Friday, April 22, 2022

China's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for Earth Day, a Flashback Friday special

Happy Earth Day and Flashback Friday! As I wrote in yesterday's Trailers for 'Prehistoric Planet' and 'Jurassic World: Dominion' for Throwback Thursday, "The theme for this week's retrospectives is the back catalog." Today's featured post is U.S.-China EcoPartnerships: The CoDominion plans for sustainability from 2011, whose story I am sharing over the jump. In the meantime, I'm updating how the U.S.-China relationship approaches sustainability with CNBC's How The U.S. Fell Behind China In The Fight Against Climate Change from November 2020.

Ever since President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, China has played an increasingly large role in the international fight against climate change. The country is now the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels, lithium ion batteries, and electric vehicles. But while China has stepped up in these regards, it is still the global leader in carbon emissions, and burns more coal than the rest of the world combined. As President-elect Joe Biden looks to reassert American leadership in green energy and climate initiatives, it remains to be seen whether the U.S. and China can work collaboratively to address the climate crisis.

CORRECTION (November 16, 2020): Barbara Finamore and Alvin Lin both work at the “Natural Resources Defense Council” not the “National Resources Defense Council”
Alvin Lin shows up in Treasures of the Earth: Power where he gives the answer to one of the questions on the worksheet: "21. How many deaths are caused by China’s air pollution every year?" The answer he gives is 1.6 million in 2016, more than one out of every thousand Chinese. I also show a slide in my class about air pollution deaths in 2013, the year of the Chinese "airpocalypse" in the CNBC video. That year, about 1.7 million Chinese died from air pollution. Here's the image.

While 1.6 million is terrible, I won't minimize the 100,000 fewer deaths over three years from 2013. It's a sign of progress.
Speaking of "Treasures of the Earth: Power," here are some other questions addressed by this video, along with their answers.
9. What are the effects of burning coal and oil on the Earth’s atmosphere?
Both release carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas that traps heat and warms up the atmosphere and oceans. Not mentioned in the video is that it also acidifies surface waters, particularly the oceans.
19. Solar panels are increasing by what percentage every year?
In 2016, solar panel installations were increasing 25% per year. Wow!
20.How are the Chinese attempting to solve a fundamental problem with solar energy?
They are storing electricity from solar energy in enormous banks of batteries to be released when the sun is not shining. This is a solution to the intermittency problem.

CNBC's video was from 2020. Bloomberg Quicktake updated the topic in How China Plans to Win the Future of Energy last month.

China, the world’s biggest polluter, has committed to reach net zero emissions by 2060, an ambitious goal matched by enormous investments that are reshaping the nation’s energy system.
Not only are China, Japan, and South Korea announcing net zero goals, so is the United States, which is shooting for net zero by 2050 at least for the federal government. I sincerely wish all four countries good luck in achieving their net zero goals. They need it and so does the planet.

Follow over the jump for the story of how U.S.-China EcoPartnerships: The CoDominion plans for sustainability earned its page views this year.

U.S.-China EcoPartnerships: The CoDominion plans for sustainability from May 15, 2011 earned ~1,550 default and ~1,830 raw page views, ranking it twelfth during the eleventh year of Crazy eddie's Motie News according to the former and sixteenth overall according to the latter. This was the best year ever for this 11-year-old post, almost four times the 391 default page views it earned during its first year, when it was the third most read entry of the first blogging year. The post was the number one entry during September 2021 according to its 732 default page views and third overall with 768 raw page views. It spent a second month in the top ten during December 2021 with 646 default and 778 raw page views, ranking it sixth for the month. These were the two best months in the entry's history, as the image below shows.

As for how it earned its page views, I guess it's from web search and no follow links, but I really think my reaction from ten years ago applies just as much now as then.

Previous posts in this series Previous retrospectives about the back catalog. Previous retrospectives about top climate posts

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