The Global Warming Policy Foundation has just released a new report on “The Truth About China” by Patricia Adams of Probe International, who is lauded as an expert on Chinese policy and who seems to be relatively untainted by the Kochs or other free-market think tanks. Is this new voice a genuine, unbiased expert, free of denier influence? Not quite…
The report is circulating in the usual circles, with WUWT having published the press release and the "churnalists" at the Daily Caller and Breitbart having repurposed the release for their own articles. So far, the closest to mainstream media Adams' report has gotten is an op-ed by Adams herself in the Financial Post. (It's perhaps worth noting that FP columnist and denier, Lawrence Solomon, also writes for Patricia's employer, Probe International, and apparently all the proceeds from his online organic coffee bean store go to PI.)
The thrust of the report is that China’s Communist Party leaders will never sacrifice economic growth for the global good, lest they lose the support of the population. But, according to the report, the leaders do recognize the need to reduce air pollution and will tackle that problem by controlling sulfur and nitrogen emissions (using smokestack scrubbers), though not by limiting the burning of fossil-fuels, which are responsible in the first place for the SOx and NOx emissions.
Adams' argues that decoupling CO2 emissions and economic growth is impossible, a statement that many (even outside the denialsphere) have held to be true. Until last year, that is, when according to the IEA, carbon dioxide emissions stalled while the economy grew. But this is a global trend, not specific to China, so perhaps it doesn’t apply?
Except the World Bank said in June 2014 that, “China has successfully decoupled energy consumption and emissions from economic growth.” Between 1980 and 2010, China's economy grew 18-fold, while energy intensity per unit of GDP declined about 70 percent. So, the crux of the argument that China will never sacrifice economic growth for emissions limits has already been disproven thanks to thirty years of Chinese development that has enabled the country to use cleaner, more efficient energy while growing more prosperous.
How could someone who supposedly has an intimate, working knowledge of Chinese policy and politics miss such an obvious and important fact?
A clue to this damning decoupling of economy and emissions omission perhaps lies in the acknowledgements, where Adams thanks a litany of deniers for their help: Freeman Dyson, William Happer, Lord Lawson, Ross McKitrick, Andrew Montford and Benny Peiser.
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