I often hear northwesterners say things like, “Well, unless China gets onboard [about climate change, endangered species, or whatever global environmental issue is in discussion], what we do here won’t really matter.” It’s becoming conventional wisdom that China is now the biggest factor in the global equation. Like most myths, this one has a truth at its center. But it’s also, well, a convenient rationalization for inaction—a point that came to mind when reading State of the World 2004 recently. I noticed that, sometime in the last five years, China appears to have overtaken Cascadia in the number of private cars. That’s impressive until you realize that the Chinese outnumber us northwesterners 84 times over.