The Bigger Picture
Sometimes I read an article or editorial and I almost find myself saying out loud, “see, this guy gets it, why can’t the rest of them?” Bret Stephens has a great opinion piece in today’s WSJ about Global Warming and the Poor. I’ll point out a few key items from it below, but I suggest you go read it in full to truly appreciate it.
So far India and China have both told the United States that they would refuse to sign up to any global treaty to cap carbon emissions. India has one of the lowest per-capita emission rates and, if the U.S. pursues the Big Environment’s desire to punish CO2 emitting countries, they might face “carbon tariffs”. Kofi Annan, now the lead for the Global Humanitarian Forum claims that “mass starvation, mass migration and mass sickness” would plague the world if countries didn’t agree to “the most ambitious international agreement ever negotiated” on global warming coming up at a conference in Copenhagen. China and India account for 50% of the world’s population living on $2 a day or less (adjusted for purchasing power parity). So what is behind this paradox? Why aren’t they running to sign up to this treaty to save their citizens and countries?
In 1980, Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平) began introducing elements of a market economy to China. The life expectacy at birth then was 65.3 years. Now it is about 73 years (with a grain of salt for potential Chinese propaganda). India’s life expectancy at birth in 1980 was 52.5 years. Now, it is 67 years. So the American market economy model has helped both countries and as a part of it, they are emitting CO2. But, GorT, what about all the evil American excesses? Well, as pointed out in the article, China has one of the highest personal savings rate (50%) compared to the U.S.’s paltry 2.7%. Mr. Stephens points out that “China’s pollution problems are not a function of laissez-faire policies and rampant consumerism, but of the regime’s excessive lingering control of the economy. A freer China means a cleaner China.”
People who live in Third-World countries—like Mexico, where I grew up—tend to understand this, even if First-World environmentalists do not. People who live in oppressive Third World countries, like China, also understand that it isn’t just greater wealth that leads to a better environment, but greater freedom, too.
Well said. Kudos.
GorT is an eight-foot-tall robot from the 51ˢᵗ Century who routinely time-travels to steal expensive technology from the future and return it to the past for retroinvention. The profits from this pay all the Gormogons’ bills, including subsidizing this website. Some of the products he has introduced from the future include oven mitts, the Guinness widget, Oxy-Clean, and Dr. Pepper. Due to his immense cybernetic brain, GorT is able to produce a post in 0.023 seconds and research it in even less time. Only ’Puter spends less time on research. GorT speaks entirely in zeros and ones, but occasionally throws in a ڭ to annoy the Volgi. He is a massive proponent of science, technology, and energy development, and enjoys nothing more than taking the Czar’s more interesting scientific theories, going into the past, publishing them as his own, and then returning to take credit for them. He is the only Gormogon who is capable of doing math. Possessed of incredible strength, he understands the awesome responsibility that follows and only uses it to hurt people.