China’s Goals to clean Dirty Coal

November 6, 2013

America’s Congress passed its Clean Air Act in 1970 because of dense, visible smog in many U.S. cities and industrial centers.  The U.S. has emitted over 90 billion metric tons of carbon since 1800 from fossil-fuel consumption and cement production. U.S. fossil-fuel emissions have doubled since the 1950s but the U.S. share of global emissions has declined from 44% to 19% over the same interval because of higher growth rates in other countries. Source: cdiac.gov

China’s Clean Air Act was first introduced in 1987. For an example of China’s progress, in 2006, Greenpeace was consulted by the CCP on an early draft of a renewable energy law by China’s National People’s Congress. Today—seven years later—China is the world’s leader in the production of renewable energy—in 2011, China produced 797.4 billion annual kilowatt-hours from alternative sources of energy production [hydroelectricity, wind power, biomass and solar] compared to the United States in second place with 699.3 billion.

While China’s air pollution problems may sound extreme and incomparable to air quality here in the U.S., we should not forget that America actually did face a very similar environmental situation during its industrialization. Source: Think Progress.org

Bill Chameides writes in the Huffington Post about China’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses by 40 to 45 percent by 2020.  He goes into detail how the Chinese plan to accomplish this.

Since 70% of China’s electricity comes from thousands of coal burning power plants, Chameides expresses doubts that China will be able to meet these lofty goals.  However, I disagree.  When you discover the downside of China’s coal burning power plants, it is obvious there is no choice but to clean up.

China’s one-party system has demonstrated the ability to get things done quickly and mistakes are made but so are course corrections.  I witnessed China’s ability to get things done in Shanghai. We were staying in what was once the French concession. The stately mansions that had housed wealthy French families and their Chinese servants had been converted to communal multi-family homes still surrounded by high walls.  When we went to sleep, the walls were there. In the morning, they were gone. 

An army of workers arrived at night, took down the walls and trucked out the debris without making enough noise to wake people.

Although I disagree with Chameides conclusion, his piece is worth reading. And we should not lose sight of the fact that China’s population represents 19% of the earth’s total compared to 4.5% for the U.S. In addition, China’s average per capita CO2 emissions in 2011 was 7.2 tonnes per capita (per person) compared to 17.2 tonnes in America—one of the largest in the world. Imagine how many tons of CO2 the US would pollute the environment with if it had China’s population. Source: PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


What does the world’s fastest supercomputer; a Chinese Dissident and America’s top secret Internet-phone Surveillance System have in common?

June 18, 2013

Recently three revealing news items caught my attention. The first was about Chen Guangcheng, a Chinese dissident who fled China to become a visiting scholar at New York University.

I understand Mr. Chen doesn’t speak a word of English and was self-educated in China.  Therefore, his one-year job as a visiting scholar at NYU could be seen as a form of welfare offering him a way to earn money just by hanging around sharing his story of how horrible China’s government is.

Now that his one-year visiting scholarship job is ending, he is accusing NYU of being pressured by China to dump him. Is this an example of biting the hand that feeds you? I’m not surprised. Who wants to be unemployed?

“Chen, who has been blind from childhood and taught himself law, was a campaigner for farmers and disabled citizens. He exposed forced abortions in China before he was placed under house arrest in Shandong province. … NYU pointed to a PBS television interview in May 2012 with Cohen, who had said Chen would be at NYU for a year at most while he adjusted to a new country.” Source: Reuters

Then again, maybe the truth about Mr. Chen is that he’s just a paranoid guy with a wild imagination who likes to complain and now that he’s living in the US, he has to find something to complain about here. Maybe the Chinese really locked Chen up because they grew tired of hearing his unsupported, alleged complaints.

The second bit of news was China asking the United States to explain its Internet surveillance program: “China made its first substantive comments on Monday to reports of U.S. surveillance of the Internet, demanding that Washington explain its monitoring programs to the international community.

“Several nations, including U.S. allies, have reacted angrily to revelations by an ex-CIA employee over a week ago that U.S. authorities had tapped the servers of internet companies for personal data.”  Source: CNBC

I think there has to be another reason China is making this demand.  Either China wants the world to see that its biggest critic for Internet surveillance in China, the United States, also spies on its citizens and was keeping it a secret, or—then again—maybe China wants to learn from the United States how to build a better Internet surveillance system.  After all, the US is known for its innovation.

The third bit of news was about China’s new supercomputer. CNBC reported that “China has built the world’s fastest supercomputer, almost twice as fast as the previous U.S. holder and underlining the country’s rise as a science and technology powerhouse.”

It’s no secret—I think (no leak intended)—that the United States uses supercomputers to monitor its Internet surveillance system and eavesdrop on citizens’ phone calls and e-mails. And now that China has a super computer twice as powerful as anything in the United States, China may want to put it to good use just like the US is doing to keep a closer eye on its citizens—and so-called paranoid dissidents like Chen Guangcheng.

That way China will be able to move faster and grant these dissidents immigration status to the US where they will seek political asylum and be given positions as visiting scholars who don’t have to teach classes and who get paid just to hang around and socialize badmouthing China.

That should help divert the attention of America’s citizens off of their own government’s Internet and phone surveillance systems and back on China where the US government wants it to be focused.

Discover Liu Xiaobo’s Manifesto, Charter 08

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel, Running with the Enemy, was awarded an honorable mention in general fiction at the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival.

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Family Roots run Deep in Israel and China

March 25, 2013

In 1967, I was stationed at Camp Pendleton, California. Between June 5 – 10, six months after I returned from Vietnam, Israel fought the Six-Day War defeating several Islamic nations that had twice the troops Israel had, more combat aircraft and many more tanks.

It was Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Kuwait, Tunisia, Sudan and the PLO against Israel.

Israel’s had a total of 264,000 troops with only 100,000 deployed. The Islamic nations had a total of 547,000 troops with 240,000 deployed. Israel had 800 tanks to 2,504, and 300 combat aircraft to 957.

After Israel’s victory, I remember saying, “We should let Israel fight the Vietnam War for us.  At least Israel’s leaders know how to fight.”

The Jews and the Chinese have four things in common—loyalty to family, a high respect for education, a willingness to work long hours for low pay, and a canny acumen for business. Because of these similarities, the Chinese have even been called the Jews of Asia.

The Jews have a long history with China. In China: A New Promised Land, by R. E. Prindle, an interview with David Grossman, Israel’s leading novelist talks about the Jews moving to China.

When a father goes to work in China, he works for his family—not himself. After the children grow up, they must care for their parents—not the other way around like in America.  In America, many parents tell their children to do whatever they want and be anything they want. Most children follow that advice even if it means getting a degree to become an artist or skipping college to chase dreams of acting, singing or sports fame while attending parties or visiting theme parks like Disneyland because mom and dad said, “We want you to be happy—to have fun.”

It’s different for many Jews and Chinese. Working hard and earning an education are important to both cultures.  A close friend of mine and his wife, both Jewish, took out a loan on their home so their son could become a doctor and their daughter a lawyer. They bought a condominium near the university their children attended as a place to live. Both the mother and father were teachers, who did not earn much, which shows that Jewish parents, like the Chinese, are willing to sacrifice for their children in ways many American parents would find unacceptable in the age of credit cards and instant gratification.

This willingness to sacrifice for the family and nation may have been the reason the Jews won the Six-Day War against overwhelming odds. Although the Chinese have the same values and are willing to make the same sacrifices for family, they did not know how to fight like the Jews—something the surviving Jews must have learned due to Nazi atrocities.


Will the changing China also change family values?

After Mao won China, he caused much suffering with the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution where the goal may have been to root out the weaknesses that caused China to become a victim to Western Imperialism in the 19th century and then Japan during World War II.

I wonder if the Chinese learned the lessons Mao taught them through suffering similar to what the Jews experienced from Hitler.  I wonder if China will fight like Israel if threatened again. Before Mao, China was a country of poets and artists who painted watercolors on rice paper.  Even Mao and his generals wrote poems. I do not believe the Chinese are a military threat to anyone who does not threaten them.

Like Israel, China may only respond if they feel they are going to be attacked, and if Mao left them ready to defend themselves against aggressors, then the horrors that caused so much suffering and death during the 27 years he ruled China might have been worth the sacrifice for the survival of this family focused culture.

Most America families were like that once before the industrial revolution and the self-esteem movement made the individual more important than the family. Back then, 95% of the population lived on small family farms near towns and hamlets instead of bulging cities dominated by corporate cultures and sexy advertisements. Today, most family roots in the United States do not run deep—not like the Chinese and Jews.

See The First of all Virtues

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Zheng Cao, who beat the odds and cheated death, is the Mezzo-Soprano from China

March 18, 2013

She describes herself as a girl from China who came to America with $45 and knowing two words of English, “Merry Christmas.”  Source: SFGate

When Zheng Cao burst onto the San Francisco Opera scene in 1995, she played Siebel in “Faust.” Since then, she’s performed in opera houses throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

Today, an inspiration, the Shanghai-born Mezzo-soprano has defied the odds of surviving stage four lung cancer and a diagnoses that said she had six months to live.

When diagnosed, she received a death sentence. Months later, she would learn that the rigorous treatment plan had dramatically reduced the cancer threat.

“This is the most impressive response I’ve seen in my life,” Dr. Rosenbaum said.

Zheng Cao’s tumors either had decreased in size, were no longer visible or no longer considered active.

To learn more about Zhen Cao’s journey, visit her Blog at Caring Bridge.org.

Zheng Cao holds degrees from the Shanghai Conservatory and the Curtis Institute of Music.

While studying, she worked as a singer on the Holland American cruise line where she met Troy Donahue in 1991.

Donahue said, “We were very serious, very committed to each other. It’s the greatest relationship I’ve ever had in my life.” Source: Troy Donahue at encore4.net

Zheng Cao and Troy Donahue were engaged until his death in 2001. She turned 44 on June 9, 2010.

See China’s Got Talent Too

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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From Mao to the Met

March 12, 2013

Arriving early at the local library to attend a lecture called the Wit and Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln, I stopped by the library’s used bookstore first and found a three-dollar DVD of Hao Jiang Tian’s From Mao to the Met. Later that evening, my wife said she had been looking for that DVD, and she invited her sister and father to join us when we watched it.

Funded by the Committee of 100, this one-man show features Metropolitan Opera basso Hao Jiang Tian weaving song and story into a compelling tale of growing up in China under Chairman Mao, based on his autobiography (with co-author Lois B. Morris) “Along the Roaring River: My Wild Ride from Mao to the Met“.

What I enjoyed most about the one-man show was that Tian never condemned Mao, the CCP or China for his bitter-sweet journey.

 

Instead, this fantastic opera singer says it was fate that led him from Mao to the Met. When you stop to think about it, fate is the river-of-life known later as history—the current that carries all of us through life often without much say in that history.

As a child, Tian hated his piano lessons. Then with the arrival of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, Tian said, “So one happiest day came when I heard an announcement from the loudspeakers: My piano teacher was arrested as a counterrevolutionary. And then I was so happy. And so immediately I ran to the courtyard, screaming and jumping with joy.”

Thirty years later, Tian returned to Beijing and visited his piano teacher, who said, “Well, that was a crazy period, and it was so hard to figure out who was right and who was wrong.”

In his one man show, Tian performs songs of the Cultural Revolution, American standards such as “Some Enchanted Evening”, Irish song “Danny Boy” and operatic arias from his favorite roles; Tian tells the story of the music-and the woman- that changed his life.

NPR says, “For more than 20 years, the basso voice of Hao Jiang Tian has filled major American opera houses. As one of the few Chinese stars in opera, his life story is as remarkable as his work. … Tian is one of the few opera singers to emerge from China.” Source: NPR.org

Discover China’s Invisible Man – Liu Bolin

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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