Song Lianchun, head of China’s metereological forecasting service, said last week of the floods that displaced hundreds of thousands of Chinese and killed about 700:
"It should be said that one of the reasons for the weather extremes
this year has been unusual atmospheric circulation bought about by
global warming," Song told a news conference carried live on the
central government Web site (www.gov.cn). "These kind of
extremes will become more frequent, and more obvious. This has already
been borne out by the facts," he said. "I think the impact on our
country will definitely be very large."
Because China is far behind the U.S. in terms of historical emissions of carbon dioxide, it is unwilling to act to reduce emissions unless the U.S. acts first, the Reuters story points out.
The good news in this story is that the Chinese government was able to act to reduce the risk. 100 million Chinese have been affected by the flooding, and up to one million displaced, with thousands of homes destroyed. Still, disaster has been mostly averted, according to a Los Angeles Times story. Would we in this country be able to say the same, if 100 million Americans faced serious flooding?
Doubtful. We don’t even have an agency for disaster mitigation, as China does. Here’s a picture of the flooding in Nanning, southern China, near Vietnam, from a Flickr member and resident. The bus plows through the flood as if it were business as usual.