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The Great Transition
Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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How West's throwaway culture destroys basic freedoms in China

How West's throwaway culture destroys basic freedoms in China | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
A moment of deep shock as author Amy Larkin realizes how western consumerism is destroying the wellbeing of people in China
Willy De Backer's insight:

Good article in The Guardian on how our Western cheap goods consumerism is creating environmental problems in China. The problem is that there is no sustainable solution to this development. Are we in the West willing to give up our cheap goods (or have some goods only available for those who can afford them in an era of responsible consumption?) and will the new middle classes in China not demand the same cheap products?

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Why China Can’t Adjust

Why China Can’t Adjust | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"So in a sense, the Chinese bubble – as much an intellectual and political bubble as an economic one – has burst. As China’s economic deceleration exposes its structural vulnerabilities and flawed policies, the much-hyped notion of “Chinese exceptionalism” – that China can continue to grow without the rule of law and the other essential institutions that a modern market economy presupposes – is proving to be nothing but a delusion."

 

Interesting article by Minxin Pei in Project Syndicate on the future of the Chinese economy.

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China's rapid economic growth means population is 'wealthier but unhappier’

China's rapid economic growth means population is 'wealthier but unhappier’ | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The average personal income in China has risen by five per cent a year since the mid 1990s. Yet according to experts, this recent wealth does not equate with personal happiness.

 

A new research project confirms that fast economic growth does not automatically translate into more life happiness as rising social inequality and environmental pressures create tensions in Chinese economy.

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Pollution the big barrier to freer trade in rare earths

Tackling pollution, not freeing up trade, is regarded as the solution to a global shortage of rare earths, the metals that are the building blocks of the 21st century.

 

Interesting analysis of the rare earths trade conflict.

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China's Janus-face on energy and climate policy

China's Janus-face on energy and climate policy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Western environmentalists are often pointing to the clean energy leadership of China to convince their own leaders to act faster and clean up their act. The problem is that China's energy policy also has its dark (coal) side.

 

Richard Heinberg provides some of the ugly figures behind China's coal consumption. The country will burn over 4 billion tonnes of coal in 2012 and produces  greenhouse gas emissions of over 8.8 billion tonnes.

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Is China the global game-changer for sustainability?

Is China the global game-changer for sustainability? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The corridors at Davos are buzzing with discussion over China's growing commitment to sustainability, says Peter Lacy...

 

This analysis by Accenture's Sustainability Director Peter Lacy disregards a few fundamental aspects of China's spectacular rise. Read more of my comments on http://3eintelligence.wordpress.com

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Playing with fire: Obama's risky oil threat to China

Playing with fire: Obama's risky oil threat to China | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Michael Klare, author of the insightful book "Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet" warns that the Obama administration is trying to contain Chinese power in the Asian Pacific.

 

"When it comes to China policy, is the Obama administration leaping from the frying pan directly into the fire? In an attempt to turn the page on two disastrous wars in the Greater Middle East, it may have just launched a new Cold War in Asia -- once again, viewing oil as the key to global supremacy."

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China leads world in green energy investment

China leads world in green energy investment | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Global investment in renewable energy jumped 32% in 2010 to a record $211bn (£130bn; 149bn euros), according to the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2011 report.

Published jointly by the UN Environment Programme and the Frankfurt School of Finance, it shows that China has become the largest investor in renewable energy projects.

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China’s Corporate Crackdown

China’s Corporate Crackdown | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
In recent months, the Chinese government has leveled a series of allegations of corporate misconduct – ranging from food-product contamination to price rigging and bribery – against multinational firms.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Simon Zadek's interesting article in Project Syndicate points to new developments in China's state capitalism.

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It’s official: China now eats twice the meat we do

It’s official: China now eats twice the meat we do | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
China's meat consumption has changed a lot in the last 20 years -- so much so that corn to feed industrially raised animals is now more prevalent than rice.

 

China becoming the green transition leader? think again.

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Can we believe China's Corporate Social Responsibility rhetoric?

Can we believe China's Corporate Social Responsibility rhetoric? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"China is talking the talk of Corporate Social Responsibility in its 12th 5-year plan. It has even endorsed the UN Guidelines on Business and Human Rights. Simon Zadek argues that the new economic superpower sees a real interest in responsible and clean business, and that deeds will follow the rhetoric" (Source: Open Democracy)

 

Excellent must-read analysis of China's efforts to move to a cleaner and greener economy model. Is he painting too much of a rosy picture?

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CauliflowerEars's comment, March 24, 2012 7:45 PM
Corporate Social Repsonsibility with the Human Rights record China has, for example in Tibet? Sorry, I don't buy it - this may have some areas of substance but is basically greenwash.
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Air pollution could become China's biggest health threat, expert warns

Air pollution could become China's biggest health threat, expert warns | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Leading respiratory disease specialist warns of consequences if government fails to monitor and publicise the dangers of smog...

 

This Guardian article confirms another news item published by Xinhua today. "China's aging population and the deteriorating natural environment will constrain economic growth, Ma Jiantang, head of the National Bureau of Statistics said Saturday."

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China’s big bet on green industry – and how it might green the world

"After the failure of Durban, a promising plan B to reducing carbon emissions rests upon green development industrial strategies being pursued by individual countries. And here China is in the vanguard." (Source: OpenDemocracy.net).

 

Although the story of Chinese "green industry' leadership might sound attractive to Western "greens", in reality China is just betting on all horses at the same time. It remains locked into the old paradigm of "no-limits" economic and industrial growth. It might in this way win the green competitiveness war, but it will not put the world on the path to the necessary sustainability transition.

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China report spells out grim climate change risks

China report spells out grim climate change risks | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Global warming threatens China's march to prosperity by cutting crops, shrinking rivers and unleashing more droughts and floods, says the government's latest assessment of climate change.

 

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China: Economy on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown

China: Economy on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"China is entering the terminal stage of a bubble, and ... what we are seeing are the early signs of a much broader collapse."

Very worrying analysis from EconoMonitor. What would be the impact on our own Great Recession in Europe?

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Lester Brown: Learning from China: Why the Existing Economic Model Will Fail

Lester Brown:  Learning from China: Why the Existing Economic Model Will Fail | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"What China is teaching us is that the western economic model—the fossil-fuel-based, automobile-centered, throwaway economy—will not work for the world. If it does not work for China, it will not work for India, which by 2035 is projected to have an even larger population than China. Nor will it work for the other 3 billion people in developing countries who are also dreaming the “American dream.” And in an increasingly integrated global economy, where we all depend on the same grain, oil, and steel, the western economic model will no longer work for the industrial countries either."

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