Oh noes. US banned from exporting trash to China

Credit: flicker user oddsock
Credit: flicker user oddsock

Apparently the US is so busy with important things like planning wars that it can’t be bothered with recycling its own trash. So it exports it to China. The sad truth is, garbage is our biggest export. But tragedy has struck, China has enacted strict controls on importing improperly cleaned and sorted recyclables. 68,000 tons has been rejected in just five months. Thus, the US has been banned from exporting trash to China.

Private company says China spying on US. MSM accepts this uncritically


A private company pops out of nowhere and says China is spying on US companies. Further, hacking is coming from a single building in Shanghai and are Chinese Army, they say. Really?

Thus, we are supposed to believe the hackers are smart enough to hack into well-protected US corporate servers but not smart enough to cover their tracks, hide their IP addresses, and not leave tracks in their malware.

These rather extraordinary claims were immediately accepted by mainstream media without question. Just who is the company making the claims? Why were accusations made now? Why has mainstream media been so uncritically accepting of them, especially since there has been little if any actual proof, especially considering the hackers supposedly made apparently stupid rookie mistakes.

Something here does not add up.

Trade wars. China may retaliate against US on solar tariffs

This is a stunningly clear example of why trade wars generally backfire.

The Obama Administration last month instituted punitive tariffs on Chinese solar cells, citing unfair competition and dumping. China’s response may well be to impose duties on silicon imported from the US used to make the panels.  The victim here will be the US solar industry, which will face higher costs at precisely the wrong time, when subsidies and tax breaks are expiring.

Pacific Northwest: Sending coal to China?

Long coal train, South Dakota, 1946. Carol M Highsmith, American (Carol M. Highsmith's America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.)

SSA Marine, which is 51% owned by Goldman Sachs, has applied for federal and state permits  to build facilities at Cherry Point to ship coal from the Rocky Mountains to China, thereby making the Pacific Northwest the largest coal exporting region in the country. (As many as half a dozen future sites have been proposed along the Oregon and Washington coast. If all of them were built and operated to planned capacity, those ports would ship 50% more coal than the entire country did in 2011.)

Most of the coal would come from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana; the coal would arrive on the coast either by train or river barges. What could possibly go wrong?

Physicians fret about an explosion of locomotive exhaust, while mayors grumble about the potential for long traffic-snarling trains. Washington state fears 1,200 new barge trips on the Columbia River could spark more accidents and marine-vessel groundings. Tribes worry that spilled coal could poison aquatic food webs.

But as the federal government begins its first lengthy review of plans to ship coal through Northwest ports, it’s not clear how — or if — the feds will weigh in on perhaps the most far-reaching issue: the potential effect new markets for coal could have on greenhouse-gas emissions.

There’s more information about the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point near Ferndale, Washington, here and here. SSA has provided some more details to its proposal which the Bellingham Herald explains here.

American solar installer on why China is winning

In our experience, all of the big U.S. solar module manufactures have one approach: they sell their modules to only a few big distributors, and the more you buy, the bigger the discount.

But today there is an interesting twist coming from global competitors around the world. China will sell directly to just about any consumer or business, and, boy, do they know how to give you the best customer service — not to mention how easy they make it to find them.

So, China may be lowballing on price and even dumping but they also clearly get it about service and appear to actually want your business too.