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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: Shocking
By redbone75 on 4/6/2010 1:49:23 PM , Rating: -1
Ok, I'll call you ignorant, but only because you said I could :p It absolutely amazes me that the health of the planet, the freaking planet!, is something that's become so politicized. How is it even up for debate that producing less pollution is better than producing more pollution? All because we want to drive bigger cars/trucks/planes to feel better about what we've accomplished with our lives? You want other people to look at you when you scream out, "Hey! Look at me! I'm rich!" What's wrong with wanting to breath cleaner air and have cleaner water? What is it that I don't get because I want to save animals that are completely powerless to protect themselves against our hunting them or destroying their habitat? As far as developing nations wanting richer nations to foot the bill? H-E-L-L NO! China, especially, shouldn't be one to talk. They had tremendous opportunity to be as developed if not more so than the rest of the world. They chose to shut themselves off from Western commerce and influence, all in an effort to keep their way of life intact. Admirable, but hey, China. There's a word for people and creatures that refuse to adapt: extinct. China should be footing the bill for themselves and at least helping to educate other developing nations. That's just my opinion, you don't have to agree.

You don't have to believe that man is causing global warming, or contributing greatly or whatever. Common sense, though, should tell you that less or no pollution is better than some or more pollution. There is no debate. There is no counter argument. You don't have to be a hippie tree hugger or some extreme environmentalist. If you have a brain and a pulse (common sense might be asking too much for some) then you shouldn't have a problem agreeing with the idea that producing less waste is in everyone's and every thing's best interest.


RE: Shocking
By kattanna on 4/6/2010 2:00:39 PM , Rating: 3
and that, IMO, is one of the REAL crimes about this focus on CO2, diverting attention away from REAL pollution issues.


RE: Shocking
By Ammohunt on 4/6/2010 2:07:43 PM , Rating: 2
Its becasue of what was already stated the enviro-movement is about saving the earth by detroying evil capitalism. Use your brain no sane person with any sense buys open Marxism as a solution to any of humankinds ills. If you mask it with the religion of Environmentalism then you can pull the wool over peoples eyes all in the name of saving the earth.


RE: Shocking
By porkpie on 4/6/2010 2:06:01 PM , Rating: 4
"How is it even up for debate that producing less pollution is better than producing more pollution? "

CO2 is not pollution. It's airborne plant food, required for all life on earth.

As for your sophomoric whine that "less pollution is better", that's true in theory. In practice, there's a rational benefit vs. risk analysis that should be made always in such decisions. You produce pollution, for instance. The easiest and fastest way to stop that is to kill you. Should we take that measure?

In cases where "pollution" is below levels that create measurable risk to human health, spending billions or even trillions to reduce it further it ludicrous. In cases where that "pollution" isn't even harmful (like CO2) its downright criminal.


RE: Shocking
By redbone75 on 4/6/2010 3:09:00 PM , Rating: 1
As I stated before, common sense might be asking too much of some people. Please, allow me to retort.

At no point did I mention CO2; however, it, as is true for pretty much everything else, is rather harmful in excessive quantities. Furthermore, while it is airborne plant food (as are nitrates, but I didn't mention those, either) mammals, birds and reptiles don't feed off gaseous carbon dioxide. In fact, last I checked, excessive CO2 kills pretty much any non-plant life form (though some fish can survive in high levels of dissolved carbon dioxide). Want to argue on that one also?

As for my "sophomoric whine" that less pollution is better, there is no theory about it. It's simple fact. Yes, pollution is pretty much unavoidable at this stage in human development. As for any benefit/risk analysis, the benefit is that we save money, as superficial as money is, anyway. The cost is that we still pollute. I'm not just talking about levels that are harmful to humans. We're not the only things living here. To not consider that is what's downright criminal.

Oh, and another thing: the next time you open your f#%&ing trap to suggest harm on someone, remind yourself that you're only an internet warrior and the world is indeed a scary place. I've noticed most times you post is to only attempt to denigrate someone. You always seem to come off as... sophomoric, though.


RE: Shocking
By porkpie on 4/6/2010 3:57:22 PM , Rating: 3
"Furthermore, while CO2 is airborne plant food ...In fact, last I checked, excessive CO2 kills pretty much any non-plant life form...Want to argue on that one also?"

Are you playing dumb or is this serious? Without CO2, all the plants die. Without plants, all the animals die. CO2 is required for all life on earth, just as I said.

"CO2; however, it, as is true for pretty much everything else, is rather harmful in excessive quantities"

At levels of 10,000 ppm or higher, yes. Current levels are 380 ppm. We could burn every bit of coal, oil, shale oil, and tar sands on the planet and not get even halfway to 10,000 ppm.

If you believe CO2 is so terribly harmful, how do you justify your own existence? Your own breath generates CO2 levels as high as 50,000ppm (5%). Oh my god, the horror, the horror!


RE: Shocking
By SPOOFE on 4/6/2010 4:36:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As for my "sophomoric whine" that less pollution is better, there is no theory about it. It's simple fact.

Sure; but that has nothing to do with the claims of Anthropogenic Global Warming. AGW claims that a non-pollutant is, indeed, a pollutant, and it's killing us all. It's a far cry from that to "OMG teh smogzzz!" and concerns about arsenic in groundwater. If you want to talk about actual, real, observable effects of pollution, a thread about AGW is the wrong place.


RE: Shocking
By porkpie on 4/6/2010 10:05:22 PM , Rating: 2
"Sure..."

No, this is false. Less pollution is not "always better". Is one atom of arsenic per liter of groundwater better than 10, or even 10,000 ? No. They're all equally the same -- utterly harmless to human health.

That's the point the Greens fail to get. There's a certain threshold for all so-called pollutants, under which further reductions are pointless.


RE: Shocking
By TSS on 4/8/2010 9:32:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
however, it, as is true for pretty much everything else, is rather harmful in excessive quantities.
quote:
n fact, last I checked, excessive CO2 kills pretty much any non-plant life form


if you ask for common sense you'd better exhibit it as well. Killing your own arguement before you've even made it is not common sense.

Oh, and we *do* need Co2 in the air. As well as nitrogen. Because i know that if you breathe *pure oxygen*, your lungs will burn to a crisp. Do you have any idea how reactive oxygen is? we use it to get into orbit goddamnit!

Also you get the risk/benifit analysis wrong. You don't need to analyze what's the risk/benifit of the current situation, you need to analyze the future and where your suggesting we should go. The only way to decrease pollution on this scale = decreasing economic activity. what are the benifits of that? Less polluting substances in the enviroment. The risks? That people don't have anything to eat, and start chopping down trees for firewood, slaughtering enimals for food, make whatever they need with no regard to the enviroment since they need it to survive etc etc etc.

Oh, and money isn't superficial. The only reason you can care about the enviroment on this newsarticle is because you had the money to get a warm meal, full stomach, an house to live in a PC to type on and electricity to run everything. I'm sure if your willing to give all that to a rural chinaman he'd be happy to look after the enviroment for you.

If electricity where to *poof* dissapear, first thing i would do is get an axe and chop down a tree for firewood. *that's* common sense.


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