Will India And China Destroy The Planet Through Global Warming--Or Save The Planet By Forcing The West To Reduce Carbon Emissions?

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on January 24, 2008

I went to a wonderful dinner on Wednesday night with the theme of “India’s Intrernational Agenda.” Late in the conversation, about 10:15PM someone asked the very astute Minister of Finance Palaniappan Chidambaran, about an article in the FT saying that if India and China continued to modernize along the lines of the West, with tens of millions of cars, the resulting carbon emissions would, in effect, cause global warming on a scale that would destroy most of the earth. India and China, in short, needed to find another, better way, of growing.

Wow, the reaction by the Minister of Finance was fierce. He said energy and economic growth are linked and India has the right to grow and the right to consume energy. He said it is unfair to ask developing countries not to use as much energy as the West. India is entitled to grow and to consume energy that emits carbons.

The Indian Finance Minister went on to say that India has agreed to keep its maximum per capita carbon emissions just below that of the West (I believe that is the metric he used. If it isn’t, will folks in India let me know the precise measurement). If the West lowers its emissions, so will India. India’s per capita carbon emissions are currently way below that of the US or Europe so they will be growing strongly as India grows economically.

Of course, the Indian Finance Minister is completely correct—India and all emerging economies have the right to grow and must grow. The challenge ahead for all countries, the US, India, China, Europe, is to change the way we all grow to cut back on carbon emissions. There are huge economic opportunities ahead in this. We can grow our way out of our carbon conundrum. Who will build the first 100 mpg car? The first mass-produced all electric car? The electric jet plane? The newest public transportation system? The lowest priced video-conferencing system that cuts back on travel?

The hybrid Prius outsold the old Ford Explorer last year in the US, a sign that people are waking up (at least waking up to $3 a gallon oil). Transforming the US carbon economy which is sending its wealth and ownership overseas to non-democratic nations is both an economic and foreign policy priority.

And don’t bother asking India and China to do what the West won’t. They won’t. Pressuring them to cut back can only lead to trouble.

Reader Comments

Sheshank Reddy

January 24, 2008 5:57 PM

Will you get over your Electric Car Fascination already? We have yet to figure out how to generate clean electricity economically.

Nearly 72% of US Electricity comes from burning Coal, Natural Gas, Petroleum or Biomass and nearly 86% of World Electricity - Source EIA DOE.

Hybrids work because they use electric technology to make internal combustion engines more efficient.

Understanding Technology is key to understanding Innovation. I suggest [ again ] that you start with [ businessweek.com/innovate/carbuff ].

kathreen

January 24, 2008 6:26 PM

I agree with Indias finance minister.

Jon King

January 24, 2008 6:46 PM

I have what I believe to be a controversial perspective on this. I am glad the cost of our gas has risen. It will force us to rethink our fearless ways of consumption.

If you study the growth of communities in Europe, one can conclude that since the countries and towns there have had to contend with their borders, they have had to be much, much more efficient with everything they do... that there are not endless supplies of natural resources such as land, wood and oil.

High gas prices and the record sales of the Prius represent us hitting a border and us reacting to it. A positive fall out would be legislation promoting less use of fossil fuels, tax breaks for non commuters, urban revival, etc. A negative fall out would be more drilling domestically such as in our diminishing wilderness or under the Great Lakes.

www.theeffectivelife.wordpress.com

Kumar D Kapasi

January 24, 2008 8:02 PM

US and other western (developed) countries can reduce their "addiction to oil" by developing a Mass Rapid Transit system in all major cities and towns with a population of over 500,000. Most cars in the US are driven by a single person and this causes (a) high carbon emission, (b) traffic congestion and (c) more deaths in road accidents. Countries and states with a warmer climate must develop and use as much of solar energy as possible to supplement other energy sources. Wind and sun should be tapped to the maximum possible extent if we are serious about environment. The western countries have "economies of waste" and if only they reduce conspicuous consumption and simplify their way of life, we can most certainly have a much greener earth, cleaner air and purer water and better physical, mental, emotional and psychological health and well being.

Paul Stobbs

January 25, 2008 1:38 AM

India is right. The same will happen with forests. You cannot ask countries with large virgin forests not to cut them down and use the land for farming without compensating them on a regular basis. Just because Europe and America have already cut down their forests and seen their economies develop you can't ask less developed countries not to.

Grant

January 25, 2008 2:15 AM

The headline is hyprocritical coming from an American magazine. The US IS DESTROYING THE PLANET RIGHT NOW emitting a third of the world's emissions, like it has been doing for a century. The article is interesting and thoughtful though, as are the comments.

Grant

January 25, 2008 2:27 AM

The headline is hyprocritical coming from an American magazine. The US IS DESTROYING THE PLANET RIGHT NOW emitting a third of the world's emissions, like it has been doing for a century. The article is interesting and thoughtful though, as are the comments.

Sri

January 25, 2008 12:05 PM

I enjoyed reading this article thoroughly. Making me feel to look at the Global Warming on a lighter side, atleast for a few minutes.Thanks

usman khan

January 25, 2008 1:34 PM

i agree that every country has a right to develop but not at the cost of billions of people of the world so safty measures should be taken to save our environment and the next generations . if india is refusing now , what would happen when many countries weould be in same line of development after sometime . so do you not think we are making our planet unsecure .

Shekar

January 25, 2008 2:05 PM

The best approach would be for the western countries that brought us to where we are at present to "pay up" for destroying the environment. For a start this could be by means of transferring "clean technologies" at low prices (possibly free - so that the western world compensates the developing world for the problems they created) to India and China without any strings attached. When can we expect to see that happen?? At the same time developed countries should stop manufacture of these gas guzzlers which serve no useful purpose.

Akshay Khanna

January 25, 2008 3:19 PM

I agree with Grant. The title and the article smacks of a hypocritical attitude.
When it comes to the western countries (led by the US) to help developing countries with access to cleaner technologies, they don't budge. Nor do they want to sign any treaty (like Kyoto) and commit themselves to any cuts in carbon emission.
US and other develpoed countries have screwed the planet. It's therefore their responsibility to clean the mess they have created.
In fact the UN should start imposing a special tax on the US for the sufferings of people in other countries caused by wrong doings of the US, and divert these funds to help the developing nations come up with clean technologies.

Sean Carney

January 25, 2008 3:42 PM

Is it hypocritical of the Western world to limit the growth of other cultures because we’ve progressed to the point where we’re running out of resources?

The message of the US and other countries seems to be, “It’s terrific that you’re doing so well, just find a more environmental way to do it so we can keep our status quo.”

Maybe the answer lies in everyone changing the status quo. If the Western world made strides to reduce harmful carbon emissions and utilize more eco-friendly modes of transit (like public transportation), we could then have a basis of asking developing countries to do the same.

The Western world does recognize the frustration of India and China. They’re trying to advance their societies under the close watch of some very aggressive voyeurs. The best solution, as it always seems to be, is to meet in the middle. We should never limit healthy growth and hopefully the expansion of developing countries will force people to take the issue of eco-responsibility seriously.


http://blog.publicroutes.com/

Matthew

January 25, 2008 3:50 PM

Its not just them destroying our planet. It shoud be us saying, "are WE going to destroy our home or save it?"

Marc

January 25, 2008 4:19 PM

I am wondering what this Nussbaum guy smokes.

"Nascar" Nate Aschliman

January 25, 2008 4:20 PM

I am destroying the earth, My mistress drives a hummer H1, a 2005 Cadillac Escalade, a 1985 ford thunderbird harley davidson edition, an aston martin v12 vanquish, and i drive a range rover, a jeep cherokee, and my baby the M1A1 Abrams tank that i drive to work. in my spare time i like to cut down trees and kick dogs i am Canadian hear me roar

Anthony Amalraj

January 25, 2008 4:26 PM

All the countries including the developing countries should share the responsibilities to protect this planet. Each nation has the right to grow but not at the expense of polluting the planet they live in.

Mergen

January 25, 2008 4:45 PM

I agree with India's Finance Minister as well. And, I most definitely agree with Grant. US itself needs to lead the world in fight against pollution, emmissions, you-name-it. Right now, the US lags Europe in policies and actions in the subject matter. It's a bit unfair to ask developing economies to drastically cutback on emmissions when US is largely responsible for enormous amounts of gases already in the atmosphere.

dinesh

January 25, 2008 5:01 PM

US , Europe and Japan created industrial revolution and enjoyed that benefits for the last 100 years pumping co2 to the atmosphere. Now they have realised that China , India and other developing countries would become developed and threaten their economic domination. Unable to bear that bleak future, they are using the tool of Global warming (no proof it is man made) to subdue developing countries. We call it the
Modern Hegemonic ambitions

David

January 25, 2008 5:14 PM

"do every human being on earth have equal right to pollute?" While pointing fingers at people who are only 1/1000 as guilty of making bad impact on environment as many of us living in the US who have been doing so for over 150 years, we shamelessly and arrogantly tell others to figure out better ways to advance their lives and hold key cleantech technologies as ransom.
A few facts to think about: China has much higher automobile mileage standard/requirement than that of US; China has banned the usage of plastic bags nationwide as a law beginning June 1st this year.

Michelle

January 25, 2008 5:47 PM

Please get over of it now. We are tired of political games.

Harish

January 25, 2008 6:39 PM

First change the heading! Developed countries in the west have absolutely NO credibility in dictating what developing countries should do to 'save' the earth!

USA has been horrible in promoting rail transportation while it contunues to build new multi lane highways. Its time for americans to 'sacrifice' by using public transportation to expiate the damage by them! Go to India and see how many people use public transport.

GW Bush

January 25, 2008 6:49 PM

America's tired. Why dont you in the rest of you fix it all. You seem to have all the answers and America didnt do anything but f*ck it all up anyway.

Call me when your done.

Derek

January 25, 2008 6:54 PM

The notion that the world will be destroyed by global warming is ludicrous. The most probable future scenario is that CO2 emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels will continue until fossil fuel supplies worldwide are exhausted. Conservation efforts are important in trying to adjust to this reality, but they won't make a big difference to climate change. Running out of fossil fuels (and the inevitable supply restrictions and large price increases that precede it) may cause such stress that society as we know it essentially collapses. However, the world will go on turning, with a higher sea level and different climate than the one we have now.

Energy Room

January 25, 2008 6:56 PM

All your jibber-jabber is pointless and will probably accomplish nothing. You need to put things very simply here:

1 -- I am an American and enjoy going very fast on various types of motor vehicles. I love innovation, but something about a hybrid Yamaha sportbike doesn't sound right to me. I'll keep my energy spending in that arena, you'd have to page the roads with speed bumps to stop me, and even then I might still ride.

However, I may compromise on my car ride, as it is slow.

2 -- Everybody here sounds like a bunch of politicians. A lot of talk. Why don't you post helpful, inspiring things, that actually DO something? Here's an example:

** Today, I used 1 less napkin than I normally do at lunch, therefore saving some of a tree that go cut down and reducing atmospheric harm by .00001%

** Yesterday, I drove cold in my car to work, because I didn't want to spend more gas and blow holes in the environment, which my tight Isuzu is prone to do.


Some last pointers for you intellectual bickeres:

More trees down may make it easier to further aviation, since there are less hazards. More airports will be built and it will be easier to explore space and set up new colonies there.

Surfing (the best sport, obviously), will increase and probably save lives, as global warming causes storms and makes the waves go higher and bigger.

In summary, I think we all need to look at ourselves long and hard before pointing fingers at nations.

1 voice can make a difference.

-- Energy.

Evan

January 25, 2008 7:41 PM

If the U.S., India, and China keep waiting for the other to adopt a low-carbon development strategy, then we are all on a course for mutually assured destruction.

mark

January 25, 2008 7:47 PM

Isn't the Indian economy growing at such a fantastic rate a further sign of Western consumerism - we consume the goods they are producing... If we stop consuming so many imports it will slow down the growth of global warming (and the global economy will take a hit..).

Harish

January 25, 2008 7:56 PM

The title of your story stinks. A better title would be:

Will West kill the planet with minor help from India and China?

Hammerhead

January 25, 2008 8:40 PM

This article demonstrates the West's arrogance and refusal to take responsibility of a problem that is vastly of their own making. On top of being the worst polluters per capita by far above India and China, the West outsources their pollution to other countries that makes their products for them. It's quite clear the West's continued hypocrisy at trying to blame a worsening situation on others and not themselves will inevitably lead to some confrontation. If that's the case, I'm rooting for the side fighting the West.

Iqbal

January 25, 2008 8:49 PM

Many valid viewpoints on the part of posters. The West needs to conserve energy and reduce its carbon footprint. In the US, mass transit and small, fuel efficient cars need to become the norm. India and China need to develop their economies in a sustainable fashion since Global Warming is predicted to have dire consequences for both of these nations by affecting the water supply for their populations via affecting Himalayan glaciers.

A Thomas

January 25, 2008 9:59 PM

In the bygone era of imperialism and colonization, such thoughts were common place. But try demanding the Indian to suck it up now and he'll tell you to what you can suck on!

logic

January 25, 2008 10:19 PM

The Indian finannce minister is pretty much on target, and yes, they are doing us Americans a favor to think things through in a hurry. Western-style growth is unsustainable. Our world is finite, humanity's ability to expand is infinite, so something has to give.

Julian Simon's once-compelling theory of human ingenuity as the ultimate resource, making everything else abundant, is in tatters now (see global commodity price trends in the last decade: http://www.imf.org/external/np/res/commod/table1a.pdf). East and West both need to make the shift to sustainable economies, along the model proposed by Herman E. Daly (perhaps the most talented World Bank economist ever).

SHIRULLZAMAN

January 25, 2008 11:22 PM

all coments are just out of contexts ...it was just a question ...wnating t know the opinion of the minister ...thats all ./// no need to be so critacal about the use of carbon emmitting materials ...you have the right to use any daam thing you like ....the planet is not going to survive anyways ...good luck

Harika

January 25, 2008 11:29 PM

I believe that the US is mainly responsible, but countries like China and India need to watch their growing economy, so that they won't turn out like the US. It is unfair for other undeveloped countries to take the blame of the US. The US needs to take more responsibility for the mess it had created.

Ram

January 25, 2008 11:55 PM

While people of India and China should reap the benefits of economic growth in their countries, it would be wise to keep the environment in mind, ensure that growth is sustainable and not repeat the mistakes of the Western world. If 2.5 billion people aspire to live like the Americans have been doing so far(consuming and depleting resources at an alarming rate), planet Earth will not be able to support that!
Having learned the impact to environment due to their extravagant lifestyle,it would be interesting to see how the Western world reacts to prevent further deterioration.

OM

January 26, 2008 12:05 AM

In my opinion we all should find an optimistic solution. You cannot tell India or China or other developing countries what they should not do. If US has a better solution for these countries show them. Instead of now blaming US/europe for creating pollution we need to focus on how we can make progress with as much less harm as possible to our environment. West made a mistakes and we should not.

KSL

January 26, 2008 2:46 AM

We are Americans, we mortgage everything, including our children's future. We spend now, pay later. We talk loud, we are big and we walk swagger. We have a "birth right" to do things as we like; we tell others to do things we want them to. So, what's new, we have always been that way. With this pollution thing, we follow our leaders' lead, we will do it "our way". We will not be a party to the Kyoto accord even if that looks so right to be. What else can I say....

Andy

January 26, 2008 3:09 AM

I'm not worried about India, China or European. But I'm really worried about the US. The recent cut of Nuclear fusion research fund by the US government and the fierce rejection of Kyoto protocol just showed how irresponsible the US government is.

Peter

January 26, 2008 6:05 AM

China's one-family one-child policy is the single greatest environmental policy for mankind. Probably over 300 million births have been prevented. The rest of the world needs to do their part.

mike

January 26, 2008 6:09 AM

USA should be made to pay the price of polluting the Planet like no other civilization ever,and unfortunately it continues to do it even today.Per Capita it is the most consuming and wasteful civilization ever--this includes oil and gas,animals,birds and other food canned,stored,or natural,clothes and toys,tv and other electronics,electricity and batteries and everything one can ever imagine that needed some carbon emmitting energy to produce and it wastes 100 times more than any other country,in addition it is the only country where until recently if you buy big gas-guzzlers you would get a tax rebate,just the unconstitutional,illegal,imperialistic and selfishly imposed wars (each one of those wars after the WW II that USA has created are a direct result because of the existence of USA)each one has consumed and wasted so much of energy apart from human lives and we continue to sell it with the powerful biased media machine in the name of spreading democracy.All this and more we have the largest budget deficit,we consume the most,waste the most,we have killed and displaced more than anyone in history ,and yet the official beggar of the world,so actually we should be asking that it is time for the world to get up be united and tell the lion(usa) that it's mouth stinks,needs a permanent cleaning or it will no longer and should no longer be allowed to dictate any policies but should be made to follow policies made by the rest of the world for the next 100 years to ideally allow usa to balance and catch up itself with the rest of the world population , even then i doubt we will ever catch up with the rest because our addiction ,consumption,waste, and BIG AND LARGE AND ONE REGULAR-ONE FREE IS A PART OF THE CONSCIENCE OF MOST AMERICANS ,,I am not surprised that despite what usa tries to sell and preach the world,actually the world now sees america as the greatest threat to this planet despite their false and fake media propaganda.

mike

January 26, 2008 6:10 AM

USA should be made to pay the price of polluting the Planet like no other civilization ever,and unfortunately it continues to do it even today.Per Capita it is the most consuming and wasteful civilization ever--this includes oil and gas,animals,birds and other food canned,stored,or natural,clothes and toys,tv and other electronics,electricity and batteries and everything one can ever imagine that needed some carbon emmitting energy to produce and it wastes 100 times more than any other country,in addition it is the only country where until recently if you buy big gas-guzzlers you would get a tax rebate,just the unconstitutional,illegal,imperialistic and selfishly imposed wars (each one of those wars after the WW II that USA has created are a direct result because of the existence of USA)each one has consumed and wasted so much of energy apart from human lives and we continue to sell it with the powerful biased media machine in the name of spreading democracy.All this and more we have the largest budget deficit,we consume the most,waste the most,we have killed and displaced more than anyone in history ,and yet the official beggar of the world,so actually we should be asking that it is time for the world to get up be united and tell the lion(usa) that it's mouth stinks,needs a permanent cleaning or it will no longer and should no longer be allowed to dictate any policies but should be made to follow policies made by the rest of the world for the next 100 years to ideally allow usa to balance and catch up itself with the rest of the world population , even then i doubt we will ever catch up with the rest because our addiction ,consumption,waste, and BIG AND LARGE AND ONE REGULAR-ONE FREE IS A PART OF THE CONSCIENCE OF MOST AMERICANS ,,I am not surprised that despite what usa tries to sell and preach the world,actually the world now sees america as the greatest threat to this planet despite their false and fake media propaganda.

Ankit Gulati

January 26, 2008 6:57 AM

The whole outlook of the article is about the increase in carbon emissions and author is trying to present an outlook of developing countries toward environmental issues. The most important issue is that if all under developing countries will have this kind of perception, the consequences of this in future can be really dire. The developing country should learn from the mistake that US is doing i.e. primary dependency on natural resources for energy and should try to opt the other sources of energy from now so that it won’t repeat the same mistake.

Another important thing for developing countries is to understand that they don’t have the same kind of infrastructure and resources. If it continues to rely on natural resources the problem of pollution will be worse and changing to other technology in future will be more difficult for them due to lack of resources.

So the point is that irrespective of what percentage of pollution each country is making, the focus and efforts of all the countries should be towards reducing the pollution worldwide and using other source of energy to control GLOBAL WARMING.

Paul

January 26, 2008 7:58 AM

The title of this article highlights the fact that the US is the most hypocritical country in the world. For over a century, the US has been and is currently still emitting the most carbon dioxide into the world's atmostphere than any other country not just ON AN AGGREGATE BASIS AND EVEN MORE SO ON A PER CAPITA BASIS. Yet, instead of ratifying the Kyoto Treaty, it sheds all responsibility by pointing fingers at less developed countries. Who needs US leadership???

Yinjie

January 26, 2008 9:06 AM

I'm a Chinese student. I really share the point of view that all the countries are responsible for environmental protection.
In China, actually, much more people have realized this burning issue than before. The government has also paid great attention on it. I think what's important is to consider the problems in the long term and put the solutions into action as soon as possible.
On this matter, there's no "you and me". It matters to ALL OF US.

Prabhat

January 26, 2008 9:15 AM

The fear of a large population of cars in India are misfound, as there is little place to drive them. Finally it's the mass transport system that fits in Indian geography.

People who are so afraid of carbon emissions should stop crying, that is of no use, instead please contribute something in development of mass transport system quickly in India and China.

Bob

January 26, 2008 7:51 PM

The Answer my friends is Death, as good environmentalists we must all recognize that we are polluting machines and when we are not polluting we are breeding which only makes more polluting machines. The only answer is for us to set an example and fall on our swords (Literally). I call on all good environmentalist to end it now as an example for the people of the world to follow.

Of course I would go first, but I have to stay behind in our polluted world to lead the movement.

Stephen

January 26, 2008 8:49 PM

how dare the biggest polluter in the world ask other countries to do anything. these countries have motorcycles, bikes, and tiny cars as the main means of transportation. maybe the author needs to go there to check everything out. and then come back here and visit any suburb here. where a ford king ranch and a chevy avalanche is common and a aveo is 1 in a million.

the US has the cleanest land on earth because the american indians kept it so pure for such a long time, until the europeans came over and killed them all and started destroying their land. i think the most damage will come likely to the place that pollutes the most anyway. we have skin cacer, flooding, fires, and polluted air as well as no ozone layer. soon the ice will melt and drown all our big cities which are on the coasts anyway and the other cities will starve from water deprivation and drought.

so what goes around comes around.

John J Rottersmannj

January 27, 2008 2:10 AM

I made a great discovery over 10 years ago which should get us to save energy by 30 to 50 %.
But what to do with such an invention when people are more interested in selling oil and gas at the highest price.
We go back to the Edison experience when he developped the light bulb and had to go to Eindhoven in the Netherlands .The gas company would have like to kill him.
The capitalistic world didn't change much since his time.
P.S.I am thinking about going to Asia with what I have and probably very soon.

marvin

January 27, 2008 5:02 AM

I CAN'T AGREE MORE WITH MIKE'S OPINION...

Yinjie

January 27, 2008 5:06 AM

No matter what the history was, we should all face the future.
Indeed, the USA has long been the leader of the world. Who can ensure it makes no mistakes? For the developing countries, since less experienced, it is sensible and significant to learn from the developed ones and never make the same mistakes TWICE! Despite the fast development, China have to put more emphasize on reforming the high-polluting industries at present. Also given that the USA is not on the right track in some ways, China as well as other countries should show the solutions to the whold world.
In a word, we should follow the right way no matter who is the leader.

Dinesh

January 27, 2008 12:45 PM

I have posted my previous comment saying US is hegemonic .. it is true. But let me also brief every one what India is doing to limit the damage caused by economic growth.
1. 70% of India's market is small cars and the future is getting brighter making it a small car hub ... it means lowest CO2 emission and highest mileage per gallon
2.No country recycles better than India : a. It re-cycles it's own used items
b. It also re-cycles world's used items... did any one here ever thought about how much it affects India.. don't be like an Ostrich burying its head in a sand.. don't just preach also practise

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/1766693.stm
c.India is the leading country in Wind power... we are a developing country remember

I can put in many points like these ...
US is not even signed a Kyoto agreement... what you got is a noble prize for a great man's individual effort of just creating awareness not for actually saving the planet... is it not hypocrisy

Simran

January 27, 2008 2:44 PM

The US produces 300% to 400% of the pollution produced by China and India combined. We have 3 cars for every 4 persons and India has 1 for every 1000 -- a fact that emerged with the Tata Nano. Shouldn't the US do something about its own problem? Or is it like the fat man who forces the starving peasant to eat less for Society's benefit?

Ben

January 27, 2008 3:47 PM

Global climate does fluctuate over time due to many variables. Scientific data indicate earth is actually coming out of a mini ice adge at the end of the 19th century. The global warming rate torward the end of the 20th century is surprising similar to the beginning of the 20th century. This trend may suggest human activity is not as much of an impact to the overall global warming trend as many other far more powerful natural forces. Please keep an open mind and check out the following:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fr5O1HsTVgA&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fD6VBLlWmCI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZS2eIRkcR0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIbTJ6mhCqk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2XALmrq3ro

BM

January 28, 2008 6:00 AM

Bruce Nussbaum is an assistant managing editor for BusinessWeek, responsible for coverage of design and innovation. Previously, he was editorial page editor. Nussbaum joined BusinessWeek in 1977 and started the international finance section. In 1980, he became head of the foreign news section. In 1985, he left BusinessWeek to become executive editor of Manhattan, Inc., and returned to BusinessWeek in 1986 as a senior writer. Nussbaum wrote The World After Oil: The Shifting Axis of Power and Wealth, and Good Intentions, an inside look at medical research on AIDS. He has received awards from the Sigma Delta Chi Journalism Society, the Overseas Press Club, and the Industrial Designers Society of America. Nussbaum is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Wow!, really?
What can I say, this pretty much sums it up

Ken

January 28, 2008 7:36 AM

First of all, please change the title.
Just because the US and other developed countries have enjoyed fruits on years of exploiting the energy and causes the global warming, that doen't mean that they have the right to suggest other countries (such as India or China) to find energy alternative to slow down the global warming.
I agree that all this is just another political excuse to maintain the hegemonial status.
The developed countries are the one in need to find more effective alternative to energy resources.

Red-White-Blue

January 28, 2008 7:59 AM

You people are a hoot(funny).

Just how many years have we been worrying about global warming now? Peoples around the world are accusing the USA of polluting and destroying the earth as if Americans have done this purposefully and as if it is all the fault of Americans...the usual fodder, blame America first. When was the first car invented? Why do other nations aspire to be like Americans? Do I hear "the American Dream" in India and China and elsewhere? Americans and Europeans and Japanese and others have brought technology a long, long way. We now see the results of some of these labors..good and bad. But, developing nations have a chance to grow their economies in a way that is very different because they have advanced knowledge of what can happen if it is done inappropriately. So, China and India don't blame America if you mess up your lands and waters because it will be the fault of noone but yourselves.

Live and Let Live

Andy Xu

January 28, 2008 2:55 PM

If you look closely, there is a booming industry of wind power in India and solar power in China. Europe and Japan have done their share by setting the strictest limit. Unfortunately, California is the only place in the US that has real policy of combating global warming. Shame on Bush. They should choose Arnold as president.

Dhiraj

January 28, 2008 6:44 PM

But really, who's gonna bell the cat? Not US or India or China, but an American or an Indian or a Chinese can. Like you and me. Not a top-down problem, rather an inside-out challenge.

REDUCE - REUSE - RECYCLE

If you do it, great; don't stop there, get your neighbours to participate as well. Practice makes Perfect.

Ajay

January 29, 2008 9:06 AM

It is in the best interest of India and China to avoid the mistakes of the West. In that regard more sustainable development is needed. Maybe this is the opportunity to leap frog the other countries and lead.

There is no one single model to follow that works everywhere, India and China need to be truly innovative.

Jaswant Pal

January 29, 2008 7:00 PM

I too think the title of the article was over the top. Whenever Global warming is mentioned and what the US is trying to do about it, GW always refers to how much China & India are polluting the earth. What he doesn't mention is that we each have 3 times the population of the US. That would be like asking the US to go down to the level of France. To be able to match the US, Indians and Chinese will be forever condemned to live at 1/3rd the rate of the Americans! There is a lot that Americans can do, like stop living further and further away from their place of work. I live in Chicago and just recently after much political wrangling they passed a public transportatin bil. A huge number of bus services are being cut, this will force a lot of people to buy polluting cars. They would rather spend their money on highways than on public transportation. While the rest of the industrialized world has gone to bullet trains, they have yet to make an appearance here in the US.

GLOBAL

February 6, 2008 12:12 AM

The Impact of Global Warming is Global so the solution has to be Global. Instead of fighting over who is doing what, need is, to think who can contribute how much to reduce the pollution. No doubt, WEST has always been good at pointing the finger at EAST for any problem. It is the responsibility of each individual to do what we can to let our future have a healthy environment.

dmm

October 20, 2008 8:29 PM

Why is it always "per capita?" This measure favors those countries that are highly populated (sometimes way overpopulated), as if they are doing the world a big favor by being so numerous. Why not "per square kilometer?" Or how about "per GDP?" (Use whatever currency you like.) Or how about "per Nobel Prize?" By those measures, the U.S. production of CO2 is not so bad. How much have all those teeming masses in you-know-where contributed to the advance of science and technology (not counting intellectual property theft)?

Also, supposedly the poorest countries will be the ones hardest hit by global warming. So it seems like THEY should be the ones doing everything in their power to avoid it -- such as, oh I don't know, maybe REDUCING their populations? After all, the U.S. population will just shift northward and inward. No big deal for us. So why should we destroy our current economy? Clearly, "tons of CO2 per GDP" is a reasonable measure.

Aatami Tolsa

March 3, 2009 10:40 PM

Hey, maybe they are doing something productive after all! It is getting awfully cold nowadays.

Sriraj

October 9, 2009 4:26 AM

Looks like an article coming from a western folk with ego filled up to his neck.
You drink beer and ask us not to drink.
You emit tons of gallons of carbon through thousand of developed industries and ask us not to build us such industries.
Of course, unlike what you think, we do think and also have the responsibility to lower the rate of carbon emissions, but asking us not to develop industries isn't the right way.

Imran Shaik Mohammed

October 24, 2009 7:54 AM

I completely agree with Indian Finance minister over the right to consume energy by the developing nations. I also agree with the opinion of ENERGY ROOM. Everyone can contribute to control the impact on the Global warming not necessarily a nation or a department or a specialized agencies. We are all well educated and do understand the cause of this natural calamity. Try and stop few things each one of us which contribute to the pollution and generate heat / consume lot of energy. DO PLANT TREES AND STOP PEOPLE CUTTING TREES FOR NO VALID REASONS.

jersey shore s03e12

March 23, 2011 9:07 PM

Hi, Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

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