2014-07-25. What Do Chinese Dumplings Have to Do With Global Warming?

posted Jul 27, 2014, 4:09 AM by Alan Gould   [ updated Jul 27, 2014, 4:09 AM ]
For GSS Population Growth chapter 6. Excerpt: ...Chen Zemin, the world’s first and only frozen-dumpling billionaire...named his fledgling dumpling company Sanquan, which is short for the “Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China” — the 1978 gathering that marked the country’s first steps toward the open market. ...When Chen founded Sanquan, fewer than one in 10 of his fellow citizens even owned a refrigerator. In the eastern megacities of Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, it wasn’t until the late 1980s — as electrical grids became more reliable and families had more disposable income — that refrigerators became a fixture of most homes. ...in the 12 years between 1995 and 2007, China’s domestic refrigerator-ownership numbers have jumped to 95 percent from just 7 percent of urban families. ...China had 250 million cubic feet of refrigerated storage capacity in 2007; by 2017, the country is on track to have 20 times that. At five billion cubic feet, China will surpass even the United States, which has led the world in cold storage ever since artificial refrigeration was invented. And even that translates to only 3.7 cubic feet of cold storage per capita, or roughly a third of what Americans currently have — meaning that the Chinese refrigeration boom is only just beginning. This is not simply transforming how Chinese people grow, distribute and consume food. It also stands to become a formidable new factor in climate change; cooling is already responsible for 15 percent of all electricity consumption worldwide, and leaks of chemical refrigerants are a major source of greenhouse-gas pollution. Of all the shifts in lifestyle that threaten the planet right now, perhaps not one is as important as the changing way that Chinese people eat.... http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/27/magazine/what-do-chinese-dumplings-have-to-do-with-global-warming.html. By Nicola Twilley, The New York Times.