When a ship has a major leak, either the captain fixes the leak or saving the vessel becomes an exercise in futility. The water comes rushing in while the crew bails out the water. Sooner or later, the crew will tire, and the ship will go down.
The sinking ship metaphor fits the eco-crisis. Governments and companies are working furiously to bail out a supposedly sinking earth. American companies are asked to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to comply with ESG benchmarks that mandate reducing carbon emissions. The Biden administration is cutting off federal oil exploration and development areas while asking oil-producing nations to increase production. Automakers are phasing out fossil fuel-based cars in favor of electric vehicles. Meanwhile, liberal doomsayers call for ever more rigid laws and regulations to save humanity from extinction.
This suicidal path to sustainability is unsustainable. It will tire out the West. Worst of all, these efforts have yet to result in a net loss of CO2 emissions. The water keeps pouring in through a gaping hole in the ship’s hull.
The hole in the hulk has a name: Communist China. While Western nations are busy capturing carbon, China releases much more into the atmosphere. Although China has signed climate accords, its compliance depends on what benefits the Chinese Communist Party. Costly eco-standards are not high on the Red list of priorities.
In an article in the Wall Street Journal (Sept. 16-17), author Mathias Döphner notes the world’s second-largest economic power is also the greatest polluter. Indeed, China’s CO2 emissions have increased by over 200 percent since its admission to the World Trade Organization in 2001. This massive increase offsets by far all the rest of the world’s efforts to diminish emissions. China nullifies these sacrifices because it does not care about eco-standards, which allows it to operate on an unleveled eco-playing field.
Commenting on China’s December 11, 2001 entry into the World Trade Organization, Mr. Döphner writes, “It was a great day for China, but possibly the biggest mistake Western market economies have made in recent history.”
Since joining, China has made its own rules. As an autocratic regime without the rule of law, China can pick and choose which guidelines to follow. There are no mechanisms for accountability that can penetrate the authoritarian framework found in China. Despite its massive economy, China is still listed as a developing country and enjoys privileges and exemptions from WTO rules.
All these factors make China an ecological disaster. China and CCP routinely violate the environmental standards so scrupulously followed by Western nations.
In addition, China is a sanctuary for emission-evading companies looking to maximize profits. The CCP can count on the complicity of Western corporations to take advantage of its regulation-free environment. Liberal CEOs can virtue signal by denouncing carbon emissions at home while offshoring polluting production lines to China.
Even more mysterious is the silence of eco-activists worldwide about China’s massive noncompliance. They focus on denouncing Western corporations and governments. They target the people working the hardest to comply with their often absurd regulations.
Eco-activists should focus on the greatest offender that pollutes on so massive a scale that any reduction efforts are futile.
Such a selective focus calls into question the motives of the whole eco-movement. The left can always be found together with the eco-movement. The fact that both parties ignore the gaping hole in the ship’s hull leads to the conclusion that their target is not to stop the polluting waters but to sink the ship that represents the West.
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