12 January 2007

Does anyone think this is a good idea?

...Other than the fat cats that control the world economy?

World has new No. 2 auto sales market

China has surged past Japan to become the world's Number 2 vehicle market last year, as car purchases by newly affluent drivers jumped 37%. The US is still tops for auto sales. Yesterday's announcement from the Chinese auto industry highlights China's lightning evolution from a bicycle kingdom into a red-hot market in which foreign producers are racing to open factories and target a growing urban middle class. Struggling US auto makers General Motors and Ford have received a boost from double-digit sales growth in China, and fledgling Chinese manufacturers are starting to export their own cars, trucks and SUVs. "There's money here and people spend that money on cars," said Michael Dunne, vp for Asia-Pacific for auto research firm J.D. Power and Associates. "The Chinese government has made no secret of its intention to develop a car culture and a car industry. All of the forces are working together." China's vehicle sales, including trucks and buses, rose 25.1% to 7.2 million units last year, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said. Japan's total vehicle sales last year came to 5.7 million units, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said, while US car and truck sales totalled 16.5 million units last year, says Autodata Inc.
(Toronto Star 070112)

Anyone that thinks 2.5 billion people in China and India will be able to emulate North American standards of living and all the issues that come with it -- energy consumption, runaway consumerism, waste production -- 2 cars in every Chinese suburban family gargage -- will occur without horrific consequences to the environment and painful shifts in the world economy are, simply put, completely delusional.

I had hoped that China's civic planners would see how corrupt, irrational and ponzi-schemed the American model is and that they would attempt some more sustainable approach to their national growth, but now I see that they are just as myopic, pandering and greedy as any other Western interest. Everything is wrong, indeed.


Jeff Skybar said...

This comes as no surprise to me. I mean North America has been very good at marketing their way of life to the rest of the planet. Everybody wants 2.5 cars and a 2100 square foot home with all the amenities. I say let everyone try that, because it effects the entire planet and people's pocket books. If we want to change our wasteful ways what better way to do that then to pay 7 or 8 dollars a litre at the pump because China and India are putting a strain on the oil and gas sector. Eventually these countries will run into the same problems (if not already) with pollution, traffic congestion, lack of landfill sites, no land etc.. the only way for humainty to wake up from it's wasteful and destroying slumber is to hit the pocket book. We learn by mistakes, take our own lives for example, you can tell your friend over and over again not to do something, but in the end they are going to do it because they need to learn the lesson for themselves. they need to see it in their own individual way. Societies are the same. The key is to learn from history and learn from our mistakes, sadly I don't think this happens all that often as we have turned into a society of all about me, I want to be happy, I want to be surrounded by happiness only and have blatent disregard for everything and everyone around us to try and achieve this perceived utopia of happiness.

Well it's my thoughts anyway. I have to go and pick up my new 24 cylinder Hummer with heated floor boards this afternoon. I don't have to wear shoes or boots anymore as the floor stays nice and cozy warm while I sit in traffic.

Reid Dalgleish said...

I agree -- I don't think things are going to change until the pocketbook is affected -- we are working within the confines of an overbearing capitalist society of course. But China is already crowded and polluted. Does the government think single-passenger private car commuting and suburban housing are the way to go to solve the problems they have already? They are fucking retarded if that's the case.

Like you've said many times before, humans are really really stupid. We don't learn from our mistakes as a society. We act like Lisa Simpson's experiment to find out whether Bart was smarter than her test rat. When the rat got shocked the first time when attempting to reach the treat, it never went near the treat again. Bart however tried over and over again to get the treat, each time getting shocked until he went into convulsions. That's the way our society works. We so quickly forget our history and the lessons of the past thinking 'this time, it will be different', and surprise, surprise, the outcome ends up the same way it has many times before. We just don't get it and I seriously doubt we ever will.

People say being a pessimistic or cynic is a terrible thing, but what do I really have to base an positive assessment on? Fantasy and delusion? Seems to be good enough for the majority. At long as they don't have to collect facts to challenge their worldviews, then everything is okay, right?

If you disassociate yourself and look at it from the outside, it looks like suicidal, self-destructive behaviour to me. What do we think of individuals in our society that behave this way?

doug said...

Heck did anybody really think China was just going to keep making all this cheap shit for the rest of the world without wanting it too! Even more puzzling is the obvious reality that SOME people (emphasis on some)in China are making a shitload of money selling crap to us an they are obviously going to want to start spending their $$$ - just like we do.

All I can say is that when the global shit hits the fan we'll going to be extra glad we live in Canada. I'm not saying we won't be effected, but for now we still have mountains, lakes, rivers and pretty wide open spaces to call our own. Ironically we are also at the core of the problem because we don't have to (or want to) see what's starting to happen to the rest of the world. Isn't delusion a great thing? As I've said before its global overpoulation thats the real problem.

Mr Carter said...

plan b reid - plan b.

Reid Dalgleish said...

I figure it's possible that WSHTF everyone's going to start salivating when they look at Canada on a world map.

The government will be opening the floodgates on immigration because 1) the rest of the world will be dying from thirst, starvation and pollution; and 2) in order to prop up the capitalist economy (ie. the status quo - if it still exists in its current state in 40 years) to simply deal with the stressed incurred due to the retired, aging and dying baby boomer population. They'll be the ones still in power and making policy, so there's no doubt they will set things up to ensure the system can still afford all those skyrocketing pension payments/tax rates since there will be fewer of us actually working to take from.

Ironically, Canada and the US will fare much better dealing with an aging population than Europe and Japan, thank gob, but all that will be completely overwhelmed by the humungous shift of control of the world economy, military strength and industrial power to China and India and the rest of SE Asia.

Europe and NA will be bankrupt, so guess who's going to be coming over and buying all that land? The Chinese and Indians. No doubt about it.

All that newly thawed virgin land, so to speak, along with Siberia -- until Greenland and Antarctica become inhabitable, of course, which may be coming sooner than we think.

Sweet. By then a 5000km commute will be the norm, so the Chinese will simply set up their suburbs in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut and jet to work in Beijing and Shanghai every morning.

Anonymous said...

Backwards progress to me. What's happening to their bike filled streets? Man, if China moves away from the bike being the most pervasive transportation mechanism then my dream for safe bike commuting in Calgary is definately dead. Tax the #%$* out of Hummer, Escalade, etc, owners and put the money into public transport.