Planet Gore

Obama, China’s Straight Man

First the Europeans suckered Al Gore into that phony 1990 baseline for the original Kyoto Protocol, giving them an assumed pass and nailing us. Now it seems the Chinese have suckered a panicked Barack Obama into trading our economy to China for a bag of magic beans.

BBC’s reliable alarmist Richard Black tells us that the path has just been cleared for Obama’s nervous lurch to commit the U.S. politically to Kyoto II energy-use reduction in the name of catastrophic man-made global warming (talk about doubling-down on the tone-deaf, after the job-killing health-care effort in the face of a recession and anxiety about employment). The reason, we are informed, is not only because of Obama’s apparent response to ClimateGate, but the Chinese have committed to an “ambitious” emission reduction of their own!

That’s spin. China offers a non-binding promise to increase its emissions not beyond a certain rate in return for a binding promise by the U.S. to reduce ours, as we all knew would be their best offer in return for billions in direct wealth transfers under a Kyoto II. It is possible, however, that China’s “ambitious” vow is to actually increase emissions significantly above where a reasonable “business as usual” (BAU) scenario would drive them.

The West is not where emissions are increasing, except fractionally. Emissions are growing in the developing world. The most expensive emission reductions are in the more efficient economies. This is black-letter global-warming economics. We have already vowed to pay for our trade competitors to modernize their infrastructure to more efficiently compete with us. The demand made of us in Copenhagen next month is to also shackle our economies directly with energy rationing at the same time.

Obama has broken free of any mooring of responsible governance, hell-bent on “fundamentally transform[ing] America.” There is a reason the fallen communists gravitated immediately to environmentalism, and the persistent ones embrace it. For the same reason that New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman recently became the latest to swoon over China’s enlightened dictatorship: democracy gets in the way of this agenda.

Here’s what China — the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide — agreed to, in the analysis provided me by a former high-ranking government official tasked with this issue (citations omitted)

“China targets massive 45% carbon cut” for the UN Copenhagen Climate Change Conference read the page one headline of the November 27, 2009 edition of China Daily, the Chinese government’s English-language mouthpiece for the government. . . . The article was also accompanied by a figure implying that the target China was bringing to Copenhagen in a couple of weeks was by far superior to that of any other country. An examination of the fine print, however, tells a much different story for China’s so-called “massive 45% carbon cut” will actually result in a massive increase in China’s emissions.

Instead of an emissions cut, China’s State Council announced that China was going “to reduce the intensity of [its] carbon dioxide [CO2] emissions per unit of GDP in 2020 by 40 to 45 percent compared with the level of 2005.” But this is less than the 46.3% reduction in CO2 intensity China had achieved in the previous 15-year period, 1990-2005 — in other words, China’s Copenhagen target is worse than [BAU]. During the period of 1990-2005, China’s average annual GDP grew by more than 10.1%, and its CO2 emissions from fuel combustion by 129%.

If China’s annual average GDP continues to grow at 10% over the 15-year period 2005-2020, then China’s 2020 CO2 emissions will increase by 151% above 20005 levels if China chooses the 40% CO2 intensity reduction target, or by 130% above 2005 if it chooses the 45% CO2 intensity reduction target.  Even a very modest annual average GDP growth rate of 5% for China would mean that China’s CO2 2020 emissions would be 14%-25% above its 1990 levels.

In short, China’s “massive 45% carbon cut” for Copenhagen is a joke.

Obama may not have been had. He may just not care. The Chinese have given him the cover, in his mind, to do what he insists on doing to us. This stunt ensures, despite an unwilling establishment media, that his 2010 “pivot” to jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs will be preoccupied by defending the fact that these jobs will be Chinese, Mexican, and Indian.

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