Thursday, May 3, 2007

China’s Coal Dilemma

China has recently been building coal- fired power plants at a rate of one a week, does this make the country at risk for more powerful typhoons?

By: Vanessa Uy

Diminishing crop yields due to shifting rainfall patterns in rural China’s urban migration rate has increased in the past few years. This urban migration demands an expedient improvement of China’s urban infrastructure namely electricity generation. This is reason number one why the Chinese Government is building coal- fired power plants at a rate of one a week to meet the rising energy demands. China can afford this since they have an abundant supply of coal, but are there any hidden dangers?

If China's many coal-fired power plants keep on dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, it can only exacerbate the effects of global warming. And a warmer planet would not be of China’s best interest because it can result to more powerful typhoons. It’s a well-known scientific fact that typhoons get their energy from the heat stored in the ocean water. The warmer the ocean, the more powerful the typhoon. And since most of China’s urban centers are not very far from the world’s sea- lanes. They could expect flooding caused by storm surges. Surely, an environmentally friendly solution must be sought.

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