2011-07-16 02:32:54Draft blog post: China From the Inside Out
Rob Honeycutt


I just got back from China and wanted to do a quick write up of my experiences there.

Check it out and let me know if I should change anything.


2011-07-16 03:51:04
Alex C


>>>...being an adopted member of a normal middle-class Chinese family.

>>>The air there has been pretty consistently like this every year I've visited.

>>>...popped up on the Grist last August regarding...

>>>...a Chinese government policy to clean up air pollution (the Chinese government doc can be read here).

>>>...who has the opportunity, but living with a Chinese family...

>>>...my wife's extended family, of maybe 20 people, still owns no cars... [I think; "extended family" I think is a singular noun]

>>>...coming online in about 2 years. 

>>>We went out shopping for groceries, clothing, plane tickets, a foot massage one afternoon, dinner at any number of restaurants... all on foot, usually requiring no more than 15-20 mins. walking.

>>>About half our meals were eaten at home, and I would have to say that pretty much all the food we ate was locally grown.

>>>The person on the street with a cart-load of corn did not push the cart from far away - the countryside surrounding...

>>>...often up into the 100s Fahrenheit...

>>>Chinese won't use the air conditioning throughout the day, not as a matter of cost, but because they like "fresh air" (even if that fresh air is stiflingly hot).

>>>Even at that, there were no second thoughts when they wanted to spend the day playing cards on a Sunday at one of the aunts' apartment that does not have air conditioning. [Regarding "aunt's" v. "aunts'," I think the bolded form here is correct as the phrase is "one of the aunts," where obviously "aunts" is plural.  Whether the possessive applies to "aunts" or "one" is obscure, I cannot find a rule online about this.]

2011-07-16 04:33:10Thanks Alex
Rob Honeycutt



2011-07-16 05:25:23
Dana Nuccitelli

Nice job Rob, very interesting.  I went in and made a few minor editorial changes.  It might be worth mentioning in there that China plans to set up a national carbon emissions trading system by 2015.

2011-07-16 06:08:10
Rob Honeycutt


Thanks Dana.  I didn't know that about them starting up a carbon trading system.  Our government is looking more and more Byzantine all the time.

Let me try to squeeze that bit in there somewhere.

2011-07-16 06:29:15
Alex C


Some more grammar stuff:

>>>However everything is small: little refrigerators, little cooktops.

>>>Most people still prefer to wash clothes by hand in a small sink that is off the kitchen in every Chinese apartment, and every Chinese apartment has their laundry drying out on the front balcony.

>>>Just across the border back in Hong Kong, which has obviously had the opportunities...

>>>what you see there is...[space]little refrigerators...

>>>While I was there on this trip I needed to do some business in the Shenzhen area.

>>>We both noted that even though car ownership is clearly up, the government...

>>>There is a new extensive subway system that has opened in the region of Shenzhen closest to the Hong Kong border.

>>>There is [recommend: "also"] a new rail system under construction linking the entire Pearl River Delta area running from ZhuHai (near Macau) up through Guangzhou and back down to Shenzhen.

>>>They have succeeded in many respects with about 400 million, though it is likely impossible for an automobile-based transportation system to serve the needs of so many people. [So, I recommend combining those sentences, and also "so" instead of "that" (many people) because "that" sounds more specific to the 400 million, while "so" can be more general and more logically be extended (grammatically) to refer to the 1.4 billion.  Unless, your intent was to only refer to the 400 million.]

You say:

"...road system keep pace with car ownership as a way to ensure a successful transition to the new rail system." - do you mean, to help with a social transition as well, not just a physical one?  In the latter case this statement seems redundant with your remark about them spending money on a rail system, as if you were saying "We're speculating that they're spending money on the rail to help the rail transportation system" - well, duh.  I think something like:

"...road system keep pace with car ownership as a way to ensure a successful social transition to the new rail system." could be used to convey the meaning I think you want to convey.

>>>On the positive side, China is clearly...

and: >>>China is clearly investing...

are redundant.

>>>When it finally becomes crucial that humanity addresses global warming, we in the west are going to be playing a very ugly game of catch up.


In your conclusion as well, you state that China is clearly moving to clean energy, but you don't really discuss this, instead focusing on railways and the personal carbon footprint of Chinese citizens.  What work in clean or renewable energy are the Chinese completing?

Other than those changes and that last suggestion, thumbs up from me.

2011-07-16 06:49:14
Andy S


That was very interesting and nicely put together.


parent's balcony --> parents' balcony (assuming that there are two)

did you mean raison d'état or raison d'être? (I think either would be OK but maybe the second is a little better)

2011-07-16 07:43:54
Rob Honeycutt


Thanks a ton, Andy.  I think I've updated with all your suggestions.  Just trying to come up with a couple of links to add in about Chinas wind and solar initiatives.

Also, I think raison d'etat is what I'm looking for.  That's reason of state, more of a political purpose, or political reason for existence, whereas raison d'etre is a personal one.  Is this right?

2011-07-16 07:46:59
Rob Honeycutt


This is from wiki:

The national interest, often referred to by the French expression raison d'État (Englishreason of the State), is a country's goals and ambitions whether economic,military, or cultural. The concept is an important one in international relations where pursuit of the national interest is the foundation of the realist school.

The national interest of a state is multi-faceted. Primary is the state's survival and security. Also important is the pursuit of wealth and economic growth and power. Many states, especially in modern times, regard the preservation of the nation's culture as of great importance.

2011-07-16 08:20:06
Rob Honeycutt


Okay, much appreciate the help guys.  I think she's ready for the presses.

2011-07-16 08:31:11
Alex C


Yep, looks good.  To echo others, I think this provides a really interesting insight into the various issues around China and what they're going through with green tech and emissions.

2011-07-16 09:42:19
Rob Painting

A great read Rob.

2011-07-16 10:59:36
Rob Honeycutt


Thanks, Rob.  I've been holding back commenting on your "Why wasn't it hotter..." post because I've been working on this.  The two posts work well as a kind of "top down" and "bottom up" approaches with regards to Asian aerosols.