This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

China Stokes Up Its Emissions

The Nature News Blog this morning has the story that a new report shows that China's per capita carbon emissions per person are now comparable to Europe's, although still well below emissions produced per person in the US.
For years, China has dismissed concerns about its rising carbon emissions by pointing out that, per capita, Chinese citizens still emit far less than their counterparts in the industrialized world. But now that China’s per capita emissions are on par with those of the European Union, that argument will be much harder to make.
This is in line with the news from the New York Times today that China is making a play for a large Canadian energy company.

China is making its biggest and boldest grab for overseas energy resources yet in a $15 billion deal for a Canadian oil producer.
A takeover of Nexen by China National Offshore Oil Corporation, the Chinese state-run oil giant known as Cnooc (pronounced SEE-nook), would give China a number of footholds in the Gulf of Mexico, the Canadian oil sands in Alberta, the North Sea and the waters off Nigeria.
The Nexen deal, announced on Monday, is the latest effort by China to amass the natural resources it needs to stoke its powerful engine of growth. In particular, the country’s leadership has been focused on reducing dependence on oil imports, as China consumes some nine million barrels of oil a day, second only to the United States.
This is not good news for the planet.


  1. Hi Prof Weeks, I ran across this article on the blogoshpere. These ideas are really impacting a lot of people throughout the USA in my experience. I would love to hear your reaction if you feel it is appropriate for one of your blog posts:

    The author argues that traditional religious people from all backgrounds are reproducing, while progressive liberal people are not, and that therefore liberalism will vanish. Is this not perhaps a bit of demographic sleight of hand?

  2. The article to which you refer is based on the blogger's having seen the video "Demographic Winter." This came out a couple of years ago and I show it in class to illustrate how people can take demographic information and twist it to fit their own political agenda. Indeed, the blogger has done that, too. The point of the video itself is not to suggest that "liberals" will become extinct, but rather to suggest that low rates of population growth in richer countries (caused by low fertility) could lead to a dying out of western civilization. Of course, the world as a whole is not on that trajectory--everyone needs to go back and re-read my book or, at a minimum, take a look at the LA Times articles I referenced a couple of days ago.