13 October 2010

Michael Levi on Meaningless Numbers

Michael Levi suggests that interpretation of China's official pronouncements on energy intensity is more than a quantitative exercise:
This past March, China announced that it had cut its energy intensity by 14.38% from 2005 to 2009. Several critics noted that Chinese energy and GDP statistics suggested that the cut had actually been only 8.2%. Now NDRC  vice-Minister Xie Zhenhua says, in a statement today, that the 2005-2009 cut was actually 15.6%. I hope I’ll be excused if, like the Chinese experts I’ve spoken with in the last week, I come to the conclusion that these numbers have become pretty meaningless.

1 comment:

  1. A lot of government numbers are meaningless and not just in China. It's the nature of the beast. It's tough to hold big brother accountable for accuracy. And when the numbers come from the UN, the problem is exponentially worse.