China builds new airports; still not as pollutey as U.S.

China plans to build 48 new airports in the next five years, spending $17.5 billion on construction and continuing expansion of existing hubs. The country is already the premier buyer of Boeing and Airbus planes, and has vowed to buy 100 planes every year until 2010. (For perspective: China’s new hubs will bring its total to 190 airports, serving a population of 1.3 billion people — a far cry from the U.S., where more than 10,000 airports serve less than a quarter that many people.) Expansion of the energy-sucking, pollution-spewing, ozone-depleting aviation industry is unlikely to help China bring down its greenhouse-gas emissions, which increased 33 percent from 1992 to 2002, according to a new World Bank report. Another fast-growing developing country, India, increased emissions by 57 percent in the same time period. (For perspective: the U.S. far out-emits both China and India, contributing a quarter of total global emissions. Sweet, sweet perspective.)