The Netherlands Environmental Assessment
Agency last year reported that China became the No. 1 CO2-emitting
country in 2006, blowing past the U.S. emissions level by a whopping 8
percent. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had
projected that China wouldn’t surpass the U.S. in CO2 emissions until
Now a new study from researchers at the
University of California-Berkeley not only has verified the NEAA report
but says that China’s emissions are growing at a rate of 11 percent —
two to four times the rate projected by the IPCC.
It seems that the IPCC is as bad at forecasting CO2 emissions growth as it is at forecasting global temperature change.
Berkeley researchers attribute the IPCC’s shortcomings to reliance on
obsolete data that are almost a decade old. Since then, they say,
"China’s economic and technological growth has accelerated beyond
Adding insult to injury, the
Berkeley researchers point out that while the emissions from countries
that signed the Kyoto Protocol will be a cumulative 116 million metric
tons lower by 2010 than they would have been without any agreement,
China’s emissions will have increased by 600 million metric tons over
that same period.
Now that’s what I call a carbon offset.
no surprise that Kyoto signatories in the European Union are starting
to wonder why they struggle to meet their emissions obligations without
wrecking their economies, while China unabashedly emits CO2 like
there’s no tomorrow.
While burning coal for
electricity, a primary source of manmade CO2 emissions, is rapidly
becoming a politically incorrect energy source, it seems China can’t
get enough of it. In 2006-2007, China added 186,000 megawatts of
coal-fueled electrical generation capacity, equivalent to twice the
entire electricity grid of the United Kingdom.
sufficient coal for its ever-increasing power needs turned China in
2007 into a net importer of coal for the first time, helping to more
than double the price of coal over the last year.
look to China to save the West from "manmade" global warming — whether
real or imagined. In vowing not to allow international action on
climate change to interfere with its economic development, a Chinese
foreign ministry spokesman told the Financial Times in early 2007 that
"developed countries bear an unshirkable responsibility" for causing
The Chinese attitude, as well
as that of India, which is verging on becoming the third-largest CO2
emitter, is that 95 percent of worldwide CO2 emissions since the
Industrial Revolution came from the West, so global warming is the
"Both Beijing and New Delhi
fear that binding emission caps that limit energy use could threaten
future economic development — and condemn many of their people to
perpetual poverty," the Financial Times reported.
a prescient moment in 1997, the U.S. Senate voted 95-0 against the
Kyoto Protocol because developing countries, such as China and India,
were not bound to reduce their CO2 emissions.
that China has blown past the U.S. 15 years earlier than expected, the
Senate’s prescience seems to have vanished as it has scheduled a June
floor debate on the Kyoto Protocol-on-steroids Lieberman-Warner global
Even if the bill’s heavy-handed
provisions achieved its main goal — a 70 percent reduction in U.S. CO2
emissions by 2050 — atmospheric CO2 levels would only be reduced by
less than 5 percent, according to the EPA.
a trivial reduction in atmospheric CO2 likely would have virtually zero
impact on global climate albeit at great societal cost; nevertheless,
the Senate’s apparent abandonment of its 1997 position seems to have
led climate alarmists to sense that their personal nirvana of a
carbon-restricted, energy-constipated U.S. is well within sight.
No wonder the Tibetans are chasing after the flame alone?