It’s often pointed out that international efforts – such as they are – to reduce CO2 emissions are trivial compared with the effects of China’s economic growth and the corresponding growth in its output of greenhouse gases.
However, a member of my wife’s online reading group provided a perspective on this that I hadn’t previously considered, in her comments on Elizabeth Kolbert’s book Field Notes from a Catastrophe (which I’ve blogged on before):
It is a sobering thought that while we are in danger of thinking that whatever we do will be negated by China’s economic expansion which is creating so much carbon dioxide, we happily allow our businesses to outsource to China for economic reasons, thus increasing the output of their coal burning power stations. A touch hypocritical I fear.
So our attitude towards China becomes (altogether now): “I am shocked, shocked, to discover there is economic development going on in this territory!”