Cars in the Land of the Bicycle: China

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Stephen Harding, Jan 23, 2003.

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  1. ABC had an interesting story about the rise in cars sales in China. Over 1 million new automobiles
    were sold last year in that country for the first time.

    Of course China is known for its traffic jams of bicyclists not cars, but things apparently are
    changing. Although there are still 100 bicyclists for every car owner, the car culture seems to be
    catching on: drive in movies, fast food, and increasingly, smog and traffic jams.

    Although there are many foreign manufacturers there, it seems Buick is among the most popular
    brands. Saw quite a few Jeep cherokees in the footage as well, and car clubs, one of which whose
    members drove camoflaged jeep wranglers and dressed in US Army uniforms as part of the fun.

    Rather sad seeing some footage of struggling bicyclists attempting to cross a road packed with
    streaming lines of automobiles, and the trend doesn't seem to bode well for the bicycle in that
    country in the not too distant future.

    SMH
     
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  2. Ken wrote:

    > China is a huge and very diverse country. Their larger cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Canton, etc.)
    > are becoming as large and modern as anything in the USA or Europe. As commute distances grow,
    > bicycles become impractical for a larger portion of the population. Still, I expect that you'll
    > see many more bicycles in these cities than in New York or Washington.

    Yes but it was interesting to see the effect the car is already having on that society. Exactly the
    same as in the US; car based services, and people living farther outside the city and commuting to
    work. Suburban sprawl is probably coming next.

    China will very likely make the same mistakes in their rush towards development as was made by the
    US (and Europe) in the past two centuries.

    The great smog/pollution producer will not be the US in 15 years, but China, India and
    Indonesia instead.

    But I agree, the "Flying Pidgeon" will likely be around in the rural areas of China for some
    time to come.

    SMH
     
  3. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Stephen Harding" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Yes but it was interesting to see the effect the car is already having on that society. Exactly
    > the same as in the US; car based services, and
    people
    > living farther outside the city and commuting to work. Suburban sprawl is probably coming next.
    >
    > China will very likely make the same mistakes in their rush towards development as was made by the
    > US (and Europe) in the past two centuries.
    >
    > The great smog/pollution producer will not be the US in 15 years, but
    China,
    > India and Indonesia instead.

    One of my biggest problems with current US policy is that unless we start setting an example, we'll
    have no lobbying power at all when faced with pollution from developing nations. How can we be
    driving around in hulking, guzzling SUVs, and then turn around and tell the Chinese, Indians, or
    Indonsians they need to clean up their act?

    Matt O.
     
  4. Ken wrote:
    >
    > Stephen Harding <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
    > > The great smog/pollution producer will not be the US in 15 years, but China, India and Indonesia
    > > instead.
    >
    > On a per capita basis, I really doubt that. These are mostly agricultural countries with most
    > citizens generating little pollution. On a national level, you may see alot of pollution from
    > China and India, but only because their populations are 6 times larger than the USA.

    And their industries are dirtier, and their technologies are less capable, and they don't have any
    sort of anti-pollution ethic, and they have very high industrial growth.

    Fifteen to 20 years are the predictions, and one of the major reasons the Kyoto accords would have
    accomplished nothing, since they don't address Third World pollution.

    > Of course, the USA is currently the world's number one in total pollution output (air, water,
    > and land).

    The US is the third most populous nation on earth I believe, and the most heavily industrialized of
    the three, so this is hardly surprising is it?

    SMH
     
  5. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Stephen Harding" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > The US is the third most populous nation on earth I believe, and the most heavily industrialized
    > of the three, so this is hardly surprising is it?

    It's actually more like the fifth largest, behind China, India, Indonesia, and what used to be the
    USSR. (Is that considered one nation now?)

    Matt O.
     
  6. Barry Gaudet

    Barry Gaudet Guest

    Matt O'Toole <[email protected]> wrote:

    : "Stephen Harding" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    : news:[email protected]...

    :> The US is the third most populous nation on earth I believe, and the most heavily industrialized
    :> of the three, so this is hardly surprising is it?

    : It's actually more like the fifth largest, behind China, India, Indonesia, and what used to be the
    : USSR. (Is that considered one nation now?)

    According to: http://blue.census.gov/cgi-bin/ipc/idbrank.pl the US is third but a very distant
    third. Considering that China has over four times and India almost four times the US's population;
    those per capita figures really stand out.

    Russia might* be a real close fourth if one does include all the former USSR components.

    *[I may have missed a statelet or two]

    Countries Ranked by Population: 2002
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Rank Country Population
    --------------------------------------------------------
    1 China 1,279,160,885 2 India 1,034,172,547 3 United States 287,675,526

    [f-USSR 286,823,410]

    4 Indonesia 231,326,092 5 Brazil 179,914,212 6 Pakistan 147,663,429 7 Russia 144,978,573 [...] 24
    Ukraine 48,396,470 [...] 41 Uzbekistan 25,563,441 [...] 56 Kazakhstan 16,741,519 [...] 74 Belarus
    10,335,382 [...] 88 Azerbaijan 7,798,497 [...] 96 Tajikistan 6,719,567 [...] 112 Georgia
    4,960,951 113 Kyrgyzstan 4,822,166 114 Turkmenistan 4,688,963 [...] 117 Moldova 4,434,547 [...]
    127 Lithuania 3,601,138 [...] 139 Latvia 2,366,515 [...] 149 Estonia 1,415,681

    As well, according to the CIA world factbook Russia's population growth is negative:

    http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/

    'Russia -0,33% (2002 est.)
    China +0.87% (2002 est.)
    India +1.51% (2002 est.)
    USA +0.89% (2002 est.)'

    Again from the CIA World Fact book: USA

    'Environment - current issues: Air pollution resulting in acid rain in both the US and Canada; the
    US is the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water
    pollution from runoff of pesticides and fertilizers; very limited natural fresh water resources in
    much of the western part of the country require careful management; desertification.'

    So to sum up: The US. although a quarter of the population of the each of the two larger nations is
    still the largest CO2 emitter. This would make it by far the most prolific emitter on a per capita
    basis. And those two populous nations are rapidly industrializing. Better to have accords in place
    before they get too wealthy.

    Which is why I think what people who make the argument: 'Developing
    countries get off easy', miss is that Kyoto-like accords at least get a
    process in place that can be improved on and expanded upon in the future.

    --
    'People think I'm insane because I am frowning all the time All day long I think of things
    but nothing seems to satisfy' 'Make a joke and I will sigh And you will laugh and I will
    cry' -Black Sabbath
     
  7. Matt O'Toole wrote:
    >
    > "Stephen Harding" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >
    > > The US is the third most populous nation on earth I believe, and the most heavily industrialized
    > > of the three, so this is hardly surprising is it?
    >
    > It's actually more like the fifth largest, behind China, India, Indonesia, and what used to be the
    > USSR. (Is that considered one nation now?)

    No. The USSR was a bunch of "republics" with a combined population very much similar to that of the
    US. That's all fragmented now, with Russia being the largest of the twelve former Soviet republics.

    Population of Indonesia as of 2001 was 231.3 million. The US is 285 million as of 2000.

    Russia is about 145 million as of 2002.

    The US stands as the third most populous nation in the world.

    China 1.2 billion India 0.9+ billion US 285 million Indonesia 231 million Russia 145 million

    SMH
     
  8. Stephen Harding <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Don't lay "consumerism" at the feet of the US solely.
    >
    > The entire world *wants* to be a large consumer. They just don't have the money to do so.
    >

    Riiiight.

    That's why I don't use a car in the city, but bikes and transit. That's why I take cycle vacations.
    That's why we make our own cookies and playdough and tree ornaments - not because it's fun, but
    because I'm poor! Wow! I gotta go talk to my boss here at this Securities/Equity
    Derivatives/Arbitrage company I work for! I need a Mercedes Benz!

    - Brian "He must make amends" Huntley
     
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