Articles by Christina Larson
Christina Larson is a contributing editor at Foreign Policy magazine and a Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation. Her reporting has brought her throughout China, as well Southeast Asia, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, The New Republic, The Washington Monthly, and Yale Environment 360 among other publications.
You can watch Disney and the Department of Energy's co-produced energy-efficiency PSA here. It's half an ad for Ratatouille, half a push for compact fluorescent lightbulbs.
Maybe the marketing theory is, "Hook 'em while they're young." Works for soft drinks and breakfast cereals. Perhaps it will work for Energy Star, too.
It's official. China is now the world's top emitter of greenhouse gases.
Having spent much of this spring reporting in China, I'd like to second just about everything David said yesterday on the topic. But I have one ginormous point to add.
It's not just money that's needed. Yes, it'd be a good thing if Hill folks stopped bashing technology-exchange programs as lending an "unfair competitive advantage." And yes, let's stop painting China as the international bad guy. It ain't helpful, especially when the Chinese can rightly point out that Americans and Europeans are still, per capita, the world's energy hogs.
But the really troubling thing is that, even when Beijing is trying to do the right thing -- and they have some surprisingly progressive energy targets on the books -- the government often can't enforce its own edicts. Wonks call this a "rule of law" problem. By Beijing's own estimates, one-fifth of power plants operate illegally, dodging the government's own environmental regulations and best intentions.
I don't mean to sound hopeless. I'm actually hopeful about some of the broader changes underway in China that might make solutions more workable. (Sorry to be elliptical; I write about this in an upcoming Washington Monthly article, but, jiminycrickets, I don't have an online link yet.)
In the meantime, yep, the West should take some responsibility for helping China, India, and Africa avoid the worst of the worst on global warming. If not for their sake, then for ours.
As globalization takes off, it's not only governments that have the power to affect millions of lives. We expect to hold democratically elected officials accountable -- but what about unelected bigwigs, CEOs, foundation heads, philanthropists, and NGO leaders?
The 2008 Democratic Convention will be held in Denver, Colorado. The New York Times wonders if this is a diss to the Big Apple, but I'm celebrating. Holding the Olympics of politics in the West means a spotlight on green issues that have recently helped turned Colorado blue.