There’s no denying that China and India have pollution problems. They are by far the most populous countries in the world, each with about 18% of the Earth’s population (36% combined). With all those people, there are of course, huge challenges. But they’re not doing nothin’ about it.
China – An article in this month’s Forbes magazine reports that China is “the world’s largest producer, exporter and installer of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and electric vehicles,” and is best poised to “become the world’s renewable energy superpower.” Not too shabby!
India – The 2018 BloombergNEF Climatescope report compared 103 countries using over 80 criteria concerning clean energy policies, emissions and installations. Guess which county ranked 2nd best right behind Chile? (Chile?! Who would have guessed?) That’s right; 2nd place goes to India! While India is still heavily dependent upon coal, in 2017 new Indian renewable energy installations surpassed new coal power plants for the first time.
And what about other pollution? Consider plastics; our world is awash in it. It’s found in mountain air, whales’ stomachs, our water and food supplies, and even in human breast milk – yikes! China recently refused to continue assuming the role of dumping grounds for much of the world’s plastic. We in the U.S. had been shipping most of our to-be-recycled plastic to China hoping/wishing/assuming it would be recycled into other products. Turns out our practice of shipping to China helped mask the enormous worldwide plastic pollution problem. In response, China, India and 139 other countries have implemented taxes or partial bans on plastics. The U.S. has yet to do so – oops!
We all work hard. Sometimes it’s easy to think the other guy, especially someone different than us, isn’t carrying his fair share of the load. But I’m guessing our neighbors across the ocean value clean air and water just as much as we do. It’s a worthwhile common goal because this is the only swimming hole we’ll ever have. Here, where we’re all forever… Earthbound.