Re: A Need, No Specifics, and a Way of Life
In her OpEd in yesterday’s Providence Journal which Justin brings to our attention, Ms.Yeh Ling-Ling states:
But at least the Chinese leaders realize population growth’s contribution to global warming. They defended their one-child policy by arguing that it has helped the fight against global warming by avoiding 300 million births
There are some valid points in this OpEd. (The theory of anthropogenic global warming is not one of them.) But the above reasoning by Beijing, which Ms. Yeh appears to agree with, is a bit convoluted and misleading. China instituted its one-child law almost thirty years ago and definitely not out of concern for global warming. Beijing pointed to it as an environmentally friendly policy as an after thought, only when it became the target of criticism for its disgustingly pollutive factories and electric generating plants and its refusal to participate in the Kyoto Protocol.
From a New York Times article a year and a half ago:
Unless China finds a way to clean up its coal plants and the thousands of factories that burn coal, pollution will soar both at home and abroad. The increase in global-warming gases from China’s coal use will probably exceed that for all industrialized countries combined over the next 25 years, surpassing by five times the reduction in such emissions that the Kyoto Protocol seeks.
Fast forward to June of this year, when China became the number one emitter of greenhouse gases. Criticism naturally accompanied this dubious achievement. But retrofitting hundreds of factories and coal burning generators with even a fraction of the scrubbers, filters and anti-pollution devices used for decades by the US (this would be one of many areas from which China, in turn, could “learn from America”) and Europe was apparently not an option for Beijing. Casting around for a defense, they lit on their decades old one-child policy and rolled it out in August, two short months after they got their Number One Polluter award. “… uh, it’s environmentally friendly. ‘Cause fewer humans mean less pollution. Yeah … that’s the ticket.”
Setting aside the scientifically unsound theory of anthropogenic global warming, priorities have gotten twisted if a sometimes infanticidal population control law is used as the cover for a country’s refusal, initially and right along, to make its factories and economy even somewhat respectful of the environment.