By Patricia Adams and Lawrence Solomon for The Epoch Times, published on December 13, 2021
China claims it aims to reduce CO2 emissions when in fact it aims for the opposite. China’s duplicity hurts almost everyone, but it does have one welcome effect—it greens the planet.
The planet’s ecology is thriving thanks to carbon dioxide, despite first world policies that are undermining it. The ironic benefactors in this story are countries of the third world, led by China, whose emissions are doing the most to green the planet.
Up, up, up. Carbon dioxide, also known as “nature’s fertilizer,” has steadily been enriching Earth’s atmosphere, from 320 parts per million in 1970 to 365 parts in 2000, to more than 412 parts today. The evidence of a flourishing planet—once anecdotal—is now plain to see, thanks to satellite imagery that has been monitoring the amount of greenery on the planet since 1979.
As noted in a 2018 Nature study that tracked the changes from 1982 to 2016, although Earth lost some tree cover where forests became farmlands, especially in Brazil and other South American countries, those losses were far exceeded by new forests. Canada saw the benefit in trees that moved up once-barren mountains, and in a tree line that moved north; the United States saw feverish forest growth in the eastern states. Europe led the world with a tree canopy that increased 35 percent. Overall, since 1982, Earth’s tree cover increased by 2.24 million square kilometers, an addition to nature’s bounty of 7.1 percent.
Carbon dioxide—“plant food,” as schoolchildren were taught for generations—bathed fields as well as forests, producing so many record harvests that obesity is rivalling starvation as a third-world concern. This cornucopia largely comes courtesy of fossil-fuel emissions, for which Planet Earth has coal-burning countries such as India, and China above all, to thank.
While Western countries such as the United States and Germany have been reducing their CO2 emissions to the detriment of plant growth, China has been on a tear, tripling its CO2 emissions per capita since 2000 to now account for more CO2 than all the countries of the developed world combined.
CO2, while a blessing to Earth’s ecology, has been a curse to Earth’s economy, particularly that of the developed countries. Unlike China, which paid lip-service to getting off fossil fuels, Western countries swallowed the climate-change narrative whole. Canada and the United States cancelled pipelines and shut down perfectly good coal-fired electricity generating plants.
The United Kingdom imposed a moratorium on fracking its vast shale lands and is forgoing the development of its offshore North Sea natural gas. Germany shut down coal plants. Most countries in the European Union massively subsidized wind and solar energy in a desperate attempt to make them viable while taxing fossil fuels. To encourage the rest of the world to abandon fossil fuels, the West shifted its foreign aid to reward third world countries that switched to renewables.
The result of forgoing economic, reliable fossil fuels in favor of uneconomic, unreliable renewables has been energy shortages and unaffordable energy. In Canada, gasoline prices have hit all-time highs; in the United States they have tripled over the last 18 months. In the UK, one-third of Britons now turn off heating in the cold. An estimated 150,000 older Britons could be forced into fuel poverty by the spring and almost 25 percent of Scots already suffer from fuel poverty, many of them forced to disconnect from the grid. France, which last year forced manufacturers to ration power, is preparing to reduce voltages across the board, and if necessary, impose two-hour rolling blackouts across its regions. Germany is bracing itself for blackouts and a tripling of industrial electricity prices.
Throughout all this chaos in energy markets, China never strayed from its goal of developing fossil fuels, and never failed to do its utmost to thwart the West from doing the same, even working with Western NGOs to encourage Western countries to go renewable. The global-warming-believing countries more often than not have then bought those feel-good renewables from China, making it—and Planet Earth—the sole winners from climate change policy.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.