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    Critique on Energy for China Article

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    Faced with explosive economic growth, China's energy demands have soared, forcing it to become a net importer of oil. In 2004, China became the world's second largest importer of oil, beating out Japan which had been second. Current trends indicate that oil imports will make up 40% of China's total consumption by 2010. China has tried to bring its domestic cost of gasoline more in line with oil costs on the world market. As a result, gasoline prices increased steadily during the early 2000s. Attempting to limit its dependence on oil imports, the Chinese government wants to develop domestic oil sources and to substitute other fuels for oil. Thus far, China's oil supplies have proved less than promising, and coal is the only major alternative fuel under production.
    With its fossil fuel consumption - and the accompanying greenhouse gas emissions - so steadily on the rise, China dominates international concerns over global climate warming. In the early 2000s, China's per capita motor vehicle ownership was low, and buses and other forms of mass transit were the most widely used types of transportation. Because of projected increases in motor vehicle ownership in coming decades, China's 2025 projected carbon dioxide emissions are 3.2 billion tons per year, compared with current global carbon dioxide emissions of 6.15 billion tons per year. China can justify its increased energy consumption and emissions as products of fair economic development. For example, China's projected ownership of motor vehicles in 2020 is only 52 vehicles per 1000 people, which is about one-fifteenth what the U.S. level was in 2000.

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    That humans are effecting the climate is still debated, but most scientists agree that anthropogenic carbon dioxide is causing global warming, and this could have disastrous consequences. But as this article makes clear, simply reducing fossil fuel usage in the developed world will not solve this issue; the developing world is set to enter the scene in such as way that our current usage looks minuscule. At the moment, about one billion people worldwide rely mainly on biomass or animal waste for fuel; these people don't even register in the current energy equation. Another four billion have yet to enter industrial development fully, but by 2050, 80 percent of the estimated population of 8 or 9 billion will be living in cities and earning incomes large enough to demand energy. This will result in a doubling or tripling of current demand. China is a large part of this ...