During Science or Fiction, Steve asserted that US energy consumption decreased in the period 2007-2009 "because people are trying to conserve." Upon hearing this, all the other rogues unquestioningly jumped onto the self-congratulatory bandwagon... "We're decreasing our CO2 emissions." "Hooray for us!" "Now China's gotta get on board!"
That is a stunningly wrong interpretation! The actual cause of decreasing energy use is well-known and pretty obvious.
Assuming you've been on this planet the past 4 years, you may have heard of the financial meltdown and great recession that occurred in the same period? Tons of businesses shut down, production dropped, massive unemployment set in, the economy contracted, and yes, therefore energy consumption fell. Or is that what you meant by "people trying to conserve"? By getting fired?
Now there's a semblance of economic recovery, so energy use is rising again. Did we have a change of heart? Are we trying less hard to conserve?
If anything, energy use and CO2 emissions in the US (and worldwide) fell despite our best efforts. We have no lessons to teach China in that respect.