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Some thoughts at Lake Tahoe

December 30th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Below are couple of shots taken at Lake Tahoe where I vacationed this past week. Generally, I was impressed with how environmentally conscience American society has become, and the pristine waters and clean beaches at the lake reminded me of that. Recycling is in full force. I recall back in the 80’s, recycling was still not a daily vocabulary. It is today.

Certainly, American CO2 emissions per capita is outrageous as compared to the rest of the world. This is due to the lopsided consumption. Also, by relocating factories to developing countries such as China, America gets to enjoy her products without suffering the environmental degradation. We can expect as Chinese society becomes more affluent, it too will want to let others pollute.

Normally, by this time of the year, the grounds in these images should be covered with snow. Last year, the Lake Tahoe region got record snow fall. This year, it looks like the region is going through another record – of no snow. I couldn’t help but wonder if this is climate change.

I took the shot below few years ago when snow was abundant. Perhaps a bit hard to see – the beach was covered.

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  1. December 30th, 2011 at 08:14 | #1

    yinyang, I hope you’re a gambler otherwise there is not much there where there is no snow this time of the year. If you’re a skier, you have to be careful of the many trees in Heavenly Gate where Sonny lost his head. I spent two summers working there during summer breaks.

    The winding road on its way to Tahoe in most winters is very challenging esp. cars passing in opposite traffic.

  2. raventhorn
    December 30th, 2011 at 08:17 | #2

    Great photos.

    I loved Lake Tahoe when I went hiking there years back.

  3. Charles Liu
    December 30th, 2011 at 10:31 | #3

    When people become outraged that China is now the world’s “top polluter”, after our MSM indoctrinate them with per-country statistics, IMHO the capacity to recognized one’s own impact on the world we all share is diminished.

    Is it fair for 5% of the world’s population to consume 25% of the world’s resource, simply because we can afford it? Ignore the fact significant % of pollution by 1.3 billion Chinese are actually to produce products for our consumption?

    Look, everyone has a hand in this mess, and Americans need to do our part. May it be car mileage standards (we are finally adopting the same efficiency standards the European and Chinese have), fluorescent bulbs (the Chinese are on this while we won’t phase out incandescent bulbs until 2015).

  4. Exposed “Harmonies”
    December 30th, 2011 at 11:16 | #4

    @Charles Liu
    Who would have guessed that you think of yourself as one of “us” — hah! yinyang, I’m glad you enjoyed the clean waters. I’m really hoping my mother-in-law enjoys America’s blue skies when she travels here from China in a few weeks.

  5. December 30th, 2011 at 11:33 | #5

    @Exposed “Harmonies”
    Please stop linking into peoples personal profiles. This is a public forum. Have you any clue what you are actually doing? If people wish to divulge their personal identity, so be it. But if I go and find your name and personal information to divulge on the Internet, how’d you feel? Your IP will be banned if you do that again.

  6. December 30th, 2011 at 11:44 | #6

    @TonyP4
    Not a gambler. I always lose the times I tried.
    Sounds like you’ve been there as well. On a crystal clear day, the lake is breath-taking.

    @raventhorn
    Thx.

    @Charles Liu
    The narrative in the MSM is to tie this 25% consumption with ‘freedom.’ It’s all pretty absurd.

  7. Charles Liu
    December 30th, 2011 at 11:48 | #7

    @Exposed “Harmonies”

    Dude, I ain’t from mainland China, ain’t never been citizen of the PRC a day in my life.

  8. December 30th, 2011 at 12:20 | #8

    These are indeed, wonderful pics, yinyang. I wish the rest of the world and even much of the US adopts a more environmentally conscious mindset. In central KY, there is also lots of beautiful natural scenes but you also see lots of garbage beside the roads. I think many of the people throwing stuff out of their cars could be out of staters. They don’t appreciate the need to maintain the environment. I also remember traveling to a beach in Malaysia and it had so much garbage. The vacationers seem to take it for granted that since they are on vacation and spending money, they can do whatever they want.

  9. jxie
    December 31st, 2011 at 12:41 | #9

    Personally I am an AGW-doubter. First, it’s doubt, not denial per se — I just don’t see enough soild scientific evidences to suggest so, other than many politicians pretending to be scientists massaging data. Second, the operative word is anthropogenic. The Earth is for sure getting warmer overall in the past 170 years or so, but it’s quite conceivable it has very little to do with human activities especially the CO2 emission itself. It’ll be a lengthy discussion on this subject.

    However, the quantity of hydrocarbon buried in the crust of the Earth is finite, and the extractable quantity is even smaller. Other than being an energy source, oil/coal is also the source of fertilizer & chemical materials such as plastic. If oil runs out soon worldwide, we have more than just an energy problem. Arguably the food scarcity problem will be even more acute. The way we are burning hydrocarbon now, in no more than a few generations, there won’t be much left. Is the current grand materialistic orgy a portent of future devastation? For that, I would love to see some other ideally renewable sources of energy, being mature and economically viable.

  10. December 31st, 2011 at 18:01 | #10

    @jxie
    Regardless, I think the instinct to preserve balance in nature is the correct one. No one disputes how much CO2 we are pumping into the atmosphere. We need to bring that back down in order to lower the risk of our planet getting into an irreparable state.

  11. zack
    December 31st, 2011 at 21:31 | #11

    @jxie
    whether or not climate change is real or detrimental to our species or the planet is, i reckon, irrelevant. China’s going to dominate the renewable energy sector and that can only be a good thing for the world and most of all China

  12. LOLZ
    January 1st, 2012 at 20:33 | #12

    yinyang :
    Please stop linking into peoples personal profiles. This is a public forum. Have you any clue what you are actually doing?

    The reason why the sock puppet is doing this is probably because some of us mocked CDE in another thread. Creepy socket puppet is creepy.

  13. jxie
    January 1st, 2012 at 21:44 | #13

    @YinYang

    I agree with the idea of preserving the balance in nature. However, whatever quantity of CO2 we’re pumping into the atmosphere will certainly not be any significant at all in the planet’s history. See this:

    http://www.hyscience.com/CO2%20chart.gif

    The tip of all scary charts of run-away CO2 concentration in atmosphere, which is the current time, is at close to 400 ppm. In the past 700 million years, it was as high as 7000 ppm.

    The Earth has been around for 4+ billion, and homo sapiens have been around for maybe half million years, and the oldest recorded human history that we can understand is only a few thousand years old. A lot of scientific research methods in this topic aren’t useful to see past the beginning of the last ice age, which was 110,000 years ago.

  14. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 15:00 | #14

    This seems to be fairly typical; take a benign topic like vacationing in Lake Tahoe and then turn it into an attack on the US for “outagous” consumption. Funny thing about guys like you is you would cry racism and protectionism and “containment” if the USA said “Hey China you pollute too much making the products we consume so we will price in the environmental costs of your production via tariffs, that way producers in both countries have an incentive for more environmentally friendly production.” oh no~~ you would cry bloody hell. Remember that US manufactures moved production to China because the CCP was willing and happy to throw the environment of China under the bus, don’t try to blame the USA for this is such a petty manner. I’ve read enough of this blog to understand you are reactionary and probably suffering from insecurities towards the West but could you try to cloak you hypocritical jabs a tad bit better? thanks!

  15. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 15:02 | #15

    @YinYang
    This seems to be fairly typical; take a benign topic like vacationing in Lake Tahoe and then turn it into an attack on the US for “ outrageous” consumption. Funny thing about guys like you is you would cry racism and protectionism and “containment” if the USA said “Hey China you pollute too much making the products we consume so we will price in the environmental costs of your production via tariffs, that way producers in both countries have an incentive for more environmentally friendly production.” oh no~~ you would cry bloody hell. Remember that US manufactures moved production to China because the CCP was willing and happy to throw the environment of China under the bus, don’t try to blame the USA for this is such a petty manner. I’ve read enough of this blog to understand you are reactionary and probably suffering from insecurities towards the West but could you try to cloak you hypocritical jabs a tad bit better? thanks!

  16. February 2nd, 2012 at 16:05 | #16

    @Haikun
    lol. This is probably my shortest post yet, and you can’t read apparently.

    1. Ask yourself, if the rest of the world consumes at the average American rate, do you think that is sustainable for our planet?

    In 2008, India’s per capita CO2 emissions was 1.4 tons vs. U.S.’s 17 tons. Rocket scientist, tell us why that relatively speaking is not “outrageous?”

    It scares you there are billions of people on this planet might want to live better lives? You can’t handle truth.

    2. I complimented how much more environmentally conscious Americans are today relatively to before.

    A lake is a perfect venue to talk about environmental stuff. How clean is the water? How much rubbish surrounds it?

    You apparently can’t handle the above two points, and then went on to conclude:

    Funny thing about guys like you is you would cry racism and protectionism and “containment” if the USA said “Hey China you pollute too much making the products we consume so we will price in the environmental costs of your production via tariffs, that way producers in both countries have an incentive for more environmentally friendly production.” oh no~~ you would cry bloody hell. Remember that US manufactures moved production to China because the CCP was willing and happy to throw the environment of China under the bus, don’t try to blame the USA for this is such a petty manner.

    Now, I agree with you, China’s environmental problems are the Chinese to own. Regardless of how much pretention for “human rights” and “freedom” and other bullshit, there won’t be one iota of care from where those nonsense come from for the average Chinese.

    The rest of what you wrote is quite stupid.

    Why should the U.S. put tariffs on production? Do you think then the U.S. would turn around and give that money to China to help enforce environmental laws, clean polluted waters, and pay for medical expenses on illness caused by pollution?

    The U.S. would put tariffs only if the government wants to make it more costly for American companies to manufacture in China. Ask yourself why isn’t that happening!

    Now, if the U.S. were to propose a new rule in WTO which taxes consumers for environmental costs of products they consume, I would fully support it. The country suffering the environmental degradation ought to receive this tax revenue to combat the damage.

  17. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 17:26 | #17

    @YinYang It is you who said:

    “Certainly, American CO2 emissions per capita is outrageous as compared to the rest of the world. This is due to the lopsided consumption. Also, by relocating factories to developing countries such as China, America gets to enjoy her products without suffering the environmental degradation.”

    Now I will say that there are certain elements of the US macro-economic structure which contribute to US CO2 output, mostly its over reliance on fossil fuels (however having lived in the US and China I can at least say US pollution doesn’t burn my lungs and eyes, and give me a chronic cough). However your second sentence insinuates that it is the USA that took advantage of a poor China to dump its pollution on which is completely disingenuous and you know it. I also take issue with your using a seemingly benign topic to segway into bashing the US in an area where it is completely ridiculous. Then you try to portray this site as a bridge of understanding; you are simply mimicking the worst sensationalist and misinformation aspects of the so-called Western media you claim is biased against China. This is reactionarism in its purest form if you ask me.

    Why should the country most willing to throw its economy under the bus be compensated financially? What kind of twisted incentive system is that?! If the price of Chinese pollution was priced into production costs and passed to the consumer I bet much of that manufacturing would return to the US or countries which value their environment.

  18. February 2nd, 2012 at 17:46 | #18

    @Haikun
    Basically he is saying it is ok for US to pollute six times more on a per capita basis but somehow China is at faults.

    Is he blind, or can’t he see what the US emission is doing to the planet despite the bulk of low end production has shifted to China?

    He doesn’t seem to see that poor people have much less option than the rich. In his eyes China is a country that neglect the environment but the US is the one that cares!

    In his view the one doing six times the consumption is noble but the ones scrapping to make a living supplying is to blame!

  19. February 2nd, 2012 at 17:57 | #19

    @Haikun
    You said:

    Why should the country most willing to throw its economy under the bus be compensated financially? What kind of twisted incentive system is that?!

    Like I said, pollution in China are problems for the Chinese. I know you wouldn’t care.

    You said:

    If the price of Chinese pollution was priced into production costs and passed to the consumer I bet much of that manufacturing would return to the US or countries which value their environment.

    You are naive. American corporations would relocate their highly polluting factories to other developing countries. Regardless, as in my recent interview with Shaun Rein, he cited examples where heavily polluting factories are no longer authorized by the government. Those are going into places that want more FDI. China is flushed with cash now.

    You said:

    However your second sentence insinuates that it is the USA that took advantage of a poor China to dump its pollution on which is completely disingenuous and you know it.

    Disingenuous? What is disingenuous is mainstream American media bitching about ‘cheap’ products from China and not talk about the pollution the Chinese are putting up with in order to have such low-paying manufacturing jobs.

    Certainly, this trade is benefiting both sides and it takes two to tangle. I am not saying the manufacturing jobs are forced unto the Chinese by Americans.

    You said:

    I also take issue with your using a seemingly benign topic to segway into bashing the US in an area where it is completely ridiculous.

    Like I said – you can’t handle truth.

  20. February 2nd, 2012 at 17:59 | #20

    @Ray
    Indeed. Glad he spilled his gut for everyone to see!

  21. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 18:19 | #21

    @YinYang

    #1: I dont care about Chinese pollution?! Hahah, yea right pal, I have to breath that crap and ingest it in my food while I live in China! Not to mention my Chinese friends who I sympathize with, they cant leave and go someplace else as easily as I can!

    #2: you think it is US corporations setting up factories and dumping their crud in the air and water! Wow either you are naive or spread lies! The most polluting factories in China are Chinese owned, often STATE OWNED! Sure they might sell some finished products to the USA but it is THEM, CHINESE PRODUCERS, who are the most egregious polluters of China’s environmental. Trying to blame it on the US just demonstrates racist baloney and an inability to confront an uncomfortable reality that most Western MNC care more about China’s environment than Chinese companies do.

    #3 American media does cover and does care about Chinese pollution and the negative effects on Chinese people and the world at large. It is reactionary PRC media and some socalled bloggers who attack US media and the US embassy covering this topic.

    #4 I spilled my guts? Calling out your obvious hypocracy and whitewash of the PRC’s irresponsibility for its own pollution is considered “spilling my guts”? Well jee whiz I should speak truth to power more ofteN!

    #5 you did take a benign topic and spin it into a anti-USA attack, no debate there. You wanna job at the global times?
    #6 If American corporations had to pay the real price of production then much of that would never have left the USA. I hope the USA puts in place trade rules which respect the environment because America would be #1 in manufacturing. Unfortunately (sic) we cant dump acid in our rivers or sulfur into our atmosphere are nonchalantly as others 😛

  22. Dave Bongaleu
    February 2nd, 2012 at 20:33 | #22

    You need to know Haikun, that most of the posters here don’t live in China. In fact many of them specifically chose not to be PRC citizens.

  23. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 20:53 | #23

    @Dave Bongaleu Oh I dont doubt that at all, in fact I think it contributes to their cognitive dissonance and exaggerated attempts at posturing as PRC defenders. I like China personally although I have many issues with its society and especially its backward aggressive political system, but to move there permanently? No, not possible. Westerners can never integrate into the Chinese system, they will always be laowai. Chinese on the other hand can move to America and become genuine parts of the American society; ambassadors, generals, CEOs, heck president some day soon I think! What you see here is a small segment of the immigrant community that is prone to reactionary tendencies, and not a few suffer from an inferiority complex. However I think these are the minority, Asian Americans in general enjoy these highest per capita income among Americans, the highest education attainment, etc, a testament to the promise and genuine freedom and openness of the American system.

  24. Dave Bongaleu
    February 2nd, 2012 at 21:20 | #24

    “exaggerated posturing” most apt! In past times Chinese who went overseas and took foreign passports would be considered Han traitors. As a legacy of this, this posturing is an attempt by these individuals to give them self “street cred” among the nationalists back in the PRC and their own clique.

  25. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 21:44 | #25

    @Dave Bongaleu True who wants to be a so-called hanjian (race traitor) in this group thinktank, but actually many mainland Chinese still despise ABCs. i think many of the posters here are internally conflicted due to their own inability to accept or integrate fully into Western society (a problem that is largely of their own making since Western society is much more open to assimilation than any other in the world). And of course many have embraced the China victim narrative which widespread in some quarters due to historical revisionism practiced by the PRC. Every society has these fenqing equivalents, white nationalists, black nationalists, Islamic fundamentalists, but at the core their insecurities are very much in common.

  26. February 2nd, 2012 at 22:32 | #26

    @Haikun

    #1 Crocodile tears. Okay, cut the b.s.. Tell us what you think China ought to do with the pollution problem.

    #2 For all factories in China making all the goods ultimately destined to the U.S. for U.S. consumption has an aggregate CO2 emission. This emissions are responsible by the producers as well as their respective consumers.

    You are misconstruing this issue into a ‘CHINESE’ only issue – which is racist.

    I said no such thing as “US corporations setting up factories and duping their crud in the air and water.” This is your lie. For all of us to see, pal. 😉

    #3 Show us 3 articles in this past month where a mainstream U.S. media showed sincerity and genuine interest in China fixing the pollution problem.

    #4 Yes, you keep spilling your gut.

    #5 This post is an “anti-USA attack?” What a retarded accusation. Like I said, you can’t read or there is something else wrong.

    #6 It would be a horrible mistake for the U.S. to not take advantage of cheaper labor and production cost abroad. The Japanese, the Germans, the South Koreans would kick American corporations butt. That would have caused havoc on American employment.

    You seem like the racist type that thinks anything to do with ‘China’ or ‘Chinese’ is bad. The truth is this trade benefits both countries, because the input from both countries are complementary.

    You said:

    I hope the USA puts in place trade rules which respect the environment because America would be #1 in manufacturing.

    Don’t forget those rules are not unilateral and are within the domains of WTO. You seems to think the U.S. can take unilateral actions and automatically become #1. Wrong mindset, and that’s precisely what America needs less.

    You said:

    Unfortunately (sic) we cant dump acid in our rivers or sulfur into our atmosphere are nonchalantly as others

    America per capita each year dumpts 17 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere where as an Indian 1.4.

    Sigh, why am I wasting my time with you?

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