News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Is activist Naomi Klein a citizen of China? When she speaks of "our emissions" whom does she mean? Paul Homewood wonders and checks science for answers

5/12/15, "Naomi Klein Conveniently Forgets About China!" Paul Homewood
"In her war against capitalism, Naomi Klein claimed:
It’s not that we’re doing nothing – we’re actually actively doing exactly the wrong things. We have an economic system that defines success and progress as infinite economic expansion. Any kind of expansion is deemed good. Our emissions are going up much faster than they were in the 1990s
I wonder who she means by “our”?

Let’s consider a couple of facts.
Emissions of CO2

Far from “going up faster than they were in the 1990’s”, emissions from the OECD countries have actually fallen slightly since 1999. Meanwhile, China’s emissions have tripled. 

Coal Production

China accounts for 46% of the world’s coal production. In addition, it also imported 327Mt of coal in 2013, taking its consumption up to half the global total.
As the EIA point out, this represents a huge increase for China since the turn of the century.

China’s economy, and particularly its heavy industry is a curious hybrid of state control and capitalism. Back in the 1970’s, the Communist Party realised that, if they wanted to become a global economic power, the old discredited soviet system was a non-starter.

Nevertheless, the energy sector in China is dominated by state owned companies, such as CNPC and Sinopec in the oil and gas sectors, and Shenhua, the world’s largest coal company.
These companies in turn are overseen directly by  the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), a department of China’s State Council, and its associated ministries.

Put simply, nothing happens in China’s energy sector without the approval of the Communist Party.

But none of this matters to Klein, who believes that abolishing capitalism will solve all our problems." via Hockey Schtick


More on China and the environment:

Graph from, 1/27/14, "China’s Growing Coal Use Is World’s Growing Problem,", Eric Larson 


China reclamation is destroying part of Coral Triangle which contains 500 species of reef building coral. Having no fear of weak Aquino governance, China fires water cannons at Filipino fisherman. International community does nothing to stop China's damage to the climate:

5/7/15, "China reclamation in West PH Sea ‘ecological time bomb,’ says group," K. Sabillo, (Philippines)

"A local environmental group on Thursday hit China for its reclamation efforts in disputed areas of West Philippine Sea.

Chinese reclamation and military base construction in Spratlys islands are causing major ecological devastation,” Kalikasan national coordinator Clemente Bautista said in a statement.

Siphoning millions  of metric tons of sands as construction materials and ever increasing human and military activities in the Spratlys are wreaking havoc to the region’s marine ecology. China’s military build-up in the Spratly Islands is an ecological time bomb,” he added.

Bautista explained that the Spratlys group of islands consists of “one of the most preserved and biodiverse reefs in the world.” He pointed out that it is contiguous to Tubbataha Reef and part of the Coral Triangle, which contains at least 500 species of reef-building coral.

The Coral Triangle is the center of marine biodiversity in the world, and more than 120 million people mostly Asians are dependent on its marine resources  for food and livelihood,Kalikasan said.

Recent satellite photos show that China has been building an airstrip on Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross Reef), which lies west of Spratly Islands.

Last month, Inquirer reported that about 80 fishermen were driven away by the Chinese coast guard from their traditional fishing ground near Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal), which is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. Earlier this year, another boat carrying fishermen from Pangasinan and Zambales was rammed by a Chinese patrol ship.

The Chinese military is violating the rights of Filipino and other Asian fishermen to seek livelihood and benefit from marine resources in the area,” Bautista said. “Denying them livelihood will result to loss of income and more hardships to their families.”

The group called China’s actions in South China Sea “bullying” and “conduct unbecoming.” It said the recent firing of water cannons against Filipino fishermen “perpetuated fear among our countrymen.

“The Chinese government, in its aspiration to lord over the Asian region, is using its military might to intimidate its Asian neighbors like Philippines and Vietnam. In doing so, it transgresses national sovereignty, and causes marine degradation and human rights violations, he added.

Bautista said the problem is that China has been taking advantage of the “weak military and governance capacity of the Aquino government.

On the other hand, he said it is also partly the fault of the government for failing to develop its military capacity and to assert sovereignty in West Philippine Sea.

The PH government should intensify its diplomatic efforts so that China and other Asian governments will recognize the PH sovereignty over our islands, he said. “Meanwhile it should seek bilateral and multilateral discussions with China to set up specific mechanisms in recognizing the rights of  fisherfolks, whether Chinese or Filipinos,  to build their livelihood in West Philippine Sea.”

The Philippine government has repeatedly insisted on a rules-based and diplomatic approach when dealing with territorial disputes in South China Sea. It has also warned the international community that the reclamation has been causing damage to the marine environment."


5/3/15, "China, Pursuing Strategic Interests, Builds Presence in Antarctica," NY Times, Jane Perlez, Hobart, Tasmania

Ms. Klein references changes from 1990s to the present. Per EU Commission Report Dec. 2014 trends, US population has greatly increased while "our" CO2 has only fractionally increased:

US population since 1990: +26%
US CO2 since 1990 only: +6%

p. 17, "United States 2.2.2
"When comparing long term trends, we note that while the United States saw a relatively high annual population increase 26% since 1990, its CO2 emissions increased by 6% in this period (for more details see Section 2.3)"

Dec. 2014, "Trends in global CO2 emissions 2014 Report," PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, EU Commission Joint Research Centre

China uniquely leads the world in CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and cement, 2002 through 2013, per PBL Netherlands, Edgar, Dec. 2014: 


China emitted 10.3 billion tons in 2013, almost a third of the global total.  

Dec. 2014, "Trends in global CO2 emissions 2014 Report," PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, EU Commission Joint Research Centre.
 p. 4, paragraph 3: "China (10.3 billion tonnes CO2 or 29%), the United States (5.3 billion tonnes CO2 or 15%) and the European Union (EU28) (3.7 billion tonnes CO2 or 11%). China increased its CO2 emissions by 4.2% in 2013."...

page 13:

"In contrast to the previous IPCC assessment report published seven years ago, presently emerging economies and developing countries in general now have a share of more than 50% in current global greenhouse gas emissions and in their annual increase."...




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