Monday, September 11, 2017

Climate change: China will ban petrol cars

One of the big worries around climate change is what would happen to the climate when China's 1.2 billion people start living like dirty Americans. The good news is that we're probably not going to have to find out, because China has decided to follow a cleaner path:

China is joining France and Britain in announcing plans to end sales of petrol and diesel cars.

China's industry ministry is developing a timetable to end production and sale of traditional fuel cars and will promote development of electric technology, state media on Sunday cited a Cabinet official as saying.

The reports gave no possible target date, but Beijing is stepping up pressure on automakers to accelerate development of electrics.

This is going to make a massive difference, by preventing an enormous future emissions source. But its not just about climate change: air pollution in parts of China is bad enough to cause social unrest, so its tackling that too.

Meanwhile, the US will probably treat its shitty, dirty, inefficient gas-guzzling cars the same way it treats firearms, and refuse to give them up no matter how insane the consequences of keeping them are. Because proper regulation to save the planet (and prevent superstorms like the one currently drowning Florida) would be against their twisted national pride in backwardness or something. But with the rest of the world acting, they may end up forced to change if their car companies want to still have export markets. Alternatively, they can end up as a technological as well as a social and environmental backwater.