May 28

Isn’t this exactly what we were afraid of? Not much need for commentary here, as the quote speaks volumes for itself.

AP has the story:

BEIJING (AP) — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged Beijing on Thursday to cooperate on climate change, calling a safe environment a basic human right.

Speaking at Beijing’s elite Tsinghua University, Pelosi continued the theme of her five-day China trip — that combating global warming represented a new challenge that both governments must tackle jointly.

“We are all in this together,” Pelosi told an audience of about 200 students and faculty who applauded enthusiastically throughout the 45-minute session. “The impact of climate change is a tremendous risk to the security and well-being of our countries.”

“I do see this opportunity for climate change to be … a game-changer,” she said at Tsinghua. “It’s a place where human rights — looking out for the needs of the poor in terms of climate change and healthy environment — are a human right.”

To achieve this, Pelosi said governments would have to make decisions and choices based on science.

“They also have to do it with openness, transparency and accountability to the people,” she said. “Everyone has to have their situation improved by it.”

In answering a question from a student about how Pelosi was going to get Americans to cut back on their carbon emissions, the leading Democratic lawmaker said it was important to educate children on how to conserve energy and for citizens to build more environmentally friendly homes.

“We have so much room for improvement,” she said. “Every aspect of our lives must be subjected to an inventory … of how we are taking responsibility.”

Hat tip: Drudge

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Feb 24

Western green intentions go astray on "eco-village" plan in China

By Editor China Comments Off on Western green intentions go astray on "eco-village" plan in China

The Oregonian reports:

In rural Huangbaiyu, a project hailed as “a demonstration village” of sustainable living has instead become a demonstration of Western intentions gone wrong.

In 2005, the Portland-based China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development broke ground on a project in a remote area of Liaoning province with the hope of creating China’s first “eco-village.”

Led by green architect William McDonough, who co-chairs the Portland center and lives in Virginia, the project promised to be a model for how Chinese villages could preserve farmland and reduce their environmental impact.

In a village of 400 families, 42 homes were to be built in the village center, rather than on outlying farmland. They were to be made of biodegradable products such as hay and pressed-earth bricks and include such features as solar panels, donated by corporate sponsors to showcase green products. Each house was supposed to cost about $3,500, low enough for villagers to afford.

Four years later, the completed homes have cosmetic flaws and are not up to the envisioned green standards. Only one unit has a solar panel, and each home contains a storage unit or garage in a village where few people have cars. And because construction costs soared to between $6,000 and $10,000 a home, they are out of reach for most villagers.

“It became apparent that it wasn’t cost effective to do solar panels in a rural village,” says Joe Marcotte, program manager for the China-U.S. Center. “To this day, we don’t know what the accurate cost of the homes are.”

Read the rest here.

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