China's greenhouse gas pollution could double or more in two decades says a new Chinese state think-tank study that casts stark light on the industrial giant's role in stoking global warming.
Researchers abroad estimate that China's carbon dioxide emissions now easily outstrip that of the United States, long the biggest emitter.
By 2020, China's burning of fossil fuels could emit carbon dioxide equal in mass to 2.5 billion metric tonnes of pure carbon and up to 2.9 billion tonnes, depending on varying scenarios for development and technology.
That compares with global carbon emissions of about 8.5 billion tonnes in 2007. The U.S. Oak Ridge National Laboratory estimated that the United States emitted about 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon in 2007, compared to China's 1.8 billion tonnes.
Keep in mind: these are estimates.
That means some little guy with a clipboard goes around counting the number of factories and adding up their official output.
Real figures are probably much higher.
Real figures would include slash and burn agriculture, burning of waste, backyard smelters and stills, and other "unofficial" sources.
The truth is that the United States emits a fair amount of carbon, but the rest of the world -- especially the third world -- has surpassed us.
The only solution to global warming, carbon emissions, climate change, pollution, ecocide and all other environmental problems: reduce the human population.