By Murray Bourne, 07 Feb 2006
China and India are hell-bent on "catching up with the West" and building pollution-spewing cars. We will be stuck with $50+ per barrel oil and world instability as a result for a very long time.
Why don't they take the opportunity to pour money into development of fuel cells or hybrid cars and tax the fuel guzzlers out of the market? What an export earner that would be - and would do something about their own critical air pollution problems. They could even follow Singapore's lead of restricting the number of cars allowed to be sold - now there's a concept.
There's no way the US could think like this - they refuse to even ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
Even though Bush claimed in his recent State of the Nation speech that the US was aiming to reduce its dependence on oil, I don't believe it. They have to put a lot of other things in place to make this happen, like heaping taxes on SUVs and pricing gasoline the same as it is in Europe or Japan or pretty much anywhere else.
See the 2 Comments below.
7 Feb 2006 at 2:11 pm [Comment permalink]
Yes, it is indeed sad. In both these countries, cars and highways are justified by saying that they provide jobs and help raise the economy. Another problem is that the leading oil companies are very profitable and they are certainly not going to encourage alternate energy sources.
But again in both there places there are some welcome sign. Chengdu, the city I spend a lot of time is using CNG (natural gas) busses. Delhi is also using CNG for public transport.
7 Feb 2006 at 2:13 pm [Comment permalink]
The comment about greater world instability as China and India develop appears to be in the making. Economist and money manager Marc Faber of Dr. Doom fame has pointed out that historically as the price of commodities rise, armed conflicts and wars increase. In the current framework for economic growth, obtaining and protecting oil sources would be a priority for the more developed economies, and the aggressive attack on Iraq looks like one such ugly example.
Wouldn't it be encouraging to see a developing economic power do something different, like you suggest, rather than 'catching up with the West and building pollution-spewing cars? Since the U.S. to date is failing to take the lead, some other country has to. Otherwise, for the meantime we're stuck with the U.S. taking the lead in aggressively promoting conflict.