Tuesday, January 09, 2007

2.4 billion and counting

Yesterday in class we started the discussion of the energy/climate change connection. I briefly mentioned that it is not possible to discuss this without including China and India. This morning's NYTimes gives us a sneak peek at things to come.



Thomas Gift said...

When most people think about environmental degradation in rapidly developing countries like India, it's usually images of pollutant-ridden cities that first come to mind. The article shows, however, that the problem is not just isolated to urban areas, but in fact is quickly spreading to rural regions as well - especially poor ones whose citizens often can't afford to purchase the most energy efficient products. In fact, when taken collectively, pollution may become just as big of a concern in agricultural villages like Bahabari than in industrial centers like Mumbai because, although it's possible to place environmental mandates on polluting firms, laws are (understandably) much less intrusive when it comes to regulating the behavior of private households.

Jon said...

I think this article is just a small example of a very dirty country. Because the country depends on cheap production methods to be cost effective, they often can't choose more costly but greener power options. Another NYTimes article, while a bit older, also points to "one of China's lesser known exports" pollution from coal burning power plants.
"The increase in global-warming gases from China's coal use will probably exceed that for all industrialized countries combined over the next 25 years, surpassing by five times the reduction in such emissions that the Kyoto Protocol seeks." And I thought the US was bad.

Kirk Jones said...

To go along with India's energy production, their highly controversial massive dam project of the Narmada River and other water-ways has been neither cheap nor effective. I've read Arundhati Roy's "The Greater Common Good" in which she strongly attacks India's decision-making and dam building process. At the start of the dam building process India and its population beleived it was building a cost-efficient and environentally sound project that would aid numerous areas of India in energy and flood releif- but among problems that have occurred are an increase in floods, massive deforestation, and inefficient amounts of energy.

Mary said...

...not to mention displacement.

I wish this article addressed the respective government roles more; Indian government has a reputation for being inefficient, corrupt and slow, so its inability to aid the power plants in Bihar could easily stem from traditional difficulties in plan implementation, or some more interesting policy or plan oversight. I wondered how government resources are allocated - which LDCs are subsidizing diesels and fossil fuels, or how these governments should channel funds to infrastructural development for access to power grids in struggling areas.

Elizabeth Garson said...

Accoring to this article, India's energy use is increasing exponentially. In no time at all, they will use a comprable amount of energy to other more prosperous countries. It seems that the general feeling about energy in India is the more the better. Not many people are trying to find the "best" way to get energy because the demand is so high. With so many willing to pay for deisel generators, not many people are willing to trade this money making opportunity to research the most efficient energy source. As energy use grows more widespread, changing the source of energy will become more difficult.

Mackenzie Hutton said...

I agree with Liz’s comment. I think that it is imperative that developing countries are educated and provided with cleaner ways to produce energy before the demand for energy becomes any larger. The article clearly suggests that the need for energy is rapidly increasing, even in small villages that previously used little to no energy. The growing demand for energy is in areas that are not properly equipped to provide it, is leading to the use of unclean energy. It is much easier, and in the long run, more cost effective to try to provide these developing areas with cleaner ways to obtain the energy they need now, then waiting until the use of unclean energy production becomes even larger and harder to replace.

Kyle said...

I too was intrigued by the article's attention to energy issues in rural regions. When we think of developing nations like India and China, rapidly expanding industrial centers such as Banglore, New Delhi, and Shanghai, which serve as ourtsourcing hubs for MNC, often come to mind. However, this article addresses the implications of energy misuse (specifically diesel generators) in rural regions of these nations. The critical problem lies in the lack of incentive to seek alternative energy sources. As India and China continue to play RAPID catch-up to more developed nations, their focus lies on cheap, cost-effective energy sources - i.e. diesel. Considering the lack of government support and the existence of organized crime in combination with a cost-driven focus, it is easy to see how the harmful implications are spreading. The incredible rate at which these nations are expanding (>10% GDP per year) also emphasizes the severity of energy issues in these developing nations.

tpraja said...

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specifically for India. Anyone else try this yet?

ByIndia.com First to Blend Search, Social Network, Video Sharing and

Auctions Into One Seamless Product for Indian Internet Users.