May 29, 2020

In China Every Square Meter Counts

XINXIANG — The fields of Henan Province, one of the important centers of global wheat production, spread beyond this city’s high-rises, a prairie of dusky grain in every direction to the horizon. Every meter, every mu, a Chinese measurement of land expanse — 15 mu fit into an acre — is taken with ripening wheat. The harvest has begun. Workers cut stalks with long blades and haul the wheat out of the fields on their …

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The Global Fossil Energy Boom: Perspective From China

All those natural gas wells that are popping up by the thousands across the United States — they’re starting to appear in China, too. The global fossil energy boom, which in China has mostly meant soaring production of coal, is now beginning to include natural gas. And American and European multinationals are providing financing, equipment, and technical assistance. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that China’s recoverable shale gas resources total 36 trillion cubic meters, …

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China’s First (And Still Only) Sustainable Business Magazine

SHANGHAI — The second edition summer issue of Eco-nomy, the new compendium of news and ideas about sustainable business, includes a piece from Circle of Blue’s Choke Point: China project earlier this year on the confrontation between water and energy in China. The page-long article is in Chinese, which is appropriate given that Eco-nomy is a fresh voice in Asia for describing the profitable alliances that develop when companies apply ecological principles to their business …

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In U.S. Big Ideas Prompt Big “No!” In China, It’s The Opposite

In an era of economic turmoil that has produced massive unemployment, accelerated industrial decline, and sowed fear and doubt across much of North America and Europe, China last week offered a much different lesson on growth and development. In the latest draft of its new 12th Five-Year Plan to manage the world’s fastest growing industrial economy, China’s leadership called for restraining the runaway growth that is raising the incomes of more than 400 million people, …

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New Wind and Solar Sectors Won’t Solve China’s Water Scarcity

JIUQUAN, China-Business for wind and solar energy components has been so brisk in Gansu Province-a bone-bleaching sweep of gusty desert and sun-washed mountains in China’s northern region-that the New Energy Equipment Manufacturing Industry base, which employs 20,000 people, is a 24/7 operation. Just two years old, the expansive industrial manufacturing zone-located outside this ancient Silk Road city of 1 million-turns out turbines, blades, towers, controllers, software, and dozens of other components for a provincial wind …

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Memo to Hu and Obama: Water and Energy Choke Points Merit Time at the China-U.S. Summit

Washington’s foreign policy community is all aflutter anticipating the meaning and outcome of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s three-day summit with U.S. President Barack Obama, which starts today. But while the two heads of state focus on resolving what pries them apart, both nations share a dangerous confrontation within their borders over energy demand and water supply—offering a matchless opportunity for new kinds of cooperation on policy, technology, business, and trade. The collision between rising energy …

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Diplomacy in Climate Talks No Match For New Energy Alliances

On November 29 representatives from 190 countries will be in Cancun, Mexico for the 16th Conference of the Parties under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Late last week, following a two-day Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate in Washington, the Obama administration’s chief climate negotiator told reporters not to expect too much. “I would describe myself right now as neither an optimist nor a pessimist,” said Todd Stern, the State Department’s …

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Why Can’t U.S. and China Just Get Along in Tianjin? Answer Is They Are

TIANJIN, China — On Monday, two days after the UNFCCC climate conference ended after six days of grudging negotiation, the sky above this busy city turned blue, the sun appeared for the first time in a week, and Tianjin’s angled skyline, not visible previously in the thick smog, appeared like a gleaming glass and steel mountain range. The beautiful warm day not only brought a fresh focus to just how earnest China is in building …

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In China and the U.S., Measuring Tolerances

A long time ago, in the mid-1980s, I wrote about New York City’s infrastructure modernization in Manhattan Inc., an upscale business magazine that no longer exists. It was a perfect gig for a writer who as a kid counted bridge overpasses on the highway during the regular family drive from suburban New York to suburban Boston to visit my grandparents. I loved watching new skyscrapers get slotted into New York City’s skyline. I was fascinated …

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In Tianjin, China and the U.S. Look A Lot Alike

On opposite sides of the Pacific, leaders of the world’s two biggest economies and carbon polluters are plainly thinking about clean energy to power up their economies and cool the climate. In Washington, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced their intention to extend vehicle efficiency standards that went into effect in April in order meet a national goal of 60 miles per gallon average fuel economy by 2025. President …

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