Think Bigger Picture on China & India | The Bigger Picture


Think Bigger Picture | Discussions About Big Picture Issues That Really Matter
Main Page | The Bigger Picture
Think Big Picture on the World | The Bigger Picture
Smog & Air Quality | The Bigger Picture
Conflict | The Bigger Picture
Corruption | The Bigger Picture
Poverty | The Bigger Picture
Consumption | The Bigger Picture
Energy Transition | The Bigger Picture
China & India | The Bigger Picture
The Environment | Think Bigger Picture
Discussion #4 - China & India

It's easy to point the finger at China, & say that they produce the most carbon emissions (which is true). The big rub however, is that per capita their emissions are only approx. one third that of #2 emitter (the U.S.), 7.2 metric tons of CO2 (per person) for China vs. 17.2 for the US (1.6 for India). One argument is that China's & India's emissions are rising, while America's is falling (& this is true). However, one must keep in mind that wealthier countries have been exporting manufacturing for many years.

In fact, with 2.8 billion (of 7.9) living in these two countries alone, & most willing to work for peanuts, virtually all sectors of employment are at risk. Min. wage in China is $2/hr. Min. wage in India is 30 cents/hr. (USD). The wealth in these countries is rising, but so is the polarization of wealth distribution. The extra revenue is mainly going to the rich few, & not the poor masses.

Two more points of interest, are that much of China experienced the worst heat wave in 140 years recently (since they began keeping records). There are many viral videos on the internet of people frying eggs, bacon, shrimp, etc. in pans on the pavement, 45-53 Celsius humidex (July 2013). Also, China is in the process of relocating 250,000 rural farmland dwellers per week to densely populated cities (250,000,000 over the next 12 years). Any guesses as to why?

These record temp's are the result of increasing heat island effect and climate change. Another unfortunate side-effect of these huge mega-cities is of course the unbelievably poor air quality. There are just far too many people being crammed into these cities to have virtually no pollution controls on their mainly coal-fired power plants. (Coal is extremely plentiful and cheap in these areas).

Economically it's making their governments, and some wealthy corporations and individuals even richer, but the unfortunate majority are struggling just to breathe the air. There is nothing inherently wrong with certain countries specializing in certain types of industry, but there is if the majority of it's citizens are being completely marginalized in the process.

A big part of why China & India's economies are the fastest growing in the world, is because of the sheer number of global work-hours these two countries possess. Not only do they have almost half the global population, but also the average worker puts in 25-75% more hours per week (or year). In Europe, the average is approx. 1400 work-hours per year (28 hour week). In the US & Canada, it's approx. 1700. In most Eastern Asian countries, the average is approx. 2300.

This varies a lot from country to country, and Eastern Europeans work a lot more hours than Western Europeans, but you get the general idea. In the 1950's, Europe's average work-week was actually much higher than America, but has over the years become completely the opposite.

Also interesting, is that globally since the '50's, the average work-week has been shrinking substantially in ALL developed countries. This is mainly due to the transition from single to double income societies, and the increasing use of automation & technology. It's pretty clear to everyone, that even if all of the manufacturing jobs were returned back to their original countries, there would still be far fewer jobs remaining due to the increased usage of robotics & all other forms of tech.

China and India both have many amazing aspects to their cultures, which are also historically rich going back many thousands of years. Currently, one extremely impressive aspect of both countries is their low crime rates. China has an intentional homicide rate hovering around 0.5 per 100,000 citizens, while India is around 3.0 per 100,000. To put this in perspective, the United States was at over 5.3 (in 2017), and recently has been rising quickly. Venezuela was at 56.3 in 2016, Jamaica 57 in 2017, and South Africa 35.9 in 2017. The Bahamas & Brazil, around 31 each, and Mexico & Colombia approx. 25 each.

Part of the reason, many would argue, is that both China & India use capital punishment as a deterrent. Japan, for example, does as well, and their homicide rate is only sitting at around 0.2 people per 100,000. In China, it's impossible to know for sure how often they use this form of punishment, since their government does keep it top secret from outsiders, but reliable sources say it's not a small number. In a very large way, they use is to keep drug and gang violence down to a minimum.

The one aspect of both the Chinese and Indian cultures that would definitely be difficult for a Westerner to get used to, would be the lack of personal freedom. In 2020, China ranked a score of just over 6 out of 10, and India 6.4. Some might say that this is the big trade-off. Countries which have far more control over their citizens will often use a far more strict set of punishments to combat crime. China especially, has very little tolerance for drug & gang-related crime. It seems a shame that more countries in the world don't adopt this tough-on-crime ideology.

In this area, Japan really seems to have their act together. They enjoy an extremely democratic system of government, and their citizens enjoy a lot of personal freedom. Their crime rates are also amazingly low, in fact even lower than China (in 2021).

I personally really hope that the West and the East can continue to be strong friends in this world. We may have a few differences in our cultures, but we can also learn a great deal from each other. No country has it all figured out, everyone has their issues. But if we, the humans of Earth, can stick together, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish.
Discussion #4 - China & India

It's easy to point the finger at China, & say that they produce the most carbon emissions (which is true). The big rub however, is that per capita their emissions are only approx. one third that of #2 emitter (the U.S.), 7.2 metric tons of CO2 (per person) for China vs. 17.2 for the US (1.6 for India). One argument is that China's & India's emissions are rising, while America's is falling (& this is true). However, one must keep in mind that wealthier countries have been exporting manufacturing for many years.

In fact, with 2.8 billion (of 7.9) living in these two countries alone, & most willing to work for peanuts, virtually all sectors of employment are at risk. Min. wage in China is $2/hr. Min. wage in India is 30 cents/hr. (USD). The wealth in these countries is rising, but so is the polarization of wealth distribution. The extra revenue is mainly going to the rich few, & not the poor masses.

Two more points of interest, are that much of China experienced the worst heat wave in 140 years recently (since they began keeping records). There are many viral videos on the internet of people frying eggs, bacon, shrimp, etc. in pans on the pavement, 45-53 Celsius humidex (July 2013). Also, China is in the process of relocating 250,000 rural farmland dwellers per week to densely populated cities (250,000,000 over the next 12 years). Any guesses as to why?

These record temp's are the result of increasing heat island effect and climate change. Another unfortunate side-effect of these huge mega-cities is of course the unbelievably poor air quality. There are just far too many people being crammed into these cities to have virtually no pollution controls on their mainly coal-fired power plants. (Coal is extremely plentiful and cheap in these areas).

Economically it's making their governments, and some wealthy corporations and individuals even richer, but the unfortunate majority are struggling just to breathe the air. There is nothing inherently wrong with certain countries specializing in certain types of industry, but there is if the majority of it's citizens are being completely marginalized in the process.

A big part of why China & India's economies are the fastest growing in the world, is because of the sheer number of global work-hours these two countries possess. Not only do they have almost half the global population, but also the average worker puts in 25-75% more hours per week (or year). In Europe, the average is approx. 1400 work-hours per year (28 hour week). In the US & Canada, it's approx. 1700. In most Eastern Asian countries, the average is approx. 2300.

This varies a lot from country to country, and Eastern Europeans work a lot more hours than Western Europeans, but you get the general idea. In the 1950's, Europe's average work-week was actually much higher than America, but has over the years become completely the opposite.

Also interesting, is that globally since the '50's, the average work-week has been shrinking substantially in ALL developed countries. This is mainly due to the transition from single to double income societies, and the increasing use of automation & technology. It's pretty clear to everyone, that even if all of the manufacturing jobs were returned back to their original countries, there would still be far fewer jobs remaining due to the increased usage of robotics & all other forms of tech.

China and India both have many amazing aspects to their cultures, which are also historically rich going back many thousands of years. Currently, one extremely impressive aspect of both countries is their low crime rates. China has an intentional homicide rate hovering around 0.5 per 100,000 citizens, while India is around 3.0 per 100,000. To put this in perspective, the United States was at over 5.3 (in 2017), and recently has been rising quickly. Venezuela was at 56.3 in 2016, Jamaica 57 in 2017, and South Africa 35.9 in 2017. The Bahamas & Brazil, around 31 each, and Mexico & Colombia approx. 25 each.

Part of the reason, many would argue, is that both China & India use capital punishment as a deterrent. Japan, for example, does as well, and their homicide rate is only sitting at around 0.2 people per 100,000. In China, it's impossible to know for sure how often they use this form of punishment, since their government does keep it top secret from outsiders, but reliable sources say it's not a small number. In a very large way, they use is to keep drug and gang violence down to a minimum.

The one aspect of both the Chinese and Indian cultures that would definitely be difficult for a Westerner to get used to, would be the lack of personal freedom. In 2020, China ranked a score of just over 6 out of 10, and India 6.4. Some might say that this is the big trade-off. Countries which have far more control over their citizens will often use a far more strict set of punishments to combat crime. China especially, has very little tolerance for drug & gang-related crime. It seems a shame that more countries in the world don't adopt this tough-on-crime ideology.

In this area, Japan really seems to have their act together. They enjoy an extremely democratic system of government, and their citizens enjoy a lot of personal freedom. Their crime rates are also amazingly low, in fact even lower than China (in 2021).

I personally really hope that the West and the East can continue to be strong friends in this world. We may have a few differences in our cultures, but we can also learn a great deal from each other. No country has it all figured out, everyone has their issues. But if we, the humans of Earth, can stick together, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish.
Copyright 2014 Christopher Wicks | All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Contact Us