United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres said that democracy is a poor political system for fighting global warming. Communist China, she says, is the best model.
Brett Stevens was both humorous and thought-provoking when he announced a while back that “Liberalism Caused Global Warming.” I have political evidence that suggests that he may have even had an empirical point. You see there are two types of environmental activists. Honest ones believe that the government should assume greater powers in order to prevent environmental pollution from doing terrible things to people and places they care about. Dishonest environmental activists (AKA Watermelons*) just believe the government should get more power over the lives and wallets of the citizenry. The environment provides an excellent vehicle to usurp power and control the property of other citizens.
United Nations Climate Chief Christiana Figueres is clearly a dishonest environmental activist. She informs us that Communist China, the world’s leading source of CO2 pollution for several consecutive years since 2007, has the right type of governmental system to fight Global Warming. This can only bring me back to questioning why Christiana Figueres calls herself an environmentalist. If she wants to reduce the extent to which human pollution could potentially warm the terrestrial climate, she should not encourage the world emulate a nation that emits 25% of the world’s industrial CO2 pollution on an annual basis. Not only that, they get about 25% as much GDP per ton of CO2 as the United States and about 13% as much GDP per ton of CO2 as Germany or Japan.
To demonstrate just how wrong Christiana Figueres and her cohorts at the UN truly are, we look at two pieces of data. The United States Government tracks CO2 pollution by nation, by year at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. They are properly diligent in making this data available to the public. The table below** displays the world’s top 10 CO2 polluters by nation for 2010.
|Rank||Nation||Metric Tons CO2|
We then compare these pollution stats to how much economic output each of these polluter nations produces. The World Bank tracks national GDPs by country by year. The 2010 GDPs in Base Year USD $M for each top 10 CO2 polluter nation follows below.
|Rank||Nation||GDP USD $M|
So to finish walking the dog on this analysis, we can take the GDP and divide it by the polluter nation’s CO2 emissions***. This allows us to evaluate what trade-off we make every time one of the top 10 CO2 polluters emits another ton. Lower dollar figures indicate a greater environmental cost per dollar of GDP produced. It can also allow us to run back-of-the-envelope experiments such as determining how much CO2 China or Japan would have to emit to produce the US 2010 GDP. My own tabulation of this experiment follows below.
|Rank||Nation||$M GDP/Tons CO2||Tons CO2 to Produce US GDP|
If Christiana Figueres were to arrive in New York and announce that the United States had a lot to learn from other countries in reducing CO2 pollution per unit of wealth produced, I would find her obnoxious but impossible to refute. She veers into the self-serving Leftist stupid when she claims we should be learning it from the Communist Chinese. The top 10 CO2 polluter nations produced about $37.5 Trillion in national wealth. At the USA’s rate of CO2 pollution, these nations would have emitted 3.8 Million Tons. At Japan’s rate, they would collectively emitted 2.2 Million Tons; at China’s rate….14.5 million.
Pace Christiana Figueres; the United States needs to learn and do better on this issue. Contra the dishonest, UN Watermelon Environmentalist, we sure don’t need to be learning from a Communist dictatorship. If we accepted her prescription, and the UN was truly correct about CO2 impacts on terrestrial climate, then Watermelon Environmentalists would cause Global Warming.
*- Watermelon Environmentalist: Green on the outside, red in the middle.
** - (HT:HTML.am) for the table source code.
***- We’ll call this our Dead Millibear Index (HT:Al Gore)