It turns out that the Chinese were really thinking ahead back in 1979 when they implemented their one child policy. After all, imagine what their carbon emissions would be today if they hadn’t:
The number of births avoided equals the entire population of the United States. Beijing says that fewer people means less demand for energy and lower emissions of heat-trapping gases from burning fossil fuels.
“This is only an illustration of the actions we have taken,” said Su Wei, a senior Foreign Ministry official heading China’s delegation to the 158-nation talks from Aug 27-31.
He told Reuters that Beijing was not arguing that its policy was a model for others to follow in a global drive to avert ever more chaotic weather patterns, droughts, floods, erosion and rising ocean levels.
But avoiding 300 million births “means we averted 1.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2005” based on average world per capital emissions of 4.2 tonnes, he said.
Well thank goodness we dodged that bullet. The link is from Hot Air, which notes that China’s strategy is “brilliant”:
Expect more of this in the future — human rights abusers being criticized by the international community for dubious practices and parrying the thrust with an appeal to the left’s tippy-top-most social virtue.
In a somewhat similar vein, yesterday brought word that all is not well in the world of leftist activism – a conflict is brewing between animal rights activists and the climate change crowd:
According to an interesting piece that ran in yesterday’s New York Times, animal rights groups like PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) argue that being a meat-eating environmentalist–like Al–is an oxymoron… As writer Claudia H. Deutsch points out, the groups have compelling ammo to back it up: last November the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization released a startling report revealing that the livestock business generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined.
The common thread in these stories? That humans are, simply put, a problem: we consume too much and emit too much in doing so, and if only there were a great deal fewer of us, things would get a lot better. It’s a very static worldview, allowing adherents to make no allowance for technological advances or scientific discoveries that may mitigate or entirely solve the problems that they fret about. In reality, it comes dangerously close to what Jordan Ballor described as The Matrix Anthropology, which is summed up by the words of Agent Smith, a villain in that film:
I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply, and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet, you are a plague, and we are the cure.
Jordan concludes that post thusly:
This comes, of course, from a piece of software representing the machines who view humans as essentially batteries and feed the liquidated dead to the living. It is perhaps not the best anthropological foundation to adopt.