hasn't been a repeat of the melamine (0+ / 0-)

                disaster which killed 6 babies in 2008 so it appears the penalty was affective.

                •  gosh, you're impatient. (0+ / 0-)

                  There will be repeats.  Count on it.

                  Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                  by corvo on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 07:08:00 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's been five years. How much longer do I need (0+ / 0-)

                    to wait? China's food safety is improving because the domestic consumers have started to demand changes and authorities are worried about exports.

                    China has a history of accomplishing what it sets out to do. With the state controlled economy and education system, they can maneuver much faster than the west.

                    The futures of China and the US are inexorably intertwined whether anyone likes it or not.

                    •  We're not talking domestic consumers; (0+ / 0-)

                      we're talking exports.

                      Short version of disagreement: You say "China"; I say "human nature."

                      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                      by corvo on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 05:44:27 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  They also ban hormones (0+ / 0-)
          China Could Actually Improve US Pork. Here's How

          China doesn't have the globe's most sterling food safety reputation, and its fast-growing pork industry provides an apt example of why. A few months ago, dead pigs were showing up by the thousands in a Chinese river—the result, apparently, of a scandal involving the slaughter of diseased pigs. In 2011, hundreds of people became ill after eating pork tainted with clenbuterol, a growth-enhancing chemical the Chinese government had banned from hog feed nearly a decade earlier.

          All of which makes it odd that the decision of a massive Chinese meat processor called Shuanghui Group—the very company at the center of the clenbuterol fiasco—to buy US hog giant Smithfield might actually clean up one dirty aspect of our domestic pork industry.

  •  And let's not forget this story (13+ / 0-)

    Floating Chinese Dead Pigs Rise To Over 7500 — Here's What It Means For China's Food Industry

    Can Chinese pork products end up in US citizens' stomachs?

    Yes

    Heparin Trail: Pig Intestines From China Via Wisconsin

    Chinese Food on U.S. Plates, From Shellfish to Sausage Casings

    China accounts for nearly two-thirds of the total U.S. apple juice supply, and more than one-third of total U.S. juice imports.

    $105 million worth of sausage casings

    Sausage casings?  From pigs?

    I think I'll buy bulk sausage meat from now on, thank you very much.

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 08:53:15 AM PDT

  •  China peaking....ungood. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, jayden, JekyllnHyde, pvasileff
  •  Has me wondering if the Fracking idiocy (13+ / 0-)

    in this country, combined with the other factors you mentioned, could result in a similar scenario here.

    What a nightmare, and one that was preventable. There's far too much of that going on.

    Thanks, VL

    There is something in us that refuses to be regarded as less than human. We are created for freedom - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    by Onomastic on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 08:58:02 AM PDT

    •  Just wait for one of the large aquifers (12+ / 0-)

      to be contaminated:  A huge swatch of the country will essentially become a desert (for human water use).

      Not "if" -- when.

      Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

      by The Dead Man on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 09:34:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dow Chemicals has that covered.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VL Baker, Onomastic, kimoconnor

      Monetize pollution from fracking. Water becoming "liquid gold"

      In the United States, diversion of water for expanded commodity crop production, biofuels and gas hydro-fracking is compounding the crisis in rural areas.

      In areas ranging from the Ogallala aquifer to the Great Lakes in North America, water has been referred to as Liquid gold.

      Billionaires such as T. Boone Pickens have been buying up land overlying the Ogallala aquifer, acquiring water rights; companies such as Dow Chemicals, with a long history of water pollution, are investing in the business of water purification, making pollution itself a cash-cow.
      - emphasis added

      William C. McNeill Jr., a 30-year Dow veteran and the executive charged with focusing on integrating sustainability into Dow’s business units, agreed to discuss water efforts in emerging markets:

      Dow:

      The thing is there has to be a sense of reality. We are about making money. We have to find things we’re good at that can have an impact and not just focus on doing good. In the end corporations exist to bring a return on their investment.
      "not just doing good" - of course not. Must focus on making more f'ing money

      It's a good thing to develope tech to purity water, but coming from one of the worst polluters in history - globally at that - and then boasting about their tech chops while families left with no water but what Dow chemicals and other polluters can provide is sickening to me
      ................................................

      Thx VL Baker

      I'm a bit OT (iow's not China, but hope that's okay)

      •  Good god. :< (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VL Baker, Eric Nelson

        Had to do something proactive in the face of all this. Thought you and others might like to sign this petition too. It's the last day we can.

        Tell the President and the BLM: Don't Frack America’s Public Lands!

        In his recent speech on climate change, President Obama announced his intent to rapidly increase domestic production of oil and gas. Part of his plan? To cooperate with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to open 600 million acres of Federal and Native American land, including our national parks, for fracking.

        Please sign the petition below by Aug. 23, 2013. Tell the BLM: Don’t frack America’s public lands!

        http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/...

        There is something in us that refuses to be regarded as less than human. We are created for freedom - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

        by Onomastic on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 01:38:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, Obama is using our taxpayer dollars to teach (0+ / 0-)

      the Chinese to frack (gawd only knows why) - strange, strange stuff to be sure.

  •  and ever more horror for the poor animals. (4+ / 0-)

    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

    by pfiore8 on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 08:59:20 AM PDT

    •  saw this too late to rec, sorry! n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      417els, Woody

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 02:55:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Did Saruman import cattle from Rohan? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Wells, StrayCat, Eric Nelson

    that would explain Grima, he had big contracts to
    deliver 5000 cows per week to Orthanc, he didn't
    want any interference.

  •  What a totally shocking video. (5+ / 0-)

    I don't often eat meat, but I do love me some pull pork.  Gonna have to ask that restaurant where they get it from.

    Thanks for this critically important piece, VL Baker.

    Isn't it time for the US Govt to give Leonard Peltier back his freedom? ** "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

    by Yasuragi on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 09:24:00 AM PDT

  •  Important to our national security. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, VL Baker

    We might soon be in a situation of "feed'em or fight'em."

  •  Seems like a good export opportunity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    and potentially for much higher value added products than using vast amounts of farmland to grow corn for conversion to energy with a EROEI of essentially 1.

    •  That has two sides. As with fracking, and most oil (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bensdad, Mimikatz

      and coal issues, those who extract or grow the product in question get all the environmental issues. Remember the NC waste ponds from pork and chickens IIRC, which overflowed a few years back and created a horrible pollution problem? There are issues in export ad Smithfield raises a lot of them, as, if all the product is shipped to China, all the hazards of it stay here. How does that benefit us now? And are we about to enforce environmental issues against industries who export all they create by way of that pollution?? Nah.

  •  Pedant alert: its, *not* it's. Just sayin. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pvasileff, dandy lion

    I find it almost physically painful to read this over and over and over.

    But it's is the contraction form, short for it is. That is quite literally the only proper usage of "it's".

    The possessive form its (as in China exporting its pollution) does not have an apostrophe. Ever.

    •  You know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlueMississippi

      considering how often the mistake is make without confusing anyone about which "it's/its" was meant, it may be time to simply make it's mean both it is and the possessive form of it.

      "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

      by Quanta on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 10:51:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I politely disagree, as that erases the... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pvasileff, dandy lion, Odysseus

        difference in meaning between the two forms of the word.

        The whole point of the difference is to convey a separate meaning, to add finer discrimination and more precision to the 'tool' of the English language. Just because a large chunk of the population is unable to grasp the distinction does not mean it should be abolished. It's like (note proper usage here!) suggesting we should abolish seat belts because some people won't use them.

      •  If you can't use it right don't use it. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlueMississippi

        Simply stop using the contraction for "it is", and the possessive usage will become clear.

        -7.75 -4.67

        "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

        There are no Christians in foxholes.

        by Odysseus on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 05:56:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Indeed (0+ / 0-)

          That is my opinion, too. Contractions are the low-born bastards of the English language, anyway, and shouldn't subjugate the logical consistency of the much more necessary, useful and legitimate possessive. The rule for its/it's is one of the most ridiculous in English, and I don't blame speakers of other languages for thinking ours is stupid for inconsistencies exactly like this one.

    •  It is often the result of auto correct on iPads (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mmacdDE

      And other devices.  They seem to defaulttip it's.  I usually try to go back and correct the incorrect autocorrect, but miss a few.  I'm sure many others do as well.

      Don't bet your future on 97% of climate scientists being wrong. Take action on climate now!

      by Mimikatz on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 04:11:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Now we'll ruin the US lakes and rivers. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Wells, VL Baker, Calamity Jean

    Let's ruin the US lakes and rivers to feed China and get them cheap energy sources.  It'll be great, because business!  

  •  Water footprint (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat, limpidglass, Eric Nelson

    http://www.waterfootprint.org/... is a better source for water usage than PETA.

    Some examples

    Rice (dry) - 2500 litres of water per kg
    Wheat - 1827 litre per kg
    Pasta (dry) - 1850 per kg
    Wine - 870 litre per litre
    Bananas - 790 litre per kg
    Bread - 1608 litre per kg
    Beef - 15400 litre per kg
    Pork - 6000 litre per kg
    Chicken - 5500 litre per kg
    Peanuts - 4000 litre per kg
    Chocolate - 17000 litre per kg

    Avoid chocolate covered beef steaks.

    On beef, they suggest that the water footprint is higher for pasture finished than feedlot finished. Cows on pasture are going to be recycling some water, so that may or may not be fully reflected.

    Here's another table breaking various foods down by water input for kcal, protein and fat.
    http://www.waterfootprint.org/...

    Disclaimer: If the above comment can possibly be construed as snark, it probably is.

    by grubber on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 10:24:17 AM PDT

    •  But but but compare amounts eaten (0+ / 0-)

      grubber, I see why you advise us to avoid chocolate covered steaks.

      Definitely smart to avoid the steaks.

      But just consider the amounts eaten. A big dark chocolate bar is 100 g., so at least 22 people share that kg of chocolate, if each actually consumes the entire bar alone.

      Far fewer people consume the kg of beef, especially if it is a kg before cooking.

      •  I can guarantee you that... (0+ / 0-)

        ...if I buy a 100g chocolate bar and give it to my wife or one of my daughters, it most definitely does not get shared by 22 people.

        Did you mean a 1000g bar? Even then I'm not certain more than 2-3 people would get a bite.  :^D

  •  increasing food insecurity in a nation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, Calamity Jean

    roughly the size of the US, but with four times the population? That does not sound like a recipe for peace and prosperity. This is likely to be a harbinger of increasing unrest and instability in China, which will of course have consequences internationally, in this global age where all countries are so interlinked.

    The US has been losing farmland at a significant rate. The demand for farmland to grow food for export is likely to distort food prices in the US and further reduce the amount of farmland available for domestic use, leading to conflict and unrest here as well.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 10:40:39 AM PDT

    •  It's a bad idea all around. There is already ... (0+ / 0-)

      considerable unrest in China due to environmental issues. Outsourcing of their food production is one of their remedies.

      We must transition to clean energy asap AND must reform food production to a more sustainable model.

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 11:08:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The US will continue to lose farmland (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VL Baker

      Due to the impacts of global warming regardless of where food is exported.

      In fact, the USA is a major food exporter and has been for decades, so the question is how long and by what means that can continue.

  •  I worked for China environmentalists for 3 years (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker, Eric Nelson, Great Ape, Odysseus

    It's kind of hard to explain. I was actually working at a US university, but a group of us were hired as consultants to a branch of the Chinese government focused on environmental matters -- including water pollution (although of the three main consultants, I was not the water pollution guy, but learned a lot about it).

    Most of the work was done in the US. But I did have many field trips and conferences in China.

    I think the main Americans and westerners need to understand about China is that it is not one thing, not one "China."

    It's a lot like the US.

    The provinces in China are incredibly powerful and autonomous.

    I remember my very first conference in Beijing.  There were the Beijing environmental bureaucrats and people from the provinces. After about 10 minutes it erupted into a screaming match between Beijing and the provinces. I remember one Beijing bureaucrat yelling something like, "you people don't even send in tax revenue to central government!!!" There is very vigorous free speech in China, but it is limited to elite governmental levels.

    So the main thing is that Beijing is a lot more aware of the environmental problems than the provinces. But getting the provinces and worse, counties and municipalities, to go along is like Obama getting Texas to limit petroleum burning emissions.

    •  but we can make the decision to not accept (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, Odysseus

      their outsourced pollution. That in turn could give them the incentive to make some decisions toward sustainability. We have the choice here.

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 11:43:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do we? I hope so. (0+ / 0-)

        We don't seem to have a shortage of CAFOs for our own consumption already, certainly not that I'm aware.

        yeods, where's the petition?

        "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

        by Sybil Liberty on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 02:24:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Western nations also outsource their pollution (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deward Hastings, 417els, Woody, HamdenRice

        China now produces half of the world's steel - 10 times that of the US which it overtook in 1996. It also produces twice as many cars.

        The hundreds of billions of dollars of manufactured goods that the US and other western nations import from China require a massive amount of energy to produce.

        Conditions in China today look much like the US in the 40's and 50's when it was manufacturing the world's goods.

        I am old enough to remember when the smog was so thick you couldn't see ten feet.

        'Hell with the lid taken off': The pictures of bygone Pittsburgh and its residents choking under clouds of thick smog

        The pea-souper problem was once so bad that clouds of smoke and pollution would block out the midday sun

        Photographs from the 1950s show just how badly the U.S. city suffered before laws on coal burning were introduced

        Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...
        Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

        •  I remember when ... (0+ / 0-)

          the supers of apartment buildings in Manhattan used to burn all the tenants garbage! Every afternoon clouds of black smoke rose over the Upper West Side.

          With the right regs, a country can improve air and water quality quickly. I'm not sure China has the central political power to do so, though.

      •  You're a little late for that. (0+ / 0-)

        And considering how much of the pollution in China was outsourced by the USA, I think it would be fair to share some of that burden as long as it exists.

        The politics of this is really quite interesting; do as I say not as I do is a concise summary.

    •  Having lived and worked ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VL Baker

      ... in China for the last 3.5 years (with NO desire to return to the states), I can vouche for much that has been shared by HamdenRice as well as in this thread.

      But, then again, we KNEW --long ago-- that water would be "the next BIG THING", didn't we?

      --GA

      Appraise the Lord! : Tax Church Property. O <-- Circle of Trust. YOU are Here: ------------> x

      by Great Ape on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 12:51:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can we *not* ruin our water table now? (5+ / 0-)

    Since China has already ruined theirs?

    Can we please recognize that even if we're bastard capitalists that don't care about anything but profit, water is going to be insanely valuable shortly, and maybe we should preserve it rather than sacrifice it all to get more natural gas?

    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 02:19:29 PM PDT

  •  1%, you must stop. You *must* stop. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LLPete, Bensdad

    You really must.  

    Sort of like you must refrain from stepping off the edge of the Empire State Building.

    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 02:23:15 PM PDT

  •  I was just in China this past Spring (6+ / 0-)

    When I was asked by some of the people on the tour we were on what I missed most about the US, I didn't hesitate to answer, "Potable water."

    We were in the biggest cities in the East on the tour - Shanghai, Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuxi and Hangzhou.  Yet, nowhere could you turn on the tap and get drinkable water.  Heck, we'd used bottled or just boiled water to brush our teeth.   Every hotel room in China we've stayed at has a teapot where people boil the water to get some clean water to use while there.

    (And,yes, I know there are places in the US where you can't drink water out of the kitchen sink, but in most places in New England, you can...)

    "I'm not a member of an organized political party - I'm a Democrat." Will Rogers

    by newjeffct on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 02:26:39 PM PDT

  •  Americans won't stop eating meat unless it kills (7+ / 0-)

    them.

    Unfortunately, for some, it will.

     

    For heart disease, the answer is pretty clear. Some red meats are high in saturated fat, which raises blood cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease.

    World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research concluded in 2007 that “red or processed meats are convincing or probable sources of some cancers.”
    WebMD

    American President Bill Clinton became a vocal supporter of The China Study. In 2010, after years of living with heart disease, he undertook the diet, eating legumes, vegetables, fruit and a protein shake every morning, effectively living as a vegan.[2] Within a short period he had dropped 24 pounds, returning him to his college weight.[29] Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, said in his documentary The Last Heart Attack in August 2011 that The China Study had changed the way people all over the world eat, including Gupta himself.
    The China Study
    I want to talk about the other pandemic, which is cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension -- all of which are completely preventable for at least 95 percent of people just by changing diet and lifestyle.

    Dean Ornish: The killer American diet that's sweeping the planet

  •  not just China . . . . (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoregon, Bensdad, sturunner, Mathazar, Woody

    Japan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, South Korea---all are buying up huge tracts of arable land in South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the former Soviet republics.

  •  It has happened before and not that long ago. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i dunno, sturunner, a2nite

    I just found out about this a few months ago

    Historian Frank Dikötter, having been granted special access to Chinese archival materials, estimates that there were at least 45 million premature deaths from 1958 to 1962.
    Great Chinese Famine
  •  If we listen to GOPers, we'll be next doing that.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Woody
  •  Lessons Learned (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North

    China is only beginning to understand what agrarian societies around the world have know for a long time.  Bad water = bad food.  

    This country has repeatedly disregarded quality and safety for financial gain.  It will, and maybe has, come back to bite them.

    •  Are you serious? (0+ / 0-)
      China is only beginning to understand what agrarian societies around the world have know for a long time.  Bad water = bad food.  

      This country has repeatedly disregarded quality and safety for financial gain.  It will, and maybe has, come back to bite them.

      Thanks for your patronizing lecture.

      Actually, China has been an agrarian country for at least  5,000 years and, economically, is still far more agrarian than the USA.

      I think we understand the problems with water; we have less, use less and suffer more directly the impacts of pollution.

      So you may ask why is China's water so polluted?

      Combine a pre-existing situation of insufficient food and poor nutrition and scarce water with modern chemical fertilizers introduced from the West and you get a nightmare of agricultural runoff polluting lakes, streams and aquifers.

      So thanks for the help. Now we will solve the problem, we are not quite as greedy or stupid as you seem to think.

  •  I hate to say this, but pigs, goats, and cows (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    can eat seaweed. There are already commercial seaweed farms (many countries eat something called Irish Moss including South East Asia, the Caribbean, and Japan). Although many western diets frown on seaweed, animals don't. Pretty soon its going to wind up in animal feed. Lack of fresh water won't effect seaweed. This isn't an issue that will turn more people into vegetarians.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 03:16:44 PM PDT

  •  Where is the tech at for water desalination? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ksuwildkat

    How much R&D money is being spent on it by governments or private companies?

    “I will be far more aggressive in my reporting from now. I am going to publish many more documents. I have many more documents on England’s spy system. I think they will be sorry for what they did.” -G.Greenwald

    by Jacoby Jonze on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 03:37:23 PM PDT

    •  Very mature technology (4+ / 0-)

      But it consumes enormous amounts of energy.

      I live d in Saudi Arabia for two years and almost 100% of the water I drank - and I drank a LOT - was desal water.  The Saudis have huge plans in both the Gulf and Red Sea.  Unfortunately they present two issues:

      1 - energy.  They consume a ton and are economically viable in Saudi because oil is so cheap.  In fact the government is building nuclear reactors to power the country (and the desal) because they would rather sell the oil at $100+ a barrel than use it to power things.  Even at the high end the nuclear reactors are break even at $50 a barrel and the Kind doesnt think we are going to be below that any time soon.

      2 - waste.  Parts of the Persian Gulf have become underwater deserts because of the increase in salinity.  All that salt get pumped back into the water as a slug.  I dove near a plant once and I had to wear 8 kilos (17bs) of extra weight just to get neutral.

      The Red Sea does not have as big an issue because it is much deeper than the gulf but you have to be very careful not to put too many desal plants too close together.  

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 04:11:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting. (0+ / 0-)

        Any chance for powering desalination with improved solar tech down the line?

        The waste would have to be pipelines miles off the coasts into the oceans one would assume to prevent the dead zones.  

        “I will be far more aggressive in my reporting from now. I am going to publish many more documents. I have many more documents on England’s spy system. I think they will be sorry for what they did.” -G.Greenwald

        by Jacoby Jonze on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 08:16:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  As desal is their final option... (0+ / 0-)

        ...the Saudis (and everyone else who eventually will adopt it) had better resign themselves to the high energy inputs and better salt dispersal management. At some point "it costs too much" to disperse salts properly will be a moot consideration.

        Waste management is the Achilles Heel of civilization. Do it "on the cheap" for long enough and you will commit self inflicted genocide.

        When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 10:07:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why would they even dump the salt? (0+ / 0-)

        Sure its dirt cheap (forgive the pun) right now, but we're opening massive sinkholes removing it from underground.

  •  Cowgary Cruz's home province is making sure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody

    there will be no clean water for Americans to divert! Alberta Tar Sands are polluting local waterways and everything downstream and pipeline spills will destroy rivers and the Great Lakes. (Not to mention Vancouver, BC's first ever ZERO precipitation month - July, 2013. What climate change?)

    Sorry, America, you're on your own. Suggestion: stop worrying and drive your gas-guzzling SUVs to the golf course! snark

    Question: In this current housing construction boomlet, is anyone designing water efficient homes and apartment buildings? Rootop water collection, cisterns, grey-water re-use, etc. Nah, didn't think so.

  •  Bush's Carlyle Group (0+ / 0-)

    helped arrange the sale of Smithfield pork products to China.  The same group that exempted fracking from Clean Water laws in the US.  They don't care which country the ruin or destroy.  

  •  Remind Me Again How China Has Us By The Balls? nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mathazar

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 03:49:45 PM PDT

  •  Toss them an anvil (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody

    I hope the DoJ blocks the sale of any food producing companies to the Chinese.  This is a country who has publicly stated we are their number one enemy.  Their leadership has said that armed conflict with the US is inevitable.  They exploit their own people and have no respect for human rights.  If they are drowning in contaminated waters, toss them an anvil.

    Here is how this plays out:

    China has a real estate bubble that will make ours look like a blip.  The have hundreds of "empty cities" (http://online.wsj.com/...) with giant empty shopping malls.  THe construction of these cities has created a combination of false demand and false GDP that is propped up by bad loans.  Like the subprime lenders the State controlled banks gave out loans that no reasonable banker would because the government needed to sustain demand.  

    That demand fuels production across the economy - just like the stimulus was centered around infrastructure projects.  Only these are roads to no where and cities no one can afford.  They do not increase productivity or competitiveness and they dont improve the lives for the 400 million rural poor who have not seen any benefit from the economic expansion.  Read that again - a population LARGER than the US that has no idea parts of China are wealthy.

    At the same time all of this is happening the Chinese are facing a demographics atom bomb - they are getting older very rapidly and they have a 30-60 million man imbalance between males and females.  The one child policy caused both.  The first "missing" children should be in their prime working years right now - paying taxes and helping support their parents.  Instead they have a population of young men with no prospect of marriage and no reason to plan for the future.  Is it any wonder they are destroying their climate in a quest for immediate gratification?

    When China implodes it will be devastating for the entire world economy but the US will feel the least.  We have a growing population of youths - thanks to immigrants - and an industrial base that will be easy to restart.  But we have to be prepared.  We need skilled labor and clean factories.  

    We can hasten the demise of China by blocking their access to food, driving up their costs and bringing down their house of cards.  All for a tenth the cost of the F35.

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 04:03:28 PM PDT

    •  Don't sell China short. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deward Hastings, 417els, Mathazar
      This is a country who has publicly stated we are their number one enemy.  Their leadership has said that armed conflict with the US is inevitable.
      I don't know where you get that information from. The US and China are moving towards each other, not apart.
      Hagel, Chang Seek to Bolster Military-to-Military Relations

      Published: 8/19/2013
       Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chinese Minister of National Defense Gen. Chang Wanquan today announced that their countries will take a series of steps to improve military-to-military relations.

      Speaking to reporters at a Pentagon news conference, both leaders said that close U.S.-China relations will provide stability and security for the Asia-Pacific region and the world.

      Establishing better military-to-military relations between the United States and China is important to the overall bilateral relationship, Hagel said.
      ...
       Chang emphasized a number of times that it is his mission to build “a new model of major country relationship” between China and the U.S. based on mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

      “At present, the China-U.S. relationship is in a new historical era,” he said. “Building a new model of China-U.S. military relationship can help us to increase strategic trust to reduce strategic risks and to maintain world peace and regional stability.”

      China has a real estate bubble that will make ours look like a blip.
      Housing Pushes China Foreign Investment To Highest Level In Two Years
      8/23/2013

      The real estate market is the source of a new wave of money pouring into China. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), foreign direct investment (FDI) into the mainland rose by 24.1% in July, its highest growth in 28 months, and all thanks to real estate.

      China Won't Kill Housing, Says Deloitte
      8/01/2013

      China Housing 2013

      Ask anyone who brushes off the China housing bubble with the shrug of a shoulder and they’ll tell you the reason for their ease of mind is urbanization. All those empty apartment buildings in second and third tier cities, they say, will one day be filled with the newly urbanized.

      China’s urban population is expected to rise from 691 million now to around 1 billion in the next 20 years. According to McKinsey, that urban trend will move about 240 million Chinese from rural villages to cities across the country. Slowly, but steadily.

      Whatever form of urban development China chooses in the years ahead, they will face a “litany of complex issues” says Deloitte, including energy, pollution, migration and strain on roads and public transit.

      We can hasten the demise of China by blocking their access to food, driving up their costs and bringing down their house of cards.  All for a tenth the cost of the F35.
      If China cut off the supply of rare earths, the US wouldn't be able to manufacture any F35's or any other high tech equipment.
      Rare earths: West bids to challenge China's monopoly, but is it too late?
      ...
      These 17 metallic elements are essential to iPhones, wind turbines, electric cars, robots working assembly lines, precision-guided missiles, and a host of other items.
      ...
      The biggest headaches, however, for manufacturers - and governments keeping a wary eye on their access to these evermore important materials - relate to a market monopoly. The issue is that China is by far the world’s biggest supplier. While it sits on around half of the world’s known reserves, it has also maintained almost total dominance over supplies in recent years.
      I could refute almost all of your post. It appears you are still thinking in the 1950's.
      •  Biggest threat to this nation (0+ / 0-)

        Iran gets all the press but they present no threat to the nation.  China on the other hand is nuclear armed, aggressive in cyber space and rapidly expanding their military capability.  It is the cyber capability that scares the majority of analysts the most.  

        I am well aware of the differing opinions of the Chinese housing bubble.  I remember similar differing opinions of the US and Irish housing bubbles and the dot com bubble.  

        Your first story is actually part of my point.  We are attempting to improve relations whit the Chinese military and it has been quite easy because things have been so bad for so long, simply talking is an improvement.  The irony for me is that it has been the craziness of the North Koreans that has done the most to accelerate our better relations.  

        And anything that will kill the F35 is a good thing to me.

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 05:49:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  China has a long way to go to match US spending (0+ / 0-)

          in war machinery. I believe it is almost 4:1.

          China on the other hand is nuclear armed, aggressive in cyber space and rapidly expanding their military capability.  It is the cyber capability that scares the majority of analysts the most.
          China has never dropped a nuclear bomb on a civilian city. China has yet to engage in cyber warfare with the use of sophisticated cyber-weapons (Stuxnet) designed to cause physical damage.

          I also doubt that China has an espionage system as advanced and wide spread as the NSA and Echelon programs. The US knows much more about China's secrets than the other way around.

          I am more afraid of the very aggressive US military with it's 1000 bases in  almost every country in the world. This military force has killed and destroyed the lives of tens of millions of people since WWII. China has rarely been aggressive far beyond it's borders for it's entire existence.

          A shortage of rare earths could also kill the electric car.

          •  Nice propraganda (0+ / 0-)

            but far from the truth.

            US use of nuclear bombs in WWII has long been debated and generally considered to have been in keeping with Just War theory as bringing an end to a conflict.

            China has not gotten CAUGHT publicly using cyber weapons.  Doesnt mean they dont use them daily.

            Chinese internal and external spying is first rate.  Their HUMINT operations are exceptional.  Internal their monitoring of their own population is extensive, intrusive and under their laws, legal.

            1000 bases?  Really.  I would love to see a list of those.  If you counted every military facility, every embassy and every consulate it would be less than 1000.  

            I think the Vietnamese, Laotians, Koreans, Tibetans, Russians and Filipinos would take serious umbrage with the idea that the Chinese are not aggressive.

            It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

            by ksuwildkat on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 08:14:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not propaganda. (0+ / 0-)
              US use of nuclear bombs in WWII has long been debated and generally considered to have been in keeping with Just War theory as bringing an end to a conflict.
              Here's a list of many who disagree with that statement. If the US had lost the war, it would have been charged with crimes against humanity.
              HIROSHIMA
              WHO DISAGREED WITH THE ATOMIC BOMBING?

              From what we read in the general media, it seems like almost everyone felt the atomic bombings of Japan were necessary. Aren't the people who disagree with those actions just trying to find fault with America?

              DWIGHT EISENHOWER

              "...in [July] 1945... Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. ...the Secretary, upon giving me the news of the successful bomb test in New Mexico, and of the plan for using it, asked for my reaction, apparently expecting a vigorous assent.

              "During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude..."

              - Dwight Eisenhower, Mandate For Change, pg. 380

              In a Newsweek interview, Eisenhower again recalled the meeting with Stimson:

              "...the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."

              - Ike on Ike, Newsweek, 11/11/63
              ...

              1000 bases?  Really.  I would love to see a list of those.  If you counted every military facility, every embassy and every consulate it would be less than 1000.
              Tomgram: Nick Turse, The Pentagon's Planet of Bases
              ...
              Speaking before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans, and Related Agencies early last year, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Dorothy Robyn referenced the Pentagon’s "507 permanent installations."  The Pentagon’s 2010 Base Structure Report, on the other hand, lists 4,999 total sites in the U.S., its territories, and overseas.

              In the grand scheme of things, the actual numbers aren’t all that important.  Whether the most accurate total is 900 bases, 1,000 bases or 1,100 posts in foreign lands, what’s undeniable is that the U.S. military maintains, in Chalmers Johnson’s famous phrase, an empire of bases so large and shadowy that no one -- not even at the Pentagon -- really knows its full size and scope.
              ...
              Like all empires, the U.S. military’s empire of bases will someday crumble. These bases, however, are not apt to fall like so many dominos in some silver-screen last-stand sequence. They won’t, that is, go out with the “bang” of futuristic Alamos, but with the “whimper” of insolvency.
              ...

              I think the Vietnamese, Laotians, Koreans, Tibetans, Russians and Filipinos would take serious umbrage with the idea that the Chinese are not aggressive.
              Here's what I stated:
              "China has rarely been aggressive far beyond it's borders for it's entire existence."

              Practically every nation has had border conflicts in their history. Most of these conflicts have seen aggression from both parties. China was built from immigration and expansion over the centuries to become what it is today.

              The Chinese never had a global empire baked by military force like the Europeans and the US.

              The US Empire is global. What do you think America's response would be if Chinese warships cruised the Caribbean like the US navy cruises the South China Sea?

              It is interesting to watch China's global economic expansion following US interventions. China is now pumping half of Iraq's oil and has huge oil and copper interests in Afghanistan.

              While America fills coffins, China fills coffers....

              •  on Ike and other stuff (0+ / 0-)

                General Eisenhower was entitled to an opinion but frankly the opinion of MacArthur was more important.  Ike was in Germany, not in the Pacific.  His "feeling" that the Japanese were ready to surrender doesnt match the "feeling" of those fighting in the Pacific theater or for that matter the opinion of many Japanese at the time.  

                I would have no doubt that there are over 5000 "sites" in the DoD inventory since that would include every base, National Guard Armory and even some ROTC buildings.  But that is far different than 1000 overseas bases.  You can call it an Empire if you want but keep in mind that we are invited to be in all those places.  In fact we have faced significant resistance from our allies as we have drawn back and removed troops from overseas locations over the last 10 years.  I would be very happy if we withdrew completely.  I would be happier still if we gave a bill to the Germans, Japanese, Koreans and others for what it cost the US taxpayer to defend them.

                Dont think for a minute the Chinese lack of overseas empire is due to some benevolence.  For centuries they believed they ruled the entire earth.  If they had a blue water navy - and they are rapidly building one - I have no doubt they would be sailing the Caribbean.  How many Chinese military "advisers" are in Africa?  The Middle East?  South America?  Lots.  Why do you think our relationship with their military is so bad?  Because it pisses you off when you see them and their equipment being used to kill your buddies.

                Funny that you mention that the Chinese have interests in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Kinda messes up the Empire narrative.  No way an empire allows its biggest rival access to raw materials like that.  No way an Empire that supposedly fought wars for oil and minerals would then stand by and let someone else reap the rewards.  

                It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

                by ksuwildkat on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 03:27:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You didn't take the time to read the link I gave (0+ / 0-)

                  Read them all. There's even more than I've posted.

                  GENERAL DOUGLAS MacARTHUR

                  MacArthur biographer William Manchester has described MacArthur's reaction to the issuance by the Allies of the Potsdam Proclamation to Japan: "...the Potsdam declaration in July, demand[ed] that Japan surrender unconditionally or face 'prompt and utter destruction.' MacArthur was appalled. He knew that the Japanese would never renounce their emperor, and that without him an orderly transition to peace would be impossible anyhow, because his people would never submit to Allied occupation unless he ordered it. Ironically, when the surrender did come, it was conditional, and the condition was a continuation of the imperial reign. Had the General's advice been followed, the resort to atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have been unnecessary."

                  William Manchester, American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964, pg. 512.

                  Norman Cousins was a consultant to General MacArthur during the American occupation of Japan. Cousins writes of his conversations with MacArthur, "MacArthur's views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed." He continues, "When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor."

                  Norman Cousins, The Pathology of Power, pg. 65, 70-71.
                  ...
                  LEWIS STRAUSS
                  (Special Assistant to the Sec. of the Navy)

                  Strauss recalled a recommendation he gave to Sec. of the Navy James Forrestal before the atomic bombing of Hiroshima:

                  "I proposed to Secretary Forrestal that the weapon should be demonstrated before it was used. Primarily it was because it was clear to a number of people, myself among them, that the war was very nearly over. The Japanese were nearly ready to capitulate... My proposal to the Secretary was that the weapon should be demonstrated over some area accessible to Japanese observers and where its effects would be dramatic. I remember suggesting that a satisfactory place for such a demonstration would be a large forest of cryptomeria trees not far from Tokyo. The cryptomeria tree is the Japanese version of our redwood... I anticipated that a bomb detonated at a suitable height above such a forest... would lay the trees out in windrows from the center of the explosion in all directions as though they were matchsticks, and, of course, set them afire in the center. It seemed to me that a demonstration of this sort would prove to the Japanese that we could destroy any of their cities at will... Secretary Forrestal agreed wholeheartedly with the recommendation..."

                  Strauss added, "It seemed to me that such a weapon was not necessary to bring the war to a successful conclusion, that once used it would find its way into the armaments of the world...".

                  quoted in Len Giovannitti and Fred Freed, The Decision To Drop the Bomb, pg. 145, 325.

                  Funny that you mention that the Chinese have interests in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Kinda messes up the Empire narrative.  No way an empire allows its biggest rival access to raw materials like that.  No way an Empire that supposedly fought wars for oil and minerals would then stand by and let someone else reap the rewards.  
                  China has a principle of "non-interference" in the political affairs of countries it does business with. It's soft loans do not carry the onerous demands and conditions of the US controlled IMF and World Bank and China invests more into infrastructure than their US or European counterparts.

                  Once the US has fucked over the country, all the people want is for the Americans to get the hell out of their country. China is only too willing to fill the void.

                  The US is like a body builder on steroids who is unable and unwilling to stop. The muscles need to get bigger and bigger until it has become a grotesque parody of itself. It's myopia and paranoia prevent it from seeing what is occurring.

  •  Meat consumption is rising in China as their (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i dunno, Mathazar, Woody, koNko

    standard of living goes up. Americans currently consume twice as much meat per capita.

    Due to the growing middle class in many of the second and third world countries normal meat production will not be able to keep up with demand due to water, and feed shortages and also production of greenhouse gases. New advances in stem research will allow the production of meat without the animal.

    So, meet the new meat:

    •  Yuck (0+ / 0-)

      If you love GMO corn and soy, I guess you'll love lab-manufactured pork and beef.

      We have no idea how human bodies respond to being fed on stuff that isn't really food. I believe we're seeing it now, but can't understand what we're seeing. Obesity? Hormone disruption? gender disruption? conjoined twins? ADHD, schizophrenia, paranoi, autism? Cancers of all varieties? We don't know what's causing them, but something is definitely out of whack and getting more so.

       

      •  It is not genetically modified. The protein is (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deward Hastings, 417els, koNko

        produced using stem cells from cows (or chickens or pigs). It is real beef muscle protein. Watch the video. This could be marketed within ten years.

        BTW, China is becoming a world leader in stem cell research. The US has too many regulations due to religious backlash.

        I agree with you on the GMO Franken foods. So does China.

        China destroys multiple shipments of GM corn from US
        Monday, June 10, 2013

        Several large shipments of genetically-modified (GM) corn and corn seeds originating from the U.S. have been destroyed by the Chinese government after being discovered by import officials at numerous locations across the country. At least three shipments of GM corn detected at the Wanzai Port in Zhuhai City near Macau were reportedly destroyed after being successfully intercepted by government officials, while another 21 cartons of GM corn seeds weighing more than 250 pounds were destroyed in the northern Chinese city of Harbin.

        According to Chinese law, any import containing GMOs must be accompanied by the appropriate environmental and food safety tests conducted by Chinese institutions, not the biotechnology industry.

        Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/...

      •  Lots of stuff in American foods that could cause (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        i dunno
        Obesity? Hormone disruption? gender disruption? conjoined twins? ADHD, schizophrenia, paranoi, autism? Cancers of all varieties? We don't know what's causing them, but something is definitely out of whack and getting more so.
        Note that the pork slated for export to China must be certified free of ractopamine. (Maybe we can steal some for domestic consumption.)
        10 American Foods That Are Banned in Other Countries

            Americans are slowly waking up to the sad fact that much of the food sold in the US is far inferior to the same foods sold in other nations. In fact, many of the foods you eat are BANNED in other countries.

            Here, I’ll review 10 American foods that are banned elsewhere, which were featured in a recent MSN article.1

            Seeing how the overall health of Americans is so much lower than other industrialized countries, you can’t help but wonder whether toxic foods such as these might play a role in our skyrocketing disease rates.
        ...
        #3: Ractopamine-Tainted Meat
        ...
            The beta agonist drug ractopamine (a repartitioning agent that increases protein synthesis) was recruited for livestock use when researchers found that the drug, used in asthma, made mice more muscular. This reduces the overall fat content of the meat. Ractopamine is currently used in about 45 percent of US pigs, 30 percent of ration-fed cattle, and an unknown percentage of turkeys are pumped full of this drug in the days leading up to slaughter. Up to 20 percent of ractopamine remains in the meat you buy from the supermarket, according to veterinarian Michael W. Fox.

            Since 1998, more than 1,700 people have been “poisoned” from eating pigs fed the drug, and ractopamine is banned from use in food animals in no less than 160 different countries due to its harmful health effects! Effective February 11, 2013, Russia issued a ban on US meat imports, slated to last until the US agrees to certify that the meat is ractopamine-free. At present, the US does not even test for the presence of this drug in meats sold. In animals, ractopamine is linked to reductions in reproductive function, increase of mastitis in dairy herds, and increased death and disability. It’s also known to affect the human cardiovascular system, and is thought to be responsible for hyperactivity, and may cause chromosomal abnormalities and behavioral changes.

                Where it’s banned: 160 countries across Europe, Russia, mainland China and Republic of China (Taiwan)

  •  Some further thoughts on the Smithfield buyout -- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, LillithMc

    I would expect that the Chinese will take home the technology, for both breeding more efficient pigs (they do a lot with biotechnology and cloning)  and running massive breeding operations.  

    Current Smithfield operations will offer a unique footprint in America for Chinese business, where they can 'observe' what's happening in all agriculture and commodities here in the US -- we'll probably have to compete to buy food here,  and in result will pay much more.

    They will turn around and then re-export not only meat, but all related technologies  it to other places on the globe where they've obtained control -- Africa, other places in Asia, maybe even No. Korea.  Expect more pollution. Big time, all over.

    Meantime they will continue to perfect all aspects of massive meat operations, applying it to other foods and produce.   Genetic manipulation,  weaponization of various animal illnesses like swine and avian flu.

    Centralized control of food will keep everybody in line -- since people will have no access to growing their own food in China, they will depend on what the government there allows to be imported.  

    Am I the only one that's not seeing a really rosy future for the less wealthy Americans??  

  •  This claim: (0+ / 0-)
    More than 260 million acres of U.S. forest have been cleared to create cropland to grow grain to feed farmed animals, and according to scientists at the Smithsonian Institution, the equivalent of seven football fields of land is bulldozed worldwide every minute to create more room for farmed animals.
    That is over 406,000 quare miles, or an area equivalent to a 637 mile square.

    This all seems to be a particularly far fetched claim.

    There isn't any mass U.S. Forest land to row crop agriculture dynamic going on.  

    This isn't a credible claim.

  •  I'm just now rereading (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i dunno

    Jared Diamond's "Collapse".

    It's fascinating and I recommend it to anyone.  It's investigates how past societies and civilizations have collapsed.

    Reading this, I imagined it could easily be a chapter from some future analysis of how we collapsed.

    What was wrong under Republicans is still wrong under Democrats.

    by gila on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 05:43:09 PM PDT

  •  It really doesn't matter (0+ / 0-)

    in the long run how much water it takes to grow food if we do not reverse population growth around the world. Lack of food and water will cull our numbers but meantime everyone should consider having no children. The need to pass on our genetics has been long surpassed by our need to stop.

  •  Not as shocking as "Gutter Oil" (0+ / 0-)

    cooking oil that unsavory Chinese people collect from the sewers and mix with fresh oil to resell in supermarkets.

    a search on youtube will give you videos of the actual con er I mean production.

  •  Boycott Beef! (0+ / 0-)

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Ed Abbey

    by upthecrik on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 06:09:15 AM PDT

  •  Save a pig and take more showers (0+ / 0-)

    from the article:

    It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat, while growing 1 pound of wheat only requires 25 gallons. You save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you do by not showering for six months!
    This is a gross oversimplification. It depends entirely on the water systems involved.  It makes for great polemic though.
  •  Oh great... (0+ / 0-)

    Brace for 10,000 dead swine floating down our rivers using the Chinese model of industrial management...

    THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. -- L. Ron Hubbard Technique 88

    by xenubarb on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 10:50:00 AM PDT

  •  "China must outsource food production"??? (0+ / 0-)

    Wait a minute.  Hasn't the author noted how much of OUR food comes from them?  Check your labels.  China is considered a source for all sorts of cheap, shabby goods, but you'd be surprised by how much of our processed foods also comes from their shores.

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