Justin Lalputan, Broadside Correspondent

President Barack Obama has made a trip to China to speak with its leaders about many things, but one of the major things that he wished to talk about was the impact that China has made on the environment.

This is a good move on the president’s part. China needs to be steered in the right direction.

They have simply continued to pollute with no care for the environment.

In 2007, China overtook the U.S. as the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, and it has not slowed down since.

Cancer has become the leading cause of death in China, and the pollution that causes it comes in many forms.

Air pollution has poisoned the lungs of many Chinese people. A recent study shown in The Independent, a British newspaper, said that China’s pollution had doubled in the last decade and, “with its recent growth rate of nearly 10 per cent, could do so again.”

So why has the U.S. allowed China to do this for so long? Sure, people have mentioned China’s consumption of coal and their emission levels, but China isn’t taking them seriously.

As of right now, China is considering setting a target level for carbon emissions.

“China hasn’t reached the stage where we can reduce overall emissions, but we can reduce energy intensity and carbon intensity,” said Su Wei, a leading figure in China’s climate change negotiation team.

This type of thinking is not going to help the environment and it’s not fooling anyone.

China could very well limit emissions. All they have to do is stop building coal factories and attempt to utilize other sources of energy.

Despite this fact, I bet nobody will attempt to push a serious consequence on them if they do not attempt to come up with a plan to reduce emissions at next month’s conference on climate change that will be held in Copenhagen.

The logic behind my reasoning is simple: It’s all about the money. It’s a well-known fact that the U.S. is deep in debt to China; the U.S. currently owes China somewhere around $2 trillion.

You don’t bite the hand that feeds you. As a result, the U.S. has not taken any real decisive action against China.

Even though President Obama is urging the Chinese president to make a plan, that’s all he can do.

There is also a controversy when it comes to the actual statistics. While it is clear that China and the U.S. are the two largest polluters in the world, the actual numbers involved may be skewed.

There are accusations of smudging the polls on both sides.

Some say that the Chinese government is skewing the numbers, while others say that the U.S. is corrupting the data.

My response to this is simple: If China’s pollution problem isn’t as bad as America says it is, then why are so many Chinese citizens getting infected and, in some cases, dying from the pollution?

I’m not saying that Chinese officials are purposely skewing the data, but something is wrong when an official of the National Population and Family Planning Commission says that “every 30 seconds, a baby is born with physical defects in China, all thanks to the country’s degrading environment.”

China already has power, which has reached a point where it has begun to rival nations like Russia, America and England. That fact is not debatable, but what it lacks is respect.

True, many people dislike China because of their form of government, but that doesn’t mean that people won’t respect them if they clean up their act and start thinking about the environment.

It may very well be true that the U.S. can tell China to reduce emissions, which is pretty much like the pot calling the kettle black, but someone has to do it.

With the world in the state that it is in, the last thing that we need is for environmental problems to get worse than they already are.

Obama said that the time for change is now, and I believe that to be a statement that is 100 percent true.
It’s high time China cut their pollution, and maybe the first step is for us to cut ours.

If we all consume a little less, it could go a long way towards lowering the amount of pollution the U.S. puts out.

Sometimes the best way to lead is by example and maybe, as Americans, we can be the first to start the trend of polluting less.

It may seem like nothing we do may make a difference, but that isn’t true – it takes power to make change and ,as a very wise man once said: The power is yours.