27 July 2009

John Kerry Grants the China Argument

Writing in an op-ed in the FT today Senator John Kerry (D-MA) concedes a political reality:
Today we need China to forgo the carbon-intensive industrial processes that fuelled the west in the 19th and 20th centuries and to pioneer the clean technologies of the 21st. Sceptics are right that if China does not reciprocate, our domestic efforts will be for naught.
China no doubt would respond, "When you forgo carbon-intensive industrial processes you let us know." Of more parochial interest, Kerry's statement that U.S. efforts will be for "naught" without Chinese reciprocation will surely be read back to him many times in the U.S. Senate and elsewhere.


  1. Joe Romm also grants that any effort by the US is for naught if China doesn't follow suit. But the question is whether they will follow if we lead.

  2. The point that the US alone cannot affect global CO2 levels has been made so many times that the cap and trade proponents have a canned response. “We must lead” they say, followed by two rhetorical choruses of America the Beautiful.

    Never mind that the term “lead” requires some followers.

    Could be that it’s not about the CO2.

  3. Cap and trade legislation is merely a new tax. It nothing to do with AGW.

  4. Thank you for locating my junior Senator. We lose track of him for years at a time, so it's nice to know he's alive.

  5. "Joe Romm also grants that any effort by the US is for naught if China doesn't follow suit."

    So I wonder why he does all the name-calling? Or perhaps he also does name-calling in Mandarin?

    "But the question is whether they will follow if we lead."

    If the U.S. puts tens or hundreds of billions of dollars in piles, and sets them on fire, will China our lead?

  6. The only way to get China and India to follow low carbon energy is if the US develops 4th generation nuclear technology (e.g. LFTR et al).

  7. Sounds a lot like the "no nukes" claims we heard 3 decades ago. If only the US would first dismantling all weapons, the peace-loving Russians would follow suit (they only had them because of their fear of the US) and we could all live in a world of peace, love and understanding. Fortunately, most Americans were smart enough not to inhale any of this pixie dust BS. We suspected then and history has shown that a lot of the BS was paid for by the KGB. Lots more was produced by starry-eyed fools, "useful idiots" and a few traitors.

    Interesting parallels to the enviro siren song today for the need to "lead". When the Soviets collapsed, a lot of their co-religionists gravitated to the church now run by Algore. They were likely attracted to the anti-capitalist, blame America first views and the appeal of being in a revolutionary vanguard whose goal was to force the ignorant proles to do the right thing.

    Much of this new BS emanates from the same quarters that gave us the no nukes BS. And many of the same starry-eyed fools and useful idiots who got high on "no nukes" are the ones snorting the Algore fairy dust.