China and its pollution are continuing to be a big issue and a challenge for Americans and the US economy. China has long artificially devalued its currency, raising the prices of foreign goods and services. China’s status as the world’s manufacturing center is impacting the global environment not so much due to its overall quantity but due to its size and speed.
Not only does China continue killing US jobs while enriching itself and a small segment of US business owners who manufacture products in China, but it also adds to California’s high ozone levels with nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide, both by-products of manufacturing.
American consumers have a significant role in this, with their continued demand for cheap Chinese goods. The following chart shows China’s recent balance of trade with the US:
From China’s perspective, about 25% of its emissions are created by manufacturing goods that aren’t consumed in China. Everyone knows how badly the environment in China has been damaged by its quest for superpower status.
Comparing apples to apples, China per capita carbon dioxide emissions are 7.1 tons, the EU 7.4 tons, and the US is way out front at 16.5 tons.
Clearly the major powers all have some work to do to bring emissions down to a sustainable level, whatever that turns out to be.