Global Warming’s Local Solutions – Gaoming Jiang

Gaoming Jiang, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Botany, wrote an essay on China Dialogue outlining some potential ways for China to help mitigate the global warming crisis:

The best way of stopping global warming is to gradually reduce the amount of and other non- sources that we burn. The energy sector needs to adopt renewable sources of power: the use of biomass, methane and solid waste as fuel, small-scale hydroelectric projects, solar power, wind power, geothermal energy and wave power. This multi-faceted approach will allow each region, or even each village, to meet its own power needs, with surplus energy fed back into the power grid – and coal left safely in the ground…

But China’s power sector still remains in the coal era. Coal accounts for 60% to 70% of all non-renewable fuel sources, while renewable sources only account for 5% of total power generation. In the case of power shortages, the first solutions to be proposed are always increased fossil-fuel burning or large-scale hydroelectric projects (which are renewable, but have been largely abandoned by developed countries due to their huge environmental impact.) Not enough attention is paid to potential solutions, such as burning straw in rural areas, generating hydroelectricity in China’s west and wind and solar power in the northwest. [Full text]


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