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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

David Brooks, "The Green Tech Solution": Ignoring the Elephant in the Room (Not the Republicans)



"And next week, I will be joining President Hollande and world leaders in Paris for the global climate conference. What a powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be when the world stands as one and shows that we will not be deterred from building a better future for our children."

- President Obama, East Room of White House, November 24, 2015

A powerful rebuke to ISIS? The "gentlemen" of this terrorist organization give thought to the carbon footprint they leave when they sever heads and hang bodies out to dry on crucifixes? Sorry, but I am beginning to believe that America's president has grown delusional. Moreover, if he was truly serious about global warming, he should have insisted that all of the world's leaders arrive in Paris via commercial jet liners, or better yet, participate by way of conference call.

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Green Tech Solution," David Brooks discusses with his hero Alexander Hamilton (no, Brooks is not delusional) "how the world should move forward to ameliorate climate change." Brooks writes:

"This week’s Paris conference, I observed, seems like a giant Weight Watchers meeting. A bunch of national leaders get together and make some resolutions to cut their carbon emissions over the next few decades. You hope some sort of peer pressure will kick in and they will actually follow through.

I’m afraid Hamilton snorted.

The co-author of the Federalist papers is the opposite of naïve about human nature. He said the conference is nothing like a Weight Watchers meeting. Unlike weight loss, the pain in reducing carbon emissions is individual but the good is only achieved collectively."

Ah yes, the "good" (as opposed to the "bad" and the "ugly") is only achieved collectively.

But more to the point, aren't Brooks and Obama paying insufficient attention to the elephant in the room (and I'm not referring to the Republicans)? As we learn from a March 14, 2015 Economist article entitled "Made in China?":

"BY MAKING things and selling them to foreigners, China has transformed itself—and the world economy with it. In 1990 it produced less than 3% of global manufacturing output by value; its share now is nearly a quarter. China produces about 80% of the world’s air-conditioners, 70% of its mobile phones and 60% of its shoes. The white heat of China’s ascent has forged supply chains that reach deep into South-East Asia. This 'Factory Asia' now makes almost half the world’s goods."

China's efforts to stop global warming? Brooks cites in his opinion piece a September 24, 2015 New York Times article by Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Coral Davenport entitled "China to Announce Cap-and-Trade Program to Limit Emissions":

"President Xi Jinping of China will make a landmark commitment on Friday to start a national program in 2017 that will limit and put a price on greenhouse gas emissions, Obama administration officials said Thursday.

The move to create a so-called cap-and-trade system would be a substantial step by the world’s largest polluter to reduce emissions from major industries, including steel, cement, paper and electric power."

However, as reported in a June 30, 2015 Guardian article by Jennifer Duggan entitled "China makes carbon pledge ahead of Paris climate change summit":

"China will aim to cut its greenhouse gas emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 60-65% from 2005 levels under a plan submitted to the United Nations ahead of crucial climate change talks in Paris later this year.

The pledge has been eagerly awaited as the country is the world’s largest carbon emitter.

China said it would increase the share of non-fossil fuels as part of its primary energy consumption to about 20% by 2030, and peak emissions by around the same point, though it would 'work hard' to do so earlier."

China will "work hard" to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 (Will I live to see the day?), or, is China again blowing noxious smoke up our collective arses? Yup, I'm certain this statement of intentions preceding the Paris conference had those f*ckers from ISIS feeling thoroughly "rebuked" . . . not.

1 comment:

  1. The Republicans have not yet understood that ObamaDemocratic Party is running on a 'slow growth to defeat climate change' platform, and they really mean it.

    They do NOT want fracked natural gas as a bridge fuel, and seem to ignore Germany's lessons of the last forty years of subsidizing solar and wind, et al. Germany is now using their own brown coal as their bridge fuel, while Japan is financing their clean-er coal electricity generation technology in developing nations.

    The minute the US Senate ended 'debate' on the Iran deal, Sen Sheldon Whitehouse, d,RI, started talking about climate change.

    The clues are obvious, but this GOP has yet to understand.

    follow the dots to Bill McKibben's 'deep ecology', where half the population has to disappear to save the earth from CO2...and all fracking is evil if it means hydrocarbons....

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