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China has severe air pollution probems. It emits more greenhouse gases than any other nation.  (Source: Treehugger)

China is cleverly leveraging the warming debate to try to turn the world's most powerful developing nations against the U.S.  (Source: The Hindu)
China rallies developing nations to oppose emissions restrictions championed by the U.S. and its allies

Tensions between China and the U.S. are already running high.  You can now add one more contentious issue to the mix -- global warming.

In December, President Barack Obama traveled to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen to try to broker a climate alliance to fight global warming.  Hopes of a true international deal, though, vanished as the industrialized nations failed to reach a binding compromise with developing nations.

China, the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is leading an alliance of developing nations dubbed BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China).  BASIC wants the U.S. and other "rich" nations to bear the primary cost of fighting global warming.  They argue that the industrialized nations already had their chance to grow and develop.  Meanwhile the U.S. and others have argued that China and its allies need to take warming much more seriously.

There is some hope of a compromise.  In an eleventh hour meeting at Copenhagen, between Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, an interruption by President Obama triggered talks that would eventually lead to the developing countries and the industrialized ones signing an accord, near the end of the Copenhagen summit.

The Copenhagen Accord is no true climate treaty and should not be hailed as such.  It lacks any sort of clear roadmap for fighting warming.  What it does provide is an agreement that warming costs must be shouldered equally by all nations, not thrust upon industrialized or developing nations.

Many consider that a slight victory for the U.S. as the developing nations were particular vocal in calling for unequal restrictions on wealthy nations.

The debate, however, is quietly allowing China to consolidate developing nations in economic opposition to the U.S.  China scored a win when its ally Sudan was elected chair of the Group of 77 bloc of developing countries.

Meanwhile, China is courting India via the warming debate.  India is typically a close ally of America economically and based on shared domestic issues, such as terrorism threats form Islamic extremists.  However, India has allied itself with China when it comes to the warming debate.  And it seems apparent that China is in firm control of the direction of BASIC.

The true test of the future of warming legislation will come late this year.  After a series of small summits, world leaders, including, presumably, U.S. President Barack Obama, will convene in Cancun Mexico this December to try to iron out a binding treaty.

The question becomes whether China is truly looking to cooperate and is merely trying to protect its own interests, or whether the growing economic giant is looking to use the debate to consolidate its political power in the developing nation sphere, at a time when its clashing with U.S. government and businesses.

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RE: Global what?
By kattanna on 4/6/2010 11:14:05 AM , Rating: 3
i have spent much time going over the data the US itself uses to calculate global temps and its a shame.

in the early 90's 3/4 of all US temp stations where removed from being used. only those in coastal and warm urban areas remained. we also stopped using all available data from other countries as well. Russia has called us out on not using all the station data they have, but instead using a cherry picked subset. so when you hear "this is the 2nd warmest season on record" or some such, you now have to remember that since 1990 the US only is using the warmest 1/4 of all temp monitoring stations. before 1990 we had about 6000 stations, after 1990 we only use a little over 1000 of them.

also, they cannot get the satellite data to match the ground data, with satellite consistently like 2-3 degrees higher. many think its not a data point issue, but more the statistical methods being used to massage the data.

and right now, we are currently in a cooling trend until about 2030 or 2050, depending upon which statistical method is used.

RE: Global what?
By JediJeb on 4/6/2010 12:04:36 PM , Rating: 2
And the funny thing is it was the second warmest year in the last 12 years, but tied with 5 other years as the second warmest year. If you have 6 of 12 years at the same temperature ( even with the skew from using the hottest stations) that would suggest a stable trend, not a warming trend.

RE: Global what?
By kattanna on 4/6/2010 1:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
hush you!

how dare you bring logic and thinking into this


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