Guest post by ecoSanity.org Kindred Defender, Dr. Peter D. Carter, M.D.
The Olympics ceased being “games” decades ago. No longer the symbol of peace in the world, they are now one of the most unfortunate examples of our insane, unsustainable, life-destroying global economy.The Beijing Olympic Games slogan is “One World, One Dream”. The dream is the globalization of the American dream or the Americanization of the planet through totally unconstrained capitalist profiteering at any cost.
Hosting an Olympic games costs over $10 billion and is regarded as an investment in national economic promotion. China spent $40 billion to prepare and is promoting itself through the Games as the most profitable and safe place in the world for big money sponsors like General Electric to cash in.And how does China do this? Through a society of human rights suppression by a centralized communist government and a blind eye to the fastest growing source of pollution on the planet.
The Three Gorges Dam, the largest hydroelectric dam in the world, is a symbol of China’s new ‘bigness’ and a popular tourist destination to wow the Olympic visitors. It is promoted as a green electricity project but, over time, its greenness will fade as the reservoir becomes a source of methane emissions (at least 23 times more potent than CO2 as a global heating gas). The year the tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square was the same year a moratorium was placed on planning the dam and, the day before the tanks, environmental assessment pamphlets were being distributed. But in a brutal crackdown, the central hard-line communist government rolled over the fledgling Chinese democracy movement, pushed ahead with the dam and forced the displacement of millions in the name of electricity generation.
The vision of the Three Georges dam was to make Shanghai the greatest electrified coastal city in the world. Corporations like General Electric have been a big part of the world-scale electricity project. American banks like Morgan Stanley provided loans when sources of funding got tight. But the greater purpose of the dam is the vast navigable waterway that is being created, which will allow the transportation of coal from northern China to the south and will provide the electrical transmission hub for the country to expand its industrialization (by coal) to other regions.
The spin of the international public relations campaign was that the displaced peasant farmers would grow fruit on higher ground. A bit of a challenge, though, because it’s all rock! So the farmers have been forced to split rock and build rock blocks by hand to line the gorge before it’s flooded. Then they’ll have to gravitate to the cities to work like robots in the huge factories that supply the world with more and more products to be consumed.
In the global economy, every human is made into a consumer — a slave to fossil fuels. We become consumers of products made by fossil fuel energy, which then consume fossil fuel energy.Self-sufficient peasant farmers need little money and little fossil fuel but, once forced off the land, they depend on money earned as industrial workers to barely survive in the city. This market of potential Chinese energy consumers has barely been tapped.
The International Energy Agency projects that China’s primary energy demand will more than double by 2030. It will overtake the United States as the world’s largest energy consumer soon after 2010. And coal consumption is expected to grow rapidly and to continue to dominate 63% of primary energy demand.
According to the IEA reference scenario, China will account for 39% of increased global CO2 emissions between 2004 and 2030, with emissions from its coal-fired plants expected to rise from 2,269 megatonnes (Mt) in 2004 to 5,450 Mt in 2030. For comparison, Canadian greenhouse gas emissions in 2004 totaled 758 Mt.
A Government of Canada 2007 publication, “China: Prospects and Global Environmental Effects,” says energy “analysts maintain that if China and other emerging industrial economies do not succeed in controlling their greenhouse gas emissions, catastrophic climate change will become inevitable.”The Beijing Olympic Games are aggressively promoting the race to extinction and are a huge symptom of the spreading insanity of Americanism that threatens an unlivable future for us all.
Choking On Growth – Series – Parts 1-10
NY Times, Special Series, Various, 2007
The Olympics: Unveiling Police State 2.0
Huffington Post, Naomi Klein, August 7, 2008
Sponsors Win Big With Coveted Olympic Partnerships
ABC News, Huma Khan, August 7, 2008
Made-In-America China The Worst Of Both Worlds
Toronto Star, Rosie Dimanno, August 1, 2008
Amnesty Blasts China For ‘Broken Promises’ On Rights
CBC, July 29, 2008
The Pain Of The G-8’s Big Shrug
NY Times, Nicholas D. Kristof, July 10, 2008
China’s Unreality TV
NY Times, Editorial, June 22, 2008
China Increases Lead As Biggest Carbon Dioxide Emitter
NY Times, Elizabeth Rosenthal, June 14, 2008
China’s Carbon Emissions Soaring Past The U.S.
The Guardian, David Adam, June 13, 2008
China Emissions To Swamp Kyoto Reductions By 2010
New Scientist, Catherine Brahic, March 11, 2008
Cleaning Up China
NY Times, Editorial, September 23, 2007
Asia’s Brown Clouds ‘Warm Planet’
BBC News, August 1, 2007
Dust, Waste And Dirty Water: The Deadly Price Of China’s Miracle
The Guardian, John Vidal, July 18, 2007
Beijing Blames Pollutants For Rise In Killer Cancers
The Guardian, Jonathan Watts, May 22, 2007
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