中国与世界,环境危机大家谈

china and the world discuss the environment

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Briefing: consumption and consumerism

Maryann Bird

Readinch

Nations rich and poor need to reduce the impact of consumption on their natural resources, writes Maryann Bird, in the seventh of a series of guides to hot topics in a warming world.

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Since China embarked on structural reforms two decades ago, its economy has boomed to become the second-largest in the world, averaging a 9.5% rate of growth and doubling in the last decade alone. By leaps and bounds, China is growing wealthier, and the evidence of that progress can be seen in everything from new construction, energy demand and more cars on the roads to greater travel and availability of the latest consumer gadgets.

While countries around the world are benefiting from low-cost Chinese manufacturing, China is also providing – through both production and imports -- a new world of consumer goods and services for its own people, who increasingly have the money with which to acquire them. The growing culture of consumption and consumerism in traditionally frugal China has serious environmental impacts, however.

The Worldwatch Institute’s State of the World 2004 report, which focused on consumerism, noted that while Americans and western Europeans “have had a lock on unsustainable overconsumption for decades …developing countries are catching up rapidly, to the detriment of the environment, health and happiness.” According to the report: “One quarter of humanity—1.7 billion people worldwide—now belong to the ‘global consumer class,’ having adopting the diets, transportation systems and lifestyles that were once mostly limited to the rich nations of Europe, North America and Japan.” While China and other developing countries are home to growing numbers of such consumers (particularly in large urban centres), however, disparities remain “as 2.8 billion people on the planet struggle to survive on less than $2 a day, and more than one billion people lack reasonable access to safe drinking water.”

To survive, people must consume, acknowledges Worldwatch, “and the world’s poorest will need to increase their level of consumption if they are to lead lives of dignity and opportunity. But the world cannot continue on its current trajectory—the earth’s natural systems simply cannot support it. The economies of mass consumption that produced a world of abundance for many in the 20th century face an entirely different challenge in the 21st: to focus not on the indefinite accumulation of goods, but instead on a better quality of life for all, with minimal environmental harm.”

As China adds the weight of its consumer consumption to the global economy, Worldwatch’s more recent State of the World 2006 addresses a critical question: “Can the world’s ecosystems withstand the damage – the increase in carbon emissions, the loss of forests, the extinction of species – that are now in prospect? The answer is no, according to the 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.” The millennium assessment on ecosystems and human well-being -- a United Nations report released by the World Health Organisation -- determined that human activities in the last 50 years have changed the diversity of life on earth more than at any other time in history, and that such activities, if continued, will have life-threatening consequences.

China’s demands can be measured in many ways, in snapshots of its growing consumption as it strives toward a “first-world” lifestyle. With lighting, air conditioning, computers and other office equipment, “China’s nearly seven million public servants reportedly use almost 5% of the country’s annual electricity, which is enough to meet the demands of 780 million farmers,” the newspaper China Daily reports.

In a globalised world, goods and services previously out of reach in developing countries – things once considered to be luxuries – are now seen as necessities by many: televisions, mobile telephones and other electronic gadgetry, cars and airline travel. Internationally known brands of clothing and other products abound in China’s biggest cities (particularly Beijing and Shanghai), along with an increasing number of western restaurant and coffee-shop franchises. Consumerism has been termed the new “ism” in China, linking happiness to material goods and helping to drive the economy.

Hand in hand with consumerism is consumption, which in some cases means the using up of a resource. China’s goal of achieving a first-world lifestyle for its people will double the world’s human-resource use. According to author Jared Diamond in his 2005 book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive, China is the world’s leading producer and consumer of both coal and fertilizer, the second-largest producer and consumer of pesticides, the largest producer of steel, the second-largest producer of electricity and chemical textiles, and the third-largest consumer of oil. China’s auto production is now third in the world, behind the United States and Japan, adding to both energy use, air pollution and demand for oil.

China also ranks third in the world in timber consumption – wood for rural energy (firewood), for the paper and pulp industry and for the booming construction industry. (Diamond reports that “the projected decrease in Chinese household size to 2.7 people by the year 2015 will add 126 million new households -- more than the total number of US households -- even if China’s population size itself remains constant”.) Due to massive deforestation, followed (after severe floods in 1996 and 1998) by a ban on logging of its natural forests, China is on course to overtake Japan and become the world’s largest importer of tropical timber. Since the ban, writes Diamond, China’s wood imports have increased sixfold. Deforestation, he says, is being exported.

While the country’s demands for timber put massive pressure on the planet’s forestry resources, environmental campaigners say China is not alone in doing little or nothing to control the burgeoning trade in illegal wood imports. The conservation group WWF, in a 2005 report entitled China’s Wood Market, Trade and the Environment, says China is one of the major destinations for wood that may be illegally harvested or traded. More than half of China’s imported timber comes from countries such as Russia, Indonesia and Malaysia, all of which are struggling, says WWF, with over-harvesting, conversion of natural forests and illegal logging.

China’s increasing affluence has also produced more demand for meat and fish. In the northeast, freshwater swamps in the Sanjian plain have been converted to farmland. With a greater demand for meat comes a larger share of cereal production going toward animal feed. Per-capita fish consumption has increased five-fold in the past quarter-century, while China also exports fish, molluscs and other aquatic species. Chinese fishermen have cast their nets around the world – including in the lucrative waters off southwestern Africa in their (not always legal) search for fish. Overfishing occurs in China’s deep seas and along its coastline, and a growing movement – including Pacific Environment’s Save China’s Seas network – seeks to “help consumers focus on how their dietary choices affect our oceans’ bounty”.

The water quality in rivers and groundwater sources is poor, due to industrial and municipal waste-water discharges, as well as agricultural and aquacultural runoff of fertilizers, pesticides and manure. All that nutrient runoff has produced excessive concentrations of algae, a process known as eutrophication. “About 75% of Chinese lakes, and almost all coastal seas, are polluted,” writes Jared Diamond. “Red tides in China’s seas—blooms of plankton whose toxins are poisonous to fish and other ocean animals—have increased to nearly 100 per year, from only one in every five years in the 1960s.”

As if the devastating toll on China’s resources by all this production and consumption activity were not enough, the country also imports untreated rubbish -- including electronic equipment and toxic waste -- from the rest of the world for disposal. As Diamond puts it: “This represents direct transfer of pollution from the first world to China.”

China -- like the US, Europe, Japan and India – is exceeding its “ecological footprint”, a resource management tool devised by environmental analyst Mathis Wackernagel to estimate the amount of “ecological space” occupied by humanity. “Footprint analysis,” explains Worldwatch’s 2006 report, “measures what an economy needs from nature: the inputs that fuel it and the wastes that emerge from it.” To determine whether a country is living within its ecological means, its footprint is compared with its number of global hectares of biologically productive space. “Where a nation’s footprint is larger than its biocapacity, its economy is consuming more forests, cropland and other resources than the country can supply and is overtaking the domestic environment’s capacity to absorb wastes.”

“The world’s largest and most industrialised economies,” says Worldwatch, “are essentially consuming their ecological capital by cutting forests faster than they can regenerate, pumping groundwater faster than it is recharged, and filling the atmosphere with carbon that cannot be safely absorbed.” On a per-person basis, the inequality of claims on biocapacity is clear. The world average footprint is 2.3 global hectares per person. The average Chinese person’s is 1.6, the average European’s is 4.7, and the average American’s is 9.7.

As China (and India) continue to develop rapidly, the global footprint grows. Worldwatch says that “if by 2030 China and India alone were to achieve a per-capita footprint equivalent to that of Japan today, together they would require a full planet Earth to meet their needs.”

“China will, of course, not tolerate being told not to aspire to first world levels,” writes Diamond in Collapse. “But the world cannot sustain China and other third-world countries and current first-world countries all operating at first-world levels.”

NEXT: Transport

The Author: Maryann Bird is a London-based journalist

(photo by Shanghai Streets)

 

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作者观点似乎偏激了点

作者此文观点似乎偏激了点,在减少占用“地球足迹”方面,我觉得发达国家应该比发展中国家负有更大的责任和义务,毕竟是他们抢先占用了过多的地球资源,在很大程度上是没有资格来指责发展中国家的很多做法的。当然发展中国家也最好不要重蹈发达国家的覆辙。

The writer's standpoint is a bit extreme

This writer's opinion seems a bit extreme. I feel that developed countries have more of a duty and a responsibility to reduce their 'global footprint' than developing countries; after all, it is they who are rushing to use up most of the world's resources, and are really not in any position to find fault with the paths taken by developing countries. But of course it would be better if developing countries do not repeat the same mistakes as developed countries.


戴蒙先生的话是什么意思呢?

戴蒙在《崩溃:社会如何选择成功或失败》中说,“不让中国追求第一世界的消费水平,它显然不能接受。但是,世界也无力承受中国和其它第三世界国家与目前的第一世界国家都按第一世界的水平进行消费”。
这段话太荒谬了,只许州官放火,不许百姓点灯?第三世界国家活该受穷?我觉得第一世界国家应该首先反省自己!想一想自己把多少污染和能源消耗转移到了第三世界国家?敌意的指责和恐惧于事无补。既然已经占尽便宜,那么善意的帮助和引导也许更有助于第三世界国家减少他们发展中的生态足迹。

What does Diamond mean?

Jared Diamond writes in "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive" that "China will, of course, not tolerate being told not to aspire to first world levels. But the world cannot sustain China and other third-world countries and current first-world countries all operating at first-world levels." This statement is ridiculous, it's a clear case of double-standards. Should third-world countries suffer poverty? I think first-world countries need to do some soul-searching first! What about the pollution and consumption of resources they are responsible for in the third world? But hostile accusations and fear will not help the situation. Although first-world countries have already profited at others' expense, well-meaning offers of help and guidance can aid third-world countries in reducing the ecological footprint of their development.


“责任”问题

这是在讨论发展中国家的环境或消耗议题时经常触及的。面对污染日益严重的事实,人们常会以西方国家是始作俑者为借口。这种控告是没意义的,谁先造成的并不重要;因为每一个人都该对自己和自己的习性对环境造成的破坏负上同等的责任。当然,美国对石油的需求已经失控了,但中国也是呀。当然,1900年英格兰高速工业化的时期就已造成了严重的空气污染;可是,这不代表说我们就可以对现今的污染视若无睹。对此,贾德•戴蒙的看法非常清晰:大多西方国家的大量耗损行径和消耗文化并不是我们应该效法的。每一个人都该进行心灵探索,不只是第一世界。一味责怪别人破坏性的角色对我们并没有好处。反之,为什么不集中精力想一下甚么是“我们”可以做的呢?-Jiayi

A question of 'duty'

This is a situation that often occurs when discussing the environment or consumption in developing countries.

When faced with the reality of increased pollution, people will often use the excuse that the Western countries did it first.

That accusation is meaningless because it doesn't matter who did it first: everyone is equally responsible for the destruction they, and their habits, wreck on the environment.

Of course the United State's dependence on oil is reckless, but so is China's. Of course there has been terrible air pollution in England during the nineteen hundreds from its own period of rapid industrialization. But that doesn't mean we can turn a blind eye to the pollution that is going on today.

Jared Diamond is very clear in what he says: the wasteful ways of mass consumption and culture of consuming prevalent in most of the Western world is not something we should aspire to.

Everyone needs to do soul searching - not only the first world. Blaming others for their role in the degradation leads us no where. Instead, why not focus our energy on what WE can do.

-Jiayi.


胡说八道

面对事实吧,欧洲和北美出版的这些"批评"大多是基於以薄纱遮掩住的惧外心理或是民族优越感。世界上很多的白人国家(如八个工业强国)都见不得黄种人和棕种人正在经济和军事方面赶上和超越他们,这已经不是甚麽秘密了。因此,像中国这样正在工业化中的国家,拥有的金钱和军队都在急速地超越已发展国家,环境问题自然容易成为被已发展国家攻击的目标了。
回顾美国和其联盟一直在环保方面的记录,以及把大部分的燃油、木材、金属和其他原料的开采转移到海外的发展中国家(如中国)的行径,他们必定是最後一群有资格对中国作出批评的人。中国的环境受到破坏是因为它生产运往美国和欧洲的制成品。西方国家作为其中的直接受益者,却批评中国的工业引致环境变坏,这实在是讽刺,甚至是伪善的表现。
其实,他们不能接受的是中国同时从这过程中逐步致富,而他们却束手无策。无可否认,中国和其他世界上的国家一样都面临环境受破坏的重大後果(而且已经在很多方面显露了),认真的自续性生产方法的研究和意图是必须受到注视和加以实行的。但当西方国家只是"略尽绵力"地去改变他们的生活方式时,他们很多有关环境的言论就都只是一派胡言,不能令人信服。
在某些方面来说,几星期前中国政府公务员那种对能源保护的努力不在乎和推搪的态度,恰恰和西方国家在环保行动上的那种自我赋权和自我矛盾的表现同出一彻。如果西方继续向像沃尔玛那样的零售商要求供给廉价的制成品,而不过问这些产品背後负上的环境成本的话,中国也将会一直"牺牲"环境,疯狂地以自己的方式致富。唯一的解决方法是自续发展,以及所有国家共同努力实行这方法。

some rants

face it, most of these "critiques" from european and north american publications are based on thinly veiled xenophobia and ethnocentricism at best. it's no secret that most of the white nations of the world (G8) can't stand to see the brown and yellow people progressing above them in terms of economics and military strength. so the environment becomes an easy target when industrializing nations like china is rapidly surpassing those developed nations in terms of having money and large standing armies. given the current track record of the united states and its allies in the environment, they ought to be the last ones to criticize when most of the oil, timber, metal and other raw materials are outsourced overseas to developing nations like china and china's environment is destroyed because china is manufacturing finished products for american and european consumption. it's ironic and even hypocritical that western nations are criticizing china's environmental degradation from it's industries when those western nations are the direct beneficiaries of china's manufacturing and environmental degradation. what they can't stand is that china's also getting rich thru the process and they can't do anything about it.

while there's no denying that china and the rest of the world face grave environmental consequences (and already have in many ways), and that serious studies and attempts at self-sustaining methods of economic production must be looked at and implemented, there's little credibility to many of the environmental rants that western nations impose upon china when they themselves have made little attempts at changing their lifestyles.

in many ways, it's like those chinese government workers that didn't follow thru on the energy conservation effort a few weeks ago: their "let somebody else do it" indifference and execuse reflects perfectly the western nations' sense of self-entitlement and self-contradictions of environmental action. so as long the west demands cheap manufactured goods from retailers like wal-mart without any regards to the environmental costs associated with the manufacturing of those goods, china will "sacrifice" its environment in the mad rush to get rich on its own terms. the only solution is self-sustainable development and all nations should look into cooperative efforts that would make them do so.


科技的重要性

这里是对评论"胡言乱语"的一些备注。中国应该做的是留意并采用那些利用替代燃料的新科技。比如说,那些在北京公路上试行的燃料电池公交车就是一次方向正确的好尝试。还有生物柴油、甲烷、风能、太阳能和其他方式的可再生燃料来源的开发,对解决中国能源的需求都是很重要的。
我个人对水力发电有所存疑,因为考虑到环境变化和建坝堵住大量水来发电之间的关连;不过,并不代表说不应该认真考虑采用那些低成本又零污染的电力来源。中国新制造的车辆和能源供应厂可以不采用传统的化石燃油,从而在改进科技和发展自续能源方面超越并引领全世界。
由於中国不像美国和欧洲政府那样受到石油工业垄断商的影响--扼杀了革新和生态保护的进程(同时也引发了战争,伊拉克便是一例);中国可以在它目前的工业生产轨道和环境保护方面领导世界。
西方媒体的这个中国报道是值得赞扬的,因为它当中承认了中国正尝试采用一些新科技,而且某程度上比西方国家自己的步伐走得更快。

the importance of technology

just a follow up to the "some rants" post here.

what china should do is look at and implement new technologies that are being developed that use alternative sources of fuel. for instance, those new buses that run on fuel cells which are being tested out on beijing's street are a nice move in the right direction. as well as bio-disel, methane, wind and solar and other forms of renewable fuel sources are cruicial to meeting china's energy demands. i'm skeptical on hydro-electricity because of the environmental changes associated with damming up large bodies of water; however, it doesn't mean cheap sources of electricity that are non-polluting shouldn't be given serious consideration.

by skipping traditional fossil fuels for new cars and power generating plants for industry, china can lead the world in terms of advancing technology and development of self-sustaining energy sources. without the oil industry monopolies' influence on the american and european governments that stifles innovation and ecological protection (as well as wars like iraq), china can lead the world both in terms of it's current trajectory of industrial production and as well as environmental protection.

and western medias that "report" on china can give credit where it's due that china is attempting to utilize these new technologies in some ways that far outpaces what their own countries have been trying to implement.


中国的机遇

发达国家的确在道义上有责任来减少他们对全球的影响。但同时,发展中国家比如中国需要保证他们不再重蹈发达国家放过的严重错误。比如说,(发展中国家可以使用)现在的能生产清洁能源和环保交通工具的技术。(事实上,这样的技术已经存在一些时候了)。

现在缺少的是变革的政治意愿。各国的政府和大众,不论国家大与小,贫与富,需要认识到全球变暖的危机所在,以及它对我们星球造成的危害将是我们急需解决的问题。同时,他们还需要找出新的方法来提高我们宝贵资源的利用率。

全球各地二氧化碳的减排对我们的地球都是有好处的。历史上,中国经历了无数次的大发展和变革。现在,中国又有机遇来实现大跨步的发展,特别是在能源方面。

许多专家指出,与美国不同的是,中国没有过度地投资在石油方面,从而容易转移到其他新燃料方面的发展。(在中国),不论在城市和乡村,对太阳能和其它清洁和可再生能源的投资将对缓解空气,水和土地质量下降起到很大的作用和效果。这样的进步将有助于人类健康,将会是一个双赢的结果。

没有人说中国和其它(发展中)国家不应该发展。他们与所谓的第一世界国家一样拥有权利而且需要这样去做。但他们拥有的是一次可以做的更好的机遇。玛莉安•贝德

China's opportunity

Developed countries certainly have a responsibility and a duty, in moral terms, to reduce their global footprint. At the same time, developing nations such as China need to ensure that, in growing as they will, they do not repeat the worst mistakes of the developed nations. For example, the technology exists today to produce clean energy and clean-running vehicles. (In fact, it has existed for quite a while.) What’s lacking is the political will to change things. The governments and populations of all countries -- large or small, developed or developing -- need to mandate action for truly sustainable living. They need to address global warming and its ramifications as a planetary emergency and devise ways to manage our precious resources efficiently. Carbon dioxide reduction anywhere in the world is good for the earth. Numerous times throughout China’s history, the country has moved in daring leaps. China has an opportunity now to leap ahead again, especially in the energy sector. Unlike the US, many experts say, China is not overly invested in oil and can more easily move into new fuels. In both urban and rural areas, investment in solar power and other clean, renewable sources can make a significant difference in reducing the degradation of air, water and land. Such progress would be a boon to human health, and a win-win situation all around. No one can seriously argue that China and other nations should not develop. They have the same right (and need) to do so as the so-called first world countries. But what they also have is an opportunity to do it better. – Maryann Bird


满足中国的需求

在中国向“第一世界”生活方式努力发展的一幕幕消费增长景象下,其需求是可以用很多方式来衡量的。根据《中国日报》的消息,随着照明、空调、个人电脑及其它办公用品的大量使用,“据报道,中国近七百万的公务员要使用全国年发电量的将近5%,而这些电量足够满足七亿八千万农民的用电需求。”

Meeting China's demands

[China’s demands can be measured in many ways, in snapshots of its growing consumption as it strives toward a “first-world” lifestyle. With lighting, air conditioning, computers and other office equipment, “China’s nearly seven million public servants reportedly use almost 5% of the country’s annual electricity, which is enough to meet the demands of 780 million farmers,” the newspaper China Daily reports.]


关于贝德女士

和大多数的西方作家一样,贝德女士对她毫不了解的人民的社会发展趋势给出了非常表面化的分析和预测。中国人和所有人一样,的确都向往现代技术带来的更好的生活资源。而她和所有西方人都忽视掉的是,一个普通的中国人是非常节俭的。我想说的是,虽然我们看上去正像第一世界那样消费,或者渴望如此,但是我们的习惯和我们为得到和保持那种状态而消费的资源相对一个西方人而言或许只是很小一部分。我,和我所处地加拿大的很多我的中国朋友们都已经拥有的优越的生活条件,例如宽敞的房子、小车、家用电器和很多其它东西。但我们永远无法摆脱的却是我们骨子里“不浪费”任何东西的习惯。于是我们算着每一分钱的价值,我们只在打折的时候才买东西,把花费降到不能再低。我们从不为买一纸板箱的牛奶而开车去街角的小店。我们走路,更多时候是计划好要买的那些东西然后一次解决。我们吃鸡的时候任何部分都吃,除了鸡毛和咯咯的鸡叫。食物是从来不会被浪费掉的。我们不把钱挥霍在垃圾食品上,也不去那些妄自尊大的好饭馆。不需要开灯的时候灯就会被关掉。厕所冲水也是最少的(别细问)。当我们开车的时候我们的脑子总在想多少油将会被耗费掉。我们细心照顾我们的车,好让它们用到10年以上。我们很少把东西扔掉,并且能回收的就回收。由于这一点,一个普通的中国家庭会拥有很多并不用得着的东西,因为好多东西都是在打折的时候买回来的。还有,因为我们从不扔东西,那些东西里可以找到不同的跨越数十年的建筑风格。试着汇集出匹配的装修风格。我也许可以就中国人的节俭写一本书了。是的,中国将用掉这个世界越来越多的资源。但是,中国平均每人的消费量将远远低于每个西方人的消费量。你自己也可以在你的中国朋友或邻居那里观察到这点。更进一步的说,中国大陆居民居住的房子可能只有我住的大小的四分之一,进行值得引起注意的消费或是浪费的机会是相当有限的。我们有这么多人,消费和耗费量的总和肯定要大于发达国家。但是中国家庭已经尽所能在实施节省能源和材料的措施了。陈旧而效率低下的工业进行的被许可的污染是一个大问题。而有幸的是,政府已经认识到了这个问题并积极的纠正这一点。伴随着的是中国的现代化更上一层楼。开尔文·默克

About Ms. Bird

Ms. Bird, like most western writers, is very superficial with her analysis and prognosis of the societal trends of a people whom she barely knows about. The Chinese, as with all peoples, do want the better things of life made possible by modern technology. What she and all westerners overlook is that the ordinary Chinese is a very frugal person. The point I wish to make is that while we may appear to possess first world goodies, or want to, our habits and our consumption of resources to obtain and to maintain that status is probably a fraction of that consumed by a westerner.

I, and many of my Chinese friends in Canada where I am, already have all the good things in life such as a large house, a car, the household appliances and much else. What we can’t get out of our system is the habit of “not wasting” anything. Thus we count the value of every cent, buying only when there is a sale and cutting expenses to the bone. We don’t drive our car to the corner store to pick up a carton of milk. We walk or more likely plan our purchases so that we buy our groceries at one go. We eat every part of the chicken except the feathers and the cluck. Food is never wasted. We don’t waste money on junk food or snotty fine dining either. Lights not needed are switched off. Toilet flushing is minimal (don’t ask)

When we drive always at the back of our minds is how much gas we will use up. We take care of our cars so that they last more than 10 years. We seldom throw anything away and will recycle where possible. On account of this an average Chinese home will have a lot of mismatched stuff because much of them is bought at bargain prices. Plus since we never throw away any stuff the items span the architectural styles spanning several decades. Try assembling a matching décor. I could probably write a book on Chinese frugality.

Yes China will use up more and more of the world’s resources. But the resources consumed by per Chinese person will be a lot lower than per western person. You can observe this for yourself anytime among your Chinese friends and neighbors. Furthermore the mainland Chinese lives in a home probably one quarter the size of my Canadian one. There is very limited opportunity for conspicuous consumption or for waste. There being so many of us of course the gross totals in consumption and waste produced will eventually be higher than the developed countries. But all the possible energy saving and material saving measures are already in practice in Chinese homes. Granted pollution from inefficient and dated industries is a big problem. Fortunately the Government is aware of this and is actively correcting this is as China moves up the modernization ladder.

Kelvin Mok


中国人的节俭

开尔文,坦白说你的评论有些自鸣得意,并且短视。你在加拿大。我在北京看到的是年轻富足的中国青年如何迷醉于下一款手机的遴选。他们正在用的手机毫无问题,仅仅不是最新款,他们就想换新的。这一点和西方比起来有什么差别?中国人住的房子比较小,一般而言,没错,比他们在中国住的要小。但根据中国政府的统计数据,中国的能源利用率远远低于西方,或者印度。今天的中国文化是消费主义...人们被各色各样的广告轰击,告诉他们买了某某东西就会如何快乐...中国正在朝着一个危险的方向行进。你可以说中国人有权过享乐的奢侈的生活,但前提是我们有另一个星球可供生存。另一个星球在哪儿,开尔文?如果你没有,醒醒吧,不要再自以为是了,不要再等政府出面了——你们的政府在环境方面的表现在世界上是排倒数的。是时候了,中国人应该接受这样一个事实,每个人都该负责,都该行动。

chinese frugality

Kelvin, your comments frankly are smug and short sighted. You are in Canada. I am in Beijing where I see young, wealthy Chinese obsessed with which model of mobile phone they want to have next. They have a perfectly good working phone but it isn't the latest model, so they want a new one. How is this different from the west? Chinese people live in smaller houses, on average, yes, than they do in China. But according to Chinese government sstatistics, energy consumption in China is much less efficient than in the west or in India. Chinese culture today is consumerist.. people are bombarded with adverts that tell them they will be happy if only they buy certain things.. China is going down a dangerous path. You cn say Chinese people are entitled to live profligate and extravagant lives but it only works if you have a spare planet to live on. Where's your spare planet. Kelvin? If you don't have one, wake up, stop being smug, stop leaving it to the government -- your government's record on the environment is one of the worst in the world. It's time the Chinese people accepted they are all responsible and they should all act.


中国百姓节俭,特权和新富浪费

开而文毕竟长居国外,只部分说对国人的节俭(但买便宜货并不等于环保)。国内以权谋钱的既得利益者、新富和年轻人的奢侈浪费比西方人有时还甚--因为他们的钱来得容易。

另外,同样是发达国家,日本人也住得很拥挤,比现如今中国大城市居民都挤:四口之家的公寓普遍只有70平米左右(而如今在中国,白领和公务员家庭一般都住100平米上下),远没有你们加拿大住的宽敞,原因很简单:富如日本也受资源和土地承受力的限制,更甭提中国这样资源有限、人口巨大、空间拥挤的穷国了。

Frugality

Kelvin is only partly right about Chinese frugality (although buying cheap doesn’t necessarily mean environmentally friendly.). In nowadays China, vested interest new rich, officials enriched by corruption and the urban youth sometimes consume more extravagantly than their western counterparts—because money comes easy for them. On the other hand, although Japan is also a developed country, the living condition of average Japanese is also crowded, if not more crowded than many of us in China. In Japan, a family of four typically lives in a flat of about 70 square meters (while in China now it is often more than 100M2 for the family of civil servants and white collars etc.), much smaller than you guys in Canada. The reason is simple: rich as Japan, it is still constrained by the affordability of its land and resources, let alone China, a poor country with limited resources, huge population and crowded space too.


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