By Dan Shapley
U.S. Lawmakers Say It's Time To Help The World's No. 1 Polluter Clean Up
When news broke recently that China had surpassed the United States as the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide, the only surprise was that it had happened so fast. It's not a milestone any country relishes, and the United States never wore the mantle well. Now, U.S. lawmakers -- who, unlike counterparts in Europe, have so far been unable to enact tough regulations at home designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming -- want to send technological aid to China so the fast-growing country can nip its emission problem in the bud. Technological aid to China -- in the form of low-carbon fuel knowledge, pollution control and energy efficiency know-how -- is critically important. The country plans to build hundreds of coal-fired power plants, and if they are all built with the antiquated technology China is using now, curbing greenhouse gas emissions will be all the more difficult down the road. And as China's burgeoning middle class upgrades its lifestyle, it will demand ever more consumer products -- products that should be designed and built to have as low an impact as possible. Now, if the U.S. lawmakers could turn those correct altruistic tendencies on domestic policy, the largest per-capita emitter of greenhouse gases -- a distinction the United States can still, sadly, claim -- we'd really be getting somewhere.