China stiffs EU on carb tax; CA next?

China stiffs EU on carb tax; CA next?

John Seiler:

China isn’t going to let a bunch of stuffy Eurocrats stifle its economic progress. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, “China has banned its airlines from paying charges on carbon emissions imposed by the European Union, state media reported Monday.

“The charges that took effect last month are aimed at curbing emissions of climate-changing gases but airlines say they are an improper tax. Dozens of countries including the United States, China and Russia oppose them.

“The official Xinhua news agency quoted the Civil Aviation Administration of China as saying the airlines are not allowed to pay the tax or add other fees without government permission.

“The ratings agency Fitch warned in December that the conflict could spiral into a global trade dispute.”

Great. So the global-warming fanatics could launch a global trade war, such as the one that sank the global economy in the 1930s Great Depression. But the enviro-crazies would like that because the population might drop, thus reducing greenhouse gases and allowing them to frolic in the new Garden of Eden they want to create once everybody else on the planet has vanished, like that “Twilight Zone” episode where Burgess Meredith is the only man left on earth, “Time Enough at Last.

But the Chinese aren’t buying any of it.

The Middle Kingdom still has about one third of its population impoverished on farms; it’s moving them into the full-blown industrial economy.

The Chinese have enjoyed capitalist industrial progress for only 34 years, since they dumped Maoism in 1978.  By contrast, Europe has enjoyed capitalist industrial progress since around 1790 in England, then the rest of the continent in the 19th Century. The United States has prospered under capitalism since about 1800.

The Chinese figure: The West didn’t worry about pollution and global warming until they were prosperous. Why should we? Besides, maybe global warming is a fraud.

So the Chinese are bucking the EU. And if California imposes its nutty new carbon-credit schemes on China, the Chinese will rebuff them. The Chinese, of course, will be happy to sell California the technology for us to comply with the enviro-edicts.

And unlike the EU, USA and California, China is a creditor nation, not a debtor. It lends money to the deadbeats. That gives it long-term leverage.

California’s fantasy — enshrined in AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 — is that we are the fulcrum of the world. We’re not. We’re just 2 percent of the global economy. So reducing greenhouse gases by 25 percent by 2020, as mandated by AB 32, would reduce global greenhouse gases by 0.5 percent.  That’s nothing.

Meanwhile, the Chinese are laughing as we adopt an environmental version of the Maoism they sloughed off long ago.

Feb. 7, 2012

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