By Paul Homewood
h/t Robin Guenier
Today’s instalment of Guardian misinformation!
Ma Jun experienced a strange role reversal during Donald Trump’s presidency. Over more than two decades as one of China’s top environmental campaigners, American encouragement for Beijing to cut carbon emissions and temper the damage of rapid industrialisation had been part of the background music. Ma never imagined he would see the US renege on environmental commitments while China began to face up to the challenge.
“It’s been frustrating,” says Ma of the past four years as we speak on the phone, the bustle of Beijing audible in the background. “When it comes to environmental collaboration between the governments, it has been hard to do anything.”
Before the US election, the Chinese foreign ministry issued a 12-point excoriation of Washington’s record on the environment, criticising the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and failure to protect wildlife – even condemning methane gas leaks from fracking. While the criticisms were likely made in response to a similar State Department factsheet in September, the old dynamic between the two powers on the environment appears to be over.
“China has started changing its course. We have seen a lot more ‘walk the walk’ action. China has adopted some tough measures to try to deal with the pollution and environmental damage problem. And we have seen some progress made because of that,” Ma says.
And so it goes on, with a paean of praise for the Chinese government.
In fact, the headline is grossly misleading, because most of the article concerns China’s very real efforts to tackle real pollution caused by smogs and poor water quality, not the imaginary pollution of CO2. Ma Jun offers no evidence whatsoever that China will actually start reducing those emissions any time soon.
And of course it is a bit rich criticising the US, given the state of the environment at home!
But what we need to remember here is that Ma Jun is not the brave campaigner painted by the Guardian. He actually heads the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), a non-profit environmental research organization registered and based in Beijing,
But as with Greenpeace China and other such organisations, the IPE has little in the way of real independence, and is very much a tool of the Chinese government. If Ma Jun ever deviated from government diktat, he would quickly be disappeared.
Indeed, as the IPE’s website boasts, its partner organisations include four government bodies:
I am quite sure, by the way, that the IPE actually carry out some very useful work on environmental issues, something which the government value highly.
But in this instance, Ma Jun is simply being used as a tool to attack the US, ably assisted by the dupes at the Guardian.
via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
November 16, 2020 at 04:24AM