Luxury Spending: China's Affluent Entering "Enjoy Now" Phase of Consumption

China is now the world's third largest buyer of luxury consumer goods, accounting for 12 percent of global demand, according to a Goldman Sachs report released December 11.

The Peaks and Valleys Of Oil Dependence

Although no one knows for sure when oil production will "peak," nearly everyone in the January/February issue of World Watch magazine's Peak Oil Forum agrees that the age of oil will end—and the time to start transitioning to alternatives is now.

Tarnished Philanthropy: China Questions Recent Medical Supply Shipments from U.S.

Two U.S.-based philanthropic organizations faced considerable embarrassment this year when their donations to China were found to contain large quantities of expired medical supplies and second-hand medical equipment. While the details surrounding the cases have yet to be unraveled, the frequency of such events should raise alarm bells.

Oil: A Bumpy Road Ahead

Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas

When I was born in 1945, none of the four small farms in my little Swedish village used oil for anything. Ten years later, the oil age had arrived: we had replaced coal with oil for heating, my father had bought a motorcycle, and tractors were seen in the fields. From 1945 to 1970, Sweden increased its use of energy by a factor of five, or nearly 7 percent per year for 25 years. This journey into the oil age transformed Sweden from a rather poor country into the third wealthiest country (per capita) in the world. Ninety percent of the energy increase came from oil. Cheap oil made Sweden rich.

Now consider China, a developing country with 21 percent of the global population. It consumes 8 percent of the global oil supply, and thinks it is fair to claim 21 percent, or 17.6 million barrels per day (mb/d). During the last five years the average annual GDP growth in China has been 8.2 percent and the average increase in oil consumption 8.4 percent per year. We can now see the same correlation between increase in GDP and use of oil in China as in Sweden 50 years ago. If China’s economy grows 8 percent per year over the coming five years, we can expect that it will need an increase in the consumption of oil of 3 million barrels per day. According to Professor Pang Xiongqi of the China University of Petroleum in Beijing, China’s production will remain level till 2009 and then start to decline. This means that the total increase…

Planning For The Peak In World Oil Production

Boston University Center for Energy & Environmental Studies

You will never wake to the headline, “World Runs Out of Oil.” Rather, global oil production will rise, reach one or more peaks, and decline. Well before production declines to very low levels, the peak will mark a point of no return that will be a watershed in the economic history of the 21st century. For the first time, industrial economies will be forced to a lower-quality energy source. And this decline will affect every aspect of modern life.

The notion of a world speeding towards a peak in oil production was made famous by the geologist M. King Hubbert. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Hubbert used a simple bellshaped curve to forecast the annual rate of production in the lower 48 U.S. states (see figure). At a time when oil production was increasing rapidly, Hubbert forecast that it would peak in…

Coal, China, and India: A Deadly Combination for Air Pollution?

The rapid growth in coal use in China and India, where pollution controls are minimal, is adding to local and long-distance pollution. More than 80 percent of Chinese cities in a recent World Bank survey had sulfur dioxide or nitrogen dioxide emissions above the World Health Organization's threshold.

Lack of Corporate Social Responsibility Behind Recent China Accidents

In the past month alone, China has suffered from two very serious human-caused disasters. Less then two weeks after a November 13 chemical plant explosion in Jilin province released a flood of toxins into the Songhua River, a blast at Dongfeng coal mine in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang killed 171 miners.

Report: Multinational Corporations in China Lag on Environmental Protection

On December 7, Nanfang Weekend, a well-known Chinese newspaper, published a ranking of Fortune 500 companies' performance in China, revealing the poor records of the multinational corporations (MNCs) in tax payment, employee welfare, and environmental protection.
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