I can’t condone the Chinese government’s current (or, for that matter, past) violations of human rights, so it was somewhat shocking to read in the Toronto Star that a country so politically in the dark ages would have fuel-efficiency standards that are more progressive than America’s.
According to the Star, “No gasoline-powered car assembled in North America would meet China’s current fuel-efficiency standard.”
China’s fuel efficiency standards are currently far more stringent than America’s, and are based upon a minimum-allowable efficiency standard vs. a fleet-average standard, as in the States. American car companies also outsource the manufacturing of many of their most fuel-efficient vehicles, so they’re not actually built in the U.S.
Current plans call for the U.S. to catch up to China’s fuel efficiency standards by 2020, boosting mileage to 35-mpg—but that’s not soon enough. In the meantime, if America wants to stay almighty among world powers, its government should find a better solution to climate change that cuts cars out of the big picture and relies primarily on sustainable, zero- and low-emissions alternatives. Ramping up mileage standard may help cut emissions in the short-term, but it will take only six degrees to annihilate the human race. At this rate, with weather growing ever more weird and unpredictable, America and other countries that fall short need to think—and act—fast about practical, grand-scale ways to slow climate change.
China is also steamrolling the U.S. in other eco-areas, including the manufacturing of wind turbines and solar photovoltaics. As a culture, the Chinese have historically been more inclined to ride their bikes (versus their U.S. counterparts who would rather take the truck), although, within recent years, they’ve adopted the American way.
Although China may have an edge in fuel efficiency standards, controversy surrounding the air quality in Beijing, and the damage that it will cause to athletes in the upcoming Olympics, demonstrate that their growing car culture isn’t a transportation model to emulate. We’re much more excited by the Chinese city of Kunming, with its own brand of No-Car Days,
- No Car Days in Kunming, China
- Fuel Cells Make You Faster
- Obama’s Take on Fuel Economy
- 1.3 Billion Chinese Trade Bikes for Buicks
- Free Mass Transit Improves Efficiency!