Well, “Everybody” is wrong.
Sometime last year China passed the United States as the world’s largest emitter of CO2 which is considered the primary “Greenhouse” gas. It has even been reported that China, all by itself, increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by 2% in 2007. If that is not bad enough, the total CO2 emitted by China has DOUBLED in the past 7 years. And, at their current rate of growth, China’s emissions will double again in the next 10 – 12 years.
Translation: The United States could take every car off the road, shut down all of our coal burning power plants, basically take America back to the Stone Age and 10 years from now the “Greenhouse” gases will be exactly the same as they are today. All thanks to Chinese coal fired power plants and wasteful big industry. They are currently adding an additional coal fired plant every week or so with no end in sight. While the scrubber technology common in America is available and installed on many of the Chinese coal plants, the operators have found it cheaper to pay a fine than to use them, compounding the problem.
But wasn’t the Kyoto Protocol supposed to fix all of this? China happily signed it and why not? They don’t have to limit their pollution; they only have to report it! Currently China burns more coal in inefficient and polluting factories and power stations than the United States, Europe and Japan combined, yet they have no restrictions on the growth of their emissions. It would seem the only thing the Kyoto Protocol hoped to achieve was to lower the standard of living for the developed nations while allowing developing nations such as China, India and Brazil to foul the air and water with impunity. In fact, 80% of the nations in the world are completely exempt from Kyoto imposed limits and Russia – another major offender -- wasn’t asked to make any improvement, only maintain their same current levels of pollution.
George W. Bush recognized how unfair it was to expect the Western world to lower their emissions while letting China and others raise theirs. In 2001 he withdrew from the Kyoto farce:
"This is a challenge that requires a 100% effort; ours, and the rest of the worlds. The world's second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases is the People's Republic of China. Yet, China was entirely exempted from the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol. India and Germany are among the top emitters. Yet, India was also exempt from Kyoto… America's unwillingness to embrace a flawed treaty should not be read by our friends and allies as any abdication of responsibility. To the contrary, my administration is committed to a leadership role on the issue of climate change… Our approach must be consistent with the long-term goal of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere."Instead of being praised for his good sense he was vilified. Despite the self evident inequity of the Kyoto Protocol where the nations trying to battle pollution are punished while those creating the bulk of the new pollutants were in effect rewarded, the hew and cry from the “Global Warming” alarmist could be heard throughout the land.
-President George W. Bush (see the complete letter here)
“Bush hates the Environment!”
“Bush is in the pocket of Big Oil!”
Those crying the loudest about the evil George W. Bush are the same ones who didn’t notice the United States Senate voted on the Kyoto Protocol while Bill Clinton was still in the White House. By a razor thin margin of 95-0, the senate informed President Clinton he was wasting his time with the Kyoto Treaty. As long as the Chinese were exempt then he could consider it DOA. Dead on Arrival. And this from a senate that couldn’t get a unanimous vote whether the sun would rise tomorrow.
You can debate the pros and cons of “Global Warming” but air and water pollution exists and it’s getting worse in the developing world. Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post said it best:
"I'm not a global warming believer. I'm not a global warming denier. I'm a global warming agnostic who believes instinctively that it can't be very good to pump lots of CO2 into the atmosphere but is equally convinced that those who presume to know exactly where that leads are talking through their hats."
-Washington Post (read the complete article HERE)
The big question is whether it is fair to ask the developed world, which is already fighting pollution on every front, to sacrifice their standard of living so reckless third world leaders can foul the world’s ecosystem?
If you’re interested, here are some great articles on Global Warming and the way the Chinese have gamed the U.N. and the world “scientific" community. The folks in Peking must be stunned that they are the leading cause of new “Greenhouse” gases and the number one polluter in the world yet are considered victims by many in radical environmental movement.
"Chinese cities often seem wrapped in a toxic gray shroud. Only 1 percent of the country’s 560 million city dwellers breathe air considered safe by the European Union. Beijing is frantically searching for a magic formula, a meteorological deus ex machina, to clear its skies for the 2008 Olympics.
Environmental woes that might be considered catastrophic in some countries can seem commonplace in China: industrial cities where people rarely see the sun; children killed or sickened by lead poisoning or other types of local pollution; a coastline so swamped by algal red tides that large sections of the ocean no longer sustain marine life."
-The New York Times (read the complete article HERE)
"The catch is that China has become not just the world's manufacturer but its despoiler, on a scale as monumental as its economic expansion. A fourth of the country is now desert. More than three-fourths of its forests have disappeared. Each year, uncontrollable underground fires, sometimes triggered by lightning or mining accidents, consume 200 million tons of coal, contributing massively to global warming. A miasma of lead, mercury, sulfur dioxide, and other elements of coal-burning and car exhaust hovers over most Chinese cities."
-Christian Science Monitor (read the complete article HERE)
"The largest source of that pollution is the billion tons of coal China burns per year, more than virtually all the world's developed nations combined. The International Energy Agency reported in November 2006 that global coal consumption had increased as much in the previous 3 years as in the 23 before that, and that China was responsible for 90 percent of the increase.
It operates more than 2,000 coal-fired power plants and puts a new one into operation every four to seven days. Few possess scrubbers that could limit emissions, and those that do tend not to use them, since scrubbers drive up the plants' energy and maintenance costs. China's central government has issued some fairly strict regulations to limit plant emissions, but they are rarely enforced because of corruption and the reluctance of local officials to confront job-generating power companies. Those companies called upon to meet the regulations usually opt for paying an annual $500,000 fee instead. The plants provide 80 percent of China's energy, at the price of emissions devastating to both China and the rest of the world."