Tuesday, May 17, 2005

China's Energy Policy Saner Than America's

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Chinese mine workers
Once again, Chinese coal miners die. Their situation is quite dire. Recently there were stories about how miners get fined if they don't enter dangerous mines. This is beginning to cause considerable headaches for the Chinese rulers who need labor peace in order to attract American capitalists. The people who pretend using coal as our main source of energy forget that most coal is harvested via dangerous, up close, human labor.
China produced 1.95 billion tons of coal last year but official media say it can safely mine only half that rate. The death rate in Chinese mines is 100 times that of pits in the United States.

The administration also pledged to arrest mine operators running illegal pits and supported high levels of compensation for families of victims as a deterrent.

"We are cracking down on all kinds of illegal mining operations, and rectifying mines that failed to meet work safety standards," Li said.

"Increasing the level of compensation is increasing the cost of accidents," he said, adding he hoped the high cost would make mine operators realize that paying for better safety would be cheaper. Some areas have recently put the level of compensation paid to families at 11-15 years worth of victims' salary.

The government has had trouble shutting down unsafe mines, especially amid a nationwide shortage of coal, which is the main source of energy in power-hungry China.

America's miners have a long history of dying while organizing. The very famous Joe Hill, executed for leading a mine strike, springs immediately to mind.
China is working to quadruple its 2000 GDP (gross domestic product) while only doubling its energy consumption by 2020, said Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan Tuesday at the ongoing Fortune Global Forum here.

In the last two decades of the 20th century, China quadrupled its GDP when its energy consumption was doubled.

To achieve the goal, he said, China will put equal emphasis on energy development and preservation, with priority given to preservation, and bring under strict control industries of high energy consumption, while developing energy-efficient housing andfuel-efficient motor vehicles, said the vice premier.

The government will readjust the structure of energy resources,support the development and application of clean coal technologies,accelerate hydropower, nuclear and gas power projects and other clean energy programs, and the development of renewable energy projects, Zeng said.

China will also push forward international cooperation in energy industry when it tries to resolve the energy problem on domestic resources, Zeng added.

According to Zeng, China has favorable conditions for rapid, sustainable economic growth, such as the continuously upgrade consumption structure, rapid industrialization and urbanization, huge market potential, sufficient labor supply, high level of individual savings level and improved infrastructure.

This stands in stark contrast with the Bush plan to use fossil fuels to make other fuels as if the problem is us using oil in unaltered forms. Bush wants more refineries, too. As if the problem is we need more gasoline. Culture of Life News knows the Chinese have been interested for years in solar and wind energy. They understand that power to villages and towns in the more desertfied parts of the country can be dealt with this way. They know that running wires everywhere in a grid is old fashioned and useless in the long run.

This is one reason why they invited my father and mother to go there over and over again, helping with establishing solar energy production factories and other things. Long term plans are a luxury they can afford since there are no real elections in China. The Chinese methodology has good sides and bad. If a lunatic like Mao controls things, it can be terrible. If talented people like Wen and Hu runs things, it can be good. It all depends on who is the leader.

Elections in America are increasingly a bizarre affair that has little to do with making sane choices. The media circus has undone democracy so badly there is mass dissinterest in even voting now as participation drops each election and the voting process is so compromised now it can't be trusted even a little bit. So we have the worst of democracy: the populace has to be bribed coupled with the worst of despotism: a ruling elite runs things into the ground as they put more and more insane people on the throne.

Now to money matters:
On Tuesday, the administration will offer its latest verdict on China's foreign exchange policies. It will either anger China by accusing it of manipulating its exchange rate to gain an unfair trade advantage over the United States, or it will anger Congress by giving China a clean bill of health.

The report to Congress, already one month late, will come as many Republicans and Democrats are clamoring for restrictions on Chinese imports as well as expressing skepticism about trade-opening deals in general.

There is a graph in the article showing clearly that China is not increasing their purchase of American government debt instruments but are on a holding pattern. You can bet, they will change this depending on the report which is why the report is late.
If the Bush administration changes course, it would be required by law to open "consultations" with Chinese leaders and then to take some kind of action if China refused to change its policy.

If the Bush administration points the finger at China, it may simply harden Chinese opposition.

But if it gives China another clean bill of health, Congress will be more likely to pass legislation demanding tougher restrictions on Chinese imports.

Meanwhile, in China, none of this mamby pamby stuff:
China never yields to outside pressure on yuan
Reform of RMB exchange rate system is matter of China's sovereignty and any pressure and speculative exploitation of the issue or any attempt to turn the economic issue into a political one will not be conducive to resolving it, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said during his meeting with guests from the US Chamber of Commerce Monday.

Wen said as long as conditions are ripe, the Chinese government "will take the initiative to advance the reform of the exchange rate system without any pressure from outside the country."

"If conditions are not available, the Chinese government will never hastily take any action, regardless of how great the pressure from outside is," Wen said.

Pretty uncompromising, I would judge. The fact is, the Chinese don't have to do anything if they don't want to do anything. Seeing the eager greedy faces of the Fortune 500 in China today begging to do business, well, connect the dots. The display of anger in America is like a peacock spreading the feathers to impress the female: all show. This way, Congress and Bush can go to the voters and claim they did everything.

Meanwhile, Bush is pushing Congress to pass the next NAFTA which is CAFTA. After that, FUCK USA WORKERTA. Obviously, they imagine the American worker will allow this to continue forever. Flat earth becomes scorched earth. We shall see.
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