My comment on
: however lackluster the outcome, it is progress in world civilization when countries fight over environmental issues instead of killing each other on account of ideological differences. Finally, governments are recognizing that we humans have important shared concerns than trump ideology. Too bad it looks like it will take ever escalating world crises for something to really come of this. Copenhagen
On a related topic, the New Yorker has an interesting report by Evans Osnos titled "Green Giant: Beijing’s crash program for clean energy." The most fun part in it is the author's experience with e-bikes, an effective, clean and low-cost alternative to automobiles. At an e-bike shop:
The manager rang up the sale, and I chatted with two buyers who were students at the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. “You must have tons of these in the
, because you’re always talking about environmental consciousness,” one of them, an industrial-design major wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt, said. Not really, I told him; American drivers generally use bikes for exercise, not transportation. He looked baffled. Around his campus and others in U.S. , electric bikes are as routine as motorcycles are in the hill towns of Beijing . Italy
And after Osnos purchased an e-bike of the brand Turtle King:
I threaded through an intersection clotted with honking traffic, and the feeling, I discovered, was sublime. The Turtle King was addictive. I began riding it everywhere, showing up early for appointments, flush with efficiency and a soupçon of moral superiority.
look at all these e-bikes they are riding...
I suspect I myself might be credited with early reporting in English on Chinese e-bikes :-). Nearly a year ago, I wrote the following in my review of James Fallows' Postcards from Tomorrow Square:
Don't underestimate those home-made e-bikes inThe cement plant case is only one of those homegrown, and very creative, "green" efforts popping up across the country. I've seen others during my annual visits to
. One of my favorite examples is the electric bicycle which I first saw in China several years ago. These are popular with people who want more than a bicycle, but can’t afford, or don’t want to deal with, a car. And there is not just one kind. There are lots of different brands using different kinds of components. Nobody is waiting for the right battery. They just make the things and try, apparently successfully, to sell them. Some look like junk, some look pretty good, but they are out there and being used. Chengdu
By the way, in that same review, I had an in-passing criticism of a NYT columnist's opinion that "
can’t have a greener society" because of its one-party system (this doesn't mean I like the system - I don't). Apparently I had pissed off some readers with the criticism, which is understandable. Curiously though, a year later in another op-ed the same columnist made a 180° turn toward China 's political system. No doubt he is sincere in both articles. I'm just not sure what made a Pulitzer winner flip-flop like that, except perhaps that he was writing about a country he did not really know. China