More from Hu Jintao's visit to Sweden

News agency Bloomberg has quoted Hu Jintao, from a speech made at the Sweden-China Trade Council at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm, as saying: "China remains the largest developing country in the world, and it needs to make long-term and hard efforts to modernize itself. The most pressing task facing China is to grow its economy and increase people's welfare."

Hu emphasized that he is committed to sustainable development of China's economy.

President Hu's economic outline included:

• Reducing 'energy intensity' by 20 per cent through 2010
• Increasing opportunities for foreign businesses
• Improving laws and provide legal protection for intellectual property rights
• Continuing to open up the service industry in areas such as banking, insurance, and securities

President Hu also stated that his country is firmly committed to peaceful development. The dinner hosted by the Sweden-China Trade Council was attended by top directors from Swedish companies such as Ericsson, Ikea and Volvo. Hu said China was committed to sustainable development:

"We will continue to follow the scientific thinking on development that is people-oriented and calls for comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development," he said.

China is the second-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US, and the International Energy Agency expects its emissions to overtake the US by 2010. Beijing has insisted it is committed to fighting climate change but has maintained that its economic development must come first and that rich nations should shoulder the main burden.

Mr Hu reiterated that China would by 2010 "reduce energy intensity by 20 per cent, cut discharge of main pollutants by 10 per cent and increase forest cover from 18.2 to 20 per cent".

Interesting, very interesting: I like to think of myself as an optimist. So if he says it, will they do it? And if they don't do it, then we are all in dire straits, right? I mean, deep DEEP trouble. So, how can we make sure they do it? Any ideas...? I have a feeling that whatever we do, will have a deep impact on whatever they do. There is just no other way.


Pandabonium said…
They are in a bind - if they don't provide 8% growth, then the people will get restless and they may lose control. If they do grow - well, there is no such thing as "sustainable growth" in a finite world already fighting over scare resources and choking on the waste.

I don't think of myself as optimist or pessimist. The glass isn't half full or half empty, it just "is" If mankind is smarter than yeast, it will decouple economics from measuring progress. Otherwise, it will continue to overshoot the carrying capacity of Earth and at some point nature will make the changes for us in unpleasant ways.
Martin J Frid said…
"If mankind is smarter than yeast"... classic quote, that is so funny. LOL!

All of us really have to start "developing" and stop the utter complacency. That includes starting with our thinking, our mental processing of issues like "wealth" and "want more".

When Hu Jintao says "We will continue to follow the scientific thinking on development..." I want to say, "Yeah, but how about the spiritual thinking, boss"...
Pandabonium said…
Glad you like it. I think it's funny too. I borrowed it from peak oil author Richard Heinberg who likes to use the analogy during lectures.

“Yeast growing in grape juice provide a good example of overshoot and collapse behavior. The yeast go after the sugar in the juice and in the process of metabolizing that sugar, they produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. As they consume the sugar, they also reproduce and their reproductive rate is dependent on the availability of food. Within a few days, at room temperature, the yeast population soars…But, the alcohol is a pollutant as far as the yeast are concerned and as their population rises, so does the level of alcohol. If there is enough sugar in the juice, the yeast will eventually produce so much alcohol that they start to die off rapidly and as the sugar reservoir is depleted, their reproductive rates plummet, leading to a total collapse of the population. So, in turning the juice into wine, the gluttonous, know-no-restraint yeast do themselves in.”

So the question naturally is "are we smarter than yeast?"

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