Impacts of Energy Use Due to Change in Chinese Economy

by Aurora Silva

This is a very interesting article that illustrates the implications o the change of economic structure on the emissions and energy use in China. The Chinese CO2 intensity and energy intensity targets are rather stringent. Reaching the CO2 intensity target is difficult even with the optimistic assumption of fast expansion of renewable energy capacity and fast structural change. The Chinese economy is in a transitional state: Chinese leadership hopes to steer the economic development away from exports and investment and towards serving the Chinese domestic market, increasing the living standard of the Chinese citizenry as well as reducing the environmental impact that the long-enduring high economic growth has caused. In addition to the long-enduring high economic growth has caused. Among the global economies, China is the largest emitter of CO2 emissions and the development of its economic system in the next fifteen years will have great weight in determining cumulative global emissions. Continue reading

Environmental Costs of High-Density Cattle Farming

by Sarah Whitney

A dramatic increase in the density of United State’s dairy farms has created a cause for concern across the nation. The number of cattle per farm has jumped from 1000 to more than 15,000 cows. Dairy producers are easily able to increase their production and thus their profit with access to cheap fuel and feed. The State Department of Natural Resources states that dairy farms containing 500 cows or more have increased by 150% in size, but the number of dairy farms in the United States has decreased by a third. Such an increase in high-density cattle farms has generated a major issue with proper manure disposal. On small-scale farms, roaming cows naturally fertilize the pasture with their manure. Yet on large-scale cattle farms, where cows are confined to a barn, the ratio between cattle and land is extremely out of proportion and thus the significant amount of manure in a small space poses a huge environmental problem. Continue reading