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posted by n1 on Thursday September 25 2014, @05:05PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the obama-sharing-world-leadership-with-china dept.

The NYT reports that President Obama spoke at the United Nations Climate Change Summit and challenged China to make the same effort to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions and join a worldwide campaign to curb global warming. Obama's words were directly focused on putting the onus on China, an essential partner of the United States if a global climate treaty is to be negotiated by 2015. The United States and China bear a “special responsibility to lead,” said Obama, “That’s what big nations have to do.” The United States, Obama said, would meet a pledge to reduce its carbon emissions by 17 percent, from 2005 levels, by 2020—a goal that is in large part expected to be met through proposed EPA regulation.

There were indications that China might be ready with its own plan, although many experts say they will be skeptical until Chinese officials reveal the details. A senior Chinese official said his country would try to reach a peak level of carbon emissions “as early as possible.” That suggested that the Chinese government, struggling with air pollution so extreme that it has threatened economic growth, regularly kept millions of children indoors and ignited street protests, was determined to show faster progress in curbing emissions. In recent years, the Chinese government has sent other signals about addressing carbon pollution, some of them encouraging to environmental experts. “Five years ago, it was almost unimaginable to discuss China putting a cap on carbon, but now that is happening,” said Lo Sze Ping, chief executive officer of the World Wildlife Fund’s office in Beijing. “Chinese leaders have seen that it is imperative to move toward a low-carbon economy.”

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25 2014, @05:08PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25 2014, @05:08PM (#98319)

    Careful don't press too hard because China makes most of the shit you use.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by keplr on Thursday September 25 2014, @05:59PM

      by keplr (2104) on Thursday September 25 2014, @05:59PM (#98341) Journal

      It's only marginally cheaper to make things in China. And when you factor in modern industrial automation and the savings on trans-Pacific shipping, their already small edge [cnn.com] disappears.

      --
      I don't respond to ACs.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25 2014, @06:05PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25 2014, @06:05PM (#98344)

        We can only hope and pray that soon, after decades of outsourcing to save a couple bucks, it'll be cheaper to insource. If they don't start soon, they won't be able to peddle their products here because nobody will have the money to buy them.

        • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday September 25 2014, @06:12PM

          by bob_super (1357) on Thursday September 25 2014, @06:12PM (#98346)

          In many cases, the commons are already gone and insourcing would be as hard as moving to cheaper-than-China Vietnam or Burundi

      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Thursday September 25 2014, @07:13PM

        by Thexalon (636) on Thursday September 25 2014, @07:13PM (#98371)

        And this is why there's now talks floating around about what would it take to manufacture in southern Africa. If the population stops being desperate enough to make great sweatshop employees, it's time to pack up and move elsewhere. That's why heavy industry has over the last century moved from Europe to the northern US to the southeastern US to Latin America to Asia.

        --
        The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
      • (Score: 2) by richtopia on Thursday September 25 2014, @07:53PM

        by richtopia (3160) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 25 2014, @07:53PM (#98383) Homepage Journal

        Another issue that I have heard about insourcing is that lack of infrastructure in the USA. Even for products that were manufactured here 20 years ago, the supporting suppliers are missing, so you still need to ship these products overseas.

      • (Score: 2) by khallow on Friday September 26 2014, @02:00AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 26 2014, @02:00AM (#98459) Journal

        Except that it didn't disappear. The article noted that a) the Apple phone was still 9% cheaper than the Moto X which is pretty significant (especially given that the Moto X probably won't match the manufacturing quality of the current Apple product), and b) that the Moto X is merely assembled in the US. And this cost difference only holds for stuff sold in the US! If you're selling somewhere else, then it makes US manufacture even less competitive.

      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Friday September 26 2014, @02:16AM

        by Reziac (2489) on Friday September 26 2014, @02:16AM (#98462) Homepage

        That's consistent with some inside info I've heard about iPads -- extra cost to make them in the U.S., $6 more than the $38 they cost to make in China.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by MrGuy on Thursday September 25 2014, @05:15PM

    by MrGuy (1007) on Thursday September 25 2014, @05:15PM (#98325)

    Because of course the Chinese will be much more likely to adopt a policy if it's seen as caving to foreign pressure on its internal affairs.

    Don't get me wrong - a climate treaty is necessary, and China's involvement is critical to success. But to call the Chinese out publicly on a policy objective they're potentially pursuing already? Why on earth would you do something that's likely to INCREASE, not decrease, the internal resistance to your plan?

    Diplomacy isn't about being right - it's about being effective. It seems like less public negotiation would be more likely to accomplish your goal than chiding someone who's help you really need from the floor of the UN.

    American politicians simply do not understand how to work with China.

    • (Score: 2) by Blackmoore on Thursday September 25 2014, @07:02PM

      by Blackmoore (57) on Thursday September 25 2014, @07:02PM (#98367) Journal

      And bad diplomacy too; I expect that China told Obama that they had a plan - but expected a hard time to get the wealthy to play along (China's wealthy seem to have a separate set of rules)

      If China doesnt have a plan - I'd be surprised. They've been putting real efforts into PV solar and wind - and reduced coal usage (albeit by a few measly percent) but it would take a 5 year plan to finance and build up electric plants that pollute less. (please note that no place in my expectations would i see China dumping coal)

      • (Score: 2) by khallow on Friday September 26 2014, @02:06AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 26 2014, @02:06AM (#98460) Journal

        I expect that China told Obama that they had a plan - but expected a hard time to get the wealthy to play along

        Which would indicate that the Chinese leadership weren't remotely serious. They can make the wealthy poor instantly, if they so choose. Nobody will long stand in the way of anything that becomes deemed a national priority.

        • (Score: 2) by Blackmoore on Friday September 26 2014, @03:09PM

          by Blackmoore (57) on Friday September 26 2014, @03:09PM (#98588) Journal

          If this was 10 years ago I'd agree. but now I'm not so sure that the rich in China have no sway on policy. Pity. i'd love to be able to put a fire under the rich and bring them to a positive action. but no, they own the US.

    • (Score: 1) by Jiro on Thursday September 25 2014, @08:00PM

      by Jiro (3176) on Thursday September 25 2014, @08:00PM (#98385)

      The idea is not to actually work with China, the idea is to make something that gains him political capital among his supporters in the US.

      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Friday September 26 2014, @02:19AM

        by Reziac (2489) on Friday September 26 2014, @02:19AM (#98464) Homepage

        Unfortunately, I think you're absolutely correct. :(

        As Sir Garlon says, it's hardly unique among world leaders, but he does have a special talent for it.

    • (Score: 2) by Sir Garlon on Thursday September 25 2014, @08:01PM

      by Sir Garlon (1264) on Thursday September 25 2014, @08:01PM (#98386)

      American politicians simply do not understand how to work with China.

      True, but generally public statements are made more for domestic consumption than for foreigners. What I mean by that is that by putting public pressure on China about greenhouse gases, Obama can curry favor with environmentalists at home without needing to actually produce results. If China doesn't comply with his arbitrary demands, well, China is to blame!

      That kind of posturing is not unique to Obama. All kinds of world leaders do it all the time.

      --
      [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25 2014, @06:00PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25 2014, @06:00PM (#98343)

    I get it now.

    1. Outsource all industry to 3rd world
    2. Blame 3rd world for polluting environment
    3. ???
    4. Profit

  • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday September 25 2014, @06:46PM

    by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday September 25 2014, @06:46PM (#98357)

    Not the best idea.

    --
    "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25 2014, @07:16PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25 2014, @07:16PM (#98373)

    And our warfaring Nobel peace laureate is the champion of hot air.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 26 2014, @05:39AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 26 2014, @05:39AM (#98498)
      The current war-effort is a direct result of the incompetent war-faring of Obama's non-Nobel peace laureate predecessor. I have no idea why this site actually attracts Ditto-Heads.
  • (Score: 2) by khallow on Friday September 26 2014, @02:15AM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 26 2014, @02:15AM (#98461) Journal

    The United States, Obama said, would meet a pledge to reduce its carbon emissions by 17 percent, from 2005 levels, by 2020—a goal that is in large part expected to be met through proposed EPA regulation.

    Who here really thinks Obama has any cause or credibility to discuss what happens after his administration is over? My view is that it won't happen.

    There's been a current substantial reduction in US CO2 emissions due to fracking. That gain is more or less achieved. The rest is going to have to occur at the expense of genuine efforts to cut back. Then you run hard into the next two problems. First, that the EPA hasn't been given the authority to regulate CO2 emissions. Their current attempts will have to survive court challenges.

    Second, the next administration is likely to reverse anything Obama does here. If something is done by executive fiat, then it can be reversed by executive fiat. That's the classic pharaoh problem (where the next pharaoh would scrub most traces of his predecessor and then erect his own monuments to be scrubbed in turn by his successor.

    • (Score: 2) by Yog-Yogguth on Friday September 26 2014, @11:13AM

      by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 26 2014, @11:13AM (#98536) Journal

      Nope no credibility on anything, it's all momentum and inertia and has been for a while. It's why they're freaking out all over the place (a little bit of bombing here, giving away a few billions for weapons there and there, some humanitarian boots on the ground over there, shipping around some enemy chemical weapons back there, and some bizarre delusional prancing in front of the UN General Assembly, ooh and a coffee salute! What's the time Obama!?) and I don't think they even care if people believe them any more as long as they can fill the news with enough new bullshit to if not actually distract then at least keep other stuff off the front page; the checkbox list had reached down to ‘Global Warming’ is all.

      Haven't been many sex scandals lately has there? Maybe they're saving them for a rainy day.

      Not to give them any more wacky ideas but maybe they'll start bombing against ebola next, establish sanctions against South America ('cause Russia boo hoo hoo), claim they've caught the new Snowden (any scapegoat will do, just send them a hard drive in the post first), launch a few big attacks against US companies from infiltrated Chinese machines and complain an awful lot, and discover the missing Malaysian plane on Mars. That should take care of a few more “news” cycles :P

      Or maybe something like a clever terrorist attack on the shipborne destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons, they could milk that one for months and maybe do something really novel like claim Turkey was part of it (that would be a nice mess, it could last for years).

      Who knows, anything goes.

      --
      Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 26 2014, @07:35AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 26 2014, @07:35AM (#98510)

    first "net metering should be a universal human right.
    it means that you dont have to worry that the "electricity company" will
    remove your electricity meter if it turns backwards.
    how this is implemtend will show how human the country and goverment is.
    will they support you by paying more then the average electricity?
    will they just roll-over over your "too much electricity" production to next month?
    whatever. important is not go fear your over energy production.
    second it should be mandatory to inform all citizens living less then 50 km from
    a nuclear powerplant that the "nuclear can" is going to be opened for refuelling.
    a shit load of radioactivity releases then normally follows (which avergaed over one year doesnt exceed
    their allowed releases).
    and yes, i think air raid sirens should be going off inside 50 km zone when refuelling starts.
    lucky if you have a bomb shelter you can hide in for the next few days :)