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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 Mint on 4/6/2010 4:05:41 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. I've long maintained that GreenPeace is the biggest cause of CO2 today - more than SUVs, big industry, meat, or whatever else they're in the mood for blaming. They killed nuclear and did nothing about coal because there was no other option.

They were all happy when Steven Chu became the energy secretary who felt strongly about global warming, but forgot that he's actually got a brain. Nuclear is the only way forward, and he & Obama are going to push it.

That's why I don't really care if current AGW models turns out to be wrong. Even if you use the IPCC's numbers, it tells us that nuclear is better than coal, other renewables aren't worth it, and PHEV is better than ICE. So we move to a clean, limitless energy source with the lowest long term cost floor, clean up the air in our cities, and get off foreign oil.

What's wrong with that?

RE: Global what?
By Reclaimer77 on 4/6/2010 10:20:48 PM , Rating: 2
What's wrong with that?

Nothing. It's the way they are going about DOING those changes that is the problem.

RE: Global what?
By Mint on 4/7/2010 11:16:03 AM , Rating: 2
The way I see it, AGW is just the last straw. If coal and gasoline didn't pollute the air with SO2, NOx, and particulates, if coal mining didn't destroy vast swaths of land, and if gas didn't require us to pay money to foreign interests, AGW wouldn't be enough to make people want some other energy source.

We see this with natural gas. It doesn't emit as much CO2 as coal, but it still does, and yet it's usually considered clean by environmentalists because it doesn't have all the other negatives.

RE: Global what?
By ekv on 4/7/2010 1:59:39 AM , Rating: 2
Nuclear is the only way forward, and he & Obama are going to push it.
From what I've heard, Obama, who really talks a good game, is pushing Nuclear, at least on the surface of things. But in the details the Obama admin is actually for more regulation so it turns out to be more anti-nuclear enviro-nonsense. A pity. But so typical, nu?

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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