Tuesday, December 8, 2009
A Vital Difference Today Between China and America
By Alan Caruba
“The joke among China hands goes like this,” says Michael Economides. “If the Americans and the Chinese start talking about a major project today, in two years the Chinese will be done and the Americans will still be talking and applying for permits.”
Economides is an internationally recognized expert on energy. The Editor-in-Chief of Energy Tribune, he is the author of “From Soviet to Putin and Back: The Dominance of Energy in Today’s Russia”, co-authored with Donna Marie D’Aleo, published in 2008. This year has seen the publication of a new book, written with Xina Xie, a Research Professor at the University of Wyoming, “Energy: China’s Choke Point.”
The joke, as his new book makes clear, is on us. After many disastrous decades under the leadership of Chairman Mae Zedong, China in effect retained communism as its government model, but threw it away as its economic model. In effect, it embraced capitalism and, in sharp contrast to America’s economy, its economy is growing at a rate of nine percent per year.
It is doing this by building new coal-fired plants for the generation of electricity and is doing so at breakneck speed. Every week to ten days, it opens a new plant. China ranks third in the world in recoverable coal reserves after the U.S. and Russia. Fully 79 percent of its electrical energy will come from coal.
By contrast, President Obama has declared war on coal as an energy source for America despite the fact that the U.S. is virtually the Saudi Arabia of coal in terms of its recoverable reserves. Writing in September on WorldNetDaily, Jerome Corsi noted that “President Obama declared war on oil and natural gas at the United Nations global warming summit, and he made the same pitch the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh.” At the time, Obama said, “I will work with my colleagues at the G20 to phase out fossil fuel subsidies so that we can better address our climate challenge.”
Only there is no climate challenge. Revelations beginning on November 20 have mushroomed into “Climategate”, as it became known that the data on which the claims about “global warming” is based were deliberately falsified by the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and other IPCC contributors.
There is only one way to explain Obama’s war on U.S. energy and that is the intention to destroy the nation’s capacity to power any new economic development and growth. One of the two major legislative initiatives of his administration has been “Cap-and-Trade”, in essence a huge tax on all energy use. The other, of course, is Obamacare, a healthcare industry takeover opposed by the vast majority of Americans.
Economides new book provides an excellent synopsis of China’s history in the modern era and a chilling look at the way millions died as the result of Mao’s ignorance and inability to understand how to build an economy. His “Great Leap Forward” and “Cultural Revolution” rendered China without the intellectual community required to teach a generation of young Chinese and played havoc on its agricultural sector.
It was his successor, Deng Xiaoping, who is credited with rescuing the nation and setting it on its present path. It has made amazing strides, but to understand China one must always keep firmly fixed in mind that it is hope to a huge part of the Earth’s population.
The most recent figures for the Peoples Republic of China put it at 1,338,612,968 as 2010 begins. Though the Han represent 92% of the population, there are many other ethnic groups and the nation, for purposes of agricultural production, are sharply divided between urban Chinese and those in its rural areas who are discouraged from leaving for better jobs and opportunities in its cities.
China not only has to feed more than a billion of its people, it needs to catch up with and even exceed economic giants like America. That will be greatly facilitated by current U.S. policies that discourage use of our own vast coal reserves and discourages exploration and extraction of huge oil and natural reserves off the long coastal areas of our continental shelf.
While America is being starved for energy—no new oil refineries or nuclear facilities have been built in three decades—China’s economy requires it to double its oil imports by 2015 from its 2009 levels. And it has some twenty nuclear facilities under construction!
Ironically, as Economides notes, “Even if it is rarely uttered explicitly, the American dream has served as the blueprint for the emerging Chinese lifestyle. For the Chinese, America has been the country to emulate in many ways, from its can-do attitude to its educational institutions to the apparent ebullience of its people, and of course, the lifestyle.”
As the American economy stagnates, “In their lives and workplaces, the Chinese today are burdened with fewer regulations than are their Western counterparts, the latter having to cope with the suffocating political correctness or moralisms that have emerged in Western societies.”
Economides bluntly warns that “although the much more advanced United States can afford to talk liberal flimflam about alternative energy luxuries, and can even attempt societal economic hara-kiri, it is clearly not an option for galloping China.”
Unless America shakes off the “liberal flimflam” denying us significant growth in our oil, coal and natural gas industries; unless we avoid the hara-kiri of Obamacare and Cap-and-Trade; unless we reduce the tax burdens on corporations and wage-earners alike, the future will belong to China.