Obama and Xi Breathe New Qi into Global Climate Talks

Context is everything in understanding the U.S.-China climate deal struck in Beijing by U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping last week. The deal’s ambitions may fall short of what climate scientists called for in the latest entreaty from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but its realpolitik is important.

Obama and Xi’s accord sets a new target for reductions in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions: 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. And for the first time sets a deadline for China’s rising GHGs to peak: 2030. This is potentially strong medicine for cooperation, when seen in the context of recent disappointments for global climate policy. Continue reading “Obama and Xi Breathe New Qi into Global Climate Talks”

Chinese Bullet Trains’ Worrisome “Black-box” Controls

In August we brought you disquieting news that Hollysys Automation — the supplier of a control system implicated in China’s deadly bullet-train collision this summer — also provides controls for China’s nuclear reactors (which are multiplying just as fast as its high speed rail lines). The Hollysys story now looks darker after informed speculation reported in the Wall Street Journal that the company may not fully comprehend how the control systems work. Continue reading “Chinese Bullet Trains’ Worrisome “Black-box” Controls”

Peak Lithium Counterpoint from Gas 2.0

My presentation of Le Monde’s Peak Lithium story prompted some sage commentary from critics of the notion that lithium could ever run dry (so to speak). Rather than leaving the counter-argument buried in the comments, here’s a thoughtful elaboration argued from first principles by EV software developer Karen Pease.

The post appears on Gas 2.0, a blog dedicated to alternative fueling options that looks worthy of much deeper exploration.

One quick followup on the “drive less” front: Beijing has enacted agressive car restrictions. In essence the city is extending restrictions brought into play this summer in a desperate bid to clear the air for the Olympic games.

CN’s editor is feeling thoroughly vindicated for the optimism imparted in that coverage. Change is Always possible.

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