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Ed Webb

Cost of Environmental Damage in China Growing Rapidly Amid Industrialization - www.nyti... - 1 views

  • The cost of environmental degradation in China1 was about $230 billion in 2010, or 3.5 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product — three times that in 2004, in local currency terms, an official Chinese news report said this week.
  • “Digging a hole and filling it back in again gives you G.D.P. growth. It doesn’t give you economic value. A lot of the activity in China over the last few years has been digging holes to fill them back in again — anything from bailing out failing solar companies to ignoring the ‘externalities’ of economic growth.”
  • The ministry has issued statistics only intermittently, though its original goal was to do the calculation — what it called “green G.D.P.” — annually.
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  • China Central Television reported that farmers in a village in Henan Province were using wastewater from a paper mill to grow wheat. But one farmer said they would not dare to eat the wheat themselves. It is sold outside the village, perhaps ending up in cities, while the farmers grow their own wheat with well water
  • There is consensus now that China’s decades of double-digit economic growth exacted an enormous environmental cost. But growth remains the priority; the Communist Party’s legitimacy is based largely on rapidly expanding the economy, and China officially estimates that its G.D.P., which was $8.3 trillion in 2012, will grow at a rate of 7.5 percent this year and at an average of 7 percent in the five-year plan that runs to 2015. A Deutsche Bank report released last month said the current growth policies would lead to a continuing steep decline of the environment for the next decade, especially given the expected coal consumption and boom in automobile sales.
Ed Webb

The Oil Drum: Europe | The Zero Growth Mind - 0 views

    One approach to a world of finite resources: change our minds about what we need.
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