Though this NYTimes.com article on Beijing's air pollution was somewhat fascinating:

Every year, [a Chinese family interviewed] burned 1,200 one-kilogram coal bricks — one and one-third tons of coal — to stay warm. Until now: this month, Beijing’s city government gave the couple a two-thirds discount on the electric heater, and a laughably low nighttime rate for electric power, 3 cents a kilowatt-hour.

Since 2004, Beijing has replaced 94,000 pot-bellied coal stoves with efficient electric heaters, eliminating the filth that came from chimneys burning roughly 100,000 tons of coal a year.


I've admittedly thought about a wood stove, even if the only serious practical application would be to stay warm when the power was out. More interesting to me is that I believe we tend to forget how unclean the US was as it grew into an economic power.

The advantage, from the perspective of environmentalists, perhaps, is that China and other econs slowly moving from ag to industrial and service econs, is that they can grab the low-hanging fruit from the collective experience we've already set down. There's less naivete, as exhibited by 1.) China's allowing families to depend on coal (in the words of the ole ball coach, it's "cheap and available") and 2.) China knowing that cheaper energy rates at different times of the day are both fairer and more normalizing than keeping rates flat. /shrug