The entire climate change movement has been shady from its beginnings. Data have been hidden, truth has been sacrificed to politics, and hypocrisy and personal interests among its “leaders” have produced a giant credibility deficit. The more we learn, the worse the alarmists look.
Take, for instance, a new report that shows greenhouse gas emissions are not an American or Western problem. They are primarily a Chinese problem. A study from Sun Yat-sen University in China found that more than half of the world’s urban greenhouse gas emissions are generated in only 25 big cities, and 23 of them are located in China.
In other words, if the entire developed world cut its greenhouse gas emissions as activists, politicians, journalists, and celebrities have demanded, nothing would change regarding the climate. (This assumes human carbon dioxide emissions are responsible for warming the planet, which is a load of speculation that’s yet to be proved.)
The paper’s findings remind us of the great plastic scare that’s “inspired” lawmakers to outlaw single-use plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic utensils, and other modern products, in a mass pretense of doing something when in reality they’re doing nothing but inconveniencing people.
The data show 90% of ocean plastic pours into the sea from “the top 10 rivers with the highest loads” of plastic debris, according to the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Germany. None are in the U.S., which contributes only about 1% percent of all plastic debris found at sea. Eight of them though are in Asia, while two are in Africa.
While it provides useful information, the Sun Yat-sen study isn’t a shocking revelation. We’ve known for at least a decade that while agitators campaigned to force developed economies to eliminate fossil fuel use, China and India have been busy building hundreds of coal plants in an effort to spread the First World prosperity that the climate alarmists have enjoyed their entire lives. Late last year, the Canadian Energy Centre, affiliated with the Alberta government, reported that as of 2020, 350 coal-fired power plants were under construction worldwide. Seven were in South Korea, another 13 in Japan. But China and India were building 184 and 52 plants, respectively.
China, which has not lived up to its emissions pledges even as the U.S. has decreased its GHG emissions, “is also building and financing hundreds of other coal-fired power plants in countries such as Turkey, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Egypt, and Bangladesh.”
A few months after the Canadian report, Yale Environment 360 noted that “despite pledges to cut emissions,” China, responsible for 28% of GHG emissions though it makes up less than 19% of the world’s population, has been “on a coal spree.”
Yet the U.S., and the developed nations of the West, which have zero cities listed among the top 25 greenhouse gas emitters – New York City is 26th – and only eight in the top 50, are the focus of climate activists.
Environmental zealots, more than a few of them elected and appointed officials, are constantly bullying Washington over international emissions agreements that will hurt the U.S. economy; telling Americans they have to live more primitively because they wreck the planet a little every time they consume conventional energy; and that they must make sacrifices for the health of Gaia. The hectoring never ends, the exaggerations never stop, the lies flow freely.
That China is rarely a target of the fanatics tells us a lot: The climate scare is more about pulling down capitalism, weakening the U.S. and other developed nations, cranking out international transfers of wealth, and advancing socialism than it is about saving the world. It’s no coincidence that the countries that are constantly mugged by the alarmists are those whose economic systems are the furthest removed from socialism on the political spectrum. There’s no reason for them to denounce China because it’s already laboring under the system they want to inflict on the world.
It’s a not-so-little secret among the environmental extremists that’s dirtier than Beijing’s polluted skies.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board