China’s Burning Ambition
China's economic surge and profligate use of polluting energy sources threatens planetary climatic sustainability. Americans enjoy a standard of living based upon wasteful energy use that is not universalizable. What then is to be done? Should China and other economies in transition, to say nothing of the billions in abject poverty outside of the energy grid, be left to burn wood and dung? Is American gluttonous energy consumption a birthright based upon their higher moral character and manifest destiny? Is it too much to expect that the rich give up some of their wealth – or more precisely, access to energy – so the poor can survive? Americans are manifestly slovenly and greedy – they would just as soon kill peasants to drive their SUVs, rather than drive a sensible vehicle. Below Nature magazine takes a more scholarly, measured approach to the same intractable problem.
Energy: China's burning ambition
The economic miracle that is transforming the world's most populous nation is threatened by energy shortages and rising pollution. It also risks plunging the planet's climate into chaos.