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Devleoping Economies: The elephant in the global warming room
Posted by: McQ on Friday, February 09, 2007

Any guess as to how China greeted the IPCC report on global warming?
China's state-run media has played down fresh warnings on climate change issued by a UN scientific panel, with centrally-controlled television news ignoring the issue altogether.

China Central Television in its Friday night and Saturday news broadcasts failed to mention the report by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) that called for international action to slow down global warming.

The Communist Party's leading People's Daily ran a three paragraph factual on the report at the bottom of page three in its Saturday edition.

Other state-run papers ran Xinhua news agency articles on the climate report on inside pages, while only the Beijing News carried a story on the negative effects that climate change could bring to China, including extended drought in the north and worse flooding in the south.

No Chinese language report was seen on China's growing impact on global warming due to its world-leading coal use and its booming automobile industry.
Their first official response came Tuesday:
China "lags behind Europe and the United States" in the technology needed to clean its coal, which accounts for 69 percent of its energy output, said Qin Dahe, chief of the China Meteorological Administration.

"It takes time to catch up," said Qin, who served as one of China's representatives to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that last week announced that global warming is very likely caused by mankind and will continue for centuries.
Said another way, "we can't really do anything".

As Jonah Goldberg pointed out in the LA Times, Jerry Mahlman of the National Center for Atmospheric Research speculated in Science magazine that "it might take another 30 Kyotos over the next century" to beat back global warming.

But don't look for China to help. China was been (along with India) exempted from such things because they're a "developing economy". Apparently, in the big scheme of things, "developing economies" are so important they must be exempted. But a "developed" economy? Not so much. And that exemption remains even if the developing economy plans on building 2,200 new coal-fired power plants by 2030 and will most likely be the largest emitter of greenhouse gasses in the world by the next decade.

So, how likely is it that China will actually do anything? Not very:
Qin said the central government already had set a "very ambitious and arduous goal" of reducing carbon dioxide and other emissions by 4 percent a year over the next five years.

The central government is "very serious about the commitment and has firmly demanded all regions to meet the emissions reduction targets," he said.

However, China has no binding international commitments to reduce its emissions and failed to meet similar targets set by the government five years ago.
And Mr. Environment, Al Gore's reaction to China?
Chinese officials said they would act after industrial countries such as the United States and others make changes themselves, Gore said, addressing a conference in Madrid on global warming.

"They're right in saying that. But we have to act quickly," said Gore, who was nominated last week for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in drawing attention to global warming.
So, some questions to those who're convinced that man is the cause of all of this and also convinced man must do something and do it quickly.

How much will "30 Kyotos" cost? With China and India exempted, how much good will they do?

What effect will they have on the economies of "developed" countries?

What is our emission target and won't they have to be extremely drastic in order to make up for the greenhouse gasses that China and India will be pumping out at record levels as their economies "develop"?

If we reach our emission targets, for how long do we have to hold them?

What, in scientific terms, will be the effect on the environment if we actually do reach and hold them over the specified period factoring in what China and India will continue to emit? What will be the effect on our economies?

Those countries who are going to be the biggest polluters in the coming years aren't interested in sacrificing their economic growth in the name of environmentalism, regardless of their rhetoric. And, of course, the leading lights in the western enviromental movment seem more than willing to excuse them.

So again, at what cost and for what purpose do we contemplate throwing trillions of economy crippling dollars at a problem which most growing economies plan to ignore?
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Previous Comments to this Post 

We could throw half our population into a disintegration chamber and shut down have the power plants/companies/etc. in this country and it
A: wouldn’t offset what China and India is/will be putting out,
B: wouldn’t be enough to make the Gorebots happy.

And they’d still give China a pass on it.
Written By: Firehand
We could throw half our population into a disintegration chamber and shut down have the power plants/companies/etc. in this country and it
A: wouldn’t offset what China and India is/will be putting out,
B: wouldn’t be enough to make the Gorebots happy.
We just have to make sure the Gorebots are included in the portion sent to the disintegration chamber. Even if we didn’t solve the big problem, there’d be no one left to criticize us for not doing enough.
Written By: steverino
A few comments on China...

In their favor, they now require cars to be at EU levels of pollution control.

They also are part of the carbon trading market whereby EU firms can get pollution rights by offsets by cleaning up Chinese factory pollution. (Though I think that could lead to perverse incentives)

The richer they get, the more environmental controls they want. In the city we have our branch office, they do not allow many polluting industries and encourage those to leave. That said, they can leave to a lot of places if they want.

Many of the new roads in China are extra wide, designed to accomadate the huge number of cars they anticipate being on the road in the coming decades.

Even if they agree to join Kyoto or something like it, they might ignore implementation. (See WTO)

Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Look on the bright side, any developed country that implements Kyoto will soon revert back to a developing country and will thus be exempt from Kyoto.
Written By: Jordan
URL: http://
So again, at what cost and for what purpose do we contemplate throwing trillions of economy crippling dollars at a problem which most growing economies plan to ignore?
For what purpose? Why to bash Republicans/Capitalism/America silly!!!
Written By: shark
URL: http://
1. I believe in Global Warming

2. And in Human Extinction In Our Lifetimes, the begotten effect of Global Warming

3. Which was conceived by the United States alone:

4. Suffered under George Bush, capitalism, corporations, and Republicans, who will be sent to Hell...if it existed:

5. The oceans began rising in the 20th century:

6. Tempatures and CO2 levels rose:

7. Polar bears began their extinction;

8. I believe the US West Coast will be flooded in a decade:

9. I believe in the holy church of socialism: the communion of Marx, Hegal and Chomsky:

10. The forgiveness of sins through UN central planning:

1l. The resurrection of the communist ideal:

12. And the life everlasting for polar bears. Amen.
Written By: True Social Justice
URL: http://
China’s Three Gorges Dam should start producing electricity next year.

This will hopefully put an end to a lot of coal burning. More dams are planned further upstream.

Written By: Wiseburn
URL: http://
This will hopefully put an end to a lot of coal burning.
Unfortunately it doesn’t appear it will given the vast expansion noted in the article (2,200) of new coal fired power plants. Hydro, as one of the articles cited points out, isn’t able to begin to meet the future power demand China has. Nor in nuclear.
Written By: McQ
Don’t worry about China. Scott Erb has a plan to deal with them: we just have to sign on to Kyoto first.
Written By: Don
URL: http://
True Social Justice;

Very good. I enjoyed that, although I was a little worried up until about 9, when all was revealed.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

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