Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, October 30, 2006

China Fighting Global Warming Restrictions

You have to read the Reuters report, China Hopes for Post-2012 Kyoto Deal within 2 Years, carefully and to the end to figure out what's really going on with China and global warming restrictions.

It might be because the story is posted on Planet Ark, a greenie-fest of a Web site where Reuters consolidates and runs all its enviro news. It was as if AP decided to run all its pro-DNC stories on a site called Donkey Time.

Anyway, the story poses China in a conciliatory pose:
China would like the world to agree a new framework for trading and investment in reductions of greenhouse gas emissions by 2008, and to see a longer-lasting commitment period, top policy officials said on Friday.
Sounds good ... China's in the warmie game, wants to reduce emissions and wants to commit to it for a long time. But read on ... on and on ... and find:
China is the world's number two emitter of the gasses that cause global warming, but like India and other developing nations, its emissions are not capped under current Kyoto rules.

Beijing argues that as industrialised nations bear historical responsibility for the majority of carbon dioxide in the world's atmosphere, and still have far higher per capita emissions than its population, it should be allowed to pursue economic growth without emissions limits.
It sounds like a varient on affirmative action or reparations. If global warming is such a crisis, how is there room for a "you guys were bad first, so we get to be really bad longer" philosophy. Besides, the argument is false because it focuses on industrialization as the sole source of warming.

For centuries, China's large population has burned wood for fuel and used methane-emitting horses and oxen as their engines of industry, so their fingerprints are on global warming -- unless, of course, you're one of those who only count industrially produced greenhouse gasses and come up with elaborate studies to discount other sources.
"You cannot tell people who are struggling to earn enough to eat that they need to reduce their emissions," Lu Xuedu, deputy director at China's Office of Global Environmental Affairs, told a meeting on the [UN's global warming talks in Nairobi] sidelines.
The statement is a shameless exploitation of the Chinese people who, as a matter of fact, struggle more with obesity than they do with starvation.

We can demand that China reduce emissions, and we should. The Chinese people may be poor, but the Chinese government is rich. It just chooses not to allocate its wealth fairly. There is no reason not to force the Chinese government to clean up its air and its water now.

In fact, cleaning up China would be much easier than cleaning up America, were disproportionate amout of greenhouse gas emissions come from non-point sources, primarily cars, trucks and locomotives. In China, the majority of the pollution still comes from point sources: factories, smelters, refineries and the like. These are owned by the government or government-owned corporations, not by poor people trying to eat (or eating too much!).

Will the world stand up to China and demand it to clean up its act? Don't count on it.

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