This spring, the Geneva-based Global Humanitarian Forum, led by former U.N. General Secretary Kofi Annan, issued a report warning that “mass starvation, mass migration, and mass sickness” would ensue if the world did not agree to “the most ambitious international agreement ever negotiated” on global warming at a forthcoming conference in Copenhagen.Yet, China and India have both told the US that they are not entering into any agreement to cap carbon emissions. Bret Stephens of the WSJ has the info:
Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told visiting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that there was no way India would sign on to any global scheme to cap carbon emissions.Agreed.
“There is simply no case for the pressure that we, who have among the lowest emissions per capita, face to actually reduce emissions,” Mr. Ramesh told Mrs. Clinton. “And as if this pressure was not enough, we also face the threat of carbon tariffs on our exports to countries such as yours.” The Chinese—the world’s largest emitter of CO2—have told the Obama administration essentially the same thing.
If climate change is the threat Mr. Annan claims it is, India and China ought to be eagerly beating the path to Copenhagen. So why aren’t they?
To listen to the climate alarmists, it’s all America’s fault. “What the Chinese are chiefly guilty of is emulating the American economic model,” wrote environmental writer Jacques Leslie last year in the Christian Science Monitor. “The United States passed up the opportunity it had at the beginning of China’s economic transformation to guide it toward sustainability, and the loss is already incalculable.”
Facts tell a different story. When Deng Xiaoping began introducing elements of a market economy in 1980, Chinese life expectancy at birth was 65.3 years. Today it is about 73 years. The numbers are probably a bit inflated, as most numbers are in the People’s Republic, but the trend line is undeniable. In India, life expectancy rose from 52.5 years in 1980 to about 67 years today. If this is the consequence of following the “American economic model” then poor countries need more of it.