Dirty China

China will soon pass the U.S. as the world’s biggest emitter of CO2. It is already the world leader in most other forms of pollution. China achieves this with an economy significantly smaller than ours by making more pollution per unit of GDP produced. Do you feel your paradigms of economics and environment shifting?

What are some of the big lessons?

First is the confirmation of an obvious relationship: economic growth tends to increase CO2 emissions. If China had remained abysmally poor it would not be emitting so much CO2. Conversely, if the American economy stagnated, CO2 emissions would drop. That is one way to accomplish emission reduction goals, but probably not an acceptable one.

Second is the rise of the developing world as contributors to both the world economy and world pollution. We have seen this development coming for many years. The Kyoto Treaty and its related ideas blithely based prescriptions on the past and ignored the future. Well, the future is now. China is the biggest source of most sorts of pollution on the planet and that share will grow in coming decades. As emissions from the U.S. and the EU shirk, those from China, India etc will more than compensate for the reductions. To the extent that Kyoto style thinking shifts industry from the U.S. or EU to developing countries where pollution per unit of GDP tends to be higher, total global emissions will actually be higher than they would have been had everything stayed put. We are trading x units of pollution in North America or Europe for x+y units of pollution in Asia or Africa. Not a good deal if you are thinking globally.

Third is the end of U.S. predominance. Hardly a person alive today clearly remembers a time when the U.S. was not the world’s predominant economic power. At one point just after WWII, the U.S. produced around 50% of ALL the goods and services produced in all the world. For the next half century, you could reasonably talk about the world economy as the U.S. and the others. This is rapidly changing. The U.S. will remain one of the world’s most important economies for the foreseeable future. It may even remain the world's largest economy for a long time. But the integration of the EU and the rise of China (and India soon) will make the U.S. much more of one among peers.

It is important to understand that overall this is a good thing. These are RELATIVE rankings reflecting an increase in general welfare. The changes are not the result of the U.S. not growing fast enough, but rather of others growing faster. In recent years, the U.S. has been growing at a very respectable rate. It makes sense that a developing country can grow faster, since there is more to be made up. There is really nothing to be done about it. The U.S. should strive to grow as fast as it can, but (sorry) you cannot blame this on Bush. It would be like blaming your 18 year old son because his 16 year old brother is catching up and may someday be taller. In many ways, the growth of the world economy represents a success of many years of U.S. policy, going way back to the Marshall Plan. Our emphasis on helping others develop free markets and open trade has helped them become richer and made us richer too. It is a win/win.

In any case, international malcontents and professional activists will soon face a more complicated decisions. Instead of reflexively blaming America first & always, they may face a multiple choice test. For example, China is much more responsible for the Darfur genocide than the U.S or the EU. China buys 2/3rds of Sudan's oil and China's investments have made the US sanctions irrelevant.

There will be winners and losers. Protestors will need to buy a whole boxes of different flags to set on fire depending on the precise circumstance. On the other hand, third-world dictators will have a wider choice of outsiders to blame for their inadequacies and corruption.

Americans will have to get used to not being the big dog on every porch. It may be harder than we think. As Oscar Wilde said, "It is better to be talked about than not talked about" and as the Russians learned, it is sometimes more flattering to be disliked than ignored.

The world is not going to change, it HAS changed. The Chinese are now the big pollution dogs and others will soon be howling in our yard in lots of other ways too. It is time to change our mental model to conform to the new reality.

Posted by Jack at April 24, 2007 9:23 PM
Comments
Comment #218341

1) Take the log out of our own eye. That is, reduce emissions and move to a green, low emissions energy policy

2) Lead by example, enable others to clean up the environment, and share knowledge on how to do this, among other things.

3) Capitalize on the market for low-emissions and green technology. Don’t let the EU, China, or Japan get ahead of us, such that the greening of America requires yet another trade deficit. Don’t wait to turn the gains of green technology into economic gains from America. Look what America’s leadership in electronic technology yielded us. Let’s get ahead of the curve.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 24, 2007 10:58 PM
Comment #218342

Stephen

Good advice. We should do the things you mention, but it misses the paradigm change. Reducing our emissions will not solve the problem. We need a global response that includes the biggest emiters of 2025, not only those of 1995.

You still have a very American centric outlook.

Posted by: Jack at April 24, 2007 11:04 PM
Comment #218368
Reducing our emissions will not solve the problem. We need a global response that includes the biggest emiters of 2025, not only those of 1995.

Then the first move is stopping to play “You reduce your CO2 first!” ping-pong between US and China. Join, not reject, everyone at international environmental meetings. Earth needs a global response. Each country can only offer a national one which, sadly, could be even counter-productive at global level.

You still have a very American centric outlook.

Indeed. It’s time to have a earth centric outlook. And not only on environmental issues.

Wait.
Stop this environemental BS!
Who care about trashing our planet!?
We find the next earth, 50% bigger: Gliese 581c

Let’s consume this one. Then we’ll immigrate there and do it again. We will be a crawling specie then, due to 1.6 gravity, but hey, if ants ruled earth, we could too with the next.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at April 25, 2007 5:30 AM
Comment #218371

Philippe

As you will recall from my earlier writings, I advocate a strong system of carbon taxes much above what we (or anybody else) is currently doing. I also advocate more use of nuclear energy and the sharing of clean technologies worldwide. These are all things we should do. The point of this article is to show how much the reality of the world has shifted.

As late as twenty years ago, the big industrial democracies could get together and try to decide the fate of the world economy. They controlled most of the economic power and were responsible for most of the outcomes. Today this is no longer the case.

I do not think that most of us have come to grips with the change. Things may get much harder. Listen to the linked radio program re China in Darfur. Protestors are accustomed to attacking the U.S. This has some effect, since the U.S. is a democracy with a pluralistic decision making. China is bolstering Sudan and is the country most standing in the way of a solution. (China also holds the keys to a solution in N. Korea, BTW). But is very hard to influence China. They give the example of Tibet. Generations of protestors have banged their heads against the great Chinese wall with absolutely no effect.

Returning to the environment, China is now the world’s largest source of many kinds of pollution. CO2 was merely the last of the major emissions to be added. And the Chinese pollution will be growing very rapidly. It made sense to make the U.S. the most urgent goal when the U.S. was the biggest emitter. Now we have a slightly different problem, from a global perspective.

I really do not expect the world community to address this. Most protestors are accustomed to a blame the U.S. first mentality. It is more fun for them to protest America because they can have easier result and get better media.

I remember during the Cold War. Protestors would attack the U.S. for everything but they largely left the Soviets alone because they were afraid of them. Luckily, the Soviet Empire had its own, braver, protestors. China effectively crushes domestic dissent and evidently is pretty good at silencing the international community too.

There is an African story about the leopard and the elephants. A leopard finds his dead cub. He says, “the sheep have killed my cub and I will have my revenge” A witness tell him that he saw the whole thing. It was not the sheep, it was the elephants that trampled the cub. The leopard takes a look at the elephants and says, “No. It was the sheep” and attacks several of them. This is closely analogous to the world protest community related to the U.S. and China.

Posted by: Jack at April 25, 2007 7:40 AM
Comment #218372

Jack,

I agree (also with Stephen). But, then you wrote your “Don’t blame Bush” paragraph, and you kinda lost it with me. I was on your side (normally I’m not), then you seemed to make it a referendum to support/defend Bush.

So, since you have made it a post to defend Bush, please do so, or leave him out of it. So, I ask with open ears, that you provide us with arguements to support why we should not blame Bush? Please provide us with facts that show that Bush supports the same concepts.

I am tired of people blaming Bush too. He is supposed to be the one to set the example for the rest of us (us being, the US and the world). Has he done that?

Keep up the good posts, I enjoy reading your thoughts.

-Dutch_expat

Posted by: Dutch_expat at April 25, 2007 7:41 AM
Comment #218373

Dutch

I put in Bush because I know somebody else will. No matter what I write about, it quicky comes to Bush bashing. My one sentence was meant as a small inoculation. I am sorry if it had the opposite effect.

The reason we should not blame Bush, FYI, is that there is no blame for anybody. China (and others) are growing rapidly. It makes perfect sense that the U.S. - with around 4% of the world population cannot continue to produce 30% of the world’s GDP forever. The U.S. economy is one of the fastest growing developed economies, but less developed ones can (and are) growing faster. Actually, this is long overdue. It is about time they started doing this. But with economic growth comes pollution. We need to address this, but the locus of the problem is moving.

Posted by: Jack at April 25, 2007 7:48 AM
Comment #218374

Jack, your article reads like a child defending her using curse words by saying the next door neighbor’s kid said it.

It’s no defense.

If China’s increases are offset by our reductions, that is, in and of itself a very good thing for humanity and the globe, compared our not offsetting their increases. Certainly, we want to assist China in getting their emissions to reduce, but, that can’t and won’t happen until we create the cost effective technologies to accomplish this.

And there has never been a better time for the American people to help fund the research to develop low-cost remedies through our University Research departments, and make them available to other polluting nations at no profit. After all, this is OUR planet we talking about, and we should not put profit motive ahead of saving the planet that sustains us.

This is one reason I am so glad Republicans are out of office. This non-profit approach goes against their grain. We have seen more than a decade of Republicans in Congress take from the taxpayer to underwrite the profit growth of some of the most profitable industries in existence today. That paradigm would stand as an obstacle to dealing with global climate change in the most expeditious manner possible.

We certainly want for-profit companies to innovate and export clean technology. But, that should be their choice and on their customer’s dime. We should fund the same research throughout our Universities and make such research available to other nations for nothing more than the cost by taxpayers to fund the research. A non-profit concept. Saving the planet and its inhabitants from global climate change to the extent we can, should be a charitable exercise and effort based on self-preservation.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 25, 2007 7:51 AM
Comment #218377

David

We are spending a fortune to develop new energy technologies. This is still the place where the U.S. is the clear leader. We are also sharing much of the technology. I have written on many occasions re the Asia Pacific Partnership.

Re profit and price - I think most people miss the point. One big reason market economies do so much better than the alternatives is price. The price contains much information about relative scarcities, problems and future prospects. No government can match the aggregated decision making information price contains.

The alternative is to make decisions on political grounds. This is what is happening with corn based ethanol and we will soon regret the subsidies that both political parties and three administrations have enacted.

The analogy to the kids is good, but the curse word is wrong. The proper analogy is that your kids is making a little fire in the trash heap, while the kid next door is burning down the house. It is logical to address the bigger and more urgent problem first.

Posted by: Jack at April 25, 2007 8:05 AM
Comment #218381

Jack,

While it is noteworthy that China will be the CO2 emitter, I get tired of conservatives using this as an excuse for inaction.

The logic goes that we shouldn’t sign a treaty like Kyoto if it doesn’t include China. The problem with this argument, which any bright child should be able to figure out, is that the Chinese could use it, too! Why should they join any international treaties that the US doesn’t join? So then we have the two biggest emitters using each other as an excuse. Both sides feel morally justified, and nothing gets done.

In any case, international malcontents and professional activists will soon face a more complicated decisions. Instead of reflexively blaming America first & always, they may face a multiple choice test.

This is a straw man argument. Nobody blames the US for everything. China gets slammed a lot for human rights violations, for example.

I think people tend to protest the US more because this is a democracy and the government is supposed to listen!

China achieves this with an economy significantly smaller than ours by making more pollution per unit of GDP produced.

Why should the denominator be GDP, rather than population? If we have about the same C02 emissions, China’s emissions are apparently about 4X lower per capita.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 25, 2007 9:12 AM
Comment #218382

If I seem a little America-centric, as you say, it’s only because we have better control over our behavior than anybody else does, and because we’ll have a lot more credibility with China and India if we’re taking steps ourselves. If China and India are our excuses, we are theirs. Let’s stop being that excuse.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 25, 2007 9:13 AM
Comment #218383

Stephen,

Great minds think alike…

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 25, 2007 9:20 AM
Comment #218384

Jack,

Your analogy is close, except I think China is more accross town than next door.

Is it truly our business to address the problem accross town before we address our own neighborhood.
Certainly China will be a problem for everybody in the future, but in this case I think that America would do better to lead by example.
Putting pressure on China is putting the cart before the horse, and why would they think to do anything if they don’t believe anyone else is.
China has never been the first to do anything, and our inaction, market based or not, won’t spur China to get it’s act together.
If America wants to regain it’s standing in the world, I think we should get our own house in order before we start pointing fingers elsewhere.

Posted by: Rocky at April 25, 2007 9:26 AM
Comment #218414

Jack:

I’m happy to hear that you think CO2 emissions is a global problem. If this is so, we need approaches to the problem that call upon nations to work together for the common good of all.

Kyoto was set up for that purpose. We disdained to be part of it. If you don’t like Kyoto recommend another way for nations to work together to cut CO2 emissions.

Until we do this, as the leader of the free world let us set an example for other nations to follow.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at April 25, 2007 2:15 PM
Comment #218419

Last year China used over 30% of the world supply of copper, while the US used under 10%. That tells everything about the Chinese ability to manufacture. The Chinese manufacturing sector looks like America’s at its post-World War II zenith in the 1950’s and 60’s. The US cannot lead by example when we are not manufacturing. All this Green talk makes me think this isn’t a Republican weblog.

Posted by: Danny L. McDaniel at April 25, 2007 2:43 PM
Comment #218430

Danny,

“The US cannot lead by example when we are not manufacturing.”

So would you have America emulate China?

On thing that Americans have been really good at is marketing products and making money.
You can’t tell me that we need to pump out crap at the rate that China does to market environmental consciousness.

I’ve been to China, and I grew up outside of Los Angeles in the ’50s and ’60s.
China is much worse.
Even besides manufacturing, China uses coal for everything except to power their cars.

“All this Green talk makes me think this isn’t a Republican weblog.”

I guess that being conscious of the environment just doesn’t fit into the Republican agenda, right?

Posted by: Rocky at April 25, 2007 4:27 PM
Comment #218434
As Oscar Wilde said, “It is better to be There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about than and that is not being talked about”

There, fixed that for you. Quotes are really easy to look up on the interwebs (a series of tubes, you know).

Posted by: mental wimp at April 25, 2007 4:51 PM
Comment #218443

Mental

Sorry. I depend on my old memory

Woody

As you know, I advocate fairly strong measures.

The reason I choose GDP rather than population is because that is a useful and actionable item. CO2 emissions rise with GDP. Population does not have a direct relationship to emissions. Also the emission per unit of GDP can be altered based on choices of fuels, efficiency etc. If I know that a particular fuel produces x amount of CO2 per unit of GDP, I have a possible way of action. Knowing a country produces x amount of CO2 per capita contains absolutely no useful information. The people may be living very well and efficiently or they may be abysmally poor and wasteful. The per capita CO2 tells me nothing.

Paul

I go for a carbon tax. I think it should be high. A carbon tax does not require much in the way of international cooperation. The U.S. is cooperating in many ways internationally. I have written about those things. Kyoto is a bit of a joke. China actually gets to sell carbon credits.

Stephen

China and India are not our excuses. I think you are way too much into this example thing. People often find examples that illustrate the action they want to take.

Danny

The U.S. still manufactures much more than China. Beyond that U.S. manufacturing is near an all time high and makes up a higher percentage of our GDP than it did in the 1990s. We just do not need to employ so many people and we are manufacturing differently.

China is not an example for the U.S. and the U.S. is not an example for China.

Re being green and Republican, major firms are embracing green technology because they can make money. You can make green by being green. The environment is important to everyone. The left would like you to think it is their issue. It is not. Good Republicans embrace the environment. We just know that many of the Democratic SOLUTIONS are not the right ones, Kyoto for example.

Posted by: Jack at April 25, 2007 6:20 PM
Comment #218450

I have long known that China will surpass us in pollutants. They already surpass us in drinking, but that’s a different subject. Have you ever noticed how Al Gore and other global warming radicals have bulled the US and not China over polluting? How they make the US sign stupid treaties and not China? All these rules and regulations just tell me that the global warming crew is bullying America.

Posted by: stubborn conservative at April 25, 2007 7:00 PM
Comment #218453

Not only that Stubborn did you notice he also ran for President of the US and not China. What was he thinking, being an American and all?

Posted by: j2t2 at April 25, 2007 7:49 PM
Comment #218476

At some point China will find it necessary to curb polution. I sispect they will do it on a grand scale. The health cost,not in money but in lost production,will dictate it.

Posted by: BillS at April 25, 2007 11:48 PM
Comment #218478

Jack
Still onboard for a per barrel 10$ tariff on imported oil?NAFTA would mean that it could not be applied to Canada or Mexico. Both nieghbors and democracies.

Posted by: BillS at April 25, 2007 11:58 PM
Comment #218488

Industry caught in carbon ‘smokescreen’
By Fiona Harvey and Stephen Fidler in London

Published: April 25 2007 22:07 | Last updated: April 25 2007 22:07

Companies and individuals rushing to go green have been spending millions on “carbon credit” projects that yield few if any environmental benefits.

A Financial Times investigation has uncovered widespread failings in the new markets for greenhouse gases, suggesting some organisations are paying for emissions reductions that do not take place.

financial times

Posted by: scottie1321com at April 26, 2007 1:32 AM
Comment #218493

BillS

Let’s hope they do not do it on a grand scale as in the disterous culural revoltion or great leap forward. Grand scale revolutionary projects fail and get lots of people killed. Unfortunately, the Chinese have a tradition there.

BillS

I think oil needs to stay above $50 a barrel. If need be, I would tax it. Everybody knows my opinion. That is why I could never run for offie.

Posted by: Jack at April 26, 2007 7:42 AM
Comment #218496

Jack,

I’m just not buying this emissions/GDP formula.

Suppose, for example, we have a farmer in China with a bicycle and a cow. The cow has modest C02 emissions, and the bike has none. He is living a pretty frugal lifestyle, but he gets no credit in your books because he’s poor. On the other hand, a Yuppie who owns a Hummer is OK, because his consumption contributes a lot to the the GDP. By your logic, he’s no more “wasteful” than the farmer because he is rich.

That just doesn’t make sense to me. We all have to share the same planet, whether or not we have the good fortune to be born in a wealthy nation. A fairer scheme would be allocate a certain amount of C02 emissions per person. The better off could still buy the right to pollute on the open market.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 26, 2007 8:32 AM
Comment #218532

Jack and rocky-

I grew up in East Chicago, Indiana. Most of the town has abandoned factories that make it look like the ruins of a past civilization. They just closed one in January in which the machinery is being shipped to China. The jobs are gone, and for the most part so is hope. I used to believe all the globalization hype, no more. I have seen it destroy too many families and lives and a city.

Posted by: Danny L. McDaniel at April 26, 2007 4:34 PM
Comment #218543

Woody

You are trying to speak to an equity argument. It makes sense from the theoretical point of view, but is less useful in reducing or planning for emissions unless your plan is to impoverish everybody.

Read this - CRS Report - Greenhouse Gas Emission Drivers - In the context of climate change and possible responses to the risk associated with it, three variables strongly influence the levels and growth of greenhouse gas emissions: population, income (measured as per capita gross domestic product [GDP]), and intensity of emissions (measured as tons of greenhouse gas emissions per million dollars of GDP).

Posted by: Jack at April 26, 2007 6:29 PM
Comment #218588
You are trying to speak to an equity argument. It makes sense from the theoretical point of view, but is less useful in reducing or planning for emissions unless your plan is to impoverish everybody.

Ah… the usual right-wing economic threat: give us everything we want or the entire world will be reduced to abject poverty. That kind of thing may work with neocons or small children, but not me.

Look, I don’t doubt that emissions tend rise with GDP, but it is not like that it is some law of nature that can’t be violated. Doesn’t it seem a bit self-serving to you top argue that the countries that are already wealthy should continue to pollute at a higher rate simply because they are wealthy? And you think that is the ONLY way to reduce emissions?

If you don’t see anything wrong with that line of reasoning, I don’t really know what else to say. It’s just preposterous.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 27, 2007 8:51 AM
Comment #218618

Leading by example assumes that China gives a rats ass about pollution. Its about as important to them as democracy is to the Muslim world.

Posted by: Carnak at April 27, 2007 2:04 PM
Comment #218624

carnak,

“Leading by example assumes that China gives a rats ass about pollution. Its about as important to them as democracy is to the Muslim world.”

So what you’re saying is screw it let’s do nothing?
That’s totally unacceptable.

Besides China isn’t the only country out there with a growing economy.

You guys on the right want America to be the world leader. You want everybody to be like America.

Ok, fine, then let’s lead, or get out of the way.

Posted by: Rocky at April 27, 2007 2:39 PM
Comment #218635

WOody

Do read the link I included. YOu will find that it can support many of your arguments too. We can affect carbon intensity and that is the only route in the long run.

The big flaw in things like Kyoto is the redistributive aspect. It is misguided to mix concern for environment and equity. It is like mixing gum and peanut butter. Both are good things, but when you mix them it just makes a mess of both.

You can affect CO2 per unit of gdp. Population growth should be controlled when it is a problem. But when you consider distributing CO2 by population, it will cause trouble. In China (or in most developing countries) a unit of GDP takes more carbon in China than in the U.S. or Europe. If you move an industry to China, you will have more total CO2.

A global solution is needed. That means sharing technologies (as we are doing) using more nuclear power. We should also impose a carbon tax. We (and others) can do the unilaterally. Mixing the idea of global redistribution will advance NONE of these goals and in fact will make them more difficult to achieve.

Posted by: Jack at April 27, 2007 7:04 PM
Comment #218683

China is 1/3 of the World’s population.

We are less than 1/20.

China has not surpassed us in polution yet.

‘nuff said

Posted by: RGF at April 28, 2007 4:26 PM
Comment #218700

RGF

nuff said if you cannot count. China makes more pollution. You can try to employ an equity argument, but the number is just that. I know that it might make you upset that you can no longer blame America first.

If you read the post carefully, the point is that we cannot address the world environmental problem w/o reference to China, India et al.

If you are interested in a better environment “nuff said” above. If you are more interested in redistribution of the world’s wealth according to your idea of equity and do not care about the world’s environment, “nuff said” too. You choice. It depends on your values.

Posted by: Jack at April 28, 2007 11:54 PM
Comment #218757

Jack,

The most egregious users of resources and polluters of the world we live in are WE OURSELVES!

That point is EVEN MORE poignant when we take note of the fact that we represent such a small percentage of the total population of the world.

Further, If China and/or India become users and abusers on our level…

THE WHOLE WORLD WILL BE SCREWED!!!

It’s not about blame or hating America.

It’s about taking responsibility for our actions. We are STILL the top pulluter even though China is rapidly industrializing and has a much larger percentage on the world’s population.

IF that is not enough to get through to you…

‘NUFF SAID!!!!

Posted by: RGF at April 29, 2007 6:43 PM
Comment #218761

RGF

CO2 emissions are tied to GDP. We have the highest GDP in the world.

Pollution and CO2 are not the same. A country like China makes more pollution than the U.S. is absolute terms as well as per unit of GDP.

Is your solution to impoverist the U.S. to Chinese standards of living or may it not be better to figure out how to reduce CO2 per unit of GDP? Per capita is a useless statistic.

Posted by: Jack at April 29, 2007 7:09 PM
Comment #218826

I was referring to general terms. We are fewer in number but use more. We don’t have to go any further than that - it’s just mental masturbation anyway. The point is sufficiently made just in those terms. Per-capita? per GDP?
Who gives a rat’s ass!

What matters is that we USE more, pullute more and are fewer in number.

AS far as what I believe we should live like,
Check out:
earthshipbiotecture.com

We CAN live responsibly without giving up standard of living!!!!

Posted by: RGF at April 30, 2007 3:24 PM
Comment #218831

RGF,

I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but some friends of mine actually looked into “earthship” and came away thinking it was a scam.

Not to mention that it is out in the middle of freaking nowhere.

http://www.virtualguidebooks.com/NewMexico/PuebloCountry/UpperRioGrande/RioGrandeGorgeBridge.html

From the directions listed on the website earthship is 1.5 miles from the bridge in this link. As you can see there ain’t much in the way of civilization around there.

Which brings up the point. It is very easy to be a wiseman on a mountain top (thank you “Razors Edge”).
What I mean is that it is easy for small (in this case minute) communities to live in balance with nature, and be self sustaining.
Thriving economies require easy access to transportation, raw materials, etc.
Unfortunately thriving economies also require a place to put the waste byproducts, and as a result, by their very nature create pollution.

I know you are saying that it can be done, and I don’t totally disagree with you.
However, on a large scale, this “spaceship earth” concept would be unwieldy, and nearly impossible to manage, especially for a society as used to creature comforts as America has become.

Posted by: Rocky at April 30, 2007 4:01 PM
Comment #218840

They are legit, not a scam. I have lived in one, visited several and have visited the Greater World community that is sonstructed of Earthships.

This is something I KNOW about. Not as much as the visionary, Mike Reynold’s who is the visionary behind them, but I know enough to know they are real.

They can, and ARE built in a variety of places around the world and in varying weather and temperature zones, so the idea that they in the middle of nowhere is also erroneous and preposterous. I doubt your friends looked very deeply into this. They simply could not have done so.

There is new design going up at Greater World. It is a design called Pheonix. It is worth looking into. It IS possible to live BETTER than the average American and live totally OFF THE GRID. …with all the creature comforts you could reasonably expect in any house in America!
I’ve seen it. I’ve even lived it.

Posted by: RGF at April 30, 2007 4:42 PM
Comment #218844

RGF,

It wasn’t the concept that my friends thought was a a scam, and they looked at it pretty seriously.
I know myself that the community exists.

Lifestyle aside, just how many people are plunking down their hard earned bucks to join these communities?
Just how many people are deciding to “live off the grid”, and you do know that “off the grid” means no telephones, no Internet, no credit cards, etc. right?

Greater Earth is talking about a community for 200 people. Well great. What next?
You’re talking about an experiment somewhat along the lines of Arcosanti.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcosanti

I live about 30 miles from Arcosanti.
I moved from Phoenix to Prescott to remove myself from the “big city” environment.
That said, people need something to do, and like I said before, earthship is out in the middle of nowhere.
When Arcosanti was started as a project, it too was mostly out in the middle of nowhere.

“Not as much as the visionary, Mike Reynold’s who is the visionary behind them, but I know enough to know they are real.”

Visionary or not I frankly don’t see hoardes of the great unwashed chucking it all and moving out to BFE.

Oh, and BTW, I like my lifestyle just fine, thank you.

Posted by: Rocky at April 30, 2007 5:26 PM
Comment #218944

Rocky,

The more that do build Earth ships the better.

Also, there is absolutely NOTHING requiring that Earthships be out in the middle of BFE.

Earthships have an ongoing and continually improving concept now for decades. That is why I suggested looking at the newest improvements and innovations going into the Pheonix design.

I like my lifestyle just fine, too. Living in an Earthship just means paying less for the priviledge to live well.

Posted by: RGF at May 1, 2007 12:46 PM
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