Stop the Presses! China Heating Up!
Jude Wanniski
October 23, 2003


Memo To: Website Fans, Browsers, Clients
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: China's Coal & Global Warming

In case it never occurred to you, "Global Warming" is chiefly caused by The New York Times. That's right, it is not caused by greenhouse gases or carbon dioxide or SUVs. It is the Times that has for at least a decade promoted the idea that Mother Earth is getting hot under the collar because the USA buys too much oil from the Arabs to burn in gas guzzlers, and if this goes on much longer, the ice caps will melt and it will be curtains for civilization.

The Times reporter assigned to cover GW searches out every sign that the temperature has gone up somewhere or some climatatologist has demonstrated conclusively that we are cooked unless we stop polluting the atmosphere with heavy breathing (which produces CO2). In each of his pieces, Andrew Revkin notes that "most scientists" believe human beings are doing the cooking (although to be accurate, he should say "most scientists" who are on the Global Warming gravy train).

In fact, most scientists who are actually measuring the earth's temperature UP THERE where it is supposed to be getting warmer are finding nothing to get excited about. If you want to get the straight dope, I suggest you go to the Tasmanian website of a fellow named John Daly who does what the Times should be doing, i.e., reporting on a regular basis on what's going on in the Global Warming Industry, which is what it has become. Check it out and you will see what I mean. The Industry is composed of an enormous number of bureaucrats who feed off government research contracts that are promoted by Greenies and their friends in government. Or, from private sources that see a way to make a financial killing if the Kyoto Treaty goes into effect, requiring all of mankind to walk to work.

What got me going again was the front page of Wednesday's Times where I was surprised to see a headline announcing "China's Boom Adds to Global Warming Problem." Surprise, surprise. China is producing its way out of its Maoist poverty and in the process burning more coal and producing more carbon dioxide. In my recollection, this was the first time I'd seen the Times announce in a headline the FACT of mankind causing a global warming problem. No longer "most scientists." To be sure, Timesman Keith Bradsher who produced the story is a bit more careful in the body of his report, saying "many scientists." Here is how it opens:


HANJIANG, China China's rapid economic growth is producing a surge in emissions of greenhouse gases that threatens international efforts to curb global warming, as Chinese power plants burn ever more coal while car sales soar.

Until the last few months, many energy experts and environmentalists said, they had hoped that China's contribution to global warming would be limited. Its state-owned enterprises have become more efficient in their energy use as they compete in an increasingly capitalist economy, and until recently official Chinese statistics had been showing a steep drop in coal production and consumption.

But new figures from Chinese government agencies confirm what energy industry executives had suspected: that coal use has actually been climbing faster in China than practically anywhere else in the world.

To the extent that global warming is caused by humanity, as many scientists believe, this is a serious problem because burning coal at a power plant releases more greenhouse gases than using oil or natural gas to generate the same amount of electricity.

China's rising energy consumption complicates diplomatic efforts to limit emissions of global warming gases. The International Energy Agency in Paris predicts that the increase in greenhouse gas emissions from 2000 to 2030 in China alone will nearly equal the increase from the entire industrialized world.

China is the world's second largest emitter of such gases, after the United States. But China's per-person energy use and greenhouse gas emissions remain far below levels found in richer countries. The emissions are, for example, roughly one-eighth of those per capita in the United States.

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Now it just so happens that Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman this week are pushing their bill to require the USA to meet the requirements of the Kyoto Treaty even if it is not agreed to by the President and ratified by the Senate. Although President Bush was pushed by his friends at Enron to warm up to Kyoto -- so they could make a killing by buying and selling GW contracts -- he finally got the message that Kyoto was not such a hot idea politically. McCain and Lieberman know their bill is going nowhere, but it may help get out the Greenie vote for presidential candidates who sing Kyoto's praises. If Mr. Bush wants to carry California next year, who knows? Governor Schwarzenegger is a big fan of Global Warming and Kyoto. Maybe he can persuade the President to become more "environmentally friendly." All it would take would be a request for another billion or two for some more government "studies."

In other words, keep feeding the GW Industry and maybe one day it will have us all walking to work, or at least burning ethanol in our SUVs. The Times wouldn't mind that at all. If it were not for the world's greatest newspaper, Global Warming would have gone away as soon as the scientists who thunk it up in the first place decided the satellites UP THERE were not finding the warming they had predicted, and that maybe carbon dioxide was not such bad stuff after all. See, for example: Carbon Dioxide, the Staff of Life