Weeks before the Olympics, China collects its first gold medal, USA gets silver

Courtesy OECD and IEA.It's official, China is #1, world champ, leader of the pack.

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Courtesy OECD and IEA.

It's official, China is #1, world champ, leader of the pack. The US, long the leader, has relinquished its crown. A new study to be published in May says China now emits more man-made CO2 per year than the U.S. That report will come out in the Journal of Environment and Economics. One particular aspect of China's growth makes it a CO2 powerhouse: lots of coal-fired electrical plants, lots of dirty industry like making cement. And this "communist" nation is a corporation's dreamland, almost no enforced environmental regulations! Whoopee.

Last summer a Dutch study indicated there was a good chance that stats would soon show China emitting more CO2 than the U.S. Well, it seems we have now have the data. Last year the Dutch agency estimated that 8% of all China's CO2 came from cement-making, needed for all those new buildings. Some of those buildings are being prepared for hosting of the Olympics this summer. There have been reports that China plans to shut down many of its polluting industries around game time so the athletes and other visitors won't notice the befoulled air over Chinese cities.

And what happens in China doesn't stay in China, the CO2 spreads round the globe, as do the particulates that accompany the gaseous emissions. Neither the U.S. nor China has shown any inclinatilon to any international agreement to curtail emissions. Niether signed the Kyoto Protocol. Neither is eagerly awaiting the next U.N. initiative. CO2 is one of the greenhouse gases being partially credited with global warming.

We Yanks have little to brag about, though we've fallen to second place in this dubious contest. We still lead the league in per capita CO2 emissions. Outside of North America only little Australia can even claim to compete in the per capita emissions sport.