Can China clean up fast enough? asks The Economist. In more detail:
If China were simply following the path of rich countries from poverty through pollution to fresh air, there would be little to worry about (unless you lived in one of those hellish cities). But… When Britain’s industrial engine was gaining speed, levels of CO2 in the atmosphere were the same as they had been for millennia. Now they are half as high again, and not far off 450 parts per million, which most scientists think is the danger level… If China cannot cut its CO2 emissions substantially, then either other countries will have to reduce theirs by more than they are doing now—which seems unlikely—or the world will need to find other ways to cope. That means exploring the possibilities of geoengineering the atmosphere or investing in ways of adapting to higher temperatures, such as drought-tolerant crops. But getting China to cut back further is not a lost cause. The place is vulnerable to climate change: in absolute terms, more people live at sea level in China, and so are threatened by rising oceans, than in any other country. The leadership therefore knows it needs to come up with a more effective means of changing behaviour. The obvious way is through a carbon tax.
All out of the standard playbook. But pleasingly, still not the slightest sign of a sop to the denialists; not even a token “some scientists say”. That’s good, in general, though it does point out (again) that for all the huff and chatter in the blogosphere, the outside world has moved on. My days are numbered, unless I learn some new tricks. Speaking of which: