December 30, 2007

Re: A Need, No Specifics, and a Way of Life

Monique Chartier

In her OpEd in yesterday's Providence Journal which Justin brings to our attention, Ms.Yeh Ling-Ling states:

But at least the Chinese leaders realize population growth’s contribution to global warming. They defended their one-child policy by arguing that it has helped the fight against global warming by avoiding 300 million births

There are some valid points in this OpEd. (The theory of anthropogenic global warming is not one of them.) But the above reasoning by Beijing, which Ms. Yeh appears to agree with, is a bit convoluted and misleading. China instituted its one-child law almost thirty years ago and definitely not out of concern for global warming. Beijing pointed to it as an environmentally friendly policy as an after thought, only when it became the target of criticism for its disgustingly pollutive factories and electric generating plants and its refusal to participate in the Kyoto Protocol.

From a New York Times article a year and a half ago:

Unless China finds a way to clean up its coal plants and the thousands of factories that burn coal, pollution will soar both at home and abroad. The increase in global-warming gases from China's coal use will probably exceed that for all industrialized countries combined over the next 25 years, surpassing by five times the reduction in such emissions that the Kyoto Protocol seeks.

Fast forward to June of this year, when China became the number one emitter of greenhouse gases. Criticism naturally accompanied this dubious achievement. But retrofitting hundreds of factories and coal burning generators with even a fraction of the scrubbers, filters and anti-pollution devices used for decades by the US (this would be one of many areas from which China, in turn, could "learn from America") and Europe was apparently not an option for Beijing. Casting around for a defense, they lit on their decades old one-child policy and rolled it out in August, two short months after they got their Number One Polluter award. "... uh, it's environmentally friendly. 'Cause fewer humans mean less pollution. Yeah ... that's the ticket."

Setting aside the scientifically unsound theory of anthropogenic global warming, priorities have gotten twisted if a sometimes infanticidal population control law is used as the cover for a country's refusal, initially and right along, to make its factories and economy even somewhat respectful of the environment.

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Because of the intense desire for sons, this policy has resulted in there being 75 million more Chinese males than females and they are now in or entering their adult years. You can guess how that came to be. These men will not have wives, a home life as others know it, or children. Do you suppose there may be some unrest arising out of this realization?
As to pollution from China, we all better hope their pebble bed nukes can be made to work and meet their demand, rather than plants burning their less than top grade coal.

Posted by: chuckR at December 30, 2007 2:24 PM

I have long wondered about the effect of this anti-female position. It should mean that if you are a woman of marriageable age today, you should be making out like a straight guy in San Francisco.

Are there any articles detailing the social economic effect?

Posted by: John Smith at December 30, 2007 7:34 PM

Word has leaked of some kind of Chinese human rights demonstration to take place during the Tournament of Roses Parade Tuesday.
We needed to get some commitments from them vis-a-vis human rights before we ever gave them the Olympics.

Posted by: rhody at December 30, 2007 8:33 PM

My only complaint is that you didn't go far enough, Rhody. They shouldn't have gotten the Olympics! Their human rights, democratic and due process violations are too deep and broad to correct in time for an event.

I was going to elaborate but skip it. Didn't the Patriots play this weekend? How'd they do ...?

Posted by: Monique at December 30, 2007 10:53 PM

Agreed, Monique. If you want to read something really chilling, there was a story in TIME about two months ago about arrogant Chinese yuppies and how the Chinese government caters to them (essentially, buying consumer crap they never use and eating every night at the Sino equivalent of the Capital Grille) to maintain their support in case the peasants ever pick up the pitchforks.
The Pats scared us last night, but they were just entertaining us.

Posted by: rhody at December 31, 2007 12:47 AM
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