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Yogesh Gupta

Reservoir Engineer, Shell International E&P

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Blame the Chinese or Hate the Indians?

The real motive of this post is to express a different view to the use of energy. Till date we measure the use of energy that is locally consumed. For an example, if you are using a computer to post a comment, the energy that is used by this computer is measured by US as energy consumed in the country. But the energy that is required to manufacture the computer, international transport, packaging ( also remind you, all the small small spare parts travelling from one country to the other just before it's ready for assembly) is not counted as energy consumed in US because all this energy was burnt in many developing countries.

Now when we talk about CO2 emissions, US will measure the CO2 emissions and its responsibility towards the environment based on energy consumed by the use of computer, not based on the whole chain of manufacturing, etc.

Developing nations are now held responsible for controlling its CO2 emissions at the cost of its growth, citing reasons that they need to play a responsible role in the world. But developed nations forget that just using renewable energy in their country will not solve the emission problem. They need to also invest in developing nations and NOT just encourage to use renewable energy or stop using computer for example to contribute to this world.

Full blog link: http://yogeshpgupta.wordpress.com/

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  • Dec 10 2012: I would say that it's not fair to blame JUST the Chinese or Indians. The point that the west doesn't take into account the fact that other countries produce much of what they use is valid - instead of pointing fingers, the United States, Britain, etc. should realize that they have a considerable degree of control over the environmental practices of eastern countries, as the primary consumers of their goods. For example, there has been considerable backlash against Apple in the United States, because of their relationship with Foxconn. Enough people in the United States are at a point where they are willing to boycott or petition a company because of their labor practices. Apple has realized this and has recently taken action, attempting to curb some of Foxconn's unfair treatment of workers making iPhones, etc. However, the people of the west as a whole aren't, at this point, willing to give up the inexpensive products of companies that use poor environmental practices to cut costs. Therefore, I agree that it's unfair to put the blame entirely on China and India. Nonetheless, I think that a degree of blame does, indeed, fall on the governments of China and India for not enforcing their own environmental laws. This is, at least in part, due to the corruption that is rampant in these places. It's the job of these country's governments to enforce their environmental laws, just as it's important for the people of the United States, etc. to realize that they have a distinct role in the fact that companies are willing to break these laws. Overall, I guess what I'm trying to say is that fingers shouldn't be pointed in either direction, and until we stop the finger pointing, we won't be able to truly solve this problem. When we talk about the environment, especially in terms of CO2 emissions and global warming, we are talking about a global issue. It's going to take worldwide self-awareness, and in turn effort, to change the direction that we, as a species, are going.

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