From Watts Up With That?
Essay by Eric Worrall
According to Sanders, we should reconsider confronting China over mistreating Uyghurs and bullying Taiwan, to improve the odds of a climate deal.
The US and China must unite to fight the climate crisis, not each other
Mon 21 Aug 2023 20.11 AEST
Cooperation is not only in the best interests of all countries, but is absolutely necessary for the survival of the planet
In recent years, the rapidly growing Chinese economy has eclipsed the US as the world’s major carbon emitter. Right now, China is building six times as many coal-fired power plants as the rest of the world combined – the equivalent of two new coal plants every week. Last year, they quadrupled the number of new coal plants approved compared with 2021. Current plans will see China add as much new coal to its grid as used in all of India, the second largest coal user, and five times more coal capacity as the US.
It is no great secret the Chinese government is undertaking many policies that we and the international community should oppose. They are cruelly repressing and interning the Uyghurs, threatening Taiwan and stifling freedom of expression in Tibet and Hong Kong. China has bullied its neighbors, abused the global trading system, stolen technology and is building out a dystopian surveillance state.
The US is rightly organizing its allies to press Beijing on these and other issues. But organizing most of our national effort around a zero-sum global confrontation with China is unlikely to change Chinese behavior and will alienate allies and partners.
Most importantly, it could doom our planet by making climate cooperation impossible between the world’s two largest greenhouse emitters. We need to move in a bold new direction. Recent history provides some instructive examples.
I find this line of argument beyond shocking.
I might disagree with Bernie Sanders on economics and climate change, but I always imagined he valued human rights and human dignity.
I never imagined Bernie Sanders would argue the case for throwing human rights under the bus, that he would suggest we should overlook state sponsored forced labor and genocide against an entire ethnic group.
Why is Bernie doing this? We can’t know for sure, but I’ve long maintained that belief in an imminent climate catastrophe is a moral corrupting influence, a moral slippery slope.
Once someone believes the world is on the brink of destruction, what crime is unimaginable in the service of preventing ruin?
People could potentially use belief in an imminent climate catastrophe, or any form of catastrophism, to justify anything, including, apparently, relaxing our criticism and response to brutal Chinese attempts to exceed the worst genocidal atrocities of the 20th century.
Wake up and smell what you are shovelling Bernie Sanders. Take a good hard look in the mirror before you write your next piece.
China doesn’t care about climate change – no nation which builds as many coal plants as China genuinely thinks anthropogenic global warming is a problem. But I’m sure the Chinese leadership thinks it is hilarious every time the climate superstitions of high profile US politicians like Bernie Sanders drive them to prostrate America’s dignity and values before the tyrannical Chinese leadership, in the hopes of winning a few noncommittal crumbs of climate deal encouragement from the emperor.