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China last year became the world's largest user of power, surpassing the U.S. The title came largely thanks to gains in U.S. energy efficiency.  (Source: Science Blogs)

China is expected to pass Japan this year to become the world's top coal importer. Only three years ago it was a net exporter.  (Source: CleanTechnica)

Aside from GHG emissions, China's high emissions of Nox and sulfuric compounds has given rise to noxious smog clouds, which now frequently blanket China, depending on weather conditions.  (Source: Telegraph UK)
Nation of over 1.3 billion people thirsts for power as it grows larger and more industrialized

Back in June 2007 China earned the dubious distinction of surpassing the U.S. to become the world's top emitter of greenhouse gases.  Now approximately three years later, the highly populated country has become the world's largest consumer of energy.

The news that China may now be the world biggest energy customer comes based on analysis by the International Energy Agency (IEA).  According to the IEA, China overtook the U.S. in energy consumption sometime last year.

Despite having over 1.3 billion people, versus about 307 million in the U.S., China's new title may be primarily driven by the inefficient way it uses energy.  While the U.S. has improved its energy efficiency by 2.5 percent per year from 2000 to 2010, China only improved 1.7 percent.

While the U.S. still trails Europe in energy efficiency, it is consuming much less power as time goes on.  States Fatih Birol, the IEA's chief economist, "In the 2000, the US consumed twice as much energy as China, now China consumes more than the U.S. On the one hand, the U.S. has come to a certain saturation of energy use, but there have also been lots of efforts, especially since 2005, to use energy more efficiently."

As Birol indicates, the Chinese victory came as somewhat of a surprise, as it was widely expected to take a couple more years for the Chinese to surpass the U.S. in energy consumption.  But the the numbers conclusively show that last year China used 4 percent more power than the U.S. -- 2,252 million tons of oil equivalent of energy from sources including coal, oil, nuclear power, natural gas and hydropower.

The IEA states that China, as the world's top dog in energy consumption, will be able to dictate international energy policy to an extent.  States Birol, "There will be a big multiplier effect."

The U.S. in recent years has been concerned with China's energy hunger.  Disdainful of China's proposed "voluntary" emissions targets, the U.S. has also shown concern about China's aggressive pursuit of Kazakhstan oil.

Three years ago China was a net exporter of coal.  This year it is expected to import 105-115 million tonnes of coal, to surpass Japan as the world's largest coal importer.  China is also now Saudi Arabia's largest oil customer -- a position held for decades by the U.S.  Money speaks and that position will likely have a profound effect on international business and relations in the Middle East.

Nobuo Tanaka, the IEA's secretary-general, has been trying to convince China to join the IEA since March.  The organization, which represents the largest energy consumers in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) helps push for alternative energy and greater energy efficiency.

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RE: China is smart
By Schrag4 on 7/21/2010 1:52:59 PM , Rating: 4
Politics is poison, pure poison, & it's part of the reason many of the issues we face as a country as Americans, will never be solved, ...

Actually, the reason we'll never solve our issues is precisely because people think the government can actually solve any problems. Most issues you're probably speaking about wouldn't exist (or would correct themselves) if the government had simply stayed out of it in the first place. But, no, it's their job to make us think we need them so we'll put up with increased spending. Or if you're really insane you'll actually want the bigger spenders voted in.

quote: get what you can get is my motto cause no one else will be looking out for you when you need help, & especially the rich guys, as all they are going to tell you is you are lazy, ...

Unemployment benefits have their place, but expanding them (like they just did, out to something like 2.5 years instead of the 13 weeks or whatever) just removes any motivation to get a job. Notice I'm not calling anyone lazy. I'm just saying there's reverse incentive when it comes to getting a job (or succeeding in general).

...cut em off, but please continue our tax breaks, please.

I don't consider unemployment benefits or welfare to be the same as tax breaks. I say lower EVERYONE's taxes, rich AND poor. Oh, I forgot, the poor don't pay taxes...

RE: China is smart
By Hiawa23 on 7/21/10, Rating: 0
RE: China is smart
By Schrag4 on 7/21/2010 3:28:53 PM , Rating: 3
As far lowering taxes, I seriously doubt that is possible given the financial crisis going on.

I agree with you that things are worse now than they've been in years, with people unable to find jobs where they might have been able to 3+ years ago. BUT, raising taxes does the exact opposite of creating jobs. It destroys jobs. Look, unless you work for yourself, if you have a job, ultimately you're working for someone richer than yourself. Do you think raising taxes for rich guys will allow them to continue employing as many people? Not unless they cut salaries.

If you can find $ to fund wars, or help foreign countries then you can find $ to help Americans struggling, many at no fault of their own.

Totally agree. And that's why many of us think the govt shouldn't be funding ANY of this stuff. It's not just the domestic spending that we're necessarily opposed to. Stop spending on all that other stuff and you can lower taxes and "evil rich people" will be able to hire more employees. Conversely, put your figurative boot on the throats of said rich guys and it'll be his employees (like you and me) that suffer, not the rich guy.

BUT, again, politicians have done a darned good job of making it look like those rich guys, who have worked hard to provide jobs for you and I, are somehow the bad guy because they have more than us. I, for one, and eternally grateful that someone lucky, smart, and most important, HARD WORKING has built a company that I can have an opportunity to work for. Nobody should take that for granted, but pretty much everyone does, unfortunately.

RE: China is smart
By Spuke on 7/21/2010 3:41:21 PM , Rating: 1
I find it amusing that working people don't seem to realize that they work for a wealthy person (or more likely wealthy people...publicly traded companies). That job you have didn't just materialize out of thin air. Someone or some group of people created that job and since those people cannot do (nor want to in most cases) everything themselves, they hire specialists (you and I) to do it for them. How is this so hard to understand?

And then some of you actually want to raise their taxes exponentially (like 28% is not enough already) causing these people to lay YOU off to maintain their profit margin (cause they have try to by law if they're publicly traded). Then you bitch about not being able to find a job. LOL!


RE: China is smart
By Hiawa23 on 7/21/2010 4:05:49 PM , Rating: 1
I find it amusing that working people don't seem to realize that they work for a wealthy person (or more likely wealthy people...publicly traded companies). That job you have didn't just materialize out of thin air.

I don't find of this amusing, I am not saying raise taxes on the rich. All I am wondering is how does the government increase revenue without raising taxes on us all, given these times.

RE: China is smart
By Kurz on 7/21/2010 5:04:04 PM , Rating: 2
What the government should be doing is lowering its spending.
It should lower its involvement in the market place.
It should cut taxes.
It should return the money supply back to the people instead of treating the money supply as a piggy bank.

We can live without the government.
The government can't live without us.

RE: China is smart
By YashBudini on 7/29/2010 8:07:18 PM , Rating: 1
We can live without the government.

See a lot of people moving to Bosnia, do you?

RE: China is smart
By knutjb on 7/21/2010 10:04:43 PM , Rating: 2

By lowering taxes for all. This is a very inconvenient graph from government numbers. When taxes are high, particularly for the wealthy, they hide it because they feel the government has gone too far. Then who gets stuck, the poor and middle class because politicians don't see the revenues go up with the tax on the wealthy so they create new taxes that hit all.

Many businesses start working in cash, paying under the table, not make as many or large bank deposits, etc to try and survive outrageous taxes.

Companies move to states to those with lower taxes, like who left California. Money gets moved off shore and so on.

When the left say stick it to the wealthy they really are sticking it to the middle and poor. Lower taxes on the wealthy and they pay far more in actual revenues.

Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge understood this in 1921 and slashed the Federal Gov by 50% and slashed taxes creating the largest peace time economic boom the country has ever seen. Hoover and FDR did the opposite and we floundered economically from 1930 to WWII. At which point Truman did something similar to Harding and Coolidge and created the post war boom. FDR had no positive impact on the post war boom, he did have a negative impact because of all the debt he created. Obama is following FDR's model not Harding, Coolidge or Truman.

Wouldn't want history, and normal American Capitalistic behavior to get in the way. BTW Capitalism does not = greed, greed exists in all parts of society and government types oppressing and preventing those at the bottom from rising.

To sum it up using historically proven methods, low taxes and slash all Government spending, will turn things around. Do the opposite, well it has shown it doesn't work, US Depression, Japan's lost decade...

RE: China is smart
By Spuke on 7/21/2010 3:48:39 PM , Rating: 2
There are alot working poor in this country that do pay taxes.
If all of the taxes you "paid" during the year are refunded back to you at the end of the year, you are NOT paying taxes. In the US (can't speak for other countries), the more money you make, the more you are taxed. And the wealthiest people pay the most taxes, period. This is not debatable, this is fact. The US government has statistics on all of this stuff. Look it up.

RE: China is smart
By AlexWade on 7/21/2010 8:04:09 PM , Rating: 2
If you can find $ to fund wars, or help foreign countries then you can find $ to help Americans struggling, many at no fault of their own.

Have you be reading the story in the Washington Post called Top Secret America? It is a real eye-opener into how much money our US government spends on terrorism and intelligence. It also shows how grossly inefficient the intelligence system is. Yesterday's story was about how many private contractors the US government uses in intelligence, and these companies are making mad cash. They are stories of the good and bad of our tax dollars.

RE: China is smart
By Hiawa23 on 7/21/2010 3:17:30 PM , Rating: 1
Most issues you're probably speaking about wouldn't exist (or would correct themselves)

If we looked to things correcting themselves, slavery would probably still be here, or we would still be sitting at the back of the bus in 2010. I think we all agree, the government needs to get the spending under control, they have needed this before we knew of Obama. In order to do this they are definitely going to have to cut entitlements, & draw down the 2 wars going on, as we can't afford them & we can't fix those countries. Honestly, I don't think we can afford to police the world which seems to be some of our mindset. Not sure how they would do it.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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