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RE: [hreg] NY Times: Green China (fwd)

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  • J. P. Malone
    Paul, Great article, thanks for posting it. J. Patrick Malone ... From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Paul Archer Sent:
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 3, 2005
      Great article, thanks for posting it.

      J. Patrick Malone

      -----Original Message-----
      From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Paul
      Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 10:10 AM
      To: Houston RE Group
      Subject: [hreg] NY Times: Green China (fwd)

      This got passed along to me recently. I thought it was interesting.

      This article mentions a soil substitute for roof gardens that is lighter
      than regular soil and holds more water. Does anyone know what product
      they're talking about?


      China's Little Green Book


      Published: November 2, 2005


      There are only about 60 gold-standard green buildings in the world - that
      is, buildings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as having been
      made with the materials and systems that best reduce waste, emissions and
      energy use. One of those buildings is in Beijing - China's Ministry of
      Science and Technology, at 55 Yuyuantan Nanlu Street.

      I toured it the other day with Robert Watson from the Natural Resources
      Defense Council, who advised China in designing the building. What struck me
      most was how much stuff in China's greenest building was labeled "Made in

      Get used to it. In China, conservation is not a "personal virtue," as Dick
      Cheney would say. Today it is a necessity. It was so polluted in Beijing the
      other day you could not make out buildings six blocks away. That's the bad
      news. Here's the good news: China's leaders and business community know it.
      They know that as China grows more prosperous, and more Chinese buy homes
      and cars, it must urgently adopt green technologies; otherwise, it will
      destroy its environment and its people. Green technology will decide whether
      China continues on its current growth path or chokes itself to death. So
      green innovation is starting to mushroom in China.

      And what's the U.S. doing as green technology is emerging as the most
      important industry of the 21st century? Let's see: the Bush team is telling
      our manufacturers they don't have to improve auto mileage standards or
      appliance efficiency, is looking to ease regulations on oil refiners and is
      rejecting a gas tax that would help shift America to hybrid vehicles.

      We should be doing just the opposite: creating more pressures and
      incentives so our companies will innovate and dominate the next great
      industry. You think China is cleaning our clock now with cheap clothing?
      Wait a decade, when we'll have to import our green technology from Beijing,
      just as we have to import hybrid motors today from Japan.

      Green China will be much more challenging than Red China. Look around the
      nine-story Ministry of Science and Technology building. Yes, a lot of cool
      things here are from Europe, and some are from the U.S.

      But what about the porous pavement bricks, made of fly ash, a byproduct of
      coal combustion that allows storm water to flow through and be reabsorbed
      into the Beijing aquifer? Made in China. The photovoltaic panels that
      provide 10 percent of the building's electricity from sunlight? Made in
      China. The solar hot water system? Made in China. The soil substitute in the
      building's roof garden that is 75 percent lighter than regular dirt and
      holds three to four times more water per cubic foot? Made in China. The
      concrete building blocks filled with insulating foam that keeps you warmer
      in the winter and cooler in the summer? Made in China, by a U.S.-owned
      company. The water-free urinals? Made for the China market by a U.S.-owned

      Jack Perkowski, who runs Asimco Technologies, the huge China-based auto
      parts maker, told me where this is heading: "As China moves from the
      second-largest market to the first in autos ... the industry here will have
      to come up with transport that is more affordable, fuel-efficient and
      environmentally sound."

      As green technologies get adopted here and gain scale - Mr. Perkowski cited
      a Chinese auto company now rushing to develop a green diesel engine for
      passenger cars - the Chinese will set the standards for the world.

      "So they will become technology exporters rather than importers," he said.
      And because of the unique needs of China and the fact that it will become
      the biggest market for any product, the Chinese will "innovate at their
      affordability level." Once they come up with low-cost solutions that work
      inside China, they will take them global at China prices.

      The China Daily reported that China's 11th five-year plan, which starts
      soon, includes a program to sharply reduce China's energy usage per unit of
      G.D.P. by 2010. "To hit the target, a huge business potential will be open
      to investors," Zhou Dadi, director of China's top energy research institute,
      told a forum held by the paper.

      "China is growing three times as fast as we are," Mr. Watson said, "[so] a
      lot of innovation is going to happen here, and once it is introduced [on the
      low-cost China platform] it is going to spread a lot faster. ... We are not
      the only source of innovation on the planet. The Japanese and Europeans are
      here in a big way, and they are giving their stuff away. ...

      "We deserve to lose. We are clutching our past with these tremulous hands,
      and everyone else is vigorously grasping the future."

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