This photo of a city in China is untouched, taken on March 9, 2013, and representative of China today. The name of the city is irrelevant. Let’s just say the city is in the northwest region of China, near Pakistan.
My words cannot add or detract from those that accompanied the photo, which came from a resident of the city, a person born in China and a member of the communist party.
“It’s said by the news that in many cities of China, the air has been severely polluted these days, my city include of course. My respiratory system is so sensitive that I almost can’t bear it. A sudden dust storm attacked today. Can’t go anywhere!”
On a recent trip to Beijing, the sky was a murky yellow; there was a constant burning odor in the air that left an unpleasant aftertaste. My clothes felt gummy by the third day.
The cause is simple; the ramifications may be irreversible; the fix is an understatement of epic proportions. Years of unregulated growth, dependency on coal for electricity generation and industrialization turned China’s unabated growth into a global environmental crisis. Many have criticized the U.S. for not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. However, developing countries, including China and India, were exempted from targets because they were not main contributors during the period of industrialization that is believed to be the cause of climate change. At the next United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change all delegates should be tested for drugs and alcohol.
The message is clear, the concern is obvious, and the effort is weak. Forget talking “Green,” green is only a wavelength. Renewables will help. Natural gas is a tangible option. Energy efficiency and practices, something as simple as turning off the lights, can collectively make a significant impact. Gains are being made in developed countries.
How can one tame a raging elephant? Training possibly, but so slowly will its effects be seen? Why not place an export tax on goods based on the annual change in greenhouse gas emissions for anyone country. This would penalize countries that continue to pollute, making their goods more expensive and less competitive on the international market. Those countries that sustain or make reductions in their emissions would be rewarded by more competitive products. This would shift the production of goods from polluting countries to those that steward environmental improvements.
But how can one tame a raging elephant. Training possibly but so slowly will its effects be seen? Why not place an export tax on goods based on the annual change in greenhouse gas emissions for anyone country. This would penalize those countries that continue to pollute, making their goods more expensive and less competitive on the international market. Those countries that sustain or make reductions in their emissions would be rewarded by more competitive products.
In closing, this solution is but a dream. What’s not a dream are the growth prospects of the gas mask industry. Amazon sells an Israeli Civilian Gas Mask with NBC NATO Filter and Drinking Hydration Tube, Model 4A1, for $23.90. What a deal! Have to go and order a few before the price rises beyond what it cost to fill up my car.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author Dr. Barry Stevens, an accomplished business developer and entrepreneur in technology-driven enterprises. He is the founder of TBD America Inc., a global technology business development group. In this role, he is responsible for leading the development of emerging and mature technology driven enterprises in the shale gas, natural gas, renewable energy and sustainability industries. To learn more about TBD America, please visit: http://tbdamericainc.com/