Obama in Seoul: My Problem with Foreign News
November 19, 2009
I used to be the foreign editor of In These Times in Chicago. I didn’t particularly enjoy the job, because I have never been fascinated with the world outside of the United States. I am not sure whether I could find Honduras or Liberia on a map, and I have never mastered the current spelling of Chinese names.
Obama's China Quandary
November 18, 2009
I haven't said much about Obama's China visit trip, in part because I'm no expert on Sino-American policy. But what Peter Beinart says here rings quite true for me: So it’s all well and good for the Obama administration to pay more attention to China. But the more attention the activist left and right pays, the harder it will be for Team Obama to come to terms with the new limits of American power. Try convincing the tea-bag crowd that the U.S. should cut its greenhouse gasses more than China does.
Obama Takes Baby Steps In Beijing
November 17, 2009
With the global talks over a climate treaty decelerating, Obama's trying to see if there are side deals to strike with China—something that could ease the worldwide talks along. So far, progress has been pretty modest. Earlier today, Obama met with Chinese President Hu Jintao and the two announced several key energy issues on which the countries would work together. There's $150 million over five years to start a joint "clean energy research center." There's cooperation on electric-vehicle standards and on sharing knowledge about energy efficiency.
Earth to Obama
October 01, 2009
Bill McKibben: You can't negotiate with the planet.
Inside the Security Council, Cont'd
September 24, 2009
At the opening of this morning's special Security Council session on nukes, Barack Obama opened his remarks with this dramatic vision: As I said yesterday, this very institution was founded at the dawn of the atomic age, in part because man's capacity to kill had to be contained. And although we averted a nuclear nightmare during the Cold War, we now face proliferation of a scope and complexity that demands new strategies and new approaches. Just one nuclear weapon exploded in a city -- be it New York or Moscow; Tokyo or Beijing; London or Paris -- could kill hundreds of thousands of people
China's More Exotic Demands
September 18, 2009
As Noam explains in his piece about the U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue (S&ED), Beijing has been rooting for major alterations to the U.S. health care system—especially ones that reduce long-term pressure on the federal budget.
The Chinese, Their Dollar Reserves, and Our Trade Scuffle
September 15, 2009
The good news is that the Chinese have decided to try to resolve the dispute between our two countries over their tire exports at the World Trade Organization, meaning "the disagreement may be containable," as the Journal puts it today.
Are China's Per-Person Emissions Really So Low?
September 11, 2009
Here's a novel way of looking at China's greenhouse-gas emissions: Nicholas Stern, the British author of an acclaimed review on climate change, told students in Beijing’s People’s University that 13 Chinese provinces, regions and cities had higher per capita emissions than France. Six also overtook Britain. "There are many parts of China where emissions intensity and emissions per capita are looking much like some of the richer countries in Europe," he said in a speech that laid out his predictions on global warming. Good point.
The Big Fat Asterisk On China's Clean-Energy Push
September 02, 2009
In the Boston Globe today, Christina Larson has a terrific piece looking at China's highly inconsistent brand of environmentalism. As you'd expect, the headlines these days don't tell the whole story. Yes, the country's taking serious and dramatic steps to promote wind power, kick-start its solar industry, and improve the energy efficiency of its factories and plants. Climate change really has become a pressing concern in Beijing.
China Gets Serious on Climate - But Is It Enough?
August 26, 2009
Let's start with the good news: Regardless of what you've heard from grumbling senators here in the United States, the Chinese government is taking global warming seriously. China Daily reports that the country may soon put in place binding rules to regulate its greenhouse-gas emissions, according to a still-circulating draft resolution. Various stage agencies, meanwhile, have been gaming out scenarios in which the country's emissions peak in the next decade or two and then decline.