If you want to be taken seriously as, say, a news outlet, it might be a good idea not to appear absurdly credulous. But what do we know? NBC gushes that “As the world sizzles, U.S. and China try to restart vital climate talks” and Climate Home News emails “US-China talks thaw in heatwave”. Gad. Will Joe Biden and Xi Jinping save the Earth? Will Beijing stop building coal-fired power plants? No. Of course not. Here’s what is meant to excite us, according to CHN: “There was no outcome document and no grand announcements.” Be still my gaping yawn.
Moreover there was:
“Nothing to impress the Republican congressmen who gave Kerry a grilling over China’s alleged climate failings last week. But Xie was never going to get up and say that Kerry had talked him into abandoning new coal plants – any more than Kerry would say Beijing had pressured him into giving more climate finance and removing American tariffs on Chinese solar panels. The gains were more incremental. With expectations low, the meetings were cautiously hailed by experts as a ‘small win’ and ‘an important step in what will be a complex rescue operation’.”
Xie is not a typo for Xi as in Xi Jinping. It’s Xie Zhenhua, who CHN called Kerry’s “Chinese counterpart”. Which draws a false equivalency between the two systems, as it would to call Xi Jinping Joe Biden’s “Chinese counterpart”.
And Kerry burned how much high-octane fuel to get this nothing chow mein? As Jo Nova complained:
“Today the headlines read ‘As the world sizzles, China says it will deal with climate its own way’, as if it made sense that the planet could be burning up and the largest emitter was clearly steaming ahead anyway. But no one got too upset in the Washington Post, or anywhere else either. From a carbon-believer’s point of view this should be the main game, the big crisis, the drama to launch a thousand protests and fund-raisers. But there are no encampments outside the Chinese embassies, no one is calling for boycotts on Chinese goods ‘until they act’, and no people are gluing themselves to wharves to stop ‘the boats of doom’ loading and unloading.”
Which seems odd since, she also points out, “China’s output of carbon dioxide is set to reach a new record high in 2023. It grew 4 percent in the first quarter this year alone.” And Xi Jinping talks out of both sides of his mouth… just not to Kerry.
While the U.S. “climate czar” was in Beijing meeting with underlings, China’s political czar was meeting with senior Communist officials to tell them, in a passage from the Post story quoted by Nova, that:
“China remained ‘unwaveringly’ committed to reaching its peak in carbon emissions before 2030 and becoming carbon neutral by 2060, he told them this week, according to the official People’s Daily on Wednesday. ‘But,’ Mr. Xi added, ‘the pathway and means for reaching this goal, and the tempo and intensity, should be and must be determined by ourselves, and never under the sway of others.’”
Nor does it exist. Nova continues that:
“If China has any plan at all for “carbon neutrality” it’s to go nuclear as fast as it can. It will likely overtake the US as the largest nuclear power nation in the world before 2030. But if this was the plan, why keep it a secret? Is China afraid the West will realize they should build nuclear plants too, or is it because there is no plan at all? After all, China is still building two new coal plants every week. Who believes they are constructing 100 coal plants a year but are planning for emissions to start falling consistently and meaningfully in less than seven years?”
Uh that’d be John Kerry. And U.S. climate activists. And the mainstream media. Also known as the usual useful idiots.
Politico, in admitting that Kerry’s trip had been infructuous, substituted wishful thinking for serious analysis:
“Even without any immediate breakthroughs, the fact that the two sides committed to regular conversations represents a substantial step in restoring trust between the two countries at a time when overall relations are at their modern nadir, veterans of international climate diplomacy said.”
Veterans of international climate diplomacy. One cannot imagine a more reliably dispassionate, objective set of observers.
The New York Times also furnished the kind of pseudo-analysis that both facilitates and describes self-deception:
“Chinese leaders rebuffed attempts by John Kerry, President Biden’s climate envoy, to persuade them to commit to tougher climate action during three days of talks in Beijing, a response that suggested that tensions between the countries are making it difficult to work together on a crisis that threatens the planet.”
No, what makes it difficult for them to work together is that the Chinese leadership doesn’t believe there’s a climate crisis but does hope Western leaders do and on that basis will cripple themselves economically and militarily, as we explained in our video on the Red-Green menace. And Kerry is game:
“Mr. Kerry appeared buoyed that the world’s two biggest polluters had restarted discussions, which had been frozen for a year because of strained relations over Taiwan, trade and other issues. He insisted he was not disappointed in the outcome, noting that just talking marked progress.”
But in which direction? Toward American impotence and Chinese global hegemony? Works for Xi.
The Washington Post article included this related gem of conventional erroneous banality:
“Climate negotiations between the two countries, once a rare bright spot in a fraught relationship, have increasingly been undermined by tensions over trade, technology and human rights.”
And NBC peddled a similar tale, complete with the experts who say:
“Experts say that the extreme weather being experienced all over the world is largely driven by climate change, and that there is no solution without the U.S. and China, the world’s two biggest greenhouse gas emitters. But relations between the two countries have been bogged down by disputes over trade, human rights and the status of Taiwan, freezing climate diplomacy in place for much of the past year.”
It’s true that even the pretence of civility has been largely absent lately. But they were only a “bright spot” for people who think democracies doing themselves real harm in return for empty words from dictatorships is a good thing. Historically it has not been.