The unveiling of the EPA’s new climate regulations that won’t do anything for the climate is being marked as a turning point by the Climatistas, and as such we’re going to have to provide regular reality checks for this stupidity. If these new energy-restructuring regulations (which is what they actually are) really take effect and work as advertised, they will reduce total U.S. carbon emissions by 6 percent. This is why they will have no effect on the globe’s climate.
Ah, but you don’t understand, say the Climatistas. Now that the U.S. is finally showing leadership—no longer “leading from behind” on climate (heh—couldn’t resist)—the rest of the world is going to salute and fall in line behind Obama. China, we are told, just can’t wait to nobble its economy with scarce high-cost energy. As proof, the Climatistas have been rolling out He Jiankun, chairman of China’s Advisory Committee on Climate Change, who told a conference on Beijing on Tuesday that China would now move to cap its emissions. Reuters practically wet its pants:
(Reuters) – China said on Tuesday it will set an absolute cap on its CO2 emissions from 2016 just a day after the United States announced new targets for its power sector, signalling a potential breakthrough in tough U.N. climate talks.
Progress in global climate negotiations has often been held back by a deep split between rich and poor nations, led by the United States and China, respectively, over who should step up their game to reduce emissions. But the fact that the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases made unprecedented announcements on climate within 24 hours of each other sparked optimism among observers hoping to see the decades-old deadlock broken. The steps come ahead of a global meet on climate change starting on Wednesday in Germany.
The Guardian wet its pants, too:
China, the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, will limit its total emissions for the first time by the end of this decade, according to a top government advisor.
He Jiankun, chairman of China’s Advisory Committee on Climate Change, told a conference in Beijing on Tuesday that an absolute cap on carbon emissions will be introduced. “The government will use two ways to control CO2 emissions in the next five-year plan, by intensity and an absolute cap.”
Perhaps the biggest beclowner was Ryan Cooper in The Week:
The best-case scenario for Obama’s new regulations on coal-fired power plants, released yesterday, is that other nations will take them as an impetus to fast-track their own efforts to fight climate change. Literally the very next day, that is already happening, and with the world’s largest emitter: China.
All this was good enough to fool USA Today:
One day after the United States said it would slash carbon emissions from existing power plants by 30% below 2005 levels, China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, said it would set an absolute cap on its emissions by 2016.
The announcement comes ahead of the start of U.N.-sponsored climate talks in Bonn, Germany, on Wednesday. The steps being taken by the world’s top two polluters are important announcements that signal positive steps in addressing the planet’s changing climate, Christiana Figueres, the U.N.’s top climate official, told USA TODAY on Tuesday.
“China” has said no such thing. Just He Jiankun. Who is not a government official. He later clarified:
“It’s not the case that the Chinese government has made any decision. This is a suggestion from experts, because now they are exploring how emissions can be controlled in the 13th Five Year Plan…. This is a view of experts; that’s not saying it’s the government’s. I’m not a government official and I don’t represent the government.”
Reuters has run a really weak correction. Another example of some really fine, objective journalism. Kudos to New York Times science writer Andrew Revkin (a straight shooter for the most part) for getting it right:
BEIJING — Having covered China’s stance on global warming since 1988, I’ve gotten attuned to the need to tread carefully when something is said that feels like a shift in the official position of this greenhouse gas giant. . .
As the Wall Street Journal notes this morning:
Many progressives admire China’s political system because democratic consent is not an obstacle to statist planning, like it is supposed to be in America, and that more even than credulousness may explain why they’d fall for the idea that the People’s Republic is a green paragon. A visit to Langfang or Guangzhou might disabuse that notion. If China is a solider in the war on carbon, coal is winning.
The reality is that for years the world’s worst polluter has been promising to taper back emissions in order to string along the Western climatenauts, only to treat such pledges as discretionary. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy could become the General Secretary of the Communist Party, and the governors of the provinces would continue to break her regulations to prioritize economic growth and jobs.
But get ready for the Climatistas to roll out a new cliché to go along with the “97 percent” canard: Even China is now going to go along with our madness. Not.